Lead singer and tech-savvy Harajuku girl, Ai, is the creative gal behind the group's Theremin-laden cover of the national anthem, among other tunes. This unusual rendering has led to an Internet feeding-frenzy surrounding the band members.
Throughout the “blogosphere,” there are teems of Web sites that reference Pink Mochi's unique embracing of technology and all of its gifts. Fans have praised these musicians everywhere from ThereminWorld.com to MySpace. Even its four members – Lisa, Ai, Michael and Tim – have respectively exploited their own unusual instrumental pursuits.
Keyboardist and bassist Lisa gladly and passionately unleashes her inner “nerd rawker,” stating, “[I] just purchased a nord stage keyboard. It has 88 weighted keys and a plethora of analog sounds. It is red. It is swedish. It is so choice.”
And you thought “geek-chic” died with Weezer.
Pink Mochi, who derives its name from a widely consumed Japanese dessert, is a whimsical hybrid of punk, pop, mod and electronic styles. The band has graced stages throughout L.A. – the Knitting Factory, the Echo and Spaceland – as well as playing abroad. Its stage shows are a loquacious mix of banter and Fashion 101 for the gathered crowds.
A successful 2006 Canadian tour helped catapult this group into the lexicon of a whole new audience. What has kept the quartet's name on the lips of music fans everywhere is its collective sense of fun and glamour, paired with very strong individual style and personalities.
Ai can best be described as a postmodern Yoko Ono. Trendsetting and imaginative, she clearly channels her heritage into her work.
“Because I grew up in a Japanese-American home,” she admits, “sometimes there are words I can say in Japanese that I just can't think of in English and at times English words that I don't know how to say in Japanese.”
As a result, Pink Mochi teeters back and forth between dueling factions: Eastern cool and Western fundamentals. A graduate of the Film and Video program at the California Institute of the Arts, Ai also dabbles in experimental filmmaking.
She has taken to displaying her work online with mixed results. “I am just figuring out the compression stuff, so sorry for the horrible compression rate,” she says, apologetically. “I hope to figure it out soon. If you know anything about compression, let me know.”
Then, there's drummer Tim Brown. He adds a touch of diversity and quirkiness to the band via his eccentric flair for language.
His colloquialisms and explanations of them have been woven into the fabric of Pink Mochi's stage shows, as well as its interactions with fans. “Tim-isms” like “soup-to-nuts” and “shoot your wad” are featured weekly in the band's blog. Pink Mochi even showcased Brown, in all his linguistic glory on its video account of last year's Canadian tour.
But the most interesting thing about Pink Mochi – hands down – is its music. It has crafted an impressive catalog of songs like “Melt,” which can best be described as an up-tempo nod to the riot grrl sound.
These tunes are not only thrilling, but absolutely delectable to those who are listening. As a group, Pink Mochi strives to keep fans guessing and make its music subversive and clever.
When asked to divulge details about an upcoming song, guitarist and vocalist, Michael ungenerously confesses, “There won't be any singing [on it],” and leaves it at that.
Just like fellow experimental groups Broadcast and the Japancakes, Pink Mochi skillfully delivers the musical goods without needing to rely solely on words. The band members wisely let the underground tone and structure of each song speak for itself.
Whether dabbling in food, fashion or technological references, this Los Angeles-based band is sure to be a sweet treat and an artistic godsend for those who are smart enough to get them.
Pink Mochi will perform May 30 at the Silverlake Lounge in Silver Lake. For more information, visit www.pinkmochimusic.com.