Tuesday, July 22, 2008

…where I might present you as a chaste virgin…


I’m off to Brittany soon! But I do have time for one more post. It’s a good’un too.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz are the vehicle of Japanese singer Tori Kudo, and are one of the many bands signed to the fine K Records from Olympia, Washington. If you went to Sunday School as a child you may know that Maher Shalal Hash Baz was the name of one of the prophet Isaiah’s sons. It means something like “Hurry to spoil! Make Haste to plunder!”, and it was a prophetic name the Lord instructed Isaiah to give his son. If you didn’t go to Sunday School, well you’ve got thus far not knowing this, and your probably none the worse for it.

I have no idea what it means to Tori Kudo, although he does seem to have a bit of a “thing” for Old Testament references. What does it all mean?

The songs themselves are odd shambling things with a simple charm to them that I really like. I also really like the brassy arrangements that Kudo gives his songs. Out on K Records is their most recent album L’Autre Cap which is full of short and quirky numbers that are either child-like or just plain childish (I can’t quite decide) - I think “naivist” is the term…

To be honest, they sound like a bunch of friends getting together for their second or third practice, still getting used to their guitars and trumpets. But I mean that in a good way, you understand.

In fact, various incarnations of Maher Shalal Hash Baz have been releasing records since the beginning of the 1990s, so unless Kudo operates a Zappa-esque approach to man-management, we can assume that the band haven’t just met, but are actually executing some fiendishly clever naivist plan.

Whatever. I just think they’re great and you can be sure that I’ll be filling my (recently purchased on ebay) iRiver with more acts of shambolic brilliance for the Brittany trip.

K Records give you one download - the glittering “Different Daylight” with its unnervingly odd drum patterns - but to be honest, one’s all you need…

Different Daylight

And then there’s this video of the same song, which appears to include members of the audience having a bit of a go too. Wonderful stuff.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Brian Vander Ark: Brian Vander Ark

Former Verve Pipe Frontman Set to Release New Record (produced by Bill Szymczyk) and Solo Catalog on Second Motion Records/Red Eye September 30th

“Brian Vander Ark wields a mighty pen as well as guitar.” _Washington Post

“One of the most underrated songwriters in music.” _ All Music Guide

Brian Vander Ark was the literal and figurative voice of one of the highest grossing bands of the mid 90’s. His distinctive vocals and haunting lyrics will forever be part of the collective soundtrack of that time. Ten years later and we still know all the words to the “The Freshman.”

Massive success and its aftermath have sent many artists into oblivion, forever trying to recapture the exhilaration and adulation of superstardom. But rather than blindly attempting to reclaim a throne that was fleeting at best, Brian Vander Ark struck out on his own, sold all his possessions, and hit the road playing house concerts, and making records supported by his fans.

Brian is a gifted storyteller and musician whose lyrics are intensely personal and entirely gripping. He possesses the essence of one man’s experiences being shared through the medium of his guitar…his honesty is liberating and unrivaled. His new self-titled record was produced by legendary producer Bill Szymczyk (Eagles, The Who, James Gang) and completely funded by his fans.

His previous solo records, Resurrection, (2005), Angel, Put Your Face On (2006), in addition to his newest album, Brian Vander Ark, will be released on October 30th on Second Motion Records, distributed by Red Eye distribution.

“...this guy may be one of the most creative songwriters on the planet.” _ This Is Modern




Preview Tracks From his three albums:

Brian Vander Ark
http://www.ezarchive.com/original/paula/04IWentWithTheRoad.mp3

Resurrection
http://www.ezarchive.com/original/paula/03AndThenYouWentAway.mp3

Angel, Put Your Face On
http://www.ezarchive.com/original/paula/02TooGoodForThisWorld.mp3


To request advances or interview requests, contact:

Jess Haviland
PAI Media
609 Greenwich Street, 6th Fl
New York, NY 10014
212.206.1598
jess@paimedia.com