Music Nerdery.

I listen to a lot of Music.

Posts Tagged ‘Mexican Teenagers EP

Kaki King and Mike Einziger of Incubus: The 9:30 Club; Washinton DC – 4.29.2010. Video:

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oh man.

It's like every little nerdy dream I ever had is coming true.

Hey people.

Well, if you didn’t make it to Kaki’s 9:30 show… looks like you missed out. Guitarist Extraordinaire and longtime KakiNerd Mike Einziger of Incubus fame took some time out of his busy schedule to come through and bless Kaki with an appearance at her show. Introduced to Kaki through his band mate Ben Kenney, Mike has been a fan ever since. As you already know… sh*t went down, and it was filled with hard rockin, shoe gazing, carpel tunnel syndrome causing guitar WONDER. We got really lucky and had a friend, @wojo4hitz take care of the video part of things for you… she got amazing footage of this epic win for us. Thanks for that, girlie.

You can go through @hammycammy’s flickr set of photos here, or you witness the win for yourself below:

Mike comes on in:

Doing the Wrong Thing/My Nerves Commited Suicide  (Great Version):

Gouge Both Your Eyes (But Only Eat One):

Pull Me Out Alive

A choppy, yet somehow still cool Lintoria

Communist Friends with a funny little intro:

Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers:

…and Kaki addresses the Rumor Mill….

And proceed to geek out, much like I did.

Have fun.

And thanks Mike!!!

Everything you need to know about Kaki King so you can act like you knew the whole time – Part 3:

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the pensive shot.

Hey people. So here we are on the last part of the Kaki Blogs. Before you read this, you should already know that if you’re a Kaki pro, this isn’t anything but stuff you already know. But if you’re a Kaki newb… I hope you’re taking this all in.

Here we go: Part 3.

After wrapping up work on the soundtrack to “Into the Wild,” Kaki set eyes on her next album project. Regardless of trying to stay focused on the new record, life threw some interesting curveballs at her. Not only was she accepted into the prestigious TED foundation for her musical gifts and contributions to her art, she was also nominated with Eddie Vedder for a Golden Globe for her work on “Into The Wild.” Always the fearless musician, Kaki did an awesome cover of a song that we loved at the time… Justin Timberlake’s “Lovestoned/I Think That She Knows,” while completing work on her first EP release, “DaySleepers.”

(unofficial official video here:)

Various other things that are filled with awesome began to happen as well. When ending her of tour with in Australia with the Foo Fighters, she bumped into the wonderful Jimmy Page. It was also about this time when Ovation, her guitar of choice throughout her career, approached her with the ideal of creating her own Signature Guitar. On top of that, she was also featured on the DVD celebrating Ovation’s 40th Anniversary, “Unique Voices: 40 Years of Ovation Guitars.” This combination of personal and professional highs, as well as the end of a 4 year relationship, and an urge to expand her musical sound is what finally drove her back into the studio to start the new album.

After regrouping,  taking a small bit of time off between records and regaining focus, Kaki wrapped up work on her fourth studio album, “Dreaming of Revenge.” This album, perhaps the favorite amongst KakiFans, is one of her most ambitious projects to date. Filled with ambient, yet edgy instrumental songs like “Sad American” and “Can Anyone Whos Heard This Music Be A Bad Person?” and “Montreal,” Kaki continues to build on the tradition of wacky song titles and wonderful music. She also starts stepping into the “lead vocals” role a LOT more in this album…  with great little pop rock tunes like “2 O’Clock” and everyone’s favorite “Pull Me Out Alive.”

