A lush array of looping and vocal/violin gymnastics… Kishi Bashi’s debut full-length, 151a, is a bright and soaring avant-pop record written primarily on violin – Kishi Bashi’s main instrument which has brought him to record and tour with the likes of Regina Spector, Sondre Lerche, Alexi Murdoch, of Montreal and more. Kishi Bashi uses Japanese 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. He is playing the 529 tonight, and joined us for our 5GB series.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
I’ve been going to classical concerts since I was a child, but my first rock concert was this bill: Flaming Lips (nobody knew who they were but they left a serious impression – pre-Tangerines) – Stone Temple Pilots (that’s who I came to see) – Butthole Surfers (they were the best).
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
I opened up for Alexi Murdoch at the 6th and I Synagogue in D.C. I got a standing ovation, a woman in the front was crying, and I sold almost 100 CDs.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
The Flaming Lips in Toronto. They just put on the most visually provocative and psychadelic fantasy journey you could ever experience. I saw them first at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, but in Toronto, I had a pass, so I was all around and in it: huge projections, colossal balloons, confetti cannons that probably weren’t legal, freakin’ lazer fingers, and Wayne Coyne…
What is the gig you would most like to play?
I’m really intrigued by these Metallica curated indie rock festivals. I guess I’d like to play that one, so I could hang out and watch a bunch of cool artists, and then blow my ears out with Metallica.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
So at that Metallica festival, I’d like to start right at twilight, so it’s not some lame daytime performance (I hate those), then get done just in time for dinner catering and drinks. I’d like to relax to a bunch of funk legacy artists that slowly turn into Metallica playing Master of Puppets in it’s entirety or something.
so it would be like: Kishi Bashi- Herbie Hancock (performing Manchild) – Earth Wind & Fire – Led Zepellin (this could be a cover band or maybe with Jon Bonham’s son) – Black Sabbath (with Ozzie) – Metallica
Catch Kishi Bashi, August 6th @ 529