Lesbian virtuoso Kaki King has the guitar wrapped around her finger
To watch Kaki King wrap her arms around a guitar, you’d think the instrument was invented just for her. King combines open tunings and a two-handed fret-board playing style. She uses bottleneck slides and guitar slaps to coax a rich and complex sound.
On stage, the young New Yorker is an arresting vision, and her sound is often a surreal tapestry. A self-confessed music fanatic, King drew on everything from jazz and funk to country for her most recent album, "… Until We Felt Red" and the soundtrack for "Into the Wild."
Readying for upcoming Dallas gig on Sunday, the queer songwriter discussed groupies and working with Sean Penn.
Do you have groupies? What are groupies? People that are really into my music? I guess. They’re all so lovely, though there are some who feel really possessive of me. They feel like they can critique my work because they’ve been there since the beginning. I’ve also had guys propose to me. They don’t know I’m gay — I guess they don’t do their research
You were nominated for a Golden Globe for your contribution to the "Into the Wild" soundtrack. How did you end up writing music for a Sean Penn film? The sound editor had used some of my music for the film, just as temporary placement. Sean Penn heard it, liked it and called me. He said he really loved my work, and he wanted me to come out to the set in Southern California to meet everyone. After the film went through the editing process, they brought me in to write some new music. I had to compose it on the spot in front of a whole bunch of people. It really taught me how to work under pressure.
K.D. LANG PLAYS BASS HALL
Does anyone remember when K.D. Lang was a country singer? As facetious as that question might sound, it’s one you might ask yourself too upon hearing her latest album, "Watershed," her first self-produced disc that mixes jazz, trippy string arrangements and even a dash of Brazilian rhythms.
On Wednesday, the Canadian with the remarkably strong voice heads to North Texas for the "Watershed." Things will be different for this tour. Lang has replaced longtime bandmates Teddy Borowiecki, bassist David Piltch and pedal steel player Greg Leisz. Lang has hired new musicians, which should change her sound even more.
— Daniel A. Kusner
On Sunday, King performs at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Nov 2 at 8 p.m. $12-$16. 214-824-9933
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 31, 2008.