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Naia Izumi, DJ knowsthetime (free)

  • Memorial Union Terrace 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

Naia Izumi balances aching vocal melody with entrancingly intricate guitar work. Info


Across a handful of singles and EPs and several years busking as a street musician, LA singer and multi-instrumentalist Naia Izumi has created a distinct approach to songwriting that sails his rich, quavering voice over nimble guitar figures that draw on math-rock and funk. On songs like "Never Mind" and "Soft Spoken," Izumi uses a finger-tapping guitar technique that's most often associated with wonky virtuosos, but gets that in the right hand (pun intended) it can wring a whole additional dimension of melodic fluidity from the guitar. These guitar parts spiral and flicker, and sometimes use looping to create an extra shade of atmosphere, but Izumi's music is too emotionally and rhythmically complex to be lumped in with that of your typical singer-songwriter or loop-wrangler. More recently, Izumi's been playing in a trio format that fleshes out his balance of accessible, R&B-tinged melody and angular riffing. DJ knowsthetime will play a dance-party set here after Izumi's headlining performance. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: September 8
Seasaw, Son!, Lex Allen, KennyHoopla
Later Event: September 9
Chinese Roulette (free)