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  • Top 20 of 2013

    13 nov 2013, 13:16

    Well, it's that time of year again. Can't believe it's been a year since my last journal. Hard to believe I'm still on Last.FM, considering the radio feature is no more in Japan, and I'm basically paying my subscription fees for nothing. Anyhoo, this list is very tentative, based on my poor taste and won't be solidified till, well, the end of the year. It will change dramatically when I start digging through my music from this year.

    On first glance, not as many OMG albums this year. I spent most of my time keeping up with the sythwave 'revival' and brancing out into acid-trap via STYLSS, as well as exploring early 80's hip-hop and electro (that obviously doesn't belong here).

    1. Electric Lady - Janelle Monae - Not my most listened to, but the most varied and audacious pop album this year. Great videos as well.
    2. Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails - Trent simplifies the beats, krautrocks it up a bit, loses some aggression, but maintains the gloom (for the most part).
    3. Random Access Memories - Daft Punk - "Get Lucky" was the single of the year, and I appreciate the Moroder worship. Much more interesting than their last full length.
    4. Sunset Blood - Starcadian - Synthwave heaven.
    5. Tomorrow's Harvest - Boards of Canada - They've still got it.
    6. Various Artists - STYLSS : SUICIDE PACT : ONE-ELEVEN - Best netlabel around has manufactured it's own acid trap scene with these 11 compilations and sundry other releases. Had me reminiscing about the first days of Ninja Tune.
    7. Level 3 - Perfume - Despite a few slightly disappointing album mixes, this one benefits from Nakata in a dancier, Capsule-esque production mood.
    8. Nocturnal - Yuna - Solid sophomore release from this heartfelt Malaysian indie gone semi-big.
    9. Move in Spectrums - Au Revoir Simone - Understated, but catchy.
    10. The Bones of What We Believe - CHVRCHES - Cheesy techno-pop, but it's honestly pretty good.
    11. Takes Time - Jim Guthrie - Yeah, that Indie Game The Movie guy has some pretty mean folk-pop skillz.
    12. Nanobots - They Might Be Giants - Nuff said.
    13. Shaking the Habitual - The Knife - Getting all experimental just like I like 'em.
    14. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Original Soundtrack - Power Glove - Best video game soundtrack of the year.
    15. R Plus Seven - Oneohtrix Point Never - Always inexplicably intriguing.
    16. Slow Focus - Fuck Buttons - Sweet krautrock.
    17. Kveikur - Sigur Rós - Back into slightly aggressive mode. A pleasant surprise.
    18. English Electric - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Jesus, it sounds just like old OMD. Oh because it IS OMD...and they're old.
    19. 浮き名 - 椎名林檎 (and various artists) - Any Tokyo Jihen-less Shena Ringo is worth a listen. 'Duet' with Nakata is Shibuya-kei heaven.
    20. Gentle Heretic - Lon Milo DuQuette - It's Papa. What can you say.

    Also ran and late editions
    Various Artists - Future City Records Compilation Vol. III
    Various Artists - Future City Records Compilation Vol. III
    Various Artists - Outrun Europa Compilation
    CAPS LOCK - Capsule
    Nanda Collection - きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ
    Yeezus - Kanye West
    Sexualizer - Perturbator
    Various Artists - THE 80S DREAM COMPILATION TAPE - VOL.2
    Various Artists - Synth City Compilation
    Skull and Shark - Lazerhawk
    The False Alarm - Fol Chen
    Omniversal Oscillations - Starforce
    Various Artists - Mutazione: Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988 (compiled by Walls)
    Skull - Gost
    Various Artists - After Dark 2
    Psychic - Darkside
  • Top 20 of 2012

