Before she was Violent Vickie, the Long Beach-based electronic-punk musician, was simply DJ C. But given the nature of her music — edgy, raw, socio-politically conscious, and a bit funny — the name didn't seem right. “I realized that was kind of plain sounding,” she said. “I wanted to sound like I was a girl and kind of rebellious.” Taking inspiration from other punk artists' names, like Sid Vicious and The Julie Ruin, she landed on Violent Vickie and that's been her name since 2003.
[jump] Her high-fi, fuzzy, analog sound dates back to her college days when she took a course on electronic music that inspired her to buy a drum machine. She landed on a $40 set on eBay and from there, added a Casio keyboard and a 4-track. Her music, which is a mix of punk, electronic, industrial, and pop, is experimental and playful in the best of ways.”I tend to jump around a lot between genres,” she explained. “It kind of goes back and forth from song to song.”
In the past, her songs have addressed topics, like feminism, consumerism, and addiction. The opener of her 2013 album, Monster Alley, is a sardonic dittie called “Drugs” that is about how “you ain't got to worry when you got drugs.” (The humor lies in the fact that Vickie, herself, is a recovering addict). “Beauty Store,” also from Monster Alley, admonishes the consumerist culture that we live in and how women are expected to wear make-up, while “Talk It” discusses stripping, but from a stripper's perspective.
While her Bandcamp page lists five albums, Vickie said she “definitely released a lot of DIY CDs and tapes” that she just never put on the internet. A few years ago, she relocated from San Francisco to down South, but tonight, she's back in the Bay, playing a free show at El Rio along with former Oakland-resident-turned-Angeleno, Metal Mother. Showgoers can look forward to multifarious sets from both artists, as well as trippy visuals that may or may not include images of geometric shapes, feminist tropes, and “flashing toilets.”
Violent Vickie, along with Metal Mother, play at El Rio on Fri., Dec. 18, at 8 p.m. More info here.