Dan Koshute’s Birthday Party, Saturday @ Garfield Artworks, 7pm

With a birthday on February 13th, Pittsburgh’s live-in rock god Dan Koshute plans to have a concert bash at Garfield Artworks this Saturday opening for Destry along with Mean Creek and Joy Toujours & The Toys Du Jours. Even with the snowpocalypse in full swing, I really hope the city gets its shit together by the weekend.  I, for one, have never seen him live or really written about his music besides a very small piece up in the Steel City’s Top 20 Tracks of 2009.  So in other words, I hope I can make the show.  In the meantime here’s what I think about Dan Koshute:

In the age of glo-fi, shitgaze and whatever other buzz labels the indie blogosphere has thrown upon lo-fi’s stripped down musical aesthetic, coming across an artist who is determined to exhibit master craft musicianship with pristine recording techniques can be some what arresting. That is to say Pittsburgh’s own Dan Koshute doesn’t polish or produce his music within an inch of its humanity, rather his vocals and guitars are deliberately locked into an intense matrix of space and composition, rarely betraying the seams of their formation. I like to think that is one of the main appeals of rock music in general and Koshute seems to do it naturally: making the meticulous appear effortless.   

Koshute’s first solo release Kiss Line is fast and freewheeling, switching between high-octane rockers with his backing trio and folkier solo tracks, marrying his love of 90’s alternative rock with a Robert Plant-sized voice. “Cygnet” is one of the more epic acoustic tracks, propelled by the spiraling guitar line and warm violins as Koshute wordlessly howls in between verses, gorgeously recalling The Bends-era Radiohead.

“Double Dip” and “Kiss Line” form an intense couplet, two breathless firecrackers that act as anchors for Kissline’s first and second halves. In these two tracks especially, Koshute’s bombastic voice can change from melodic croon to red blooded roar on a dime, fearlessly tearing through layers of virtuoso guitar work. “Paris Exhibition” is a road ready folk romp that provides a clear picture of Koshute’s natural talent and song writing abilities. Unrelenting acoustics highlight Koshute’s voice that isn’t performing the vocal gymnastics of Kiss Line‘s more raucous cuts.  With the smaller range and razor sharp mix emerges subtle detail, illustrating a dynamic voice that is just as impressive on a more intimate scale.

Basically, this all points to the fact that Koshute is one of the singular musical talents in Pittsburgh right now and with one stellar LP under his belt so far, I want to assume he has another gear. Yes, Kiss Line is full of anthems, big and small, but I think I’m anxious for an opus, something of scale and size, something Koshute has to be thinking about.  Can this Hart Crane obsessed “Magna Persona” handle such a task?

I don’t doubt him for a minute.

Dan Koshute – Paris Exhibition

Dan Koshute – Kiss Line

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