    4 nov 2012, 01:31

    Okay, tentative list starts now. 2012 was/is an awesome year for music IMHO. While a few years it's been even hard to cobble together 10 releases I really enjoyed, this time it's about cutting it down to 20. In no particular order at the moment:
    1. Grimes - Visions : An awesome video for "Oblivion" and the perfect blend of quirky retro-electro and playful ethereal vocals. The Queen of Hipsterdom at the moment.
    2. Twin Shadow - Confess : Absolutely immaculate retro-pop.
    3. Chemical Brothers - Don't Think : Amazing set. Amazing video.
    4. Covox - Strike EP : Chiptune meets Justice. Amazingly underrated.
    5. Ice Choir - Afar - Wait, this isn't actually from the 80's?!?!
    6. Crystal Castles - III : Not as mind-blowing as the last two, but subtle and catchy. Like the witch-house accents as well.
    7. Orbital - Wonky : Best Orbital in years.
    9. Squarepusher - Ufabulum : More electro, and even a few dubstep flavors make this one amazing. And his live tour for this was AMAZING by all accounts.
    10.Death Grips - The Money Store : Visceral DHR/hip-hop. Wow.
    11. Rush - Clockwork Angels : Best Rush since...Presto? Maybe.
    12. Shonen Knife - Pop Tune: Totally reinvigorated by the new drummer (my friend "Reo" -chan, btw). Just as good as their early 90's stuff.
    13. Disasterpeace - Fez : Chiptune soundtrack that I could listen to all night and day forerver.
    14. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction : Sludgy Ozzy.
    15. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory : Grungy guys are actually fantastic.
    16. Chromatics - Kill for Love : Weird mix of retro-shoegazing and more experimental tracks.
    17. Niki & the Dove - Instinct : Siouxie meets Kate Bush meets The Knife = awesome.
    18. Beach House - Bloom : Just sweet.
    19. Wild Nothing - Nocturne : Another fake 80's album that gets better on each listen.
    20. Autora - Olgoi Khorkoi - Post-instrumental krautrock party tunez.

    Still a few major releases to go before year's end, so addendums and mini-reviews to come...

    And runners-up:
    Jack White - Blunderbuss : Well, done, Jack. Hit me hard when I first heard it, but to be honest, it hasn't grown on me.
    Front Line Assembly - AirMech : Definitely a video game soundtrack, but I enjoyed this appetizer for next year's new proper release.
    Suicide Inside - Homicide : Hot lesbian electro-industrial from Belarus. Nuff said.
    Capsule - Stereo Worxxx : A bit on the bland side, but no embarrassing moments this time on a solid Capsule effort.
    Goat - World Music : Psychedelic rock is psychedelic.
    Nü Sensae - Sundowning : Rough shit. I'm sure the right mood will take me and I'll really get into this.
    Aesthetische - Powerswitch : Brazilian 2nd rate industrial-electro overwhelms with a ridiculous amount of remixes.
    Mount Eerie - Clear Moon : Haunting.
    Lon Milo DuQuette - Baba Lon II : My father's best album so far, imho.
    Dan Deacon - America : Whoah, pretty interesting experimental pop. Took me long enough to find out about this guy.
    Purity Ring - Shrines - Really good ethereal electronica. Just missed the Top 20.
    Azealia Banks -1991 - Yes, that one song, that one video. But it still made a big impact.
    Chad Valley - Young Hunger - Addictive Australian retro is wimpy, but I like it.
    Passion Pit - Gossamer - Has some great tunez, but also some really overblown ones. I think the critics are kinder than they might have been, perhaps because the band leader is prone to depression (srsly).
    Perturbator - TERROR 404 - Awesome synthwave. 80's Miami Vice meets Beverly Hills cop meets Vangelis. Best of the bunch.
    Arcade High - The Art of Youth - More awesome synthwave.
    Sellorekt/LA Dreams - Coast - Mellower than other synthwave, and nicely melodic. Best nostalgia vibe from this one, I feel.
    Mosh - Monarchy - Bandcamp electro from heaven. Really good.
    Yuna - Soulful soul out of Malaysia.
    The Sword - Apocryphon - Stoner rockers still at it.
  • Top 10 of 2011

    31 dec 2011, 03:37

    As I look at other respectable individuals' Top 10 lists this year, I realize I have mostly been in another dimension musically this year. More specifically, I have been exploring the depths of The Vault, a Japanese music otaku paradise (SEVEN IDIOTS has been my find of the year). But for what it is, here is my completely subjective list for 2011.

    10. Afrirampo - Never Ending Afrirampo - A 'posthumous' live album; a final farewell to Osaka's hottest avant-gals.
    9. 0.8秒と衝撃。 - 1暴2暴3暴4暴5暴6暴、東洋のテクノ - Yes, their quirkiness seems rather too...intentional, but they're more listenable than a lot more 'authentic' avant-J-pop.
    8. Lama - New! - NUMBER GIRL + Supercar? Nuff said.
    7. 女王蜂 - 孔雀 - Poppier than their earlier stuff, but still pretty interesting.
    6. Supercar - Re: Supercar 1 - Great remixes of the early material I have usually passed up in favor of their later electronica releases.
    5. Bjork - Biophilia - Bjork just being Bjork is never a bad thing. I could never get into that iPhone app, though...
    4. 女王蜂 - 魔女狩り - Their first mini-album is noisier and rawer than their sophomore release, and I like it better.
    3. odaxelagnia/Akamushi/Reizoko Cj/goreshit - split - More lolicore than you'll ever need. Addictive.
    2. Peter Gabriel - New Blood - Affecting new orchestral versions of classic PG tunes. Would be #1 if not for a few wonky performances from female collaborators.
    1. Memory Tapes - Player Piano - Half as good as Seek Magic, but maybe more fun. And the video for Yes I Know is the best of the year.

