Category Archives: News

Holy Cities

So, the past year I’ve been working up a set with a new band, Holy Cities. It’s kind of an electro-pop post-rock thing. It’s pretty challenging for me because I have to think about all the nuances of playing: technique, dynamics, inflection, intonation, feel. That kind of thing. In the past with this kind of thing, I’ve thought about some of these things, but mostly it was about dynamics and playing a lot of notes and technically fast fills. With Shiplosion, I started bridging the gap–I wish I could have continued going with that, too–but I ran out of time. But with this band it’s about a lot of nuance, and I’m really enjoying it and really liking the music. The arrangements have an epic quality, my favorite, and it’s earnest. It’s pretty, but maybe also a little lonely and stark, and perhaps a little foreboding? We’re an odd bunch, from different contradicting background, but we’re coming together and it’s working.

The other day, we gathered some equipment, and borrowed a little, and then assembled in a warehouse in Sodo and recorded some DIY tracks. Hey, they are turning out okay! We are starting to put them up online. Give us a listen and tell me what you think.

We’re gonna play our first show on Saturday, at the Josephine. We’ll by sharing the stage with some friends. I hope you can make it. We could use your encouragement! Oh, and let me know if you have ideas for bands or shows to play with. :)

August news, 2013

I’m looking forward to doing some new things in the upcoming months.

I’ve been putting together a set with a group of good friends and we’ll likely start playing some shows in November. Stay tuned for some announcements. I’m really happy with the direction this group is taking. I get to focus on playing some rock in a more subtle and mature way, and I’m really proud of the music we’re making.

Related to that group, I’ve been putting together Spotify playlists of music both new and old. Just different tunes that I’ve been listening to, as I think about how to approach this new project. When I gather enough songs, I’ll post the playlist on the next Monday. There may be some clues about what we will sound like. I hope you enjoy the playlists too. Spotify has a web player now, so I don’t think you have to install anything anymore if you don’t want to. The latest playlist is there already, but I won’t be posting the link on facebook until this Monday.

I’m also sitting in with a Klezmer group, the Debaucherantes, so stay tuned for a date or two with them. Looking forward to that!

Gamer Jam is set to continue, even though we announced that it was over. Sean is just too busy, but the rest of us want to keep it going. Let me know if you have any ideas!

As you know, Shiplosion is winding down. Our last show is in the woods at the end of the month. And Bucharest Drinking Team continues strong! It’s amazing to look back over how far we’ve come over the past couple years, and we have so many more great ideas!

Lots of fun stuff. I hope to see you around sometime real soon. Check out my calendar for dates. Thanks for reading this blog! As always, let me know what you think, or anything else that’s on your mind.  –Kai

Kocani

Tonight, I went to see Kocani. They quieted down, so we bought another ticket. And then we decided to buy one more. Because they are that good. One of the amazing traditions that is surprisingly missing from American rock music, is to keep tipping the musicians so that they’ll stay and keep rocking!! What a concept. And I was so happy to do it, because Kocani is one of the best brass bands in the world.

And tomorrow, I go to Vancouver to see them again, and again! Am I living in a simulation? I feel like I’m about to flip this game.

p.s. sorry for my site being down over the past few days. I freaked out, thinking I had been hacked, but turns out it was a false alarm. At any rate, things seem to be back to normal now… mostly…

Gamer jam

My pal Sean Downey has set up a monthly Gamer Jam, where a live band plays the soundtrack to video games as people play them on a huge screen. There are also homemade games, and songs inspired by games, and some gamers like Louis who show their mad skills in games like Mega Man. I got to play in the “house band” last time, and took some major risks. Apart from learning all the music for Street Fighter 2 (including Thailand in 11/8), I organized the band to play two songs off of Katamari. Susan played the levels live! It was so awesome! But scary, because I had never performed as lead vocalist before. I really took advantage of the 80/20 rule to prepare, because there was so little time! But the other musicians, Steve, Louis, and Sean, totally pulled together and made the whole thing work! And of course, none of it would have worked without Susan on game controller. So here’s my first attempt at leading a band. Please be gentle. ;)

The next Gamer Jam is coming up on April 4th at the MIX in Georgetown (Seattle). I hope you can make it out! Come over and say hi.

Darbuka

Hey, I just performed darbuka, aka doumbek, in front of a live audience for the first time last night! I was just sitting in with the quite talented Marchette DuBois and James Hoskins at Cafe Paloma here in Seattle, playing some Balkan rhythms on the side from time to time. But it’s always exciting to play a new instrument in front of people for the first time! I also learned to play the tupan this year, so really expanding my horizons lately and it feels great.