High Voltage

Before taking the Mercury Lounge stage on Easter Sunday, Aki Morimoto–guitar-wielding front man for Tokyo’s punk power-trio Electric Eel Shock–toyed with some electric blues licks, then let us watch him doff his Dickies tee for his Twisted Sister tour shirt. Was this gesture a symbol of bi-coastal respect? Pan-metal allegiance? or a sly hard-core gender fuck? You decide. From their naked drummer’s Chili Pepper cock-sock to Morimoto’s Hendrix-‘fro, EES loves to keep their growing global fandom guessing. Recently signed for America to the Gearhead label, their European CD (retitled Go USA for the States) is a headbanger’s smorgasbord of signature riffs. From hairmetal flash, to grindcore grit, to speedmetal energy, to Ramones-era brattiness, to Sex Pistol wit, to Eddie Van Halen cheese, EES find fresh, recombinant contexts for all of it. Live, their improbably hooky “Rock and Roll Can Rescue The World” becomes both a statement of purpose and an open index of influences¬†.¬†.¬†. into which Aki howls unexpected ad-libs like a line or two from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Continue reading “High Voltage”

David Byrne Looks Forward . . . and Back

Celebrating the release of Grown Backwards (Nonesuch Records) 2004:

Unexpurgated text of complete interview, partially published in October 2004 by The L magazine in New York City. Also available on Byrne’s website.

Q: As a solo artist you have worked with horn sections and now with string sections to color and embellish your songs. Aside from a more cerebral and cinematic atmosphere, what narrative abilities does a string section give your compositions that a horn section does not? Continue reading “David Byrne Looks Forward . . . and Back”