This time around, the first half of Kaki’s tour saw her touring with music masters like The Mountain Goats (which led to the exclusive release of Kaki King and The Mountain Goats EP “Black Pear Tree”)  and mingling with musicians like Incubus and Feist and people like the legendary Matt Groening…. Kaki decided it was time to fall back and do a bit of small touring for her fans. After coming up with the lovely name ‘The “No Bullshit” Tour,’ Kaki did a few small shows throughout the country that were specifically focused on her older Acoustic works. No Drums, No Bands, No Extra Sounds. Just a girl and her guitar and the her older songs. The tour, that ran throughout the States and parts of the UK, was hugely successful… and a reminder to Kaki that you can’t stray too far from the classics.

Somehow, while out promoting “Dreaming of Revenge” on the road, she somehow found time to create a whole new EP to keep her fans occupied… The Mexican Teenagers EP. And on this one… she’s showing her teeth. Loud guitars (Mexican Teenagers), crazy drums, syncopated beats (Lintoria) and the dreamy, ambient song (A Long Way To Go Before We Are Truly Danlike)… all kinds of fun that demonstrate Kaki’s growth as not only a guitarist, but a musician as well. Also, she worked with the legendary hip hop producer Timbaland on tracks for his new album, “Shock Value 2.” Surprisingly enough, the track that she helped produce went straight to Miley Cyrus. And amazingly… she somehow completed work on the Musical Scoring work for her most recent movie project, “Twilight,” as well as the film “How I Got Lost.”

So now, FINALLY… its time for the future.
“Junior,” the next project from Kaki just completed in January while she was in Australia doing wrapping up some shows for her aussie fans. Inspired by her recent obsession with The Cold War, Russian Espionage and the ideal of being a spy and leading a double life… Kaki has put together a collection of songs that are meant for one thing and one thing only, Rocking your fu*king Socks Off. This album finds her indulging the total rock star in her… crafting nifty little rock songs, then layering her voice, sounds of melodious guitar and aggressive drums all around it.

Kaki just wrapped up an interview with Spin Magazine… and release her first single from the new album… “Falling Day,” for the internets to get acquainted with.

For those wondering… I’ve heard parts of the album, and from what I’ve heard, you should like whats going on here. Aggressive rock track reminiscent of Kaki’s Mexican Teenagers EP. Really good stuff from the rough drafts I heard… and it seems poised to sound even better.

I think that about covers it. I’m sure I forgot parts, but I’m sure I covered about 90% of the important stuff. As for how me and Kaki met… does it even matter at this point? Nah. Not really. But if you really care, maybe one day I’ll tell you. As for now… my brain hurts and I’ve got tons of shit to do. So go ahead and take all the kaktacularness in, and get ready for Junior… coming really, really, REALLY soon.

Have Fun.

Everything you need to know about Kaki King so you can act like you knew the whole time – Part 2:

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Alrighty newbies, here we go. Settle in for Part Two.

The end of 2003 saw the end and start of new relationships for Kaki, mainly with major label Sony Records, who was interested  in signing distribution with Velour, along with promotion. Moves were made, music was created, and her second album, “Legs to make us Longer” was released on Sony in Mid 2004. Filled with melodious guitar adventures like “Magazine” and “Neanderthal,” her first “singing” track “My Insect Life,” and perennial favorite “Doing The Wrong Thing,” you can hear Kaki starting to carve out a new soundscape for her fans to explore.

It was the first time you heard drums and more sonically lush tracks that included more than just her and her guitar…. and it also has her first Vocal Track, “My Insect Life.” This album was filled with the acoustic awesomeness that we all loved, yet it also reached into ‘well structured pop tunes’ sound.

Touring expanded, shows started getting moved to larger venues. Feedback on the album was largely positive, and word started spreading much faster at that time than I ever thought it would. It was a fun time where you started to see interesting Music Nerds starting taking notice… from Jack Black and Tenacious D to Dave Grohl all the way over to Questlove of The Legendary Roots Crew (yes, I’m taking credit for that one as well).

It was also where Kaki started to experiment and explore instruments outside of her normal guitar and drum set… she started working on bring her drumming back, along with an interesting music maker… the lap steel.  Loops, Pedals and “Shoegazing” became key. You can hear the leaps and bounds she starts to make with songs like “Ericka Needs This Song in Her Life,” and later tracks like my favorite…. “Hardenberg.”