    Just missed and totally forgot about them until it was too late-comers:
    Perfume - JPN - Some solid singles drug down by a bit too much filler.
    Coaltar of the Deepers - Dear Future - Best maxi-single of the year. Great remixes.
    Fat Frumos & Kojan - Master of dubSTEB - Excellent anti-Christmas dance-core mini-album.
    Tenniscoats - Toki no Uta - Mellow, heartfelt freak-folk.
    Cut Copy - Zonoscope - If Tears for Fears and Thompson Twins got together for a one-off. Pretty sweet, actually.
    M83 - Midnight City - Very decent progressive shoegazey chillwave.
    Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer - Getting a bit squishy, but still charming.
    Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact - Those first two tracks are just ridiculously awesome.
    Kanye West...well, as much as I hate his ego, some fine tracks on his newest. But who doesn't know that?
  • Femdom, 11/11

    4 nov 2011, 02:47

    With the morning spent cruising Kansai Gaidai's student festival (decent Wipers cover band, but nasty cabbage and hot dog 'tacos'), I cruised down to Socrates to rehearse for our Femdom event. Leila and Minako were there, and we did a run through of the performance before heading to Second House for some decent spaghetti (the cake looked good, but I was too stuffed to even consider it).

    DJ Tama provided us with about 45 minutes of generic trance before the show. Maria was on first. Dressed in white (for a change), her set was basically vocoder and laptop noise. Leila and Minako changed into their clothes (Minako notable for her painted whiskers, black suit and cat tail).

    Taking over from DJ Tama, I started Panther and the Virgin Meet and Leila and Minako started prowling around the crowd dancing; many of them did not initially notice that the performance had started. After Minako (the Panther) began to put her moves on Leila (the Virgin Mary), I rumbled into the mic, "Mary, I am an angel sent by God. It is God's will that we create the baby Jesus together." The date scene then began (Panther and Virgin Date), with the Panther coming on to the Virgin, culminating in a sort of date-rape. Then the Panther falls asleep, and the Virgin exults in her pregnancy for awhile (Baby Shower), before giving violent birth to a Pokemon (The Chucking of Baby Jesus), screaming a bit (I helped) and then drop-kicking the little monster. I couldn't see much of it in my DJ corner, but the crowd was into it, so I think it went off well.

    This was relatively normal compared to what happened with the next act. Atashi Yoshiko, who had been dressed like a drag queen grandma, came on to give us yet another birth, this time mixed with a ditzy orgasm. She then cackled and giggled and harassed the crowd while exhorting the awesomeness of being a woman before taking a 50 something year old man on stage and ordering him to strip. When he finally takes off his suit, we realize that he is actually a transsexual. He then slips into a dress, and I realized this is more of a critique of "earth-mother" feminism and a call for reevaluation of simplistic attitudes regarding sex and gender. Not particularly revolutionary, I admit, but I think the crowd took the message to heart.

    IOIOI was on next, atypically decent guitar and effects improv, and finally we had Reiko Imanashi on echoey koto and Butoh dancer Misuzu rounded things out on a quieter, contemplative note, and then I was off back to Arashiyama, a bottle of free festival coffee and an iPhone full of Chromeo and Capsule helping to keep me awake till I got home. Fun night, for sure.
  • Of t-shirts and Okinawans...

    5 sep 2011, 09:20

    So six months of living apart from the wife and son on weekdays begins; nice new job but a lonely pad and only sporadic Internet access till Softbank "White BB" kicks in this Thursday. Must. Get. Out.

