Music Mondays: Kishi Bashi – 151a

Posted in Music on February 18th, 2013 by Nick

Some may know singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi from his touring gigs with Regina Spektor and of Montreal, or perhaps from his own indie rock band, Jupiter One, of which he is a co-founding member. Last year, Ishibashi released his own entirely self-recorded and self-produced project under the name Kishi Bashi, and it’s a lesser known gem that some may have missed from a year that was already jam-packed with killer tunes.

The album, 151a, is a beautiful showcase of the man’s talent, alive with guitars, violins, keyboards and programming. His vocals are light and calming (as is the music), something similar to a Sufjan Stevens-type creation. When performing live, he loops vocals to harmonize with himself, while alternating between violin and guitar over programming and beat boxing.

Ishibashi’s full-length solo debut has been getting some serious iPod play lately making it the perfect choice for this week’s Music Mondays installment. It’s a transcendent work from a one-man show that is completely worth noting, listening and latching on to.  Check out the cuts “Manchester” and “Bright Whites” below:

 

Bonus track – Jupiter One’s “Countdown” (2008):

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Is Sufjan Stevens worth more than a latte?

Posted in Music on September 21st, 2010 by Nick

Paste Magazine’s Bonnie Stiernberg posted the following today:

His latest album is set to drop in October, and our Artist of the Decade, Sufjan Stevens, is urging fans to avoid picking up a copy on Amazon.

Stevens’ label Asthmatic Kitty sent a mass e-mail to fans that took issue with Amazon’s bulk discounting. “We have mixed feelings about discounted pricing,” the e-mail read. “Like we said, we love getting good music into the hands of good people, and when a price is low, more people buy. A low price will introduce a lot of people to Sufjan’s music and to this wonderful album. For that, we’re grateful.”

It continued, “But we also feel like the work that our artists produce is worth more than a cost of a latte. We value the skill, love, and time they’ve put into making their records. And we feel that our work too, in promotion and distribution, is also valuable and worthwhile.”

Stevens urges fans to pick up The Age of Adz via sites like Bandcamp that allow artists to sell their music directly to fans.

How can a record label tell us, the consumer, exactly where we should purchase his music? Music fans have been overpaying for music for years. That’s exactly why Napster happened – because the industry was flat out greedy and overcharging (remember the days of the $20 disc?).

Stevens and his label should be happy there are people who want to pay for his music at all. To tell us that his music “is worth more than a cost of a latte” makes the message sound extremely pretentious. (I drink plenty of lattes per week, just as I buy plenty of other music…shit gets expensive, dude!) I understand the cool-factor of buying directly from the artist. I understand the artist will see more monies because of that – but it could’ve been expressed in a way-less-douchey and pretentious manner. I may have purchased The Age of Adz, but this intel makes me want to avoid it now.

Or maybe I’ll just pick it up at Amazon.

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