What Gets Me:
King You hails from the sunny banks of the San Diego Bay. Originally born in the deep Santa Cruz mountains to parents escaping the suburban hell that envelops many, the leader of King You, El Maestro, began his music career at a young age. At four he performed his first concert on the deck with a ramshackle drum set and a song called 'Kudaluck'. Subsequent performances became even better as he became trained at the piano. He performed at piano recitals playing such hits as 'Brian's Song' and 'Pink Panther' and wowing audiences of weeping children and drunk parents. After a few years and a few teachers later, he quit the piano. One teacher would poke his wrists if he didn't keep his hands up and another wrote a letter saying that he just didn't practice enough and that she would not teach him any more. He opted instead for a used classical guitar sitting in the shed which had been used to learn a few Joan Baez songs in the late 60's early 70's by his mother. The guitar proved a hit in his life and so began his bedroom rocking. In the eighth grade he got into a huge heavy rock phase that was naively spurred on by his worship of Slash from the band Guns n' Roses. With posters on the wall tore out from rocker magazines, he practiced and practiced daily on the classical guitar that rocked as much as a Japanese knockoff guitar can. His musical influences changed quickly into a strong punk and ska following and trips often to Gilman Street in Berkley where he once saw a dude eat poop on stage. (That is punk rock.) He continued his practice through college, writing songs along the way and jamming with some very talented musicians around Eugene, Oregon. There's even a previous CD by the Grocery Boys where he plays guitar and sings with the band. He played in Japan at bars and clubs strumming and singing Beatles covers, his own music, and anything people could throw at him. His musical tastes expanded to multiple genres and arrangements. Today, with his first album 'What gets me: King You', the musical makings of a very listenable artist are being portrayed for the first time to the public. El Maestro is ready. Today, King You has put out their debut album. Since King You really is just one guy (a teacher), the 'their' refers to the multiple personalities and mindsets that it takes to produce an album where one guy plays all the instruments. You can hear the pain of loss in many songs as much of the CD was inspired by death, observations of life, rants and raves, and relationships. Everyone can relate to much of what El Maestro unfolds in his lyrics layered sometimes with heavy beats and other times with just a piano or guitar. You probably will not like all of the songs on the album. But you will find that as a whole, 'What gets Me: King You' is an impressive debut with lots of rock, acoustic, and even some hip hop, country, and a song sung in fake French. If you like piano rock then 'Running and Running' or '25 Times a Day' will be your favorites. If Robert Smith/ David Bowie /Jack White are in your arsenal of albums than you also will enjoy the debut of King You. The last 5 songs are an even more personal and raw look at the world in a singer/songwriter reality that will have you feeling the pain with King You and tapping your fingers on the steering wheel. The album goes from a harder to a mellower area which provides a great listening experience. As I listen to it over and over, I think of it like a great mix album. The styles never get old. Even when 'On and On' pops on and nearly blows my speakers with the thumping bass or the 'secret track' comes on at minute 6 of the last song and scares the shit out of me, this album is a keeper. The album is very real and should be listened to loud. King You has given us an album worth listening to over and over again.