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MP3 Kieskagato - ROCK: Post-Rock/Experimental

Kieskagato has taken it even further out with their new self titled release: familiar yet baffling, square yet psychedelic, progressive rock yet avant garde jazz, this record needs to be heard to be understood.

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Post-Rock/Experimental, POP: Psychedelic Pop

Kieskagato began work on this album immediately upon return from a grueling, month long tour of the United States in August/ September of 2005. Although the tour brought the band to the East Coast for the first time and was by and large successful, responses and playing situations had been mediocre at best. For the last show of the tour in the Bay Area, the band had been convinced to take part in an underground warehouse show in Oakland rather than playing a conventional San Francisco club. However, as the night started, they received word that each of the heavy drawing local bands had cancelled and that Kieskagato would be playing alone in a venue that had no built in draw. They played to an audience of about 5 friends from high school, spent the night on a hardwood floor in Berkeley, and drove back to Portland knowing that after a month on the road, America had shown it was not interested in what Kieskagato was doing. This discouraging realization jolted the band toward a new understanding of creative mission: to be ultimately meaningful, music must be created exclusively for oneself to the highest standards possible; efforts to fit into prevailing creative trends and social contexts can only dilute the effectiveness of one’s personal statement. It was back to basics: Kieskagato stopped thinking of itself as part of the indie-rock scene and started embracing the many eccentricities that made the band a little too weird for most people to stomach. From now on it was back to being Josh, Adam, Bryan, and Dave.

Upon returning home, Kieskagato was booked into an indefinite weekly Monday night gig at a little club in Portland called Acme. This gig would prove crucial in developing the material on this record. The club previously had no business on Mondays, so they were happy to have Kieskagato fans showing up, whether the night brought out 15 or 50 people. This relaxed playing environment allowed the band the freedom to run embryonic versions of new compositions and the luxury of watching crowd response to specific musical ideas in the midst of the writing process. While cleaning out his garage, bass player Adam Schultz found a CD of long lost tunes that keyboard player Dave Jorgensen had been working on and then forgotten about. In order to put the frustrations of the tour behind them, Kieskagato dove into learning these new songs and testing them at the Acme. Results included Salad Line Nausea, Alfredo Is Dead, Jorgensen Studies, Fairfield MO, and Clock Radio. After these songs were up and running, the band tackled a few tunes that Dave had written during his prior tenure with a Madison, WI band called Magic City: Other Thoughts and Crystal Swimming. Vasby Farms, Neil Young, and Epitaph took form as the band superimposed structures, melodies, and hooks over riffs that guitarist Josh Vasby had been playing a lot during his sound checks on the tour. Saturday had been taking shape over the course of the tour as well; it had been brought to the band in the summer by Jorgensen, who had heard the song’s central bass riff in the rhythm of his bike pedals on the way home from practice one night. Saturday’s main challenge lay in distilling its open formed jam sections into a coherent structure. The remaining tunes, Magnums and Schultz Boogie, had existed in more or less their present form prior to the tour.

Between Fall 2005 and late Summer 2006, Kieskagato played out very little, with the exception of the Acme gig (which ran until February 2006). All of their energy was devoted to running the new tunes over and over, adding and deleting sections, and developing the songs into vehicles that truly expressed Kieskagato’s collective mindset. The band’s goal of honest and accurate characterization of itself remained a top priority throughout the recording process from October 2006 until mid Spring of 2007. Keyboard player Dave Jorgensen on the final product: “this record may weird a lot of people out, but it sounds just the way we hoped it would. It’s us. We’re very happy with it.”

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