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High-culture career leads to Chaos

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Punk rock violinist and crew to play Crab Shack

What: Acoustic Chaos

Where: Crab Shack

When: Wednesday, Feb. 4

She’s a Vancouver-raised, classically trained violinist from the age of three years old, who gave it all up in 1992 to live in Whistler and snowboard, quitting the classical scene with its youth orchestras and hallowed halls of music academia just like that.

It took her five years to even pick it up again and when she did, it was no longer a violin, but a fiddle. And fiddling was fun again. She took it to the streets, providing a soundtrack for the Sunday strollers at the Farmer’s Market, and playing alongside local folk/rock guitarists and bands for the ski-bum crowd in the local pubs.

As electronic music piqued her interest she began to envision producing drum ’n’ bass and hip-hop tracks featuring her own ethereal violin melodies. It led her back to Vancouver and resulted in an album called Conflation , which she describes as "a joining of elements that don’t normally come together."

As if to drive the point home, she next took her violin into the gritty punk-metal underground where she was welcomed into a crew of folk-punk shit-disturbers, permutations of which perform every month or so under the umbrella moniker of Acoustic Chaos.

Some people praise Madonna for her versatility. Obviously, they’ve never heard of Kyla Tamiko Uyede, a.k.a. Kyla, a.k.a. Kytami.

Unlike the former, Kyla practices true diversity. She doesn’t shed fickle personas like snakeskin, but is a truly well rounded musician. She still comes up to Whistler to play Devil Went Down to Georgia with Guitar Doug at the Dubh Linn Gate, all the while maintaining a monthly live electronica club night in Vancouver, Red Saturdays at Pub 340, and her place in the Acoustic Chaos roster.

So how does a girl get the chance to turn a polished wood icon of high-culture into a sneering punk rock middle finger? She starts by coming by The Cobalt – Vancouver headquarters for live punk and metal, hardcore karaoke and crazy game shows. One such show, The Dating Game required a violinist to play sarcastically sappy tunes for the winners, while they enjoyed a candle lit dinner in the bar. It was Kyla’s introduction to Cobalt manager and Acoustic Chaos founder Blackie LeBlanc, and it was the start of a beautiful punk partnership.

The two now play as a duo – Blackie LeBlanc and Kytami – and also count themselves among the Acoustic Chaos gang, which includes other musicians with such delicate monikers as Johnny Sizzle, Fat Joe Satan, Mr. Plow, Marnie Mains, Dan Scum, Ani Kyd, Jimmy the Bitch, and more.

Wednesday’s Acoustic Chaos at the Crab Shack will be the first time the event has played in Whistler. The Shack’s Wednesday night regular singer/guitarist, "Wild" Wes Makepeace, has been given an honorary spot in the Acoustic Chaos crew for the night. (He’s a good fit, says Kyla). Along with Blackie LeBlanc and Kytami, Chaos-ers Lou Piss, Dan Scum and Marnie Mains are also slated to come up for the show.

A typical Acoustic Chaos night features sets by five or six performers, all with – no kidding – acoustic accompaniment. But the lack of amplification shouldn’t suggest the event is somehow more refined; it’s got punk-ass attitude coming out the ying-yang.

"The lyrics are dirty," states the Zen-mannered Kyla, "they’re insulting, they’re funny, they’re sometimes political."

"You can’t have politics without filth," LeBlanc interjects, grinning. "You have to take it with a grain of salt," he adds. "You’re not bringing the kids down. Leave them at home."

Catch Acoustic Chaos at the Crab Shack this Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Call 604-932-4451 for information.

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