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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tour de Keytar with Pleasurecraft

posted by on July 12 at 11:10 AM

keytar_boyband.jpgDance has the Lord of Dance. Synthesizers have the Keytar.

Behold, the Keytar. The keyboard that is played like a guitar. The epic-niche collision that yields sexual nerditization.

Commercially, it was introduced in 1980 as the Moog Liberation. The first Liberation owner was Spyro Gyra keyboardist, Tom Schuman. The next 3 went to the band Devo.

Seattle synth band, Pleasurecraft, is here today to take us on a tour of the Keytar through some of the finest videos I have ever seen:

Hey Lineout! Let us say that in general, we believe the Keytar is kinda cool and ultimately lovable in its dorky way, simply because it’s a synthesizer. Campy, hilarious and fun? Yes. But if you’re going for legitimately Cool? No dice.

When we think about the synthesists we really respect out there (Nick Rhodes, Martin Gore, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk) you’re not gonna see them rockin’ the ‘tar. The Keytar is all about goofy fun. Yes, we are aware Daft Punk dresses up as robots.

We begin with the ultimate Keytar instructional kit. This unprecedented video by Les Rythmes Digital for “(Hey You) What’s That Sound” pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the Keytar. From how to play it, to what to wear while playing it, to how to shoot lasers out of it. It doesn’t get any better than this action right here. This is Keytar defined. Great song from a great album:

Next we go to Jan Hammer with the Miami Vice Theme. Starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. First, Hammer plays a Fairlight – the first real sampler ever (they cost about 20,000 buck back then!) and about a minute and a half in he hits the Keytar. How about those drums Trent? Oh yeah…
Then it’s onto a live synth explosion. Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones (on Keytar), and Stevie Wonder. Four masters at play. So completely rad:
Look out, it’s the Keytar sword! Too dangerous to even play really:


You’ve probably seen this next one. For some reason, it kind of grosses us out a little. The Keytar humping Croation, Belinda Bedekovic rocks the shit out her Yamaha KX5. Complete with hanging grapes and smoke machine:
Well, hopefully we were able to shed some light on the power of the Keytar. As for Pleasurecraft, we intend to remain standing behind our synthesizers. Not playing them like guitars.

Also, it should be noted that there is a big difference between the very cool, finely crafted handheld analog instruments like the Roland SH-101, and the much less cool Keytar MIDI controllers. A very BIG difference. Many cool people have played the former and remained cool. But the Keytar controller is a whole different beast.


RSS icon Comments


holy crap, that is awesome. instant geek sheik. where can i get some lessons?

Posted by spanky | July 12, 2007 11:40 AM

Hey that belinda whatever her name is must be Borat's fav musician! I like...very nice!

Posted by Dan | July 12, 2007 11:41 AM

ps. best best best lineout post of all time.

Posted by spanky | July 12, 2007 11:41 AM

Dolby, Herbie, HoJo and Stevie Wonder all on the same stage? I just shit myself.

I will echo: Best slog post ever.

Posted by Whatevs | July 12, 2007 11:56 AM

The Keytar is a powerful and majestic instrument. Pleasurecraft and these videos have forever changed my life. I now need more Les Rythmes Digital. Thank you Kirk, and Pleasurecraft.

Posted by trent moorman | July 12, 2007 11:59 AM

Also, what is so rad about that Grammy synth explosion is Dolby rockin' some kind of drum machine thing. There is a lot of "air synthin'" goin on in that performance. god bless 'em

Posted by BenskiBeat | July 12, 2007 12:06 PM

I used to rock my CZ-101 Keytar style back in the 80's playing in a cover band. I still have it - bought it new in 85(?). The diminutive CZ-101's had guitar strap knobs built in to the ends. Totally tubular.

Posted by Pico D. | July 12, 2007 12:28 PM

Oh my God. This is beautiful. Well done. Les Rythmes, truly kick ass. So does Dolby's hair.

