14 December 2006

Kaki King @ Club Passim

Bora Yoon opened up last night, with a performance-arty, loop-heavy set; her use of found sound was creative, but didn't always work--cell phones yes, windchimes no. There were some very lovely and meticulously layered constructions, and some unsuccessful theatricality; but overall she was a good opener, as they often are at Passim.

Kaki King was an interesting show. Her vocal style is one I can't often take happily song after song: whispery, silky and wispy as babyhair. Given the amount of cooing and fluting in indie music right now, I wouldn't be surprised if she did well despite that; it doesn't hurt that her stage presence is effortless, wry, offbeat, and charming, either. In this show at least, she wisely focused more on instrumental numbers. An Elliot Smith cover seemed a logical choice, as they're whispery kin; the vocals on Yellowcake (off of the new Until We Felt Red) somehow work, too, maybe because the rolling, lush guitar contrasts to the wispy vocals. She's an interesting and compelling guitarist, particularly on the dobero, although some instrumental numbers seem like they'd be lackluster recorded, when the counterintuitive technical tricks are invisible. Overall it seems like thinking music--not pensive, but showing practical creativity, an inventive mind working with dextrous hands.

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