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Posts Tagged ‘keys’

AltSounds reviews “Scrappy” by Arrison Kirby

AltSounds gave a very favorable review to “Scrappy,” the first single from Arrison Kirby’s upcoming album, Aries.  The single features Bernie Worrell, of P-Funk and Talking Heads, on keys.  Aries will be released on April 2nd.

Click here to read the AltSounds review

Thank you for attending!

photo by Maurita Roman

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Pilot Light for Kishi Bashi and Never Sorry last Thursday.  I’m really really glad that new people were exposed to Kishi Bashi’s music.  And thanks for sticking around for Never Sorry, also.

If anyone has pictures or video they would like to share, holla at me.  You can check out some video of the Kishi Bashi set on Maurita Roman’s YouTube account.

There is a massive interchange of energy going on in America right now.  Why fight it?

 

Depth of Darkness – 3.16.2011 – Arrison Kirby, Megan Driscoll, Nathan Brown & David Dalton

Click to download the tracks:

“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Cute Little Echo”
“Blue”
“House of Satan”
“Single Politician”
“Reading Rainbow”
(Horelick, Kleinman & Weir)
“The Whole Planet What?”

This was a rehearsal for the March Pilot Light show.  Only Megan, Nathan and myself were able to make it, which forced us to embrace minimalism.  We did so electronically.  David showed up for the last two tracks and filled things out for new levels.

I’ve posted most of these songs a million times a million ways, so instead of a song by song run down, I just want to point out a few things.  First, as already implied, this is kind of a dark, electro session.  Something of a Hypencrunk / Never Sorry hybrid.  This version of “Blue” is rare in that Megan sings the vocals, as Rachel was not present.  Also, that’s David on the vocals for Reading Rainbow and bass for the epic, “The Whole Planet What?”

Arrison Kirby – beats, keys, guitar, vocals
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica, tambourine, vocals
Nathan Brown – keys, electronics
David Dalton – vocals, bass

Flesh and Mud – 2.16.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae and Dane Hill]

Click to download the tracks:

“Blue”
“Cute Little Echo (Front Porch)”
“Here Comes Jombo”
“Reading Rainbow” (Horelick, Kleinman & Weir)
“Cute Little Echo (Back Porch)”
“Planned Parenthood”


I hate to use the word “groove” in almost any context outside of a crevice, as in a record or the road, but I can’t just ignore the hokier context here.  I’m not trying to liken this set to a jam band type of deal.  There is, however, an essence of  ease on this one.  It’s light.  Positive?  Who knows?

“Blue” – Notice the resistance to the soundscape at the beginning.  No one (except maybe Dane) thought I was serious about using it when I broke it out (as I did just prior to this take).  I had to sell the girls on it.  I mean, it’s a creepy sound.  I think that they think that I was just being an asshole because I’m not usually wanting to play “Blue” as much as I do the other songs.  I knew it would work, though…and it does!  Good version!

“Cute Little Echo” – Yeah.  I know how shitty my singing can get. Definitely good examples of that on these two versions, but instrumentally they are too fresh to omit for bad singing.  The “Front Porch” is quicker and more rockin’ then we have done in the past.  The “Back Porch” is…well…I’m not certain.  It’s happy.  Not so…serious?  No guitar on it.  I’m playing bass instead.  Both versions also have Dane on drums rather than beats as the prior versions have had.  And listen!  Katie’s ukulele is coming through loud and clear finally!  Alright!

“Here Comes Jombo” – Another good ol’ down home, little group jam.  Dane on bass.  Katie on the bongos.  And seriously…doesn’t it sound like someone named Jombo is approaching you?  Isn’t this what you’ll hear when it happens?

“Reading Rainbow” – I absolutely had to carry this over from the Skynet Session.  With Nathan Brown sitting in with us at the Pilot Light show on March 25th, 2011, and also being my counterpart in that session, it only makes sense to apply this one to Never Sorry.  This is the speedy, more “correct” version that they actually play on the show.

“Planned Parenthood” – This session was over.  Done for.  Megan had already left (I think).  Rachel and Katie were chatting it up.  The music had subsided, but the equipment was still on.  I was still starved for one more morsel of sound.  I suppose Dane was as well, because right after he picked up the microphone, I started this beat.  Those girls were powerless to this gangsta ass shit and we got one more aural feeding for the night.  Yes!  That’s Katie playing an old, out of tune piano.  Not keyboard gloss.

Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele, bongo drums, piano
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica, tambourine, vocals
Dane Hill – bass, drums, vocals
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – keys, beats, bass, guitar, vocals

Skynet Session – 2.9.2011 – hypencrunk [Nathan Brown & Arrison Kirby]

Click to download the tracks:

“House of Satan”
“Reading Rainbow”
“Single Politician”
“T-800”
“T-1000”

Hypencrunk is an idea that originated with Nathan Brown back when we still played in Obadiah together.  He would apply the title to any rare touches of upbeat electro we would explore.  However, it was never fully realized back then.  It’s undeniable, though, that this session is hypencrunk.

