…where I might present you as a chaste virgin…

I’m off to Brittany soon! But I do have time for one more post. It’s a good’un too.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz are the vehicle of Japanese singer Tori Kudo, and are one of the many bands signed to the fine K Records from Olympia, Washington. If you went to Sunday School as a child you may know that Maher Shalal Hash Baz was the name of one of the prophet Isaiah’s sons. It means something like “Hurry to spoil! Make Haste to plunder!”, and it was a prophetic name the Lord instructed Isaiah to give his son. If you didn’t go to Sunday School, well you’ve got thus far not knowing this, and your probably none the worse for it.

I have no idea what it means to Tori Kudo, although he does seem to have a bit of a “thing” for Old Testament references. What does it all mean?

The songs themselves are odd shambling things with a simple charm to them that I really like. I also really like the brassy arrangements that Kudo gives his songs. Out on K Records is their most recent album L’Autre Cap which is full of short and quirky numbers that are either child-like or just plain childish (I can’t quite decide) – I think “naivist” is the term…

To be honest, they sound like a bunch of friends getting together for their second or third practice, still getting used to their guitars and trumpets. But I mean that in a good way, you understand.

In fact, various incarnations of Maher Shalal Hash Baz have been releasing records since the beginning of the 1990s, so unless Kudo operates a Zappa-esque approach to man-management, we can assume that the band haven’t just met, but are actually executing some fiendishly clever naivist plan.

Whatever. I just think they’re great and you can be sure that I’ll be filling my (recently purchased on ebay) iRiver with more acts of shambolic brilliance for the Brittany trip.

K Records give you one download – the glittering “Different Daylight” with its unnervingly odd drum patterns – but to be honest, one’s all you need…

Different Daylight

And then there’s this video of the same song, which appears to include members of the audience having a bit of a go too. Wonderful stuff.