Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi

Elizabeth & The Catapult, Birdie Busch

Sat, September 14, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

First Unitarian Sanctuary

Philadelphia, PA

$15.00 - $17.00

This event is all ages

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Kishi Bashi
Kishi Bashi
On Kishi Bashi’s debut full length, ‘151a,’ the songwriter expands on the majestic sound of his Room for Dream EP (Aerobic International), teasing out the baroque mysteries
suggested in those songs while sharpening focus. Since the release of Room for Dream, Kishi Bashi has toured with Sondre Lerche, and Alexi Murdoch. He's also collaborated with
of Montreal's Kevin Barnes on that band’s new album, Paralytic Stalks. This last endeavour, Ishibashi credits with some of his most recent musical growth, acknowledging that Barnes pushed him to new heights of creativity, forcing him to
explore a broader use of his primary instrument, the violin. This experimentation affected his loop-based live show and led to him write more of the new record with violin rather
than piano or guitar, loosening him from the grip of habit and expanding his palette.

Kishi Bashi uses Japenese singing as another of many layers, doing so without any trace of gimmickry, and achieving what, to Western ears, must sound like an expression of the
ineffable. After lead track “Intro/Pathos, Pathos,” a soaring yet concise amalgam of all that is to come, the record unfolds with a gentle, and somehow grander revisiting of two songs
from Room for Dream, reigniting their purpose with subtle variations that serve the larger arc of this new LP. From this foundation the record candidly affirms its suggested
dialectic, a dance between the earthbound materialism of captured art and its airy origins, in the give and take of “It All Began With a Burst.” The song appropriately struggles for
take-off, whispering its intentions in washes of synthesizer that threaten to drown the claps and voices struggling to emerge, until a fragile harmony is realized in a bass-driven
dance beat and desperately triumphant vocals. From the deconstructed doo-wop of “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me,” a 21st century transmission of Smile-era Brian Wilson that is both lush and blushingly naked to the menacing marriage of Eastern hues and Western operatics that is the Blade Runner-like trance of “Beat the Bright out of Me,” this album is a mediation between opposing drives, offering possible reconciliation but never promising it. A nuanced awareness of inherent contradiction is constant in all of these songs, at turns jubilant, as in “Chester’s Burst Over the Hamptons,” a frenetic violin driven gallop full of stabs of sound and classical
vocal harmonics that resolves in a synth and string composition worthy of Bach or Vangelis, and lamentable, most pronounced in the sweet despair of “I Am the Antichrist
to You,” which layers the delicate vocal melodies of the best of post-Beatles pop over a somber and beautiful New Age string arrangement. If “I Am the Antichrist to You” is tragedy, then “Atticus, in the Desert” is comedy, albeit dark, bouncing and whistling with the acceptance of romantic failure, reaching for a fuller, more compassionate survey of the landscape. Starting with the admission, couched
in the layered a capella not done so well since Queen, that “as twins we create an era, two souls in bright Sahara,” a tale is told, over bright symphonic gypsy pop, of a doomed
affair, and yet there is a palpable sense of acceptance and even enjoyment in the suffering.It is fitting that, during the conception of this record, Ishibashi was mindful of the
Japanese term “ichi-go ichi-e,” a recognition of life’s transience, sometimes translated as “for this time only.” Acknowledging that each moment happens only once, ichi-go ichi-e, reminds one to invest fully in these moments but also to let go of their outcome. It is in this practice that one opens the portals to both creativity and love and the results are
clearly in evidence throughout this record with its synthesis of disparate formal elements and its unnerving look at contradiction. Shortly after debuting his full length solo album 151a, NPR ‘All Songs Considered’ host Bob Boilen listed Kishi Bashi as his favorite new artist of 2012 noting that he created "a radiant, uplifting soundscape" with songs such as "Bright Whites. In the same year, Microsoft licensed "Bright Whites" for use in a commercial for Windows 8. Around the
same time, Sony used Kishi Bashi's song "It All Began With A Burst" from the same album for a commercial introducing their Xperia Tablet S. In addition to these placements, Smart licensed "Chester's Burst Over The Hamptons" for their line of smart cars in the United States.[6] Kishi Bashi has since been invited to play in major festivals such as SXSW and Austin
City Limits and gone on an extensive US tour with supporting acts like The Last Bison, who happen to be from his native Hampton Roads, Virginia. Kishi Bashi announced a North American tour for the summer of 2013.
Elizabeth & The Catapult
Elizabeth & The Catapult
Take a clear and powerful voice, add a memorable melody and set it to unique, sophisticated harmonies, and what emerges is Elizabeth and the Catapult's singular sound. At a time when so much music is saturated with familiarity, the band's style, which Northeast Performer describes as "a mixture of organic jazz, rock and pop,"is a welcome departure from a well-beaten bath. Comprised of Elizabeth Ziman (vocals, keys), Danny Molad (drums), and Peter Lalish (guitar), Elizabeth and the Catapult came into existence in 2004.