Posted by Kell | July 12, 2007 12:51 PM

It's so great to see there are so many fans of the keytar (well sorta) and just generally of awesome synths here in Seattle.

Posted by BenskiBeat | July 12, 2007 1:20 PM

I have been shown the Keytar light. Grapes and fishnet have never looked so good with smoke machine smoke. This is very linky, Trent. Thank you. And Pleasurecraft too!

Posted by sterling | July 12, 2007 1:23 PM

Ok so what bands in Seattle are rockin' on stage with the Keytar? We know where the Pcraft stands but how about the rest? Will we ever see Modest Mouse or Death Cab rock the keytar? Your band?

Posted by BenskiBeat | July 12, 2007 1:24 PM

I too shit myself. The video with Herbie, Jones, Dolby, and Wonder will go down in my book of things to watch on a rainy day when I need to have a synth boner.

I would have thought Pleasurecraft of any Seattle band would have rocked the Keytar. But they don't.

Ursula & the Androids? I don't know, I'm stumped.

Posted by TB | July 12, 2007 1:53 PM

Oh, and my prediction on Modest Mouse is yes.

Yes we will see them with Keytars. Not until they are 67 years old though. They will still be playing and they will be an all Keytar band. The drummer too.

Posted by TB | July 12, 2007 1:57 PM

I wish I could've been Belinda's music teacher.

Posted by Big Brother | July 12, 2007 1:59 PM

Belinda is like what you get when you mix a coked-out surfer chick with a church organist.

Posted by Big Brother | July 12, 2007 2:03 PM

Go Pleasurecraft. This is blowing my mind right now. I thought I was the only Keytarian out there.

Trent, "Nerditization" is a quality quality word.

This post is genius.

I must disagree about Modest Mouse and the Keytar. Death Cab will be playing Keytars way before Modest Mouse.

Posted by Pebbles | July 12, 2007 2:14 PM

Man, I can't think of any Seattle Keytar bands either. I would say the Nachos, but they moved to Brazil.

Mute Math, playing on Letterman 7/17 are known to play a Keytar.

Posted by trent moorman | July 12, 2007 2:48 PM

Keytars are just like retro 80's nostalgia...a fad that will pass. This is kind of like the head mic in a way. Will Simmons electronic drums come back soon too? Plus, keyboardists are just jealous of guitarists, they always will be. Just sit your ass back down.

Posted by Not. | July 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Not, hasn't the Keytar fad already passed? Wasn't that like an 85 thing? And Simmons drums don't need to make a comeback, because they've been huge the whole time. And Stevie Wonder, he don't seem jealous.

Posted by trent moorman | July 12, 2007 3:01 PM

Fuck the Nachos. I thought we were talking about real bands, not Stranger / hipster bullshit.

Posted by leafy green | July 12, 2007 3:53 PM

What is the reverse Keytar? Is there something that would make guitarists more feel more like synth players? Would that be like the MIDI Guitar Rig?

Posted by BenskiBeat | July 12, 2007 4:04 PM

This really was my favorite post so far. Has anyone seen the picture of the fat redneck Kenny Rodgers lookin dude rockin a red Keytar that was in the emp liquid lounge it is f'ing great. Also on you tube there is a video of Santana trading licks with Patrice Rushen on her Keytar, check it out she destroys it.

Posted by meal | July 12, 2007 4:11 PM

The reverse of the Keytar is the oboe.

Herbie, Dolby, HoJo, and Stevie should do a tour like that.

I have been sexually nerditized, thank you Sir Trent.

Are there really no Seattle Keytar bands?

Posted by Monty | July 12, 2007 5:01 PM

Maybe we should create an all (only) Keytar band? Damn that would be sweet (I think?)

Posted by BenskiBeat | July 12, 2007 5:09 PM


Posted by tANTE | July 12, 2007 5:22 PM


Posted by tANTE | July 12, 2007 5:22 PM

The 60's? Tante I think you are off by a couple decades. Keytar is all 80's. No more crack for you.

Posted by Monty | July 12, 2007 6:05 PM

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