Nathan is going to join Never Sorry for our show at the Pilot Light on March 25th.  This session was supposed to be his first with everyone else, but everyone else bailed on the session for various legitimate reasons.  So it ended up just Nate and I.

We did two songs that Never Sorry often does, two dubstep improvisations and a slowed down cover of the Reading Rainbow theme song.  We did have a microphone and there were vocals when live, but I forgot to turn the channel input up on my board so they never got recorded.  I actually think this may be to the benefit of this session.  Maybe.

Nathan described this session as “two computers talking.”  Hence, we’ve named it the Skynet Session.

Nathan Brown – keys, electonics
Arrison Kirby –  keys, electronics, beats

Loose Roots – 1.19.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae, Dane Hill & David Davis]

Click to download the tracks:

Quinn

“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Tender Anomalies”
“House of Satan”
“Wok it Out / Sarabeth”

First legitimate session of 2011.  We were lucky to have Davis Davis (the red cloud) join in on the bass guitar.

I called it Loose Roots because this session made me feel like we were getting back to some low down, junky roots that we probably never really abandoned in the first place.  Also, the name feels appropriate considering that this one feels like a macabre ol’ time gospel session (except for “Wok it Out / Sarabeth”).  This may have the most to do with the lyrical content.  Heaven, hell, the devil and all that.

The picture is my cat, Quinn, when he was a kitten.  His roots are in New Orleans where I picked him up from a group of kids on the side of the road.  However, now in Knoxville, he’s addicted to the cold weather for some reason.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – We play it soooooo much.  It’s an easy one for people to remember, though, so it works well with session guests (such as the present David Davis).  David’s bass alongside my deep synth makes for some good tonal ground punching.

“Tender Anomalies” – This began as a jam between Dane and David.  I joined in and we became a three piece.  The girls were all in the room doing something else.  I’m not certain what, but their dialog in the background seems to fit right with the jam.

“House of Satan” – I could not resist resurrecting this one.  I changed the lyric I was not fond of the last time we did it.  Unfortunately, we lost the theramin for this version, but we did gain the bass.  I feel like I should have sung “the chous” one more time maybe.  Who cares, though?  I love this ballad ass shit.

“Wok it Out / Sarabeth” – I’m not sure how this came to be, but we all felt really really good about it as it did.  That’s Dane rapping.  The beats come from a song called “Sarabeth” that I’ve performed live, and we’ve tackled as a band, but don’t have a solid recording of for some reason.  Because of the source of the beats, we decided to interpolate elements of “Sarabeth” into this song.  It’s great, because “Sarabeth” includes the primary lyrics, “Eight sixteen,” which I wrote in reference to the title person’s birthday.  However, in weaving it into “Wok it Out,” Dane places the numbers into the  completely different context of hours and minutes.  Ah, sweet expansion!

Katie Collins – omnichord, bass
Megan Driscoll –  flute
Dane Hill – drums, vocals
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, omnichord
Arrison Kirby – guitar, keys, beats, vocals
David Davis – bass

“Automobile” (NWA / Parliament cover) – Never Sorry

Yay!  The band has a video!

This song and the video were recorded on 12.1.10 at a session that only included myself, Katie Collins and Megan Driscoll.  It’s cover of the NWA song, “Automobile,” (as they reformed from the original by Parliament) from their highly misogynistic, but wonderfully produced Niggaz4Life .  It’s different than the version we did in the last session.  That one was rockin’.  This one is more chilled out and electro.

Lots of offensive language on this.  Again, I’m no fan of standard camp.  But this isn’t camp…these are gangstas!  They mean it!

And as always, if you’d like to download the MP3, here you go:

“Automobile” – Never Sorry

Depression Session – 10.27.2010 – Arrison Kirby & Katie Collins

Click to download the tracks:

dinosaur by Mark Cline

“Crap Out”
“Fighters”
“Blue”
“Seeking the Sun (Before the Threshold)”
“Liquid Courage”
“Seeking the Sun (After the Threshold)”
“Getting Out of the House”

The sky is overcast in Knoxville today.  Much the same as on October 27th, when we recorded this one.  It was a Wednesday, our standard meeting of the minds.  Raining outside.  Solemn and subdued.  All of this increasingly so, as everyone except Katie and I decided to take the night off.

So it’s called the Depression Session based on the premise that we should be sad that everyone canceled on us.  The reality, however, is that Katie and I, working as a duo, pulled through just fine…even merrily at times.  In fact, we stretched ourselves further than we might have with everyone else there.

But it’s a good session name.   It still fits the tone of the day and the tone of the recordings.

“Crap Out” – This was how the session began, with the idea in mind to play in minor key and improvise lyrics about everyone canceling and how it made us feel.  I don’t know.  It’s hard for me to maneuver through that kind of lyrical mindset without eventually veering into the ridiculous.  Then again, it is perhaps refreshing to hear the ridiculous within the opening track of something called Depression Session.  Especially if you’re listening because you’re depressed.

“Fighters” – This is the only song from this session that we used beats on.  Katie was rockin’ the mandolin while I did triple duty with beats, keys and banjo.  Actually, that’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds.  It’s all about timing.  It’s not like I’m busting out some crazy solos or anything.  The end result is kind of fun.

