Archive for march 12

Review: Kaki King Brings the Freaks Out to Biltmore Cabaret Saturday

Posted in music journalism, reviews, rock & roll with tags , , , on March 16, 2011 by bex0r

Credit: Ashley Tanasiychuk

Not often will a musician be so aware of crowd dynamics and sightlines that she asks the entire dance floor to asseyez-vous s’il vous plait; but a ballsy and admiringly brash Kaki King did just that on Saturday night at the Biltmore Cabaret during what she has branded her “Guitar Traveling Freak Show”. A truly mixed crowd, spanning the spectrum from hardcore guitar nerds to elderly easy-listening fans to late-night hipster DJ party kids willingly complied with Kaki’s wishes. All good-naturedly reposed to take in a 90 minute set chock full of virtuosic finger-style guitar and a vast array of exotic instruments, each freakier than the last.

 

A student of the acoustic heavy wood genre, Kaki is well versed in the history of the art form. For her solo acoustic set she borrowed songs from Michael Hedges and Andrew York, yet issued a humble disclaimer for her skill compared to these greats. She did not disappoint (well, unless you were one of the mislead indie rockers expecting a full band and a complete rundown of all the songs from Until We Felt Red). Despite suffering the tail end of what sounded like a pretty severe head cold, Kaki did manage to croon a couple numbers to the delight of her swooning fangrrls (and boys). Singing, she gladly confessed, is not her primary talent, which is more than excusable considering her goddess-like grasp of the guitar and all the range of acoustic sounds she’s capable of producing.

Credit: Ashley Tanasiychuk

For this tour Team Kaki consists of Kaki plus soundman and trumpet player Dan Brantigan, as well as one of the hardest working guitar techs I’ve ever seen, Anna Morsett. With a guitar change and/or tuning for pretty much every song of the night, Anna was kept busy tuning, running and presenting Kaki with a new guitar, each more exotic, beautiful or just straight-up weirder than the last. Guitar pr0n highlights of the night included a “prepared” guitar featuring an artificial bridge made out of a cabinet handle; a vintage Weisenborn; a “Dojo” or dobro-banjo; an Andrew White 7 string classical with fanned frets; and a “harp” guitar, described by Kaki as a “conjoined twin…tumorous and stupid”. This freakish Elephant Man of an instrument provoked gasps of disgust and admiration from all the guitar nerds in the house.

 

One note of disappointment was the trio of Canucks fans on a post-win high following Saturday’s game, who very vocally expressed their distaste for Kaki’s show. No, the Biltmore was not a logical choice for a raucous night out (What, was the Roxy not open yet?) In the future, hockey fans—please remember not everyone cares about how well grown men can chase a plastic puck around a frozen swimming pool and do not disrespect a serious musician and her audience with your boorish banter. Luckily these loud-mouthed jocks got bored and left halfway through Kaki’s set. Perhaps her immaculate cover of Fences’ “My Girl The Horse” was not to their liking?

 

Another aspect of note was Kaki taking a pre-show song request over Twitter from one of her 9,000 followers. She appears to be quite the social media vixen, which perhaps accounts for the packed house for this show. With one acrylic-nailed hand on the pulse of modern music and the other on her smart-phone, it’s safe to say Kaki King is primed to become one of this generation’s next independent music superwomen.

 

 

 

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Review: Miss Erica Dee at Fortune Sound Club March 12, 2011

Posted in reviews, rock & roll, writing with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by bex0r

Credit: Ashley Tanasiychuk

While a modest number of attendees at Fortune Sound Club on Saturday, March 12th seemed “in the know”, club-goers caught unaware were treated to an impressive performance by the incomparable Miss Erica Dee, who performed tracks from her newest mixtape Golden.

With much love flowing to and from the stage, the soulful songstress from Nelson, B.C. rocked out to bass-heavy remixes of “On and On” by Eryka Badu, “Try” by Jill Scott, and “Constant Surprises” by Little Dragon, as well as a healthy dose of originals penned by Dee and co-produced by DJ Kemo of the Rascals. Accompanied by vocal minx Evy Jane and Ricco behind the decks, Dee dropped her signature mix of hip-hop style MC’ing combined with Motown melodies and jazzy freestyles.

Credit: Ashley Tanasiychuk

Brief interludes were filled with impromptu acapella jazz standards (like Honeysuckle Rose) and showcased some serious vocal talent by both Evy J and Erica Dee. Both young women are trained vocalists who present themselves as serious

musicians, having spent the necessary time to hone both their craft and stage personas. Evy made the perfect accomplice, being both pitch-perfect in her harmony and understated in her presence on stage. She graciously supported Miss Erica, who made sure every butt in the house was moving and maximum fun was being achieved.

 

Highlights of the evening included the hot disco throwback “Let It All Go”, sneak-peeks of a couple new tracks, a dozen odd girls sharing the stage for one song (and the one guy who was quickly yanked back onto the floor) and Erica and Evy “trading fours” in an all-out scat session to close the night. Whoever began the evening not knowing Erica Dee definitely left the club with her name on their lips.

Erica will host a CD Release Party and Vocal Workshop in Gibsons this week, before heading down to Austin to perform at music industry conference South By Southwest (SXSW) where she will no doubt turn heads.

Download her free mix Golden here.

The night also marked the launch of Slow DJ’s Ricco + Vinnie’s new mix “oh hi…” You can check it out on Slowdjs.com or just ask him. He was nice enough to give us one! Thanks Ricco!

Ricco & VInnie Oh HiErica Dee Golden Mixtape