Local Musician, Western Carolinian Staffer, to Release Album

January 20, 2009 marks the end of seven years of bad luck for a local musician and WCU philosophy student. Under the moniker of Kinjac, Michael O’Shea, also the Western Carolinian’s Features Editor and past Editor-in-Chief, is set to release his second full-length album, entitled “Seven Years Bad Luck,” on Inauguration Day. A date appropriate for the thematic content of the album.

O’Shea says, “The album is something of a rough musical roadmap of the past seven years, both for myself personally and for the political times. I was looking to write an album that was more thematic than my previous one and I’ve always been very politically minded. It was a good way to process some of my thinking on these subjects.”

At 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 20 there will be an album release show at the Westside Barbershop at 755 Haywood Road in West Asheville, NC. After a listening party at 7:00 pm, during which the new album will be played in its entirety, live music will begin at 8:00 pm. Kinjac will be joined by two supporting acts, local favorites C.I.A. and Everflaw. Cost is $5 at the door; all ages welcome.

Music writer Chris Cooper at the “Smoky Mountain News” writes, “Seven Years Bad Luck is a rare combo of ultra tweaked samples, live drums and bass, distorted vocals and sometimes hyper politically charged intent that initially left me scratching my head before fumbling for the “play” button again… and again. It’s not often that a disc comes along (especially one from a genre of music I typically avoid) that leaves me as dumbfounded as this one has…this stuff sounds intriguingly and almost uncomfortably different.”

Adding to this unique character is the fact that Kinjac is entirely O’Shea. As Chris Cooper writes, “Let’s make it clear that Michael O’Shea is this whole project. Every knob that was turned, string plucked (or beaten into submission), microphone placed, vocal delivered; every bit of recording and mastering was done in a modest home studio by O’Shea. And the quality of production made one of the rarest of occurrences happen: while spinning ‘Seven Years Bad Luck’ at work, a customer stopped in the middle of the store, stared at the speakers, and asked me with widened eyes ‘What are we listening to?’ This wasn’t a new major label release. This is, frankly, pretty challenging stuff. By a local musician. The look on that customer’s face something akin to having been hit by a truck, and really liked it.”

O’Shea’s first album, “the upside of down,” is currently available at In Your Ear Music Emporium in downtown Sylva, Static Age Records on Lexington in downtown Asheville, and Harvest Records on Haywood Road in West Asheville, as well as online at www.kinjac.com. After the release, “Seven Years Bad Luck” will be available at these locations, as well.

Look for coverage of the album release show in the next issue of the Western Carolinian.