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Saturday October 25th 2014

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White Gold Party

By Sarah McCartan

Everyone could use a little Monday night madness to take a load off, especially with the holidays rapidly approaching. In addition to welcoming local lady rap duo Cookies & Cake back to the stage, along with Cowardhound and Glass Mattress, Monday night brings some true gems to Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant—gems of the white gold variety.

White Gold is the new arrangement of former Atlanta-based group The Back Pockets, headed up by performance prowess, Emily Kempf.

To get you up to speed, The Back Pockets was a collective that’s been described as part playroom, part performance art, part party—a collective that, throughout its existence, evoked very strong emotions from both fans and critics. One look at The Back Pockets’ video for track “Leave Me Alone” and you may wonder if the group gleaned inspiration for their theatrics from Of Montreal frontman, Kevin Barnes, at least in the costume department.

Still, that was then. This is now. And now there’s White Gold.

“I’d say White Gold is a streamlined version of all my previous projects and life happenin’s over past five years,” said Kempf. “People who like Back Pockets will probably love this band too, as we are just as visually insane.”

Though White Gold may be a new animal, and is a three-piece, as opposed to the eight, fifteen or however many members that routinely joined The Back Pockets’ ensemble for any given performance, Kempf notes that while there are similarities in the approach, the difference is in the finishing elements.

“White Gold was born out of a strong desire to tour forever,” said Kempf. “It does have the original heart and soul, first, half ‘bff’ drummer from Back Pockets, Billy Mitchell. And White Gold also incorporates flashy stage antics like Back Pockets, just different antics.”

What are these antics? Those who are familiar with The Back Pockets, or any of Kempf’s previous enactments can expect a White Gold party to be just as intensely erratic and unsteadily energized, if not more so.

According to Kempf, fans can expect, “Blinky trigger lights, set installation, sometimes interpretive dancers, sometimes drag queens, cool outfits, etc.”

“Etc.” leads us to believe there could be even more surprises hidden up Kempf’s sleeves, and of course, projections of cats, naturally.

“We make projections of our friends and cats from the Internet and stuff,” said Kempf.

If it seems like they are a bit all over the place, it’s because they are. Recently the band quit their jobs, sold their loot and left their home in Atlanta to move to Chicago, which only lasted for a month. Kempf informed me that at the present they are quite literally, a band on the run.

“We live nowhere, but we are pursuing this project full time. I have family in ‘ATL’ so I go back there a lot, and I am in another band in New Orleans so I also frequent that lovely city. We have our tour lives planned until May basically. Then we might choose a new hometown, or just keep traveling into the summer. I kind of want to move to West Coast,” she said.

White Gold has been in the midst of what they’ve referred to as a fall/winter dancing around the country tour, although at the time the IN contacted Kempf, they were on a “break” of sorts, recording in NYC.

“Break is a funny word. It’s sort of like a break, from driving. But other than that it’s constant work, but the ‘funnest’ ‘bestest’ work ever. We’ve been in studio for three days all day so far. We will also be playing two shows and making a music video while we up here with our buddy Yo Pablo,” said Kempf.

Kempf anticipates the debut album will be coming soon, just in time for spring, that is, depending on a few elements, like “fate, destiny, the universe and finances.”

After wrapping things up in the studio, it’s back to the road for this crew. Although Kempf has performed previously at Sluggo’s with The Back Pockets, this is White Gold’s introductory performance at the venue. On top of the good eats, Kempf confirms, quite simply, she likes it at Sluggo’s. And based on her recount of a previous show experience, it’s surely going to be something of a spectacle.

“One time I chipped a tooth at a show, and ran to the bathroom in the middle of a song to check and make sure the whole tooth hadn’t been smashed out of my head, and then ran back and finished the song. The band just kept playing while I was gone. It was epic. Everyone clapped,” she said.

Like most, White Gold has a mantra, one that has just as much of an upbeat ring and bright sheen to it as the rest of their magnetic aura does.

“Make out or get out!”

May these words of wisdom from Kempf carry you well into the new year, or at least until Monday’s show.

And if that’s not enough for you, or if you were hoping to get a taste of the music behind the madness before the show, White Gold has a “Teaserrrr” video floating about on YouTube.

WHAT: White Gold with Cookies and Cake, Cowardhound and Glass Mattress
WHERE: Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant, 101 S. Jefferson St.
WHEN: 9:30 p.m., Monday Dec. 16
COST: $5
DETAILS: 791-6501 or facebook.com/whitegoldparty