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Monday, April 23, 2007

Golden Age/Clap Hands

This is just one reason why the DVD/live album I mentioned in my previous post has to be released.

And About Hers Live Event, Shinjuku JAM, April 29th

The title pretty much says it all. Ian Martin (from Call and Response Records) will be one of the DJs, along with Yashiro from Saladabar. And About Hers make the kind of female fronted Japanese indie pop that you either love or loathe - there tends to be no middle ground. The other bands playing are Overleaf (quote - "a fairly straight rock band" - I listened to the songs on their MySpace page and they sounded pretty good), Totos (who also have a MySpace page - they reminded me a little of Pygmy With Bitter Ends) and Pencil Acrobat (who seem to be something of an indie supergroup, with members of Swarm's Arm and Saladabar). Tickets are 1800 yen, doors open at 6.30 and the music starts at 7.

Swinging Popsicle in the States


Japanese rock band Swinging Popsicle returns to the USA June 15-17, 2007 for Anime Mid-Atlantic in Richmond, VA.

The trio has just added a special show in New York City on June 19 at The Knitting Factory. The concert is a small, intimate show and is expected to sell out early. This will mark the band's first-ever appearance in New York City.

They will be performing songs from their upcoming CD release "Go On," as well as hits like "I Just Wanna Kiss You" from their best-selling 2004 CD "Transit." They will also be signing autographs for fans after the show.

Show info:

June 19, 2007

Knitting Factory – NYC

74 Leonard St, New York, 10013

Doors 7 PM


All Ages

Tickets for the NYC show are available now at or at

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Miaou, Shibuya O-Nest, April 22nd

I've never been to the opera but I occasionally watch the cultural programmes on NHK on a Sunday evening and the music gets me in that place where you can't explain it but the audience inevitably brings me back to Earth and reminds me that I know nothing about this kind of music and that they will take great pleasure in reminding me of this at every possible moment. I love instrumental music - give me Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Tortoise et al and I'm a happy man. Unfortunately, these bands seem to attract a similar audience to those cunts who claim they are opera lovers but go there for no other reason than to lord it over anyone who has the misfortune not to be as well versed in the intricate history of the music being played as they are. People like the bint who told my friend to 'shhh' at the show tonight in Shibuya. He's not the quietest of people but it was a fucking concert. It was between songs, not during one - stop being so fucking precious, get over yourself and accept the fact that people may talk to each other at a concert - it's just what they do.

Right, rant over. Miaou were fantastic. Swirls of blissful music made by people who were lost within what they were doing but never lost control and never allowed themselves to slip into the wankery that so often bedevils concerts of this type. Their music sounds and looks like it's great fun to play. They will never be huge but they deserve the kind of cult following that much more undeserving bands earn. If there is any kind if justice in the world people will get over Shonen Knife, see them for the dull shrieky bores that they are, and swoon at the majestic feet of bands like Miaou. It's not going to happen but we are allowed to dream - isn't that what keeps us going?

miaou - tiger note

Just in case you can't be arsed going to YouTube yourself.

Miaou on YouTube

They are playing Shibuya tonight (O-Nest), but if you can't make it they have their own channel on YouTube with some clips of them playing live. This internet thing can actually be quite useful at times.

Stereo Japan

Stereo, a new venue partly owned by Mani from Primal Scream, recently opened in Roppongi. A friend of mine is DJ-ing there tomorrow night from seven to nine - entry is free and apparently the music will be 'tech/house and a little downbeat'. Going by the pictures on the Stereo website it's a bit more plush than the venues I usually frequent, so it'll either be a welcome change of scenery or a complete shock to the system.

Beck, Budokan, April 16th

I have spent almost a week trying intermittently to write a review of this concert. I have two unfinished drafts in which I waffle on about Live at The Budokan and stuff and in neither of them can I get passed the second paragraph. So, here's the short version - Beck at the Budokan will be the greatest live album/DVD if his record company have the good sense to release it. The Rolling Stones labour under the impression that a hugely elaborate stage set is the only way a band can shake up the concert-goer's experience, but Beck pissed on that theory from a great height in coming up with his own way of doing things. Firstly, put together a backing band of multi-instrumentalist who can flit between guitars, bass, drums, maracas, synthesisers, a bank of Macs and tableware with enviable ease. Secondly, perform the best songs from each record you've released thereby creating the perfect live album set-list. Thirdly, do away with the usual big screen and camera set-up for those fans who can't see what's happening on stage. In its place recreate the band's performance live using puppets and film that instead, making sure that each puppet is wearing exactly the same clothes as its human counterpart. Finally, make the inevitable encore infinitely more interesting than usual by using the time when the band are off-stage to show a short film starring the puppets in which Beck puppet dreams that he is 'Beckzilla' rampaging through the streets of Tokyo.

There you have it, the perfect live DVD and album. Unfortunately the Budokan has the sternest looking security guards I've seen at a Japanese venue, so the only photos I have of the show are the one above that was taken outside before the show, and the ones below of the puppets which my friend took from the programme she bought. Just keep your fingers crossed and hope that the DVD comes out - then it'll all make sense.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Two in a day?

Just remembered, a friend of mine has a couple of tickets for Beck's upcoming Tokyo shows, on for April 6th at Ebisu Liquid Room, and one for April 16th at the Budokan. Both are 7500 yen (the face value) - if anyone's interested email me at Off to lie down now.

Two in a week?

No, it isn't an April Fool, this is my second post in the space of a couple of days. Not much of an accomplishment really, but given my recent form it's got to count for something. Anyway, a couple of updates from JapanFiles - new downloads available on the website and some tour dates that make me wish that getting into the US on my non-machine readable British passport wasn't akin to getting into the inner sanctum of the Vatican.

First up, a bunch of advantage Lucy songs are now available on the JapanFiles website. Click here for an interview with the band, and here to splurge your hard-earned pennies on the songs. Secondly, LiN Clover have added another show to their debut tour of the States. Showing that they don't give a fuck about Western superstition they will be playing the Claron Lounge, Santa Clara, CA on Friday the 13th of April. For more info have a look at the Shibuya Airwaves MySpace page.

I'd better go and sit down - two posts in three days is too much for this hack.