The Hi Tone Cafe

7 Wed
Image for Kishi Bashi w/ Ryan Oslance [big room]

Kishi Bashi w/ Ryan Oslance [big room]

Memphis, TN
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
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Imagine being forced from your home. Imagine being sent to a prison camp with no trial, and no promise of release. Imagine all this happened simply because of the language you speak, the shade of your skin, or the roots of your family tree. For over 120,000 Japanese-Americans this was a reality during World War II. It's a reality that Kishi Bashi seeks to reckon with on his latest release Omoiyari.

Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi's fourth album -- following the acclaimed 151a (2012), Lighght (2014), and Sonderlust (2016), which have garnered serious acclaim from outlets including NPR Music, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian -- and his most important yet. Many of the songs were initially inspired by history and oppression, and he deftly weaves tales of love, loss, and wanting to connect listeners to the past. Channeling the hard-learned lessons of history, Omoiyari is an uncompromising musical statement on the turbulent sociopolitical atmosphere of present-day America.

"I was shocked when I saw white supremacy really starting to show its teeth again in America," Kishi Bashi says. "My parents are immigrants, they came to the United States from Japan post-World War II. As a minority I felt very insecure for the first time in my adult life in this country. I think that was the real trigger for this project."

Kishi Bashi recognized parallels between the current U.S. administration's constant talk of walls and bans, and the xenophobic anxieties that led to the forced internment of Japanese-Americans in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. So he immersed himself in that period, visiting former prison sites and listening to the stories of survivors, while developing musical concepts along the way. The unique creative process behind Omoiyari will be documented in a film scheduled for release in early 2020.

"I didn't want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn," Kishi Bashi reflects. "I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance. But I had trouble finding an English title for the piece. Omoiyari is a Japanese word. It doesn't necessarily translate as empathy, but it refers to the idea of creating compassion towards other people by thinking about them. I think the idea of omoiyari is the single biggest thing that can help us overcome aggression and conflict."

The strong conceptual elements of Omoiyari are driven by Kishi Bashi's captivating musical score. Stepping away from his past loop-based production model, he embraced a more collaborative approach when recording, and for the first time included contributions from other musicians, such as Mike Savino (aka Tall Tall Trees) on banjo and bass, and Nick Ogawa (aka Takenobu) on cello. Kishi Bashi's spectacular trademark violin soundscapes are still an essential component of his sound, but the focus of Omoiyari is centered squarely on its songs. The result is his most potent and poignant collection of music to date.

On "Marigolds," Kishi Bashi contemplates the "differences between generations that are difficult to comprehend sometimes." "I wish that I had met you when your heart was safe to hold," he sings over a bed of shimmering violins, conveying a sense of deep melancholy over a soaring melodic line.

"Summer of '42" weaves a breathtaking orchestral score over a tale of love and loss in a Japanese incarceration camp. "While times were humiliating and difficult in these camps, they would make time to find love and happiness amongst the adversity," Kishi Bashi observes.
Not On Sale
5 Thu
Image for Welcome Center / Ally & The Walrus [small room]

Welcome Center / Ally & The Walrus [small room]

Memphis, TN
United States
Doors at 9:00 PM, Show at 9:00 PM
 More Information


|Dallas, TX & Philly, PA|

Welcome Center is the Dallas/Philadelphia electronic-pop duo of Jesse Smith and Aaron Sternick, two old friends who met outside a dorm room in Dallas, TX in 2005. Bonding over a shared taste in Turkish Golds and early-aughts indie rock, over the next 15 years the two found themselves in and out bands together, playing everything from baroque-pop to Ed Banger-influenced house and densely-lyrical folk-rock.

Eventually, Jesse and Aaron found themselves in their early 30s, separated by 1,500 miles and seven state lines, having watched most of their peers cast music aside and move on with their lives. Yearning for the same wide-eyed creative pull from their youth that sparked their relationship over a decade prior and drawing on all of those years of influences, the two began a new collaboration, sending demos back and forth via cloud storage. Touring heavily in 2018 gave Jesse and Aaron the opportunity to slowly refine and perfect every detail of 'Is This All There Is?', eventually bringing the song to Kyle Pulley (Hop Along, Dr. Dog) for his final mixing touches. Smith and Sternick's kinship is on full display on 'Is This All There Is?', the new music video and eponymous single from their latest EP. One of the very first songs the band wrote together, the single embodies what makes their camaraderie click: the buoyant rhythms of early New Order, the throbbing house-influenced bass, and the existential dread of early DFA records, meditating on the inevitable banality of materialism and the American dream.

The duo will release a five-track EP, 'This House Will Be Filled With _____" in late spring 2020 with plenty of tour dates to follow.

|Memphis, TN|
Through most of Ally's life, she has felt alone although she has never been alone. It was easy to feel alone when bullying, self-doubt, mental health, relationships, life became difficult. However, through these experiences, Ally learned how to fuel that pain into art that could not only heal her wounds but also help others who felt alone and wounded too.
This project of reconnecting the world birthed a community of love and healing that is now called "the Walrus."
Ally released her first EP Love and Recovery to all streaming platforms in July of 2018 with the help of Keegan Paluso as head engineer/producer on the first four tracks, Liz Butler on keys, Melvin Campbell as engineer on "Like I Did", Callin Hinze on drums, Kaleb Collins on bass, John Eric Brown on cello, and Basil Alter for the strings composition and violin performance on the final track.
Her time in Memphis has brought many opportunities to expand the Walrus. These opportunities have included the all-female acapella group covering her song "Serene", Ally being featured to represent the Next Century of Soul as a Memphis Ambassador, and creating an online show to spread her music and message across the globe.

@ Hi Tone
412 N Cleveland St, Memphis, TN 38104

8PM Doors | 9PM Show | $7 | 21+

Not On Sale

282-284 N Cleveland St
Memphis, TN
United States