Ken Flagg

Ken Flagg

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandRockPop

Eclectic, melodic indie rock that is sometimes epic, sometimes intimate, and always memorable. From bossa-nova to hard rock to oceanic soundscapes, Ken slays them all with captivating vocals and a kick-ass live show that will leave you breathless.

Biography

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

Lyrics

Pieces

Written By: Ken Flagg

After the bars close you walk home
ususally with friends but this time alone
past the dark cars
and your old scars are flaring up
you'd have stayed in if only you'd known.

Falling asleep now takes so long
you keep wondering what went wrong
and your memories whisper gently
like a choir of children humming you songs

Someone's gonna steal away when you're not looking
Somoone's gonna tell you a lie
Someone's gonna make you bleed before they say goodbye
Someone's gonna test your will, see what you're made of
Someone's gonna take you apart
and leave them lying on the ground
the pieces of your heart.

Brightest Day

Written By: Ken Flagg

softly take flight, light as a butterfly
you're with me all night
sometimes i wonder why you've stayed so long
i am wet clay and you are the spinning wheel
see what you've made of wounds that you couldn't heal
you've made me stronger in every way
and every morning i wake up to the brightest day
i don't feel lonely anymore

sometimes you cry and i want to fall apart
i would prefer to die rather than break your heart
my only love
wake me before you go so i can look at your face
like an angel in a picture show
framed there in your place
so high above me, where you should stay
and shine down on my on this: my brightest day
'cos i'm not lonely anymore

Those Socks Have Secrets

Written By: Ken Flagg

claustrophobia and scented sheets
minor victories and small defeats
the weight of you is like the shifting sand
the shadows tremble as you touch my hand

those socks have secrets

beneath a canopy of long brown hair
my body's present but i am not there
trapped in the amber of a silent sin
the morning quivers like a theremin

those socks have secrets

a pile of laundry and a stack of books
a silence peppered with accusing looks
a hasty exit on my naked feet
a small reminder of the evening's heat

they have secrets
those socks have secrets

Funeral

Written By: Ken Flagg

Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
A funeral for somebody I do not even know
The barest of acquaintances but still I need to go

Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
The mother's fractured face will be too much for me to bear
The rain will rest like diamonds in the mourners' matted hair

Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
I hope the husband's eulogy is eloquent and strong
I hope nobody sees me I don't think that I'll belong

Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
Please don't rob me, I'm going to a funeral
One day perhaps someone will hold a funeral for me
A spectacle for strangers is all I will ever be

Blinded

Written By: Ken Flagg

Everybody's asking about you, I know where you've been
trapped between your memories and the wires on your skin
You're coming home to find your love is gone
You're all alone and blinded by the dawn

You've been slipping up, babe, but it comes as no surprise
I can see you're drowning from the shadows in your eyes
You're feeling slow and nothing's standing still
You'll grab ahold, babe, I know you will

Everythings the same as it was when you were broken
We will call your name and one day the doors will open

I know you feel set back and it's messing with your pride
But everything that's standing in your way is in your mind
Your demons call but don't you pay them heed
The veil will fall and you will shine eventually

Candyman

Written By: Ken Flagg

Give me what you can
you are in demand
let go, take my hand
i'm your candyman

and she said

i've got what you need
you've got blood to bleed
life was meant to be
elementary

and she said

you know that i'm your candyman

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