Alrighty newbies, here we go. Settle in for Part Two.
The end of 2003 saw the end and start of new relationships for Kaki, mainly with major label Sony Records, who was interested in signing distribution with Velour, along with promotion. Moves were made, music was created, and her second album, “Legs to make us Longer” was released on Sony in Mid 2004. Filled with melodious guitar adventures like “Magazine” and “Neanderthal,” her first “singing” track “My Insect Life,” and perennial favorite “Doing The Wrong Thing,” you can hear Kaki starting to carve out a new soundscape for her fans to explore.
It was the first time you heard drums and more sonically lush tracks that included more than just her and her guitar…. and it also has her first Vocal Track, “My Insect Life.” This album was filled with the acoustic awesomeness that we all loved, yet it also reached into ‘well structured pop tunes’ sound.
Touring expanded, shows started getting moved to larger venues. Feedback on the album was largely positive, and word started spreading much faster at that time than I ever thought it would. It was a fun time where you started to see interesting Music Nerds starting taking notice… from Jack Black and Tenacious D to Dave Grohl all the way over to Questlove of The Legendary Roots Crew (yes, I’m taking credit for that one as well).
It was also where Kaki started to experiment and explore instruments outside of her normal guitar and drum set… she started working on bring her drumming back, along with an interesting music maker… the lap steel. Loops, Pedals and “Shoegazing” became key. You can hear the leaps and bounds she starts to make with songs like “Ericka Needs This Song in Her Life,” and later tracks like my favorite…. “Hardenberg.”
After being named Rolling Stone’s First Female Guitar God in February 2006, and with ideas abound in her head, Kaki decided to step her game up for the next album with more singing, instruments, and a little help from renown indie producer John McEntire (The Sea and The Cake; Tortoise). With John guiding the sound, and her ideal of having a full musical band behind her for the first time, Kaki’s third album, “Until We Felt Red” started taking shape.
Starting to explore her looping capabilities more, Kaki started incorporating more pedal guitar effects into her records. More echoing and more recording to lay down bass lines and sounds for songs, making larger soundscapes. More instruments… some played by her, some by other musicians. More singing… as soft and delicate as her voice can be. Darker, Minor Tone sounding rock tracks like the title track, “These are the armies of the Tyrannized “and “The Footsteps Die Out Forever” set the tone for this record. She still performs her trademark acoustic songs, like Ahuvati and First Brain, but isn’t afraid to make records like “You don’t have to be Afraid” which finds Kaki flying through several sounds and instruments within an 8 minute period.
She makes her development on the Lap Steel known with the upbeat “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers…” A song where she demonstrates her use of pedaling for recording and sound effects on the instrument.
Keeping it real moment… this really wasnt an album I adored until recently… I was so used to Kaki and just her guitar that I wasnt really ready to give all this multilayered sound stuff a try. I always do though.
While touring around with Sarah Bettens (of K’s Choice) to promote the new album, Kaki started taking advantage of some of the new offers coming her way. First was an opportunity to be in the commerical for a new HPV vaccine, Guardisil… she ended up most of the music for that, as well as making a guest appearance. Just when things couldnt get any weirder, the opportunity to play with The Foo Fighters and tour with them on the Australian Leg of Their Tour came up, after Dave Grohl completely fell head over heals for the new album. Grohl, while at a KROQ show with Kaki in Los Angeles is quoted as saying “There are some guitar players that are good and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there’s Kaki King.” Tegan and Sara also started eyeing the talent… she made several appearances on their album, and also played at a few of their shows.
The biggest thing however, was the attention and accolades she started getting from people in Hollywood. Actor Sean Penn tapped Kaki to produce new music and use “Doing the Wrong Thing” for his movie “Into The Wild…” Eddie Vedder also had her sit in for recording sessions on the albums soundtrack. Robin Williams also noticed the talent as well… and asked Kaki to body double and do all the Guitar hand work and music you see and hear in “August Rush.” It was an angle that Kaki wasnt expecting… getting into Soundtrack work for Movies.
Turns out that this was not the last time she would be asked to work on a Major Motion Picture soundtrack. But we’ll be getting to that in a minute. Well, we’ll get into it friday, when I wrap this shit up. Get your Kakiknowledge up.