Local Band King Kang Packs 4th Street Vine During First Night of January Residency


Image by Jess Giles.

Long Beach-based band King Kang’s first night of their January residency had 4th Street Vine seemingly at capacity with the movements and head bobs of fellow musicians and loyal fans.

For the last four months of 2016, King Kang, composed of guitarist Gino Martez, bassist Matthew Proffitt and drummer Ryan Serrano, ceased regularly performing to write new material, finish producing their first ever EP and set their intentions for the new year, the band’s frontwoman Esther Kang told the Post.

“We’d talked about the residency for a while, but [we] had to postpone it to January to do it right,” she said. “We wanted to integrate a different sound theme every week while featuring bands and artists that are beyond our normal sphere, ultimately to challenge ourselves to present something new and different every week.”

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“We’re definitely ready to hit the ground running this year,” Kang said.

King Kang’s first invite was El-Haru Kuroi, an East Los Angeles-based poly-rhythmic, Latin and Afro-rooted trio.

Co-organized with Kang’s partner, Abbey Barnett, next Monday’s performance will feature Barnett’s new hip-hop/electronic project dubbed DreaMOD, and ELOS, a hip-hop beatmaker self-described as “a child of Low End Theory” and one of Los Angeles-based Alpha Pup Records’ latest signs.

During King Kang’s set that night, a few of their favorite local rappers, including T’MON, Rahspect and Abbstract will be invited to perform over their songs.

The third Monday, January 16, will feature Spare Parts for Broken Hearts, a Long Beach post-punk grunge trio that released their latest single, Pleasure Delay, in October, and DJ Judith Christ


Image courtesy of Spare Parts for Broken Hearts.

“Week four will be old timey and stripped down,” Kang said. “We have local classic and contemporary jazz/blues outfit Missing Shades of Blue  opening for us, and our set will feature a brass ensemble, comprised of our friends in the LBC, interpreting our songs with us.”

On Monday January 30, opening for the grand finale of the band’s residency will be King Kang guitarist Gino Martez’s new psychedelic project, NUMEN, and experimental group Seek the Freek. King Kang’s set will feature a choir and liquid projections on the walls, Kang said.

The residency at 4th Street Vine will precede King Kang’s debut studio release Summer of Fire, a seven-track EP the band has been working on for the past year and a half. Mastered by Brian Frederick of Hybrid Studios and mixed and co-produced by Kris Jackson of Fork n’ Spoon Studios, look for it in February on CD, cassette and digital platforms.


“We’re so freakin excited to be able to share it with everyone, finally,” Kang said. 

This May will also mark the band’s second year together. As they continue writing, performing and experimenting, the group plans to hit the road for a tour of the Pacific Northwest this summer.

“We’ve grown a lot together and have nothing but gratitude for our friends and community who continue to support us,” Kang said. .

All Monday night performances are from 8:00PM to 10:00PM, with the exception of January 9 and January 30, which start at 7:30PM. For more information about the residency, visit the Facebook event page here.

4th Street Vine is located at 2142 East 4th Street.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.