“Blue” – I’m not sure how finished this song is, but it was definitely finished enough to use for this session.  I figured if we were calling it the Depression Session, we would need a truly sad core to it.  I think this one fits.  I’m doing vocals and guitar.  Katie’s playing the keys.

“Seeking the Sun” – These two little banjo / mandolin tunes sound more hopeful than depressing.  That’s why they are called “Seeking the Sun.”  Ideally, though, there’s always a little hope in depression, right?  Yeah.  So we got some trace amounts.

“Liquid Courage” – This is Katie’s chord progression completely and I love it.  Again, I am improvising lyrics about heartbreak and again, I am unable to do so without eventually touching on the ridiculous.  The devil.  I always talk about the devil.  It was such a nice little song until I did here.  I still stand by most of my cadence decisions, though.  Anyway.  Katie on ukulele…me on guitar.

“Getting Out of the House” – We quickly sketched out and rehearsed this little instrumental for the end of the session.  I’m playing banjo and she’s on the keys.  I am in love with E minor played on banjo.  Find it here and melt.

Katie Collins – ukulele, mandolin, keys
Arrison Kirby – guitar, banjo, keys, beats, vocals

Improvisations on Lennon and Cyrus – 10.20.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Dane Hill & Megan Driscoll

Click to download the tracks:

photo by Annie Leibowitz

“Opening Bell”
“Give Peace a Chance (Seriously)”
“No Destination”
“Jumble Bumps”
“La Tee Dah (Give Peace a Chance)”
“Locked Doors in Mexico”
“Failed Fire”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Give Peace a Chance (Or Something)”
“Achey Breaky Heart”
“A Double K C”

This is, so far, has perhaps been my favorite session.  It’s loose and dirty, but flows quite merrily.  Definitely fun to play and, hopefully, listen to.  The use of the keys with the larger sound is new to this arrangement of players.  Instrument swapping also continues.  And everybody’s favorite…cover songs!  [kind of]

“Opening Bell” – One of our traditional, improvisational, come-from-nothing, random openers.  It begins with the beat and ends with Dane’s live drumming.  The latter is the better.  Pretty happy shit.

“Give Peace a Chance” (John Lennon cover) – Oh yes.  Three different versions.  Everybody knows the chorus, for sure,  but everybody’s talking bout…what?  So I just made up new verses.  It’s the giving peace a chance part that matters, after all.

“No Destination” – Dane on guitar.  Katie using the omni to add a really nice, easy going vibe – especially at the beginning.  I’m drumming.  I felt pretty on top of my shit with drums that night, too.

“Jumble Bumps” – This is probably my favorite song from the session.  I believe that I made very good choices with the keys and the guitar solo.  The only problem is that I did not necessarily do this at the same time.  There is one very particular aspect of this one that is like nails on a chalkboard to me…but it runs alongside the really really good aspects.  I’m not going to point out anything beyond that.  Hopefully your ears will hear it differently than mine.

“Locked Doors in Mexico” – This one is just Dane and I.  He on guitar.  Me on drums.  That dude is a great communicator, musically.  I love the last third, in particular, where we drop it low and bring it back.

“Failed Fire” – This is just Dane and I again.  It’s kinda like one of those “musical comedy” deals that tend to manifest themselves sometimes.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – I don’t know why I want to do this song so much.  I guess because it’s so simple to work within.  I still want something more ideal for the 1st half or so.  Tried it with some low organ sounds on this one.  I dunno…it’s okay.

“Achey Breaky Heart” (Billy Ray Cyrus cover) – Hence the Cyrus part of the session name.  Once again, this is another one of those songs where you totally know the chorus, but only get the general idea of the verses.  In this case, however, that circumstance may vary from person to person.  I know it’s kind of scary, but some people out there probably do know this song word for word, beginning to end.  We are simply not those people.

“A Double K C” – Me on drums.  Katie on the keys.  A little bit of night magic.

Katie Collins – omnichord, keys
Dane Hill – guitar, drums
Arrison Kirby – guitar, keys, drums
Megan Driscoll – tambourine

Three Tens – 10.10.2010 – Arrison Kirby & Inertia

Click to download the tracks:

“Aquanaut”
“Dive”
“Sea Leveled”
“Floating Ghosts”
“Dirty Ocean”

This is a session I recently did with the ever-so-underground, Inertia  (AKA Andy Jaynes) of Immaculate Hedz.  I have to give it to him.  He was definitely in control of the skeleton of this thing.

One commonality that he and I share is that we are both Aquarius by birth.  He digs into this right away on the opening track.  Keeping with the spirit, I took the liberty of giving each track a name that sounds watery.

Because this is more or less a DJ kind of deal (with live instrumentation), you’ll notice some of these mp3’s are long.  I wanted them to be downloadable individually, without disrupting the flow of the thing.  That’s why some are more ever-changing than others.

Anyway.  Consider this my going away present to you before I head up north to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.  Hope to see you there!

Inertia – records
Arrison Kirby – guitar, keys