After being named Rolling Stone’s First Female Guitar God in February 2006, and with ideas abound in her head, Kaki decided to step her game up for the next album with more singing, instruments, and a little help from renown indie producer John McEntire (The Sea and The Cake; Tortoise). With John guiding the sound, and her ideal of having a full musical band behind her for the first time,  Kaki’s third album, “Until We Felt Red” started taking shape.

Starting to explore her looping capabilities more, Kaki started incorporating more pedal guitar effects into her records. More echoing and more recording to lay down bass lines and sounds for songs, making larger soundscapes. More instruments… some played by her, some by other musicians. More singing… as soft and delicate as her voice can be. Darker, Minor Tone sounding rock tracks like the title track,  “These are the armies of the Tyrannized “and “The Footsteps Die Out Forever” set the tone for this record.  She still performs her trademark acoustic songs, like Ahuvati and First Brain, but isn’t afraid to make records like “You don’t have to be Afraid” which finds Kaki flying through several sounds and instruments within an 8 minute period.

She makes her development on the Lap Steel known with the upbeat “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers…” A song where she demonstrates her use of pedaling for recording and sound effects on the instrument.

Keeping it real moment… this really wasnt an album I adored until recently… I was so used to Kaki and just her guitar that I wasnt really ready to give all this multilayered sound stuff a try. I always do though.

While touring around with Sarah Bettens (of K’s Choice) to promote the new album, Kaki started taking advantage of some of the new offers coming her way. First was an opportunity to be in the commerical for a new HPV vaccine, Guardisil… she ended up most of the music for that, as well as making a guest appearance. Just when things couldnt get any weirder, the opportunity to play with The Foo Fighters and tour with them on the Australian Leg of Their Tour came up, after Dave Grohl completely fell head over heals for the new album. Grohl, while at a KROQ show with Kaki in Los Angeles is quoted as saying “There are some guitar players that are good and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there’s Kaki King.” Tegan and Sara also started eyeing the talent… she made several appearances on their album, and also played at a few of their shows.

The biggest thing however, was the attention and accolades she started getting from people in Hollywood. Actor Sean Penn tapped Kaki to produce new music and use “Doing the Wrong Thing” for his movie “Into The Wild…” Eddie Vedder also had her sit in for recording sessions on the albums soundtrack. Robin Williams also noticed the talent as well… and asked Kaki to body double and do all the Guitar hand work and music you see and hear in “August Rush.” It was an angle that Kaki wasnt expecting… getting into Soundtrack work for Movies.

(You see the little boy. Whos actually PLAYING… Kaki King.)

Turns out that this was not the last time she would be asked to work on a Major Motion Picture soundtrack. But we’ll be getting to that in a minute. Well, we’ll get into it friday, when I wrap this shit up. Get your Kakiknowledge up.

Everything you need to know about Kaki King so you can act like you knew the whole time – Part 1:

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Yes, I am very proud of her.

Sound: Everything from Acoustic Guitar/Bass playing, Lap Steel Looping, Shoegaze, Multi-Instrumental sh*t to full on Indie Rock with Edge.
Albums: Everybody Loves You (2003); Legs to Make us Longer (2004); Until We Felt Red (2006); Dreaming of Revenge (2008); Mexican Teenagers EP (2009); Junior (4.13.2010)

Geez. Iont even know where to begin with this one.
Good Person. Great Musician. Better Friend.
To watch the evolution of such a unique talent develop over the last 8 years has been a blessing, joy, and absolute music nerd WIN. And it only gets better as time goes on.

It started with a girl wilding out on her guitar, Michael Hedges style,  and has evolved into an ‘apperances on August Rush making, foo fighters featured, into the wild soundtrack making, Tegan and Sara cameo having, twilight soundtrack composing, secretly making songs with Timbaland for Miley Cyrus to sing over’ ball of amazing, frankly.

