Posts Tagged ‘god of shamisen’

God of Shamisen – Smoke Monster Attack

8th Nov 10 (Mon) Leave a comment

God of Shamisen, led by shamisen master Kevin Kmetz, is putting out their second album – Smoke Monster Attack.

Teaming up with producer Billy Anderson, God of Shamisen returns with Smoke Monster Attack, their second album. Featuring some new tunes along with some interesting video game cover songs, the band is back to its genre-bending ways. Featuring Kevin Kmetz on the Japanese shamisen, Karl Schnaitter on guitar, Mark Thornton on bass, and Lee Smith from the band Estradasphere on drums. The band goes all over the place, from an aggressive new arrangement of the traditional “Jongara Bushi,” to the Indian-inspired mellow breakdowns of “Last Shamisen Master Attack,” to a wild metal cover of the “Star Wars” theme. The album is only available digitally, and features guest musicians Rick Walker (percussion), Rich Doucette (sarangi) and Takemi Hirohara (shamisen on “Tiger Feint Attack”).

  1. Metal-Jongara Attack
  2. Dragon Quest Attack
  3. Last Shamisen Master Attack
  4. Tar Bomb Attack
  5. Sandcastle Attack
  6. Final Fantasy Attack 2010
  7. Tiger Feint Attack
  8. Star Wars Attack
  9. Dragon String Attack (Super Short Version)

Much of this material is actually from their sessions for EMI Japan, which never surfaced outside of Japan.  They’re also releasing it in lossless FLAC format on LobeFood (not available yet).

Release date: November 23, 2010

~Dan – np: Ikue MoriPainted Desert

There is no free mp3 download or flac torrent for this album on this blog (nor will there ever be).  If you like music, support the artistsBuy it!!


REVIEW: Fishtank Ensemble @ House Show (Eugene, OR – 3/5/10)

6th Mar 10 (Sat) 3 comments


Fishtank Ensemble hit the scene in 2005 with Super Raoul.  The first record hit my radar with members from bandmembers from bands I was already into: Kevin Kmetz (from God of Shamisen/Estradasphere/Secret Chiefs 3 on occasion), Doug & Tim Smolens (El Douje’s record & Estradasphere), and Adam Stacey (Estradasphere).  Only Doug “El Douje” Smolens remains from that first group of guys who got me into the band, but the other members definitely kept me around…

The band is Fabrice Martinez (pictured above –  violin), Ursula Knudson (pictured above – vocals, saw, violin, etc), El Douje (guitar) and Djordje Stijepovic (Bass).  They play a mix of Eastern European “gypsy” music mixed with a heavy dose of Django Reinhardt influenced French jazz (dominated by guitars & violins).  Think… Hot Club de Baltic States.  On their records thus far, they also add in some Japanese music (from former member Kevin Kmetz’s shamisen work).

This was my first time to one of their shows.  Last time they came through Eugene, I was up in Portland for another band, but my wife gave a rousing thumbs up (she ended up going to see Fishtank at Cozmic Pizza).

The band played about two hours, split up with a nice intermission / snack time in the middle.  The band was red hot, and the intimate living room setting made this concert very special.  I’ll admit, I’m not usually a fan of vocals as of late, especially in world music.  However, Ursula nails it.  Seeing her perform in concert 4 feet in front of me was quite stunning.  Besides the stunning dress (!!!), her vocals were utterly fantastic!  She did a lot of vocal acrobatics, which worked amazingly well with violin, bass and guitar acrobatics that the rest of the band was giving us as well.

