on deck: kishi bashi, “151a”

29 Nov

In a rare move for me, I’m going to keep this super brief. Ultimately, I just want to tell you guys about a show for which I just purchased tickets, and the awesome music that drove me to drop those bucks.

The show in question is for Kishi Bashi, formerly of Of Montreal fame. I’ve been an Of Montreal fan for a long time (though not quite a fanatic, as many people are). Thus, I started following Kishi Bashi when he toured with the troupe of musicians that made up the circus act that is an Of Montreal show- he was the violin protege that often stole the show. Kishi Bashi always stood out from the group, and I don’t think any Of Montreal fans are surprised to see him killing it in his solo career.

As much as I like Of Montreal, after listening to Kishi Bashi’s debut solo effort 151a, I can’t help but jump for joy that he decided to leave the group. In short, I’m in love. His roots as a classically trained musician show through in the complexity of the songs, but he also incorporates so many other genres and song structures (jazz, swing, loop-heavy indie pop, etc) into a weird-but-it-works smorgasbord. Comparisons to Andrew Bird and Animal Collective are well-deserved.

To understand the true craftsmanship involved in this album, look no further than his performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. NPR’s intro states, “K Ishibashi is a master of building his music from the ground up, from live violin loops to layered singing to beatboxing, in order to create pocket symphonies steeped in classical music and 21st-century pop. He brings that ingenuity and songcraft to the Tiny Desk at the NPR Music offices.”

This is high praise from NPR, and the stripped down format of the concert really brings that testimony home.

Check out the Tiny Desk performance, or start with the clip below. Then, snag tickets to see him at the 930 Club in February. Why is February so far away?

Kishi Bashi, “Bright Whites”


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