Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sights & Sounds: Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Crosby-Nash

I've been so busy gearing up for my coverage of the 14th annual Doheny Blues Festival this weekend, I simply have not had much time to post some of the nuggets landing in my inbox. But before I am swept away by the music of John Fogerty, Lee Rocker, Walter Trout and the countless other greats coming to Dana Point this coming weekend, here are a few items of interest to music fans.



Seattle, WA's Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground will release their sophomore album Introducing Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground on July 26th, 2011 via Suburban Home.

Introducing Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground is an adventurous collection: 10 songs formed by a kaleidoscope of sounds and instrumentation. Telling tales of bohemian urban discontent, Introducing... reins in the grand, sprawling scope of their self-titled debut - which landed on Alternative Press' 'Top 10 Albums of 2008' list - and takes the band's unrelenting psych-pop melodies to soaring new heights and subtle nuance. Opener "Sweet Strange Dreams" sets the tone with its Beach Boys-dreamy, playful, languid atmosphere. "Diggin'" floats on an easy '70s groove and soaring carnival sounds, and it is quickly followed by the plucky swing of "Oh Lord, I Hate You California." Other highlights include the ragtime-infused, expansive and climactic "Paychecks and Pipe Dreams" and the lush, summery "World's Entire." Sweeping strings and horns accent throughout Introducing..., while Kirk Huffman's versatile vocals range from hush, to croon, to a rich, clear tenor.

At the heart of Kay Kay is songwriters Huffman and Kyle O'Quin, who began writing new songs together during the final touring days of their previous band, Gatsby's American Dream. Those songs became Kay Kay's first self-release, 2007's live album/live DVD Live From The Pretty Parlor as well as their first studio LP. Around this duo rotates a cast of accomplished local musicians, who perform both on record and live to add diverse instrumentation, including: cello, violin, tuba, trumpet, and flugelhorn, among others. Cellist Phil Peterson, who frequently performs with Nada Surf, also records Kay Kay's releases at his home studio, The House of Breaking Glass.

Huffman and O'Quin began writing and recording Introducing... in late 2008/early 2009 but, near completion, set it aside for months to mourn the tragic loss of their mentor, renowned producer and engineer Tom Pfaeffle. John Goodmanson (Death Cab For Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead), and Steve Fisk (Soundgarden, Minus The Bear, Beat Happening) finished mixing the album early last year.

Known for their boisterous live show that often includes up to 15 members on stage, Kay Kay has toured with Portugal. The Man, mewithoutyou, The Dear Hunter, and Damien Jurado, for whom they both opened and played as his backing band. The band has also performed on Last Call with Carson Daly, at the Bumbershoot and Sasquatch festivals, and headlined the 2008 Capitol Hill Block Party in their hometown. Kay Kay will hit the road again this summer for a US tour; dates will be announced shortly.

Track listing for Introducing Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground:

1.Strange Sweet Dreams
2.You Motherfuckers
4.Oh Lord, I Hate You California
5.21st Century Boy
6.A Country House In The Heart of The City
7.Paychecks And Pipe Dreams
8.World's Entire
9.Bottom Of Yelser
10.My Friends All Passed Out

k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang KCRW Live Session available on demand now

k.d. lang launched her most recent release Sing it Loud, with new band the Siss Boom Bang, in a series of small venues -- but none more intimate than the show hosted by KCRW (89.9FM and KCRW.com) at Apogee’s Berkeley Street Studio. It is now available online for all to see here.

The live session, as well as an interview conducted by KCRW DJ Anne Litt was also aired on Morning Becomes Eclectic at 11 a.m. PST on May 16.

k.d. is only the second artist to be featured in KCRW’s Berkeley Street Sessions in 2011. Last year, the station hosted Manu Chao, Interpol, Janelle Monae, Nas and Damien Marley, David Gray and Chrissie Hynde and the Fairground Boys, all with Bob Clearmountain at the boards.

After k.d.’s performance, the legendary producer/mixer - who has worked with everyone from The Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band – exclaimed “nights like this are the reason I got into this business."

The Grammy Award-winning singer is known for her gorgeous voice which was on full display in this session, where she focused primarily on new material. The camaraderie she has with her new bandmates in the Siss Boom Bang make it clear this is a true collaboration. She told Anne Litt how the band came together:

“The second everyone walked into the room, which happened to be July 4th weekend, it felt like fireworks. It was palpable, the energy was so high, everyone fell immediately in love with each other. There was respect, there was communication, there was joy and there was such enthusiasm for making music…and THIS music. We didn't even talk about it, everybody just gravitated towards the instruments that they wanted to play and in three days, eight songs were recorded,” said lang. “We wanted to make an unpretentious, joyful record that made people feel good.”

k.d. also admitted that she discovered the bands she’s chosen as openers for her tour by listening to KCRW, including LA buzz band The Belle Brigade, The Secret Sisters, and Teddy Thompson.

Check out the session in our archives and read a full transcript of the interview online here.

k.d. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang Set List

I Confess
Perfect Word
The Water’s Edge
A Sleep with No Dreaming

> Interview

Sing It Loud
Habit of Mind
Encore: Sugar Buzz

ABOUT KCRWKCRW 89.9FM, licensed to Santa Monica College, is National Public Radio's flagship station for Southern California. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit represents cutting edge radio at its best, presenting an eclectic mix of independent music, news, talk and arts programming. The terrestrial signal serves Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura Counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, Kern, and Santa Barbara Counties and the greater Palm Springs area. KCRW’s programming is internationally renowned and available worldwide via KCRW.com, including three streaming channels, 27 podcasts and archives of our locally-produced programs and live band performances. Hear KCRW music online, all the time, on the ALL music stream Eclectic24.


Network’s commitment to Sunday Night Music strengthens with the first in a series of LIVE concerts

HDNet will air a special LIVE concert event featuring two time Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, David Crosby (The Byrds/ CSN) and Graham Nash (The Hollies/ CSN), from a stop on their current Crosby-Nash tour. “Crosby-Nash: In Concert” will air Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. ET with an encore presentation the same evening.

Singer-songwriters David Crosby and Graham Nash have been harmonizing ever since Crosby, Stills & Nash formed in 1968. In addition to making music with CSN and CSN&Y, an ongoing element of their collaboration is recording and performing as a duo. That two-man configuration is celebrated in this concert event and with the launch of Crosby and Nash's new independent label - Blue Castle Records, distributed by ADA and ADA Global - with digital and vinyl versions of Another Stoney Evening which was re-issued March 22 of this year.

Broadcast live from the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut, this legendary rock duo will perform many songs from their extensive catalogue, including “Long Time Gone,” “Marrakesh Express,” “Almost Cut My Hair,” and “Our House.” Their magical vocal harmonies will evoke the excitement of 40 years of rock history in this one-of-a-kind performance. Don't miss this landmark concert, only on HDNet!

Check out a special all access piece at the following link:


This live concert event is the first in a series to be added to HDNet’s popular HDNet Concerts line-up, airing every Sunday night.

About HDNetHDNet (www.hd.net) is the independent network with unique and thought-provoking content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including the network’s Emmy Award winning HD news feature programs, "HDNet World Report," and "Dan Rather Reports," featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant - telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence. HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries, airing as part of the “HDNet ‘Round The World” series. "NASA on HDNet" presents all live shuttle launches through 2011.

HDNet delivers the world's largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series. The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Nickelback and more.

HDNet Movies offers subscribers a premium movie viewing experience in true HD, and more original movies shot entirely in HD than any other network.

Launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available in the U.S. via AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, and Verizon FiOS and in Canada via Access Communications, Cogeco, Rogers, Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct.

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