September in Arivaca

The PaisleyTunes Desk is a nice looking cross hatch writing desk. It sits in front of a window that looks out across a garden onto a river (well, river levy – but we pretend like we’re in the reeds)

paisleytunes - desk

It’s at this desk that the PaisleyTunes Music Machine is oiled and fed, where the incessant paperwork is managed. Where we keep the official seal of approval for each post. This is desk is what truly keeps The PT running smoothly and our interns happy.

Sometime in July, whilst we were pondering a rising river and our imminent demise, the Westerly passed under our noses and let itself in.  At that moment an eire quite passed over PT West and the machine coasted to a standstill. Later, as we (& God) shuffled our feet and fired lightening bolts into one another, our pinky fingers gingerly turned the same record over and over again in amazement of the seemingly infinite number tracks on The Days of Future Past.  The calm eased our soul and brightened our spirits and we called each other on the telephone to talk about the great new sound on Our Children’s Children’s Children.  Content, the PT bureaucracy dried up.  It was not easy to perceive that there was something missing.


Papers piled and dust settled and we began to consume Italian coffee for no reason at all. The numbing sound of static pervaded every song we reviewed and our quieted discussion hammered out the legitimacy of physical sound and the artistic value of the 1/4 inch chip modifying both I Want To Hold Your Hand & Don’t Bother Me, by necessity.  Our sentences decreased in number as we consumed commas with fervor. Resolution was abundant.

At the time, it was unclear what instigated the change, perhaps the seasons, or the full moon. the harvesting and pickling of banana peppers, or the end of months of travel and tasks. The stark emptiness in our souls was staggering and the September arrived.

September holds a lot of value here at PT; It was the month The United States was given it’s name – The United States of America, the month the first glass plate photograph was taken by John Herschel, the month Texas lost 1/3 of it’s territory, and the month California joined the Union. So we often celebrate it with fan-fare. – Remarkably enough, the fan fare streams deeper into the PaisleyTunes past, as September also ushers the cooling of the desert.

September in Arivaca

[Arivaca] Van_BrianIt’s been three, maybe four months of harsh summer days in Arivaca.  The Monsoons are lingering and September means soon the days will be comfortable and cool. Where once there was an expansive emptiness, people return and we get to see friends again. The small coffee shop that serves hunters and the lost and wandering suddenly bursts with brew, pastries, and sound. Guitars, harmonicas, tambourines, saxophones, trumpets, percussion, hoots, hollers, and the inevitable applause for the encore. 3AM is too early to quit in September.

Soon it will be February in Arivaca, and a cold wind will pass through town, nights will creep up faster on the single street light and travelers will burden the highway. But today is September and it feels like Christmas in the abundant silver desert sage and creosote.

Celebrate with PaisleyTunes and Arivaca and listen to some good ol’ fashioned folks.

Enjoy Arivaca – Friday Night Group (<- download the Friday Night Recording)

Kishi Bashi: Philosophize! Chemicalize!

While being “Big in Japan” is typically a phenomena experienced by, outside-the-mainstream, one-hit-wonders here in the United States, for Kaoru Ishibashi (the bilingual genius behind Kishi Bashi) it seems only natural he’d galvanize a fanbase spanning the sparkly Pacific Ocean as he actively cultivates each one, occasionally singing (and tweeting) in Japanese. Continue reading “Kishi Bashi: Philosophize! Chemicalize!”

Ian Fitzgerald: No Time To Be Tender

There is an underlying familiarity to Ian Fitzgerald‘s music.

The elements of Fitzgerald’s style and the manner in which he works – utilizing the individual threads of traditional folk as a cornerstone on which his immense creativity builds – generates an intensely wondrous and engaging tapestry, thick with interwoven allegory and symbolism yet grounded in the subtleness of a soft-spoken songwriter. Continue reading “Ian Fitzgerald: No Time To Be Tender”

Magic Arm: Put Your Collar Up EP

PaisleyTunes has been a fan of Jim Noir (AKA: Alan Roberts) since the beginning of time. Of course we follow his tweets, don’t even joke around. So, when perpetually melodramatic Noir announced via Twitter that he would no longer be making music because of Magic Arm – well, I thought either:

The Colourist: EP

I know several of you are bored by the exorbitant number of northeasty Ivy-League deliberpoppers that have been coming out of Brooklyn lately, many have been featured by PaisleyTunes due to the catchy, concise, and easy listening nature of their oeuvre*.

