Episode 146: Goh Nakamura
January 13, 2009
Written by The Bay Bridged
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This week’s episode is presented by KQED Interactive.
This week, our podcast spotlights Goh Nakamura, a San Francisco singer-songwriter whose many musical talents you might have heard via his solo work, his involvement in local indie pop band The Invisible Cities and through his performances on soundtracks for films like American Gangster. Nakamura’s love of music has long found him playing in various bands, but he credits a solo Elliott Smith performance with opening his eyes to the power of a solo acoustic performance. Inspired by Smith, Leonard Cohen and others, his first album was a collection of solo home recordings that established him as a strong songwriter capable of creating emotionally resonant moments out of songs that mixed folk, indie pop and acoustic rock components.
It was four years until Nakamura released his follow-up, Ulysses, which came out last August. Instead of making another purely solo release, the songwriter worked with a number of talented contributors, whose vocal harmonies and full band instrumentation provide the backbone for a diverse and engaging release. And in making a full-band-oriented album, he has begun confronting the challenges of performing not just as a member of a group, but as its frontman. It’s a position he has more than earned.
We spoke with Goh last weekend at our studio, discussing the experience of moving from bedroom recordings to a full-band environment. Before the interview, Goh treated us to an exclusive acoustic mini-set, and we’ve included two songs from that session along with two from Ulysses in the episode.
- Visit Goh’s YouTube channel for live videos and more.
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