The One AM Radio [rank: 1048] based on users subscribed
The One AM Radio is Los Angeles composer, singer and songwriter Hrishikesh Hirway. Hirway's music, mostly electronic - sometimes acoustic, is incredibly layered and rich. "The Harvest", from his album This Too Shall Pass is a perfect example of his ability to create gorgeous, haunting melodies against pulsing background beats. The One AM Radio is a powerful demonstration of what one man can do with talent and technology.
Bandega Interview with Hrishikesh Hirway of The One AM Radio (July 2008)Throw your sweaty arm around The One AM Radio and sing, damn it.
Q: How have your shows changed over the years? Has your perspective on performing live changed?
A: My live show shifts pretty regularly, by virtue of how irregular the band's configuration is. Last year, I had a different set-up for each tour. I played shows solo; with two saxophones, guitar, laptop, and upright bass; with two french horns, two guitars, and drums; and with keyboards, trumpet, drums, and laptop. It's a challenging part of how the One AM Radio works, to constantly have to adapt and re-adapt arrangements, but it's also exciting to be able to play the same song three entirely different ways, depending on who is touring with me. My perspective on playing live, however, is pretty much the same as always. I'd much rather play small intimate DIY spaces than in clubs with a bar and drinking crowd.
Q: Describe the most memorable live show you've played.
A: One of my favorite shows was at the Macrock festival at JMU a few years ago. We were in a beautiful old theater with a seated crowd. We were playing about an hour before the headliners all started up at the various festival venues. Somehow the timing and the placement of the other bands at the festival was configured in a way that we had a crowd that was over capacity, and we had about 25 minutes to play. The last song we did had a refrain that we asked everyone to sing. By the end of the song, we'd stopped playing our instruments, and it was just the crowd and us singing—quietly, but the acoustics were amazing. It felt like a choir. I had this swirling tightening knot in my chest, and it's that knot, that feeling, that comes back from time to time and reminds me why I leave home and play shows.
Q: What venue do you consider to be your "home", where you feel most comfortable, with the crowd and the place itself?
A: There was a house in Berkeley, California, called Fort Oregon, that had shows in the basement between 2003 and 2007. A couple of close friends of mine lived there and put on some incredible shows in a modest setting: $5 to come downstairs and see folks like Lou Barlow, The Microphones, Dirty Projectors, Bishop Allen, Julie Doiron, Two Gallants. I played there a few times, and each time, it got better and better. They'd cook dinner for the bands in the kitchen, and downstairs, they were packing them in. They'd give all the money to the bands, and it started to be pretty big amounts. I always looked forward to playing there, and I miss it dearly.
Q: Describe the most enjoyable show you've ever experienced as a fan.
A: Seeing Fugazi for the first time was unforgettable. I'd been listening to their music for years, but they'd never come to the Northeast in that time. They played at Lupo's in Providence, Rhode Island. For the last song of their encore, they played my favorite, the one I'd been waiting all night for. I remember being up front, hopping up and down and singing along with some sweaty dude's arm around my shoulders as he sang along, too. Looking back on that show, it affirmed everything I love now about playing live myself — an intense palpable energy in a room, among strangers sharing a common experience, having a visceral interaction with music.
Q: Word on the street is you play a mean game of Boggle (a Bandega team favorite). Do you travel with it and throw down against bands and fans alike?
A: Boggle has too many pieces for me to lose in a van or inevitably get left behind at someone's house to make it a good touring game. We end up playing a lot of Celebrity on tour, because it has no game pieces, you can play with a bunch of people, and it's usually hilarious. A good way to get to know folks you're staying with, who you've never met before, is to see them try and come up with a way to pantomime Madeleine Albright.