Local Wire

Kenny G @ Celebrity Theatre

It's a pretty good time to be soft. You know, like Adult Contemporary soft, the kind of stuff that 95.5 KYOT played before it started playing "old school" funk and soul. Bon Iver's Bon Iver, arguably the biggest indie-rock record of the year (with its Grammy nominations and its domination of year-end lists) was slathered with the kind of gooey production that suited the Phil Collinses and Peter Gabriels of yesteryear. Destroyers' Kaput, a better album, was even softer, with New Order beats off set by New Age flutes and softcore saxophone. With soft sounds in vogue, could this year be the year we see Kenny G — the legendary soprano saxophonist who set records for sucking and blowing at the same time — achieve a level of ironic hipness? He's got all the stuff cool kids like — big, frizzy hair (currently mirrored by Blake Anderson on Comedy Central's Workaholics), a collection of Kenny G brand organic shopping bags — and when it comes to smooth sounds, Kenny has been doing it shamelessly since the '70s. Recent years have seem him collaborate with Weezer, Katy Perry, and Foster the People. So what do you think? Is 2012 going to be the year you buy a Kenny G shirt at Urban? Better put in a pre-order for that Mexican Summer deluxe reissue of G Force (with Washed Out and Toro y Moi remixes) fast — that thing is crazy-limited, and it's going to sell out.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.