They played a lot of material I recognized from their second album, Samurai over Serbia, as well as some new and/or traditional tunes.  Here’s what I scribbled down (fixed by bassist Djordje – – Thanks!)…


  • Espagnolette
  • Saraiman
  • Arabo Andaluz
  • After You’ve Gone
  • Fraima
  • Woman in Sin
  • Swing 2003
  • Hopa di Bida
  • Am Furat de la Haidouks (Romanian Sirba dance medley)
  • O’Dewel
  • Kolo Suite (Serbian/Transylvanian Medley)
  • Tchiki Tchiki
  • Djordje’s Rachenitza
  • Coucou
  • Opa Opa
  • Samurai Over Serbia
  • Encore: Ursula’s high school song
  • Ciocarlia

They’ve got a new record coming out soon, called Woman in Sin.  Keep an eye out for it on their webpage, MySpace, et cetera.  Thank you to Michael & Carolyn for putting on a great house show!  I look forward to the next Rolling & Tumble house show — Tuvan throat singers!!

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Bill FrisellRambler

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Higher Resolution (4 pics)

Limited to 1200 pixels wide or tall (26 pics)

Photos Attack!

26th Sep 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

My favorite* Japanese-themed rock/metal band, God of Shamisen, has some rad new professional photos taken…

More pics from this photo shoot are HERE

See my recent review (with pics) of their West Coast tour stop through Eugene on 9/11/08 is HERE

~Dan – np: David GilmourLive from Gdańsk

*Daikaiju is also a great Japanese-themed rock/metal band (from Alabama); so it’s not like GOS was running unopposed. :)

REVIEW: God of Shamisen @ Samurai Duck (Eugene, OR – – 9/11/08)

12th Sep 08 (Fri) 4 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW are at the BOTTOM

Well, before the show, I was kind of bummed, as Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco’s upright bassinator) was playing a show at Sam Bond’s in Eugene last night as well.  GOS totally won, but Todd would have put on a great show as well.  Anyway, I swung by Sam Bond’s before heading over to the Samurai Duck… to pick up Todd’s new CD, Tiny Resistors.  I figured I might as well support indie jazz artists.  Alas, the doorman told me that Todd had to cancel.  Bummer… well, maybe he’ll reschedule, though I think he’s from New York; so maybe it’s just not meant to be this time around.

a great cartoon GOS by Rulo Barrera

On to the venue… hmmm… what to say about the Samurai Duck.  Well, you can get fried pizza.  Um… ick… I opted for a Blue Moon & a bag of pretzels.  The rest of the menu was faintly “asian,” but nothing I’d really consider to be all that interesting.  This place is definitely a dive metal bar, but they’ve got a decent stage, and the bands got set-up / switched over between sets really quick – which is a major plus, especially for a late night show.

The 1st opener, Deosyl, was really good.  I had never heard of them, but they’re from Eugene.  They were an instrumental rock/metal trio.  They were all very good musicians.  The guitarist seemed to have some great chops, in the vein of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci or Dimebag Darryl or a breed of the two.  Great stuff…

I saw GOS’s Kevin Kmetz warming up with his shamisen in between the openers’ sets…

Shat came on next, around 11pm.  I was a fan of their prior to this show.  I mean, we go way back… we’re the bestest of MySpace friends.  Or something.  Well, I first heard of Shat via the (now defunct) Coma Lilies.  They are connected to Righteous Gabe Records…

Which is absotively-posilutely supposed to confuse you with Righteous Babe Records.  They make music very much unlike Ani DiFranco, though. :)  Very much… crazy, spastic, turrets syndrome-induced rock.  Oh, I think they’re also linked to the international smash hit “Tonight Tonight Tonight Tonight.”  Or maybe just linked via Righteous Gabe…  Anyway, they put on a lively show.  They’re from Portland; so I’ll likely get to see them again.

God of Shamisen went on right around midnight.  I was tired, but doing OK.  I work right across the street; so I had popped over there to get a Coke. :)  God of Shamisen is Kevin Kmetz on tsugaru-shamisen, Karl Schnaitter on guitars, Mark Thornton on bass, and Lee “ninja” Smith on drums.  They played a great set, and it was well worth staying through a late night and two openers to see them play.  I also got to pick up their new CD, Dragon String Attack.  I’ve been listening to it today at work, and it’s great.  My favorite track so far is “The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack!

