Saturday, December 21, 2013

Keith Walsh on Doug Harvey's Less Art Radio Zine

The guest for the Dec 22nd 2013 broadcast of Doug Harvey's Less Art Radio Zine is Keith Walsh, one of the most underrated visual artists in LA, and the sole member of The Keith Walsh Experience. If you're unfamiliar with his visual art, check it out here: and on his facebook page.

As OMB KWE (One-Man-Band Keith Walsh Experience), Walsh straddles the equally underground cultures of OMBrother/sisterhood (which stretches back at least to the 13th century) and DIY music production, with an enormous self-released catalog ranging from unaltered live-in-studio OMB performances to layered lo-fi chamber shmootz to more "conventional" multitracked recordings made with an antiquated Fostex cassette 4-track.

Walsh's recordings and performances are also remarkable for the strength of his songwriting -- not a hallmark of OMB culture (Hasil Adkins notwithstanding) which often leans heavily on the novelty aspect of virtuosic multitasking by rendering faithful covers of familiar music with a busker-pragmatic patina of zaniness.

You can count the covers in the KWE repertoire on one hand, but not the wide range of stylistic references that surface in his music - from Iggy, Bowie, and Suicide to Johns Cale, Lydon, and Fahey -- with dashes of Beefheart, Sun Ra, and Metallica to keep things spicy. Grounded by Keith's ear for a hook and rock & roll heart, this array of influences are brought to bear on weirdly jaunty instrumentals (Walsh also cites lounge-Führer Bert Kaempfert as a major inspiration) and well-constructed lyrics that are literate, poetic, and catchy.

Keith Walsh is one of those artists that beg the question "If he's so great why aren't I famous?" -- both his visual art and musical endeavors leave me with a distinct "Was that as good as I thought it was?" melon-twist every time. (Answer: Yes).

In advance of the KWE's appearance at the Battle of the One Man Bands at Café Nela on Dec 28th, Keith and I will be talking about his art and music, sampling tracks from KWE's extensive discography, exploring his influences and current listening habits, and debuting a brand new Christmas carol composed especially for this broadcast!

Tune into Doug Harvey's Less Art Radio Zine live alternate Sundays at 12 noon on KCHUNG in LA’s Chinatown district at 1630 AM or online at - if you miss the broadcast, shows can be accessed through the KCHUNG archive.

Battle of the One Man Bands at Café Nela 1906 Cypress Ave. LA 90065 
9 PM Saturday December 28, 2013
KWE VS Reverend Beat-Man from Bern Switzerland and Becky Lee from Arizona

IMAGES: Keith Walsh's announcement for LARZ; KW Meditational Stones (Celebrities) 2003-2004; KW Astral Body Compound Space/Threshold of Movement 2010; OMB zany style; KW In the Order of Appearance 2005; Battle of the One Man Bands flier.

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