KEXP's session with Japanese musician Shugo Tokumaru would be charming in any language. On his albums, the young multi-instrumentalist meticulously crafts every aspect by himself, and he's reported to have used more than 100 different instruments in his recordings. Live in the studio here, he's backed by a small army of musicians who wield a colorful arsenal of tiny plastic whistles, toy xylophones, bird whistles and more. The band even brings along a clown puppet.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:18 am
Armed with a Golden Panda talisman and his iconic Flying V guitar, My Morning Jacket singer Jim James recently took the stage in front of a small Santa Monica, Calif., audience to perform several songs from his solo album debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God. With some tracks spanning nearly nine and a half minutes, James took the audience on one journey after another — including this one, "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)."
Musicians have a long history of turning tragedy into art. From Neil Young's stirring indictment against the shooting of Kent State students in the 1970 song "Ohio," to the countless tributes and musical memorials to 9-11, artists often feel a need to make sense of the senseless and offer comfort through song.
Little Comets, a trio from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, recently released its U.S. debut, Life Is Elsewhere. Described early in its career as a British Vampire Weekend, the band smoothly incorporates tricky percussive rhythms and Afrobeat-tinged guitars.