Thursday, 13th July 2006: The Raw & The Kooked @ Little Havana
Ken Stringfellow, solo artist, songwriter, musician, singer, producer, world traveller – it gets hard to follow the many zigs and zags of his career, which has been in effect for some twenty years now.
Ken originally gained notoriety with the Seattle-based band The Posies, who released their first, home-recorded, album Failure in 1988. Signed to DGC/Geffen records in 1989, the band went on to record 5 more records – including last year‚Äôs Every Kind Of Light on Rykodisc – as well as tour extensively in North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand and Japan, on strength of classic alterna-hits like ‚ÄòDream All Day‚Äô, ‚ÄòFlavor of the Month‚Äô, ‚ÄòOntario‚Äô, ‚ÄòPlease Return It‚Äô etc etc.
The Posies went their separate ways for a few years starting in 1998; Ken wasted no time in releasing his first solo album This Sounds Like Goodbye which received critical acclaim from the likes of Everett True and Mojo Magazine.
Not only that, but Ken was invited to join REM as part of their touring lineup, playing keyboards, bass, guitar, accordion and more for the band‚Äôs tours – a relationship that lasts to this day. Ken played guitar and keyboards on two of REM‚Äôs albums: 2001‚Äôs Reveal and 2004‚Äôs Around the Sun. With REM Ken has appeared at numerous concerts and headlined festivals such as Glastonbury, Werchter, and Rock in Rio, plus dozens of TV appearances, and backed up luminaries such as Neil Young and Patti Smith.
Ken released his second solo album in, Touched, in 2001‚Äîin fact, the US release date was September 11, 2001. Ken took the tragic events of the day as inspiration to deliver a message of sensitivity, compassion and tolerance on his subsequent world tour.
Ken‚Äôs third album, Soft Commands was released by Rykodisc in 2004. A blend of folk, soul, rock, electronic music, reggae, chanson and more, the album reflects very well Ken‚Äôs international outlook and humanist relationship with the world. Again, raves came from such press outlets as Pitchfork Media, Mojo, etc.; Ken toured the USA, Europe, Africa, Australia/New Zealand and is in fact still on tour to this day.
In addition to all this, Ken plays bass with a reunited lineup of 1970s power pop legends Big Star; is a recording engineer and producer for such bands as the Long Winters and Damien Jurado; and has collaborated with international acts such as Snow Patrol, the Afghan Whigs, Jill Sobule, Violent Femmes, etc etc.
And as he would say: more to come.
Beezewax from Norway have released three albums and have been together for 10 years.
This spring will see the release of their latest album, WHO TO SALUTE. The album is produced by Bent Saether of Motorpsycho fame and Jorgen Wall from Sweden who produced the latest Ken Stringellow album as well as being an important producer/musician in Stockholm.
We are also happy to inform you that the strings on the album are the same ones Brian Wilson used on his masterpiece “SMILE”. Long time friend, fan, tour mate and former producer Ken Stringellow of the Posies also lent his golden voice to spark things up.
The album is already out on Warner in Norway and Spain on to rave reviews, and will be released by award winning Reveal Records (Joan as Policewoman) in Europe, This time (BMX Bandits) in Japan, Popboomerang in Australia, Happy Fi/EMI in Mexico and are currently closing a deal with a new indie label in the US.
2006 is the year when Beezewax will tour the world. The main members that are Kenneth Ishak vocals/guitar/piano/songwriter) Stian Olsen (drums) are joined by Marcus Holm (guitar/keyboards) and Kalua Kim Wisloeff (bass).
In the 10 years of Beezewax existence they have toured all over the world with their blend of indie/emo/power pop, that is performed live with the same intensity and dynamics as any hardcore punk band.
Beezewax have been underground for so long, but this year they’ll rise to the surface with this new album that is filled with hits, anthems and has enough depth to excuse the catchiest hooks you’ve heard in years.
The Organisers say:
“We’re also planning to make ltd edition t-shirts of the flyer/poster to be sold that night and duit bagi kat Ken & Beezewax for wanting to play for free.”
Ricecooker very off-topic note:
Do check out Motorpsycho, a band mentioned somewhere above, a band which has been a long favourite, especially during their early rawer days. Me and some of my friends are still very much enamoured by their amazing, amazing LP Demon Box, released in 1993 on a black metal label called Voices of Wonder.
A special write up on Demon Box
Little Havana site