Kaki King 2004-6-10 The Iron Horse Northampton, MA (download)
Many people make great music. Some do it in a form easily classified and understood, and a few do it in a way different than anything done before. I have respect for both, but musicians who can create something unprecedented hold a special place in my heart. Great music is made, as they say, standing on the shoulders of giants, but it is those that stand on those shoulders who open the next door.
Kaki King makes music that isn't easily cornered. She's been compared to Michael Hedges and Preston Reed, but this doesn't really do her justice. For one, Kaki does her thing with a pretty normal 6 string guitar (more recently adding lap steel and some other toys).
"I played guitar in loud rock bands," she says. "But at some point I'm like a martial arts student. I learn all kinds of different stuff but I find this obscure Taiwanese art ... well not Taiwanese. But you know what I mean, something that is very obscure. I put myself to the challenge: Here are the rules. One guitar. Not a lot of instrumentation, or none preferably. No singing. Different tunings. I kind of just went with that. I didn't know it would be my career, it just was something I like to do."
This show brings Kaki to the Iron Horse in Northampton MA, which is a pretty hallowed venue around these parts due to the quality of both the acts and the sound. She opens up the set in a pretty shocking way, playing a short piece of "Georgia on My Mind" and then announcing to the crowd that Ray Charles had passed away that day. The recording captures the audience reaction, and it's obvious that some members of the audience hadn't heard yet. She then lets people absorb the news to the melancholy "All the Landslides that Birds Have Seen" before launching into the trademark "Playing With Pink Noise", which is the song previewed in the video above, and she spun a great set on from there. Highlights of this show also include "Magazine" and my favorite which neither I nor archive.org have been able to find a title for.
1. Intro/Georgia on My MindKaki has a new album coming out on March 11th called "Dreaming of Revenge". No doubt it will be as innovative as her previous releases. Check out her site for more info.
2. All the Landslides Birds Have Seen
3. Playing With Pink Noise
9. Can the Gwot Save Us
10. My Insect Life
12. Doing the Wrong Thing
13. Carmine Street
Sound quality is A+, this is about as clean and tight as live performance gets unless you're paying $15 for a mastered CD. It was recorded by Clinton Vadnais, so thank you Clinton! Photo Credit.