Over the years as she has gained in popularity, more people ask me about her music, and how she got to where she is today. I’ll have to break this down into two parts for you, but this will be my attempt to show you how she got from Point A to Point B.

The guitar was never just a guitar for Kaki. Even from the beginning. Somewhere in the process of learning guitar at the age of 3, then transitioning to the drums at 5, then going back to guitar later in her childhood… she figured out that guitar had a special feature that is very hard to find with other instruments… the ability to create percussion while playing the instrument itself. And at some point, she decided she was going to get REALLY good at.

She then began to master her chords and fingering while messing around with her fathers collection of guitars, and learning notation and music while rummaging through his music book library, which contained things like the Beatles songbook, Fleetwood Mac. As she got older, she started looking totake on edgier bands like The Smiths and Graham Coxon with Blur. But It wasn’t until Kaki found the kings of the finger style where things began to change. Leo Kottke, Preston Reed and the Late Michael Hedges changed her perceptions of what the guitar could be.

Even though guitar was always around, Kaki was convinced at that point that the only way that she would get on in the music industry was through her drumming skills.  But after suffering through the massive disillusion that is College, and being in Manhattan on 9/11… her ideals began to shift, as well as her priorities. Kaki started getting more gigs via her guitar skills. When she wasnt playing sets or in different bands, she was all through the tunnels of the underground world that is the New York Subway System, going hard on practicing and perfecting her finger style and percussion techniques. After being bugged by several people to make some kind of record, Kaki released her first demo  (with classics like “Tunnel” on there)… and thats where everything began.

It wasnt long until Jeff Krasno, executive at Velour Records ran across Kaki… which led to her being signed, and her first official label release, Everybody Loves You.

It seems from the get go, that there was a buzz on Kaki. Even before her first album ever hit the streets. At least there was a buzz among the music nerds of the world, hyped to hear of this 4’9 guitar prodigy wonder who, at this point, was taking acoustic guitar to a new level. Velour was pushing this woman hard, and with good reason…. at this point, it was becoming clear that her style was unmatched. Youtube links and music on her was scare in those days, but from what I was able to pull together, I was intrigued. Wacky song titles like “Close Your Eyes and You’ll Burst Into Flames,” and songs like “Carmine Street” and wacky titles like “Happy as a Dead Pig in the Sunshine” had me captivated from the get go.

But the biggest draw for me (and most classical/acoustic guitar nerds) was the musical complexities behind what she was playing. You have to be pretty dorky to know all of this, but the style and format that Kaki plays in is incredibly unique…. From her use of “tapping” and “hammer on”  techniques, down to the way she tunes her guitar in order to execute the amazing feat of using each one of her fingers on BOTH HANDS to build amazingly detailed melodies. (Cello tunings fam? whos using cello tunings on a GUITAR? who even KNOWS how to do that?)  She seems to combine the styles of several different artists and techniques to form her own new way of playing. You can see the influence of her years of drumming in everything she does.  But it wasnt until her landmark performance on Conan O’Brien (click that link!) when it actually hit me. I quickly made plans to see her live, as soon as I could.

Now I was wondering how entertaining her show would be… for the most part, when you think acoustic performances, you’re thinking of the typical, boring shows where no one is allowed to speak or have a good time. I should have known nothing about this kid is typical. She did not disappoint at all. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t fail much live at all. You will more than likely have a good time at a Kaki King Concert. An amazing musician, her goal is to wow the audience with technical precision every time… and she always does. Shes also very engaging during and after her shows, she will answer (well thought out) questions  and engage in discussion for the most part. Basically, shes worth the $30 bucks it takes to go see her live.

From here, we’ll get into the second and third albums…. but we are going to stop here, as to not overload your brain. LOL. Stick around for part 2; coming on wednesday. 😀