Ken Flagg
Gig Seeker Pro

Ken Flagg

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Those Socks Have Secrets"

On his 2006 debut, San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Ken
Flagg was mired in Paralysis and Denial. Now he seeks The
End of Suffering. On first track "Pieces," the sinking feeling
sets in that Flagg is yet another in a long line of sensitive sing-
er/songwriters, but then he rocks the hell out of "Mountain
Girl," and the feeling passes (I've just spent too much time
with heart-on-sleeve balladeers more interested in making
ladies swoon than in doing any serious emotional excavation).

Flagg continues to alternate between the soft and quiet, the fast
and loud, proving himself an eclectic talent who moves between
genres with grace. Whistle-infused closer "When the Sun Sets in
the Eastern Sky" is a particularly sublime take on bossa nova. - Kathleen Fennessy, AndMoreAgain


"Rock 'n' Roll Experience Review"

5 Stars

I like it & the music definitely relates to the art...it's quirky, self absorbed at times, but totally relatable in it's own demeanor & there's alot of integrity on an artistic level, the music is mellow, melancholy & where it lacks aggression, it makes up for it in moods & emotions. Overall, this is a cool, artsy release, "Pieces" kicks the cd off in an odd kinda way & it sets the overall tone for the entire disc from start to finish. What can I say, this is a solid release, it stays true to the Ken's vision as an artist & it feels like a very personal release when you listen to it. - http://www.angelfire.com/rock/e4/september2009.html


"Ken Flagg delivers ... [an] eclectic powerhouse album"

AUGUSTA, GA - Following on the heels of his 2006 release "Paralysis & Denial," Ken Flagg’s sophomore effort "The End of Suffering" is full of twelve catchy pop tracks. Simple, rocking and with wild guitar work reminiscent of old ‘80s glam metal or some of the more heady work of Hendrix, Ken Flagg delivers a one-two punch with his Faith No More-esque eclectic powerhouse album.

"The End of Suffering" really takes off with the song “Mountain Girl,” a tune that bursts out of the gate like a pack of wild horses and never stops. From there, the album moves into the slower paced and emotionally-driven “Merced.” The sheer variety of styles on this album, which ranges from wild off-the-wall rock anthems to slower folk-emo tunes truly shows the multiple skills of Ken Flagg. Other tracks like “Brightest Day” reminds a little of the melodic songs of Elton John. Once again, this simply shows how all over the map Flagg’s music can be. But this is not an insult; instead it is a testament to his prowess as a musician.

Flying the banner of experimental-emo-electronic-infused rock opera, Ken Flagg moves along the spectrum of popular music, sampling from the buffet. He partakes of each meal and creates something jazzy and new. This is the spirit of Ken Flagg on his new album. And it is a spirit Flagg will hopefully showcase for years to come. - MetroSpirit (Athens, GA)


"Teenagers will want to load [this] on their iPods"

The End of Suffering" is very different from Flagg's first album. This time around, he seems determined to show what he can do - and that seems to be just about everything. He slides between genres with ease and grace, always adding his own quirky signature to everything he touches.
"Pieces" is a heartfelt ballad that showcases the sweetly intellectual side of him, which is what first hooked me on his music. It's definitely one of my favorites.
In direct contrast is "Mountain Girl", a determined rock anthem, complete with screaming guitar solo. He does indeed "rock the hell" (as one reviewer wrote) out of the song. I won't go into the lyrics here ("your peaks sublime", etc), but I think (fervently hope) he means them as a parody of silly rock songs.
"When the Sun Sets in the Eastern Sky" is Brazilian on the surface, but delightfully geeky to the core. Flagg admits in his bio to being a geek. Hey- who else would rhyme "myriad dreams and hopes" with "barren field of isotopes"?
"Candyman" has an infectious alt-rocker energy and sounds like something my teenagers will want to load on their iPods.

I haven't heard full versions of every song, but I really get the impression that this is a strong album. The variety of musical styles could have led to a very disjointed feel. But Flagg's musical vision is very keen and he keeps everything on target. The songs are all very different, but all very "Flagg".
- http://bethinburkina.blogspot.com


"Ken Flagg separates himself from the pack"

Whenever you pick up something new, or see it for the first time, your mind immediately goes into it’s databank to classify this new thing by comparing it to all other things it has seen. We all do it. “That guys sounds like…” That movie was just like…” “That car is a combination of…” Upon listening to Ken Flagg’s The End of Suffering my mind needed to come up with an “other” category.

Where musicians like Beck re-invent themselves and their “sound” with every album, Flagg does so with every track on this album. From heavy hitters like “Mountain Girl” to songs with full orchestration like “Brightest Day” or bossa nova pieces like “When the Sun Sets in the Eastern Sky,” the “Sound” never truly settles. Yet, none of it seems out of place. One would guess that Ken Flagg has worked hard at separating himself from the pack, and that hard work has paid off.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Flagg now makes San Francisco his home. This is his second release, from Incurable Eclectic Records and a very ambitious one. He used over 50 musicians and what sounds like full string and horn sections in both “Brightest Day” and “Blinded.” There’s a battle between the horns and a choir on “Suffering” as well.

