For their final bow of the year, KCPR’s Pocket Productions showcases two of K Records finest acts: LAKE and Karl Blau. The show is this Friday, November 20th at SLO Art Center from 7:30pm to 11:00pm. Opening the show will be the Secret Tones.
LAKE are one of several cerebral, scribbly sweet indie pop bands — such as No Kids (Vancouver, BC) and the Blow (Portland, OR) — to call the Pacific Northwest their home. In the first few years of their existence, the band released a split 7″ with Typhoon (LAKE/Typhoon, via Boy Gorilla Records), a cassette tape (via Brown Interior Music), a vinyl LP (Tape, via Funkytonk Records), and a self-titled full-length album; that last release was recorded by Karl Blau and released as part of his Kelp Lunacy project. Their third venture, 2009’s Let’s Build a Roof, truly does become better the more often you listen to it, as the melodies grow like vines and the richness of the sound begins to resonate fully. It’s an important step forward from a band who could have easily made the same record over and over, but instead chose to take some chances. An indie pop jam band; pastoral chamber set off-kilter with horn arrangements, thickly weaved production (courtesy of Karl Blau), and mysterious songs. http://www.myspace.com/lakemusicmusic
Working out of the small town of Anacortes in northern Washington state, Karl Blau has released several cassettes, as well as a CD, Shell Collection, on the small Knw-Yr-Own label. Shell Collection, from 1997, is comprised of four-track recordings that are among the more intriguing and versatile sounds to have come out of the lo-fi indie underground. With a vibe that is both down-home and whimsical, Blau grafts parts of winsome folk-rock onto lazy jamming blues, vintage rocksteady reggae, high ’70s soul harmonies, and ceremonial-sounding flutes in his unpredictable and shifting mixture of elements. For his third K Records release Zebra, he twists ’60s psychedelia and explorative jazz into his always sloppy brand of freak-folk. Of course, as it is, it’s hardly fair to consider Blau a freak-folk artist anymore. On Zebra, his attempt at making music with an African slant, he maintains his loose slacker ways, while adding a flurry of musical ideas to his minimalist palette. Zebra stands as firm proof that Blau’s pushing himself to grow with each release. http://www.myspace.com/karlblau
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