With Spring now in full bloom (the backyard here at DaveCromwellWrites estates a veritable nature preserve), bursting flowers, birds, lizards, bees and many other forms of flying and crawling things abound. Against that backdrop, four new recently recorded works (and an additional entertainment recommendation) are given this sites conscientious brand of literary analysis. While the great (frozen in time shooting star) Dale Bozzio once asked “what are words for – when no one listens anymore?” - a strong commitment to the arrangement of sentences in a coherent manner continues on here at DCW.
Sometimes the name of a band can provide a level of confusion that often undeservingly puts them on the backburner. Take Tashaki Miyaki for example (pronounced Tah-Shock-ee Mee-Yock-ee). Sounding like a singular Japanese solo artist, the images of a willowy red haired woman as their out-front focal point and dreamy sounding vocal music never quite seemed to match up. The periodic promotional reminders (mostly via email) over the years – with the latest coming this past month – finally put an end to all of this procrastinating. Simply put, attention to this band that makes the most wonderfully dreamy, melancholy music is long overdue.
Along with her fellow musicians, the band concept derives from the singularly consistent vison of frontwoman Paige Stark. While initially mistaking Ms Stark for simply the voice and image of this “Japanese band,” further investigation shows her to be the sole visionary for clearly defined image (she directs all the videos) sound, lyrics and mood. Credit must be given to guitarist Luke Paquin – who's dreampop style is integral to the bands sound. Current bassist Sandi Denton (there appear to have been at least a few over time) is more than competent, also providing backing vocals and dark haired attractiveness as well.
In advance of their upcoming sophomore album “Castaway” out on July 2, they've released a video for one of the track's “I Feel Fine.” Much like the album cover itself, the video for this song emphasizes the more muted colors of living. While the record cover shows a cloudy sky Los Angeles (where the band is based) with Paige tiny and dwarfed next to a large structure from decades ago, the video goes even darker. Described as an homage to her favorite vampire films, it's actually the first time the band has appeared in one of their videos. Opening with a simple drumbeat (Paige is the band's drummer – which in general goes against the grain of what a “frontperson” usually is) two women (Paige and Sandi) are sleeping on a couch in a candlelit room (all black and white imagery) with a snare drum by Paige's head (an amusingly clever touch).