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dmersonhess on 02/24/2012 at 11:15AM

Goodbye Kumiko's "My Wild Arms": An Overlooked Indie Pop Gem

Last year, Los Angeles quartet Goodbye Kumiko recorded and released their debut album, "My Wild Arms". The record -- a melange of indie rock, baroque pop and ragtime-influenced piano stylings -- was one of the most satisfying yet underheard indie records of 2011. I caught up with GK singer and keyboard player Michael Barron over email to talk about the album and working with producer Bill Moriarty, a leading light in the Northeast who has manned the controls for Dr. Dog, Man Man, and a host of other extremely creative indie bands.

Who would you say are your influences? Include one from outside the world of music.

MICHAEL BARRON of GOODBYE KUMIKO: My first musical heroes were Scott Joplin and Paul McCartney, in that order. Then later in my life, Frederic Chopin and Harry Nilsson. When I'm playing piano at home, I often play old rags and Chopin's nocturnes. It's fair to say that I'm aiming for the awkward intersection of those pianists even though I know I'm not even in the same universe as any of them.

I think I speak for everyone that we have a lot of 90/00's indie running through our veins. I could go on and on about Pavement, Elephant 6, Phil Elvrum/Microphones, et al. all night long. We love all that stuff and probably will forever.

I love David Lynch, as a filmmaker, as an Angeleno, as an artist and as a man. I'd also say the short stories of Raymond Carver constantly inspire me.


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