The CD (click the picture for more info):

The Set List: (with adjustments by Mark from GOS*)

  • Traditional (Kevin solo)
  • Bad Dog Attack
  • The Prisoner (called “The Village Attack” on the CD*)
  • Tar Bomb Attack (not recorded yet*)
  • Ripe Fruit Attack
  • Stacie’s Song (for Kevin’s s/o)
  • Dragon String Attack
  • Mary Jane (with Danyl Johnson)
  • The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack
  • Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls* (with Christian from Shat)

The Appropriate Linkage:

The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is on for tonight.  I’m excited.  I’ve been a fan of theirs for a few years, but missed them when they came to Eugene in the spring, because I was at the Ani DiFranco/Judy Grahn/Animal Prufrock show down the street at the same night.  Well, JFJO coming back to town 5 months later is a-OK with me.

~Dan – np: Jeff AmentTone

all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

God of Shamisen – a pimpin’ I shall do…

8th Sep 08 (Mon) Leave a comment

OK… God of Shamisen, great band, gonna get to see ’em on Thursday.  They’ve got a new CD, Dragon String Attack.  It’s their 1st CD.  It’s out now.  If you don’t happen to live near where they’re playing on this tour, you can order it online with the easy-peasy PayPals.  This is directly from the artist to your ears.  Support indie musics!!  Check ’em out online:

The CD (click the picture for more info):

The Shirt (click the picture for more info):

The Tour:

Sep 8 2008 THE FUNHOUSE – w/ the Diminished Men Seattle, Washington
Sep 9 2008 DUNES – w/ SHAT and Circuit Breaking Silence Portland, Oregon
Sep 10 2008 JOHNNY B’s Medford, Oregon
Sep 11 2008 SAMURAI DUCK Eugene, Oregon
Sep 12 2008 CRUX ARTIST COLLECTIVE Chico, California
Sep 13 2008 THE FISHTANK – w/ Shamalamacord Oakland, California
Sep 14 2008 THE SCENE (new venue!) Glendale, California
Sep 16 2008 AUDIE’S OLYMPIC / CLUB FRED – w/ Brian Kenney Fresno and Foxycock Fresno, California
Sep 17 2008 BLUE LAGOON – w/ We Be The Echo and Happy Meal Santa Cruz, California
Sep 18 2008 RASPUTINS RECORDS free in-store Mountain View, California
Sep 19 2008 BOTTOM OF THE HILL – w/ We Be The Echo and Headshear San Francisco, California

If you live in Eugene, OR, see you on Thursday… if you know what’s good for you. :)

~Dan – np: Medeski Martin & Wood plays John Zorn’s Masada Book Two – Zaebos

GOS Tour -and- MMW+Z

17th Aug 08 (Sun) Leave a comment

Japanese world-metal band God of Shamisen are making a run through the West Coast. I’ll be at the Eugene gig, fo’sheezy.

Sun Sept 7 – Seattle WA – Kevin Kmetz solo traditional performance @ ENMA 2008 Aki Matsuri
Mon Sept 8 – Seattle WA @ the Funhouse (with Diminished Men)
Tues Sept 9 – Portland OR @ Dunes (with SHAT)
Wed Sept 10 – Medford OR @ Johnny B’s
Thurs Sept 11 – Eugene OR @ Samurai Duck *yay*
Sat Sept 13 – Oakland CA @ the Fishtank
Sun Sept 14 – Glendale CA @ The Scene (with Foxycock)
Tues Sept 16 – Fresno CA @ Audie’s Olympic (with Foxycock & Brian Kenney Fresno)
Wed Sept 17 – Santa Cruz CA @ Blue Lagoon
Thurs Sept 18 – Mountain View CA Free in-store performance @ Rasputins Records
Fri Sept 19 – San Francisco CA @ Bottom of the Hill


Three-degrees of separation (GOS’s Kevin Kmetz > Estradasphere > Secret Chiefs 3 > John Zorn), the Medeski Martin & Wood album of John Zorn’s Masada Book Two songs is now out on Tzadik Records. It’s called Zaebos (album cover & tracklist below). I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet (and probably won’t order it yet, as I’m moving in two weeks). But, I tell you what, once I’m moved, DMG‘s gettin’ a big order from me…

