Kishi Bashi at The Waiting Room | Photo Essay

photos by Molly Misek | words by Michael Todd

Time is a funny thing. We philosophize, chemicalize, create copies of life, move bodies into space, slow the inevitability of death.

But time ticks on, immutable. Consider these words, beamed to your eyes by pixels of light. (Hell, we’ve focused pixels of light, whose data that defined a font, retrieved a text and popped into ephemeral existence buzzes like a tiny violin on some server miles away.)

What you see isn’t now. It’s the now of a millionth of a second ago, when that light began its short, but still notable, journey across the space in between you and your screen. So here’s the truth: Your memory is time’s enemy. It captures moments — though distorted even by your own immediate perception — which evolve in your brain, pruning away their own rough edges.

Your memory is what makes beauty beautiful, so when two children at the corners of a stage blast confetti across the room, when colored lights ebb and flow beneath gossamer waves of material, when Kishi Bashi and bandmate Tall Tall Trees improvise blistering, genre-hopping violin and banjo solos and the drummer smiles on in astonishment: Well, time can be immaterial, for at least a few seconds.

Your memory (and the wonders of photography) snaps a frame of reality and attempts to make sense of it all. What if you could slow it down or speed it up as it happens? What if you could loop it and add new experiences on top of old, again and again? This is what Kishi Bashi does with music, cutting time in half to sway like seaweed upon the ocean floor, or doubling it to torpedo and richochet like a round rubber bullet shot into the Grand Canyon.

Time isn’t stopping for you, but the most effective way to leave it temporarily is to pause and consider the most searingly memorable points in time, to step back into them via your memory. If you were there on Monday night at The Waiting Room to see Kishi Bashi’s experimental pop songs defy their own recorded copies, scroll through these photos and remember. Because those memories are more valuable than any physical good, and for chrissakes, you’d better hold onto them:

Molly Misek and Michael Todd are Hear Nebraska contributors. They don’t go to meetings of the redheads, but that’s not because there aren’t meetings of the redheads. (We shall prevail.) Reach them at and