Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Koji Partners With Humility Now * Announces New Album, "Some Small Way," Out November 9th on Run For Cover Records and Upcoming Split Release w/ La Dispute!
* photo courtesy of Gene Smirnov
In my life, the two worlds of art and activism exist because of each other. At the heart of things, what I want is positive change and to have done my part. - Andrew Koji Shiraki
Andrew "Koji" Shiraki might best be known around the world for his activism/social justice work centered around achieving peace in central and east Africa, specifically working to end the LRA's use of child soldiers in the war torn northern region of Uganda.
Through advocating on behalf of organizations like Invisible Children (www.invisiblechildren.com) and Resolve (www.theresolve.org), Shiraki has played countless benefit concerts, but more importantly, has taken to the streets by organizing for Invisible Children's 100 city demonstration last April, called The Rescue, and has been actively organizing meetings with legislators across the country on behalf of this issue. Just this year their efforts have resulted in the landmark passage of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which has been called "the most significant action ever taken by our leaders to end this crisis." (* citation taken from www.theresolve.org)
Domestically, Shiraki has collaborated with the Miami-based homelessness advocacy group, Humility Now (www.humilitynow.com) to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in the United States (look for their table at The Fest 9 in Gainesville). He's also performed at childrens' hospitals, camps for special needs kids and adults, youth centers, and schools, using his voice as a source for change and positivity in the community. "It's been one of the defining aspects of my career thus far." says Koji.
With his last release, "Spring Song Vol. 1" (September 2010 / Run For Cover Records) Shiraki took an intimate approach in creating a live recording. "Growing up in Pennsylvania, the DIY scene that brought music affordably and for all ages to VFW Halls, American Legions, living rooms, basements, barns, and backyards across the state instilled within me a sense of self reliance and empowerment. Some places in the world aren't so fortunate to have public spaces where people can gather around the arts. Even in communities where it is available, that freedom of expression is often challenged or put at risk. It's our responsibility to make a place for that freedom and keep it safe. I hope this recording will stand as a small testament to the connection people share through music and how the arts can build bridges and strengthen communities. A sound can be a spark."
Now, on "Some Small Way" (his first studio recording for the label), Koji takes his upbeat and sometimes tortured pop approach (think Chisel meets Jeff Buckley) to its greatest heights yet. Engineered and co-produced by Gabe Liberti at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn, NY and mixed by TW Walsh (Sufjan Stevens, David Bazan, Rocky Votolato), the new album features longtime collaborator Chris Sigda on guitar and vocals, Jim Tomlinson on synth and keys, and rhythm section which includes Dave Goletz and Willie Rose of Settle (Epitaph).
* Koji has also announced the upcoming Spring 2011 split release w/ La Dispute. Koji is currently collaborating w/ La Dispute drummer Brad Vander Lugt on the upcoming Koji split w/ Into It. Over It. and will be writing and performing together starting with Koji's first full band tour ever taking place this December.
Some Small Way Track List
1. Eating Lemons
2. Waking Up
4. Windows (live)
5. Color Quiet Loud
Oct 31 Civic Media Center (The Fest 9) Gainesville, FL *
Nov 2 Swayze's Venue Marietta, GA **
Nov 3 Humankind Nashville, TN **
Nov 4 House Show Columbia, MO **
Nov 5 TBA Chicago, IL **
Nov 6 Mac's Bar Lansing, MI **
Nov 7 It's A Kling Thing House Akron, OH **
Nov 8 The Smiling Moose Pittsburgh, PA **
Nov 9 Eldolyn Terrace Altoona, PA **
Nov 10 The Fire Philadelphia, PA **
* = w/ Into It. Over It., Dave Dondero, Jared Grabb (of Scouts Honor)
** = w/ Into It. Over It. and Such Gold
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