1. Zagzagel
2. Sefrial
3. Agmatia
4. Rifion
5. Chafriel
6. Ahaij
7. Asaliah
8. Vianuel
9. Jeduthun
10. Malach ha-Sopher
11. Tutrusa’i

Billy Martin: Drums
John Medeski: Keyboards
Chris Wood: Bass
all songs written by John Zorn
arranged by MMW

~Dan – np: Mike Patton’s Mondo CaneLive in Holland

59″ of aural pleasure

22nd May 08 (Thu) Leave a comment

Some words on some recent vinyl added to my collection…

God of Shamisen The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack! 7″ (God of Shamisen)

God of Shamisen

From the Secret Chiefs 3 / Estradasphere connection, I first heard God of Shamisen on the MySpaces ( This white vinyl with red label in white sleeve should clue you in to its Japanese influence. The shamisen is a 3-stringed instrument that’s played with a big ice scraper-like pic (called a Bachi)and has a somewhat banjo-like quality. I saw Kevin Kmetz (aka the “God of Shamisen”) play with Estradasphere, and it melded well with their sound as well. If you’ve seen a recent Nintendo Wii commercial… well, you know what a shamisen sounds like.

This 7″ includes “The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack!” and “Strange Relationship Attack!,” both of which can only be heard here on the vinyl or at their MySpace. IMO, “Ray Bradbury” is worth the price alone. Their full-length debut CD should be out sometime later this year. Info about the band and the vinyl is here:

Radiohead Jigsaw Falling Into Place 7″ (XL)

Radiohead Jigsaw Falling Into Place

This 7″ includes “Videotape (Live from the Basement),” as opposed to the CD single version that includes “Down is the New Up” and “Last Flowers” (both also “Live from the Basement”). It can be gotten at Amazon.

Puscifer V is for Vagina 12″ -and- Queen B 7″ -and- Dozo 7″ (Puscifer Entertainment)

I got these mainly because I’m a Maynard fan. Most of what’s on them (ie- the remixes) can be found on iTunes (except for the Queen B Trip E Mix). If you do search out the vinyl… I’d recommend Amazon and not Puscifer HQ, though. Puscifer’s shipping charges are ludicrous… like more ludicrous than the Pope at a truck rally. Prior Puscifer limited editions weren’t available on Amazon; so this is a move in the right direction (IMO). I also got the Dozo DVD along with this shipment… warning: it’s got a damn annoying menu (it’s hard to find what you’re looking for… like the commentary… which may be Maynard, may be David Cross, may be my mailman).

Holy Fuck Lovely Allen 7″ -and- 12″ (Young Turks)

Holy Fuck's Lovely Allen

These were available a few months ago directly from Young Turks (a UK label), but again, horrid shipping and USD-to-GBP conversion. They became available stateside earlier in May from Beggars Group USA for a waaaay reasonable price (only $7 for all 19″ of thick, black… vinyl).

The 7″ includes “Super Inuit (studio)” along with the title track. The 12″ includes “Riton Rerub,” “Minotaur Shock (Broadmead Redevelopment Version),” and “No Age Remix” along with the title track. All of these are available on iTunes as well (check ’em out… or at least the first 30 seconds).

Oh snap… I just saw that the “Lovely Allen” and “Milkshake” videos are on iTunes. Click. Click. Rock.

That’s all for now… again, if you’re not a vinyl dweeb, check out the shiz on iTunes or whathaveyou…

It’s not how big you make it spin, it’s how you spin it…

~Dan – np: ethan winogrand w/ steven bernsteintangled tango

PS- I forgot about the Lovage (Dan the Automator, Mike Patton, Jennifer Charles from Elysian Fields) Songs to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (Instrumentals) 12″ I got on Saturday at CD World here in town (they had a big 25% off all vinyl sale last wknd… woot)… so, I guess my new title should be 71″ of aural pleasure… eh… too late.

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