Concert preview: Before showering the LC in glitter, Ke$ha talks MTV, duct-taped instruments and refusing to be boxed in

By Columbus Alive
From the August 22, 2013 edition

Ke$ha’s sophomore LP,Warrior, starts out like so: “We were born to break the doors down/ Fight until the end/ It’s something that’s inside of us/ It’s how we’ve always been.”

That’s her steez, her mission statement, her gloriously gauche M.O. Ever since spraying glitter and Jack Daniel’s all over the pop culture sphere with her breakthrough smash “Tik Tok” in 2009, the artist born Kesha Rose Sebert has been doing whatever the hell she pleases, without regard for expectations or anybody else’s idea of good taste.

“My whole message is you can be whatever you want to be, and you can be yourself unapologetically,” Ke$ha said via phone last week. “Yes, I sing about sex and partying. I also run a corporation and handle my s---. You can be an intelligent person and also throw down every once in a while.”

Ke$ha’s apparent contradictions — debauchery vs. family values, trailer-park populism vs. state-of-the-art production values,rapdance- vs. rock ’n’ roll don’t seem all that contradictory when you step back and realize most people don’t fit so neatly into boxes.

“I just think it’s interesting that American media was so offended that I’m a woman and I talk about sex and partying,” Ke$ha said. “You can do and be many things, and usually people try to only let you be one thing.”

For further clarification,atch an episode or five of Ke$ha’s MTV series “ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life.”

The show, Ke$ha’s take on the well-honed MTV reality format, premieredin April as an outlet for two years’ worth of footage by her brother, Lagan Sebert.It presents an inside look at the pop star’s whirlwind life, a portrait that seems accurate given that Ke$ha wasn’t sure which city she was in during our interview. (The answer: Charlotte.)

The original idea was to cull Lagan’s footage into a movie, but when the opportunity to work with MTV came up, Ke$ha couldn’t pass u the chance to broadcast her life on a network whose viewership overlaps so significantly with her young, female fan base.

“It kind of just seemed like the perfect partner for what I was trying to do,” Ke$ha said, “which was show me on stage, off stage, with my family, drunk, hungover, whatever.”

“My Crazy Beautiful Life” was renewed for a second season last month. Maybe the next batch of episodes will include footage from Columbus; Ke$ha’s tour stops at LC Pavilion this Tuesday with openers Mike Posner and Semi Precious Weapons She said the stage show has come a long way since she played the Celeste Center during the Ohio State Fair in 2011.

“I think that the first time around I was clueless,” she said. “It was my first headlining tour and I was just trying to figure it out. But it was fun though. And my instruments were duct-taped together, so it was kind of ghetto.”

Look out for lots and lots of glitter Tuesday. There’s so much sparkly stuff on stage and in the crowd at a Ke$ha concert that the singer has suffered several glitter-related injuries including choking and a sliced eye.

Also, be on the lookout for dancers in animal suits, a spectacle reminiscent of The Flaming Lips, with whom Ke$ha collaborated on the duets album The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. She said she was fixated on such crazy costumes long before she made music with Wayne Coyne and the boys.

“I’m just a fan of furries,” she said. “I’m not like sexually turned on by themI actually have made my assistants dress up as animals and they bounce around my houseSometimes it’s a penis suitWayne actually came to see my show at the Hollywood Bowl, and he was like, ‘You have furries too!’