Kaki King @ Night Vision: MOCA After Dark…


On August 19th, Kaki King (MySpace) performed at MOCA‘s (MySpace) summer-long Night Vision: MOCA After Dark event.

Wikipedia describes the guitarist as such:

Her style combines fret-tapping with slap bass techniques, creating a very percussive and complex sound. She could be described as a combination of the late singer/guitar master Michael Hedges, singer/guitarist Ani DiFranco and bass player Victor Wooten. Although she shares both similar playing techniques and a last name with guitarist Justin King, the two are not related.

Her thumping basslines, intricate tunings, fluid melodies, and slapping percussion abound in her compositions that hover somewhere between funk, flamenco, and jazz. …

Her 2005 tours saw more use of electric guitars and electronic loops. …

In her third album …Until We Felt Red she takes a steer in the musical direction she was known for in her previous albums; which were primarily composed of instrumental acoustic guitar with various tapping, slapping and percussive guitar technics. This change came out of the desire to get away from the pigeonhole she had been put into with nicknames such as the Queen of Acoustic guitar or Tapping Girl. She sings on a couple songs as well as being accompanied by a backing vocalist. This time she plays mostly electric guitar and is accompanied by a full band.

More after the jump.

Prior to King’s MOCA show, there were articles written about her earlier in the week in The LA Times and Stereogum, but it is the YouTube videos of her appearances on Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Conan O’Brien and especially Wood Songs Old Time Radio that make one realize just how talented she is.

At MOCA, her hour-and-a-half long show included “Playing With Pink Noise,” “They Loved It In Italy,” several songs from her latest aforementioned album (including “Yellowcake,” “…Until We Felt Red,” “You Don’t Have to Be Afraid,” “Goby,” and “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers”), as well as an inprovised instrumental that was specially-created for and exclusive to the museum (she later explained that she performs a different improvised track at each of her shows). And while each of her songs drew jubulent applause, it was her more intricate and lush instrumentals on her acoustic guitar as well as her slide guitar, with extensive looping (especially on “They Loved It In Italy” and “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers”), that whipped the audience into an appreciative frenzy. Indeed, one male fan was so exuberent in his reactions throughout her set (to the point where it sounded more like drunken heckling) that she joked that he was her father.

She was certainly chatty between songs, joking about needing a scriptwriter to write her onstage banter with the crowd, mentioning the use of hundred year-old puppets for her “Yellowcake” music video, confessing that museums are cool locales for dates (at first singling out The Getty for praise, then quickly adding that MOCA is also great), and identifying a woman in the audience as being her first African-American fan from a few years back.

The entire show was videotaped by several cameras, so here’s hoping that the footage appears in some format soon.

King’s next show in town will be on September 25th at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, MOCA After Dark concludes its run of shows this Saturday with a set by the L.A.-based DJ Z-Trip (MySpace).

More photos from King’s MOCA After Dark show here.