In the less than two years since their move to New York, Elizabeth and the Catapult has already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. In May and August of 2006 they were featured on WNYC's "Soundcheck" as well as PRI's "Fair Game with Faith Salie". At the end of the year they were dubbed by NPR as "One of the Best Discoveries of 2006". The Catapult have had residencies at clubs such as the Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall, and after opening for national headliners like Jessie Harris, Kirk Kirkwood (of The Meat Puppets fame), The Wood Brothers (of Medeski, Martin, and Wood), and Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) there was enough buzz about them to support a tour and label interest on the West Coast. All of this success also earned them a place as the Billboard Underground Artist for last October.

Bound by a common love of eclectic influences, Elizabeth & the Catapult draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Waits, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, and Jon Brion- as well as classical influences such as Debussy, Ravel and Chopin. One explanation for the bands musical diversity is Elizabeth Ziman's musical background. She was trained as a classical pianist until the age of sixteen. "As a kid, I used to practice all the time…" Elizabeth explains. "But one day I realized that I couldn't lock myself in a room for eight hours a day…that's when I started writing and singing." After that, it quickly became apparent that her vocal abilities rivaled her piano kills. In 2002, Elizabeth successfully auditioned to be a background vocalist for soul-queen Patti Austin and ended up joining her on tour for the next year and a half. Elizabeth's experience along with Pete and Danny's folk/rock sensibility piece together to make up the band's harmonically distinctive pop sound, a sound well reflected in their stylistically diverse new EP.

After a listen to the Elizabeth and the Catapult EP, it is immediately clear that a great deal of thought went into each of the songs' arrangements. Strings, Horns, Marimba and Synthesizers are all blended together, creating an organic, off-beat style that fans have often referred to as "baroque pop". The sound of the EP is also shaped by the guerilla-style fashion in which it was recorded. Drummer Danny Molad recorded most of the EP in basements and bathrooms, producing the album, along with Elizabeth, in an incredibly modest home studio. With these limited resources, Elizabeth and the Catapult managed to produce an expertly mixed album. Every note of the EP sounds deliberately placed while there still manages to be an air of effortlessness that penetrates throughout all the songs.

In their recordings as well as live performances, Elizabeth and her band members bring together all their backgrounds and experiences to make music that they themselves enjoy. They acknowledge their amorphous style and readily admit that it probably scares record labels. Even so, Elizabeth asserts that she is "not interested in assigning herself a specific style." Elizabeth and the Catapult are proud of their ever-changing sound and are committed to keeping their music fresh and creative.
Birdie Busch
Birdie Busch
Coming out of what could be called a veritable renaissance that has put Philadelphia back at the top of the list of America’s music capitals, Birdie Busch joins other talented locals and partners in crime in creating a tight-knit community that seeks to make great music, inspire people, and see what happens.

Critics from the Village Voice to American Songwriter have admiringly found her of kindred spirit to everyone from Syd Barrett to Eudora Welty and All Music Guide exclaimed that she is one of the “most affecting altos around”.

Her timeless approach and broad spectrum of influences has allowed her to play shows with everyone from iconics like Richard Thompson to one of her most recent stints, opening a short run for the rockin’ tour de force Dr. Dog in the spring of 2012. Encouraged by Scott Mcmicken of Dr. Dog, they recorded it at Meth Beach with Nathan Sabatino (Be the Void) and then Birdie laid down vocals at Saltlands in Dumbo, Brooklyn with her longtime partner in sonic adventures, Devin Greenwood, in his studio “The Honey Jar”.

The result is Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night,which gathers together what Birdie loves best: playing in a band with other like-minded folks where both melody, rhythm, dynamic, and songwriting are all getting their time to shine.

Birdie on the recording, “These guys are all my best friends and I admire them immensely for their lifelong dedication to making music and that’s really what binds us, that unspoken acknowledgment. While most of us have recorded alot together, this was the first project that allowed us to block off a week and cut it all mostly live. Everything was happening at once, the feeding off of each others energies, the guitar licks calling and responding, the eye contact, the instantaneous reactionary arrangements.”

The recording shows growth, maturity, and risk taking. It is lush, angular, and muscular. Many moments the band achieves a true rock and roll velocity, tranfiguration, and a reaching in, out, and up. There’s lots going on in these recordings and they only seem to reveal more with each listen.
Venue Information:
First Unitarian Sanctuary
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
http://r5productions.com