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The Crystal Method surprise even themselves with triumphant L.A. return

February 11, 2010 |  3:24 pm


Not counting the group’s triumphant appearance at last year’s Electric Daisy Carnival and a Coachella or two, big beat electronica duo the Crystal Method has not performed a stand-alone set in Los Angeles for six long years. That's an eternity, especially when measured against the platinum-selling group’s choice to maintain a SoCal home base since the early '90s.

But all that is about to change with the group’s date at Hollywood’s Avalon on Friday night – a rare live set booked into the Crystal Method’s North American “Divided by Night” tour that band members Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland promise will be “full of surprises.” So much so, that until fairly recently, they didn’t know for sure what was going to happen.

Pop & Hiss bumped into the Vegas natives on the red carpet at the Grammys last month, moments after it had lost out to Lady Gaga in the best electronic/dance album category. Adding insult to the injury of their defeat, the pop diva skipped collecting her trophy in order to primp for show time, leaving the Crystal Method to stew in its own vitriolic juices.

“Lady Gaga took us down and she couldn’t even show up to collect the award,” Kirkland groused. “Next year, I think they should implement a thing where if you’re not in the room to collect the award, your award goes to someone else. It’s like, if you put in to win the blender, you’ve got to be there to win the blender, right? You gotta be there to win the award!”

A recap of our conversation follows.

I know, right? So, anyway … what took you guys so long to get back to L.A.?

Ken: It has been a while. We’re really looking forward to that show. We really wanted to make sure we did a proper live show for the fans in L.A. to come out and see. We’re inviting all our friends.

Like who?

Ken: We’re still working on those surprises. Maybe we’ll run into some surprises tonight. [laughs]

Scott: While they’re drunk. We’ll make them sign commitments.

Ken: We do have a firm commitment from one of the artists on “Divided by Night.” So we’re looking forward to that.

(That would narrow the field down to “DBN” collaborators Matisyahu, Justin Warfield, Emily Haines of Metric, Jason Lytle and New Order’s Peter Hook. Also worth pointing out: the Crystal Method has a rich history of unannounced guests jumping onstage during their shows, as when LMFAO -- of  “Shots” fame -- joined the group at Coachella ’09.)

Scott: And I’ll be there. Normally, I don’t show up to these things!

Maybe Lady Gaga will come too.

Scott: We’ll put her on the guest list. Tell security: “If Gaga shows up, make sure she gets in."

On Thursday, the Crystal Method donated a previously unreleased song, “Slipstream (Slimmed Down Mix),” to “Download to Donate to Haiti,” a star-studded benefit to aid Haitian earthquake victims that includes tracks from such acts as Linkin Park, Jack Johnson and Metric. For more info and downloads, go to www.musicforrelief.org

-- Chris Lee

Photo of the Crystal Method by Andrew H. Walker for Getty Images