    First stop is Bears for this ridiculous t-shirt night event. Cool t-shirts for sale by the designers, including Yoshikawa Shogo who does live painting and album art for some of Osaka's finest nutters. Grabbed a shirt from him before the retarded proceedings got underway. An amusing MC traded dialogue with Bugって花井 chick before she went and did this ridiculous song and dance concerning the megamouth shark (I kid you not). She was also selling megamouth t-shirts, of course. Then Motoko from オシリペンペンズ did this awesome one man "concept" t-shirt show where he had like 10 layers of shirts all on at the same time and he would gradually take one shirt off at a time, modelling each one. Quite amusing, and I like Motoko's demeanor a lot better since he's cut his hair and cut back on the booze a bit (at least apparently). Then Ms. Megamouth chick, the always irresistible Doddodo and outsider 'musician' Chicopido modeled the shirts very amusingly (Doddodo's fake boob-thrusting while she modelled No.305's over-the-top anime-inspired designs was especially hilarious). There was also a live printing event where all the artists would get together and print some shirts to musical accompaniment, but I got restless and left a bit early.

    Last night was even more ridiculous. I had to brave the tail end of a typhoon to see my pals play in Carrion Comfort down at Kyoto's Socrates. Got there only to find the owner hammered out of his mind and playing both DJ and lead singer of his band Family. Amazingly he was playing albums by EP-4 and Zelda that I actually had on my iPhone; I think I blew his mind when I showed him. Anyway, Family started out all Nick Cave, then got all black metal at the end, and they were a good opener.

    The second band was from Okinawa, 極東ピーコック (Kyokuto-Peacock). The leader came out in a fox mask and shook my hand before heading to the stage. From the first saccharine minutes, I thought they were going to be just another heartfelt-but-shitty J-rock warbler unit, but they thoroughly surprised me by switching gears into noisy NUMBER GIRL/ZAZEN BOYS territory. Very sweet guys and very intense musicians; I've gotten permission to upload their latest effort to LMD, and will do so soon.

    Anyway, Carrion Comfort were solid as usual, and I would have stuck around longer, save for my long scooter-ride to Hirakata (my new digs). Good to find I can still enjoy the undergroundness on occasion...
  • Headbangers Death Night vol.8

    27 feb 2011, 02:20

    Battling lethargy and depression, I dragged myself out of the house at 9:00, determined to be social if it killed me. My acquaintance Akemy was promoting a metal event at Socrates, so I headed down to Kawaramachi-Imadegawa. Still got there early so I 'enjoyed' a shrimp gratin pastry and drank some coffee at Mister Donut. I saw some gangsta types loitering around; uh-oh, was this going to be some nu/rap metal shit? Luckily no, there was just a hip-hop event going on at the same time at the club next door.

    Anyway, the first band, Till Dawn, had already started, and they were surprisingly solid thrash (too bad that the decent drummer is quitting and the band is now apparently in limbo). After that came, Aufheben, which a had an amiable female vocalist, sort of in the Head Phones President meets In Flames department, with just a little too much X JAPAN for my liking. The singer just needs to start singing from the diaphragm, to be honest. Brownie points for her between-song banter,though: ("Last year
    AKB48 was big in Japan; let's make this year the year of METAL!"). RAHR!

    Caustic Hollow were on next, and they were a 'gaijin unit' for the most part. Middle-aged women recording video suddenly appeared; uh-oh, must be 'private lesson' student groupies, cause they didn't seem the metal type otherwise. Akemy herself sat in for a few of the last songs、and she did just fine.

    While Meganedeth (Megadeth covers) played, I sat out in the hall and chatted with the Australian sister of one of the Caustic Hollow crew. Suddenly I noticed a rather shy, unassuming and slightly androgynous kid standing around. I heard a rumor that he was actually in the next band, and he played with his dad. Ah, so cute. It reminded me of the Isolation 3 show a few weeks back.

    So this band came on, SickHead from Yokkaichi, chubby 40 something dad on vocals, 13 year old son on drums, 17 year old dark-idol guitarist, late 20 something scary zombie bassist. Un-fucking-believable band, and the 13 year old absolutely stole the show. Everyone from other bands in the audience was just jaw-dropped and giggling, cause this little kid absolutely demolished every song he played. Massive fills, double-bass madness, stick tossing and twirling - I haven't seen that kind of virtuoso performance in a long time. By the time this kid's 15, he'll be ready to audition for Dream Theater, I mean seriously (just checked their site - he learned drums from the drummer of
    Slipknot -> wow). Apparently, the guitarist is off to Korea to help support some X Japan-related event (gasps from the crowd), and they're going to have a track out on some new Playstation 3 game later this year (more gasps). Although dad's vocals were a bit shaky and dated, his songwriting skill is top notch, and the bassist threw in some funky slapping just to add awesome to injury.

