This morning we got an intriguing email from the wonderful guitarist/singer Kaki King's people reminding us of her upcoming show in Redondo Beach on Sunday night. Part of the email contained a funny little anecdote from Ms. King about her to-do list and tour:
I'm looking at my desk and on it is a to-do list. It is the most
amazing to-do list I may have ever written. And it didn't even occur
to me at the time I wrote it how incredible it is.
Email M. Cho re:lyrics
Confirm flight for Timbaland session
Text D. Grohl and apologize for not making his bday
OK, OK, OK. I know that was a hell of a lot of name dropping, but
that really is my list of things to do at the moment! Friends, fans,
family — when those are your priorities, it is imperative that you have
something that can ground you and remind you that you're still the
little underdog working musician you've always been. This is why I'm
launching Part II of my COMPLETELY SOLO GUITAR AND NO OTHER BULLSHIT
Now you understand why we were intrigued. So we called her up. Here's the transcript.
LA Weekly: What's up with the Timbaland session?
Kaki King: (Laughs) I don't know. I went to Miami, Tim's got time blocked out at the Hit Factory, and I think basically somebody that works really close with him told him, 'This is a girl you should check out,' and it took a while for it to happen, for me to meet him and play with him. But I think right now he's just putting together a whole bunch of ideas for various projects. [Laughter] Sorry, my tour manager just turned down a road that looks like we're – we're going to dead-end into a fence. That sign completely said, 'turn this way,' and it dead ends!
Okay, sorry. I think Tim is putting together ideas and tracks and he just said, 'Come in and play. You be you, and whatever you need from us, if you need us to go get you some amps or some effects' … I had come from Atlanta and didn't have much of my gear with me. And the second time I came with my rig. He's just kind of asking me to show him what I'm capable of. But also it's been interesting because for a guy who kinda claims he's not really interested in esoterica, I feel like my favorite Timbaland beats are built upon these really odd samples he'll find that are actually pretty complex.
Some of those beats, like for Tweet's “Oops (Oh My),” are just gorgeous. Classic pop.
They really are. But, I guess he just admires whatever I've been able to do, and wants – I don't really know what the future entails for that. I know that he wants to work again. And it was just me and him. It was his whole crew, his engineers, and he has a couple incredible keyboardists. I just got to be one of the gang. It was great.
And as far as I know, right now Margaret Cho is toying with the idea of making a comedy album, and I really don't know much more than that other than I know she wanted to, I gather that she's been gathering the 'usual queer suspects' together to write songs for a crass, dirty album, so we're getting together I guess in a couple days in LA and going to work on some material. Which is kind – not really a 180 but a completely different tangent for me in general.
Different tangent than Timbaland, as well.
When I booked this tour that I'm doing right now, which is just solo guitar, it's not any singing or looping or playing lap steel. It's just me and two guitars on stage. At the time I booked the tour I was thinking, 'Wow, I really want to do something that – if I ever lose the ability to get onstage and entertain people onstage with just my guitar the way I've been doing since I was a teenager, if that ever goes away then I think I'm going to lose everything else. So I booked this tour because I didn't want to get too distracted from the very essence and the very basic thing that I've always done best, and it's kinda become more important now that all these different projects are popping up, more film scoring stuff to do, and Timbaland, Margaret Cho. So I guess it's become more exciting and important to at this point to remind myself that I can still play guitar, I guess.
And you're doing smaller, off-the-beaten-track venues.
Yeah, that was intentional. It wasn't about making a splash. It was playing to people who know guitar or know this material, or they know solo guitar material. We wanted to pick rooms and theaters that catered more to that, more of a listening audience. It definitely feels like going back in time about five years, but it's also – I don't know, it's ridiculous. I find myself saying words like 'cleansing' and it reminds me that this is a spiritual thing for me, ever though I feel corny and I would never say that, but I said it, so ….
Your version of the Cure's 'Close to Me,' from that Manimal Vinyl collection from last year, was one of my favorites.
Thanks. It's funny, because my girlfriend wanted me to do that. I said to her, 'What's your favorite Cure song? She said, 'Ahh, 'Close to Me.' And then when I was actually doing the song, I didn't really realize how very disturbing those lyrics are. They're really scary.
Most of his are.
I know, but sometimes Robert Smith can pull off something that's not so terrifying, but the song itself you just want to dance and bop around to, but then the lyrics.
What's so scary about it?
It sounds like a person locked in a room having a panic attack. That's how the lyrics read to me. But you hear, 'close to me' and you think, 'Aw, cute love song,' and it's really not. But in the middle, I was laying down the track and, and you sort of do things on the fly and I looked up the lyrics to make sure that I was getting them right, and immediately I thought, 'Oh my god, I've done a terrible thing.' And really what I would have done had I had the time to go back, was to emphasize how very dark and frightening these lyrics actually are.
KAKI KING'S SOLO GUITAR AND NO OTHER BULLSHIT TOUR:
Jan 23 2009 10:00P SOHO Santa Barbara, California
Jan 25 2009 9:00P Brixton Redondo Beach, California
Jan 29 2009 8:00P Ashkenaz Berkeley, California
Jan 30 2009 8:00P Brookdale Lodge Brookdale, California
Jan 31 2009 8:00P Harlow'