The core of this band consists of Flagg (vocals, piano, synth, guitar), Matt Heulitt (guitar), Paul Eastburn (Bass) & Chris Brague (drums). This follow-up to Paralysis & Denial continues to build a strong reputation of musicianship, song arrangements and the ability to blend styles seamlessly.

Flagg lists such bands as The Beatles, Radiohead, ELO & The Beach Boys as musical inspirations. When digging through each of these songs, you can pick them out, especially the ELO-inspired “Accelerator.” You also get the distinct impression that he has a selection of 80’s new wave, such as Depeche Mode and New Order in his CD collection. The lyrics tend to move around as much as the music; from the emotional (“Pieces”) to the whimsical (“Funeral”).

The End of Suffering comes very early on this album. It is truly an enjoyable listen and a wonderful new addition to my Ipod. - http://cwgalbumreviews.blogspot.com/2009/11/ken-flagg-end-of-suffering.html


"It doesn't take long to realize just how talented ... Ken Flagg really is."

It doesn’t take
long to realize just how talented a
musician San Francisco-based multiintrumentalist
Ken Flagg really is.
About 20 minutes into his excellent
sophomore full-length, “The End of
Suffering,” it’s obvious that this classically trained composer
is influenced by, well, just about everything, and
it’s evident in the eclectic nature of these 12 tracks. And
by the time the sprawling album reaches its conclusion,
you’re likely to feel emotionally spent (in a good way)
from having gone along for the ride.
Things get started with moody opener “Pieces”
before Flagg really hits his stride with personal favorite
“Mountain Girl,” a guitar-driven gem that sounds like it
could have been written in 1975. Additional highlights
include “Brightest Day,” the remarkable “Ship of Plenty,”
“Merced” and “Suffering,” a tune of unbridled optimism
that belies its title. - Daily News, Mckeesport, PA


Discography

Paralysis & Denial - EP - 2006 (Incurable Eclectic Records)
The Last Song (Undone) - Single from P&D - Played on Desire and Fashion House, MyNetworkTV, 2007
Merced - Single (unreleased version) - Played on Desire and Fashion House, MyNetworkTV, 2007
The End of Suffering (Incurable Eclectic Records) Nov. 3 2009

Photos

Bio

San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Ken Flagg releases his sophomore album The End of Suffering on Incurable Eclectic Records on November 3rd, 2009. The album, produced and arranged by Flagg, was recorded in 2008 by Scott Solter at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco and John Herbert at Lion Studios in Singapore. The End of Suffering incorporates a wide range of instruments and genres from sprawling piano tracks and post-apocalyptic bossa nova to synth-laden space rock.

Ken Flagg is a classically trained composer who plays everything from guitar to theremin. He studied composers like Bach, Webern, and Steve Riech while gaining his degree in composition, but his interests range far beyond classical music. “I'm a computer dork,” Flagg admits. “I grew up listening to video game theme songs on my Commodore 64.” Flagg also worked as an engineer and session musician for hip-hop producer Ty Fyffe, contributing to tracks for artists like Big Pun, Gavin Marchand and Jayo Felony.

The End of Suffering follows Flagg’s 2006 debut Paralysis & Denial. The new record effortlessly crosses over multiple genres without losing the coherence and flow of a pre-iTunes-era album. Each song is carefully orchestrated so that the listener is challenged to look beneath the surface into Flagg’s baroque explorations and unique sonic arrangements to discover the versatility of this release.

The highlight of the album is “Ship of Plenty,” a mesmerizing song of beauty and despair with a perfectly spacey guitar effect taken straight from the Brian Eno playbook. “Ship of Plenty” is most effective through its use of moderation, and Flagg’s croon on the song paves the way for one of the most effective vocal performances on The End of Suffering.

There is a clear transition from the dark mood of the opener “Pieces” to the lighter tone that comes towards the album’s end. This mood shift is evident in “Suffering,” a song of celebration that contradicts its title. It is richly detailed and teeming with bombast, incorporating Benny Goodman-style drums, horns and a full choir. Flagg channels David Byrne in “Suffering” by revealing a strong aptitude for successfully mixing world music with pop music.

Ken Flagg’s mission with The End of Suffering is clearly stated in the album’s title. With a deep passion for what he does and a clearing understanding and talent for songwriting, composition, and instrumentation, Flagg crafted twelve accessible songs that reveal a songwriter whose knack for innovation reflects the ambitions of an artist moving forward.

For press/publicity information, please contact:
Lauren Fenner / The Planetary Group / 310.657.0447
lauren@planetarygroup.com