Miho Hatori is a bossa nova bunny and a funk moppet. She's a glitch technician and a hunter of the wickedest world music sounds. When weird indie kids take on age-old musical traditions, it's usually pretty embarrassing, but Hatori is profoundly capable of crafting solid pop tracks out of basically everything.
Hatori was born in Japan but moved to New York in the early '90s to do art and be in bands. I wonder if she's as bitter as I am that she didn't experience dirty lower Manhattan in the 1980s. Anyhow. There she met Yuka Honda and started Cibo Matto, which made spectacularly peculiar hip-hop. Their earlier songs were all about food—seriously, just all about food. "Know Your Chicken" goes "I know my chicken/You got to know your chicken." Their first album in particular, Viva! La Woman, was a remarkable effort that hinged on having fun with tripped-out jazz and rhymes and plenty of experimentation.
Hatori has collabo'd with other musicians in the Grand Royal/jokester New York scene like Sean Lennon and the Beastie Boys, been a part of the Gorillaz, formed a band called Smokey and Miho with Beck's guitarist Smokey Hormel, and finally dropped a solo album. But Ecdysis (how come every girl singer names her album after personal transformation? Booooring. Someone make like Daniel Johnston and get okay with not being okay) sounds like an outer space sock hop chaperoned by Björk. Musically eclectic but not overwhelmingly so, the record is a loot bag of auditory curiosities, Hatori-style.
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Miho Hatori with Los Abandoned at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600; www.detroitbar.com. Thurs., Feb. 8. $8. 21+.