Roles in Archive: Artist, Performer
For over two decades, Maher Shalal Hash Baz has been pursuing a single-minded vision of music as simple, spontaneous, and unpredictable. Led by the husband/wife team of Tori and Reiko Kudo, the band’s fluctuating lineup features mostly untrained musicians tackling songs often written the day of performance, expressing the innate beauty of failure as much as of success. By using amateurism and error as compositional devices, the Kudos mutate their odd, gorgeously wide-eyed pop songs into intimate, shambolic visions. Comparable to the heartbreaking beauty of outsider songwriters such as Syd Barrett and Daniel Johnston, Maher Shalal Hash Baz have accumulated an impressive host of fans, including Deerhoof (who have collaborated with them on the 2003 LP Faux Depart), The Pastels (who founded the record label Geographic specifically to release records by Maher), and The Silver Jews (who covered a Maher song on their 2008 LP).