Kiwi Jr.: 2022
Kiwi Jr. in Studio A (photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)
“If you think it’s easy doin’ one night stands, try playin’ in a rock 'n' roll band!” Those immortal words from AC/DC came to mind when Kiwi Jr. turned up for an FUV Live session with only three-fourths of their lineup, as bassist Mike Walker had been stranded at the airport in Toronto where the band is based. Instead of asking for a raincheck, the band gave a lesson in improvising and adapting.
Alex Edkins of Metz (and Kiwi Jr.’s tourmates Weird Nightmare) stepped in to join frontman Jeremy Gaudet, guitarist Brian Murphy (formerly of Alvvays) and drummer Brohan Moore in Studio A, and they crushed a few songs from the new Kiwi Jr. album, Chopper, without the benefit of a rehearsal! So be sure to check out the videos below of “The Sound of Music," “Night Vision," and “Unspeakable Things.”
In my chat with Gaudet and Moore ahead of the album's release, they were comfortable with my putting the band in the "power pop" camp, and we got into how the vibe of director Michael Mann’s films helped inform the sound of Chopper — Kiwi Jr.'s second album for Sub Pop and their third overall. We also kicked around the meaning of the phrase “Less Bar, More Noir” and talked about the contributions as producer of Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, and Divine Fits).
I'm happy to report that Mike Walker did in fact make it in time for the gig that July night at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, and hopefully he'll make it to Studio A the next time that Kiwi Jr. is in town!
[Recorded: 7/28/22; Engineers: Jim O'Hara, Allen Wang, Meghana Goli; Producer: Sarah Wardrop]