Were The Indigo Girls and Erasure to engage in an alcohol-infused rendez-vous, they both would have Danny Katz to remember the evening by.
Born biologically to a Japanese mother and a Jewish-American father, the New York singer-songwriter is as musically diverse as his ethnicity: skillfully able to rock the guitar, piano, and jiuta-shamisen, Katz' original material ranges from sensitive musings on love lost to dance tributes to finding romance on Craigslist. His selection of covers is equally versatile: Katz can tug at an audience's heartstrings with a Simon & Garfunkel tune, and later get them dancing to a raunchy acoustified Missy Elliott number - which makes him appropriate for every occasion, really.
Currently, Katz is touring both the United States and Japan in promotion of his seventh studio album, Japanese Satellites. A collaborative effort with guitarist and producer Aaron Nevezie of The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn (who has worked with the likes of Moby and Dangermouse), Satellites finds Katz venturing into more chamber-pop and rock territory, as opposed to his primarily acoustic past work.
The album itself is a melange of Danny Katz' many eclectic muses: "Bushwick" evokes The Joshua Tree-era U2, while "Sacramento" channels Coldplay sans Gwyneth Paltrow-induced pretension. Thin Lizzy would joyfully stomp all over the "Passover" table while Pink Floyd would be smoking some fallen shrubbery during "Fall in Michigan".
But even surrounded by swirling keys and amped-up guitars, Danny Katz remains an honest folk musician at heart. Fusing the aesthetics of pop and rock music from the past with today's lyrical sensibilities in a matter that would make H.G. Wells scratch his head, Satellites embodies Katz's vision to raise folk-pop to new heights.
Oh - and he has the same birthday as Lady Gaga. So there's that.