Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music Scene

Ridiculously wonderful progressive bluegrass is coming out of Kyoto, Japan, folks! I am digging very much a band called Pirates Canoe. I also happen to know the lead singer, Reika.

I have never reviewed a band before, but I figure why not give it a try.

Reika Hunt (first mate) has a sweet whispy voice that harmonized beautifully with all voices out of their canoe. And the woman can write a song!

Sara Kohno (Captain) and Mandolin player has this amazing tone to her voice. I think it's like chocolate. Rich and creamy, which mixes nicely with the sweetness of Reika's voice. And um, the Mandolin. Seriously!? Crisp rhythms and a sound that makes your eyebrows go up and down as it hits its range of notes.

The fiddle player, Kanako Keyaki (quartermaster) shreds. Agile. Her playing reminds me why violins (yes, violins are fiddles) and the human voice are most alike but also what makes them different. They can be shrill, smooth and rich, strings vibrating like our own vocal chords (cool!); but violins can harmonize with themselves, unlike our own voices!

The drummer, Takashi Yoshioka (boatswain) has sense. That's all you can say of a man who plays in a top hat, makes noises with god knows what and makes it just plain fun to watch him play. His personality shines from the back and his harmonies add a nice touch when he sings.

The bassist looks like a terribly laid back but fun looking dude, who keeps the core vibrating nicely. Bass is perhaps my favorite instrument to hear. It strikes my core and I find it terribly sexy. Jun Taniguchi (rum master) doesn't disappoint with his plucking, slapping, tapping and thumping.

And finally, Kazuhiko Iwaki (sailing master), plays the resophonic guitar and makes no sense to me... how does he not live in Appalachia or Nashville? Really impressive to me and I want to hear more! He slides and picks the strings up and down on his knee, left fingers steel wrapped and right wrapped in plucking picks. A natural.

Pirate's Canoe use silence as well as they use melodic, dissonant and harmonic sound and it feels good to hear them. They can be etherial, strange, silly, frank and just darn pretty. Their new CD has been on repeat here a lot lately and I have plans to see quite a bit of them live in the future. Come join me!

Oh, and they have a great look, too. Retro. Casual. Cool.
(Pirates Canoe)

PS- I am planning to go see another band I learned about at the last Pirates' live called (I think) Yoshida Shonen and Mikazuki Soup. Guitar, drums, upright bass, piano, vocals and a horn! The horn player is very pretty. I love how she holds her horn when she is not playing it and her mouth is pretty (I know that sounds weird, but she has a pretty mouth). Yoshida Shonen is a nutter and I loved watching him rock out! They are funky, experimental and funny! Not rock, but they Rock! Rock! July 8th around Shijo!
(Pirates Canoe with Yoshida Shonen and Mikazuki Soup)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Newest Addition...

On a lighter note, I would like to introduce you to our first blossom of the year. This hibiscus is probably our 4th one, but also the one we have managed to keep alive the longest. We love her.

After snapping this lovely, we headed out to spend the day walking in Gion. We ventured into a little hole in the wall for lunch where we had cold yuba and a lovely teishoku (set) lunch. It tasted like grandma's cookin', so you know we were alright!

I bought a gorgeous clothe at RAAK, which I can tie into various style bags. Can't wait to bust it out with a black dress on girl's night. Perhaps next Saturday!?

We walked to Sanjo and meandered into a plant shop, where we met the newest addition to our decor. She is perfect and I will love her as long as she will have us!

My heart was slightly broken when I found out this beauty was sold...

We'll be back to check for more like her. Her shape is perfect for our window wall nook. Fingers crossed we find one like her before too long.