Hot off the release of the breathtaking Omoiyari, Kishi Bashi and company delivered an equally breathtaking performance at an intimate 300-capacity church in Portland.
Since releasing his first solo EP in 2011, Kishi Bashi (the stage name of Kaoru Ishibashi) has been making some of the most thought-provoking, intricate music in the indie pop world today. A multi-instrumentalist but known first and foremost for his acrobatics on the violin, Kishi Bashi has a distinctive style all his own (the only even somewhat close comparison to Andrew Bird fails to take into account all but the broadest strokes of either musician’s work). He released his most recent album, Sonderlust, last year, and his tour for the album at the time brought him to the DC area at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. Last week he came back to town, playing the much more intimate setting of Sixth and I, where he had previously played with a string quartet in early 2015.
Summer was hot as hell, but Fall is almost here. This week we're giving you the musical tools to kick back, cool down, and ease into the soon to be barren landscape of Winter.
Did that sound depressing? Never mind...brown liquor season is nigh!
Check out new releases from Kishi Bashi, Against Me!, Frank Ocean (if you weren't on Apple Music) and Paul's personal fave, DAWES.
Kishi Bashi after two years of intense training under sensei Jeff Lynne
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:
Because orchestral pop’s time has once again come
In 24 years as a band, Guster has only released seven albums. Compared to many bands, that may seem sparse, but it’s clear that they’re a band that likes to do their own thing, at their own pace. Though they haven’t strayed far from their 90s alternative rock roots over the years, they haven’t stayed stagnant either; their latest record Evermotion, released earlier this year, has been somewhat divisive amongst fans as the band has shifted their sound with it in a more synth-heavy direction. But sometimes, seeing a band live can help to put an album into perspective, and that was the case on Thursday night at Wolf Trap, where the band played a set intermixing the new tracks with fan favorites from throughout their career, and showed that the new material isn’t so different after all.
When it comes to stringed instruments, guitars dominate the world of pop music, and it is unusual for the violin to take central focus. Yet for Kishi Bashi (the stage name of K Ishibahsi, who is classically trained in the instrument), it’s the implement of choice. It is perhaps for this reason that his songs lend themselves so well to adaptation to a more classical form. Washington, DC witnessed this transformation last Thursday, when Ishibashi came to the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue to play a show backed by a string quartet.
From the opening strains of “Manchester” from his first album 151a, the audience knew that they were in for a special evening. While many attempts to adapt popular music to classical form fall quickly into the sort of music that one might expect to hear in an elevator or a grocery store, there was none of that at this performance
If you watched TV at all last year, chances are you heard Kishi Bashi's infectious pop tunes in various commercials. His success has been a long time coming. The multi-instrumentalist, most well-known for his masterful violin skills, has worked and toured with such acts as Of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and Sondre Lerche. In April 2012, Bashi released his first solo album, 151a, which features those commercial-ready singles "Bright Whites" and "It All Began With A Burst."
Bashi's NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Sunday, February 3, Bashi brings his upbeat, sure-to-make-you-smile-and dance songs to 9:30 Club. To win a pair of tickets to the show, you can:
1. Leave a comment below, using a valid email address, telling us your favorite album of 2012.
2. Retweet this or tweet the following:
I'm entering to win 2 tix to see Kishi Bashi at @930 Club on Feb. 3! #KishiB930 @ChunkyGlasses
3. Reblog this tumblr post.
Please note that only one entry per person will be counted.
A winner will be randomly chosen this Friday afternoon, so be sure to enter before then!
Don't want to press your luck? Tickets for the show are still available and can be purchased here.