Let me now tell you about a new band – one that will blow the socks right off your perfectly pedicured, pillow-soft paws – a band from sunny Southern California. Continue reading “The Colourist: EP”

James Blake and Kwabs

Kwabs singing cover of James Blake, balck&white

I find myself reluctant to post to PaisleyTunes because I am afraid that the music I want to write about won’t be new enough. Then I was reminded by my fellow contributors that it’s not about being the first to find the music, it’s about the music and sharing your perspective. So, here goes, no more excuses.

I actually stumbled upon UK artist, James Blake, through a cover of his song The Willhelm Scream, a really good cover at that, by new artist, Kwabs. More on him below. Since James Blake has been around for a couple years, releasing his first studio album in 2011 and hitting runner-up in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll, you have probably heard of him. If not, let me sum up his style the best that I can: electronic soul-pop? Yes, that is a question because it’s very hard for me to explain his style. He is definitely an electronic musician, but his voice is so rich and soulful that it’s almost confusing at times how he successfully mixes it with the repetitive, pulsing electronic music. In both of his studio albums (Self-titled and Overgrown) ,he’s not afraid to play around with auto-tuning although he would obviously never need it. He plays classical piano in several songs and includes rapping in others. The variety within each album is impressive and surely allows for at least one song to be enjoyed by any listener. Case and point, I am typically not a huge fan of electronic music, and I find myself coming back to his albums often on quiet, rainy days, and I could see several of his songs being used in a steamy movie scene. He also covers one of my favorite Feist songs, Limit to Your Love, in a delightfully and dizzyingly repetitive and spaced rendition that gives a whole new feel.  Check out Retrograde, one a my favorite songs (and his most popular) below.

As for Kwabs, (born Kwabena Adjepong), the son of Ghanaian immigrants to the UK, he is a multi-genre singer on the rise. From what I can tell, he is an archetypal example of the positive products that can come from this wonderful internet world. He started on YouTube and Facebook, and then performed for the first time in the UK on the BBC show, Goldie’s Band, in Buckingham Palace for Prince Harry and others. Known for the richness, control and range of his voice, Kwabs instantly gains your attention with the first note. Although he does have some originals (like Spirit Fade and Getaway) and is working on more, he gained most of his credibility with covers, such as the James Blake cover. I know I’m not crazy for liking him: India Arie tweeted in January that Joss Stone called just to tell her about Kwabs. That’s legit! Check out his YouTube Channel for more songs.

That’s all folks!

[itunes id=”418229809″]

My Transcendence into a Kishi Bashi Wonderland

Red filter shadow puppet of dog and drinks

Why hello there friendly readers. I am writing to the internets to tell of a grand and wonderful event. On a now not-so-recent evening, I spent 3 hours in a glorious frenzy of music and passion and dancing that was fueled 98% by Kishi Bashi and Tall Tall Trees and 2% by several dirty martinis. It was the first time in my life that I could really relate to the ravers and deadheads who are able to sway back and forth to the music, eyes closed, arms swirling through the air and all around their bodies, unable to experience anything else but the sounds and pulses coming from the stage. I was that girl, you know, the one in the corner that knows all the words to every song and needs a 3 foot radius around her in order to avoid an accidental collision or worse, an all-too-personal serenade as she takes your hands, twirls you in a circle and sings to you. Yep, that was me, and it was splendid. As Kishi and Tall Tall Trees built their songs one part at a time on stage right in front of me, my eyes and chest swelled with emotion. As a particularly analytic person, it was a delight to be oh so caught up in the moment. I wrote this post only to share with PaisleyTunes readers this magical event, to thank Architorture for showing me these wonderful artists, and to remind you all to let loose and get lost in a musical performance as soon as possible.

Go on, get to it.

Writer chats with Kishi Bashi after concert in Santa Cruz.

Kishi and I talking after the show. He was very fond of my blissful antics during the show, especially when I twirled my way to a small spot at the front of the stage just in time for It All Began With a Burst and proceeded to sing right to him and dance wildly, while the rest of the crowd kept a straight face and slightly moved their heads in a rhythmic nod. He was singing right to me, too. At least in my hopped-up-on-happy head he was.