    Well, it fell to Akemy's band Dracox to follow those maniacs, an unenviable task, especially at like 2 AM when people are already getting tired. Luckily Akemy's charisma saw her through, and they finished their short set without looking bad. The final band was 極楽浄土 (Gokurakujodo), and they provided a crazy, kimono Buddhist metal extravaganza for the finale; their new album is coming out soon, and I'll be sure to track it down. A good time had by most.
  • Lameness of the fogies.

    18 feb 2011, 02:21

    My friend Hide (of amazon saliva, oh my cow!) fame was helping promote this Isolation 3, a Canadian punk band made up of members of SNFU and Schulz. It was my solemn duty to show, even though I wasn't a big fan of anyone but Hide and Mr. Schulz's old band, KMFDM. Apologies to my online class for 'ditching'.

    Anyway, I park my scooter near Kyoto City Hall, and then screw about for a few hours before showtime. Dinner at McDonald's (solely because they have a plug to recharge my iPhone). Then a trip to Book Off to scour the 500 yen racks -> score! Great 70's/early 80's Icelandic rock compilation featuring Bjork's Tappi Tíkarrass and many others, as well the Foetus Symphony Orchestra CD I've been hoping to run across for some time. Then a few Hipstamatic pics of the creepiest stuffed monkey in Kyoto, and off to Metro.

    Hide was running the t-shirt and CD table in the lobby and looking nervous and tired.; there were several SNFU t-shirts displayed, as well as new Isolation 3 ones. His main unit, Ultra Bide was performing the first time with a new, fresh-faced young drummer. On top of that, the crowd was smaller than he would've liked, and he was worried about letting the Canadians down. Little did he know the amazingly pissy drama that was about to unfold...

    The first band was したっぱ親分, and they sounded like a much noisier Captain Beefheart; brutal, skronky stuff, but they did good that night. While they were playing ,Guenter Schulz walks up and (apparently - things from this point didn't make much sense), gets enraged by the fact that their were SNFU t-shirts for sale - t-shirts that were put up by the SNFU guy from the band. So a major snit occurs in front of the CD table between Guenter and the SNFU guy, words occur, and a break-up threatened. This BEFORE the first concert on their Japan tour. Hide looked like he was going to cry.

    ふつうのしあわせ were on next, and they were decent, but a bit boring for my taste. Then the droney POWEREMPIRE were on, and I took several can coffee breaks outside. It had started raining. Jeff (the lead singer) and the rest of the Canadian contingency were outside; Jeff had apparently calmed everyone down and had convinced them to perform. Guenter's son, the bassist was looking shellshocked, and I felt really bad for him. EGOS. :(

    I noticed that the droning had turned to breakcore, and went back inside. Ydestroyde was playing with two laptops and some virtual DJ equipment, making a royal racket that was actually quite fun. He didn't take himself to seriously, and that helped. Then Ultra Bide came on. Good show, new drummer made a huge difference, but he did fine, and despite severe distractions, Hide pulled out a decent performance.

    The tattooed guy from SNFU was off on the side watching Ultra Bide, and I was imagining he was enjoying the show and pulling himself together after all the bitchiness. Wrongo. Suddenly, he started tossing SNFU t-shirts into the audience, as if to say, "Fine, if I can't sell them, I might as well just give them away." Nobody really understood what was going on, and nobody was picking then up; who knows SNFU here anyway? I picked up two shirts for my wife and son (hey they were just going to waste - and they were good shirts). Then SNFU guy takes his guitar and storms off, I assume threatening to quit again. Sigh...

    Ultra Bide finish, only vaguely aware of this drama. After another mini-set from ydestroyde, Isolation 3 actually end up taking the stage, though SNFU guy sulked his way through the songs I stayed for. Their brand of punk was okay, but I couldn't really separate my annoyance at their childish ego-fueled antics, and I left after three songs. Great way to depress one of the nicest, most idealistic performers/promoters in Japan, jerk-offs.
  • (Tentative) Favorites of 2010

    2 dec 2010, 03:39

    1) Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
    I really have nothing but praise for this genre-blender. Afro-futurist-soul-funk-new-wave-orchestral pop I can really sink my teeth into.
    2) Crystal Castles - II - Great progression of the CC sound into ever-so slightly more melodic zones.
    3) Chemical Brothers - Further - Throwing a heaping tablespoon of krautrock and old Orbital into the mix time really did the trick. Awesome DVD companion as well.
    4) Chromeo - Business Casual - 80's like I pretend it was.
    5) MOLICE - Catalystrock - Best J-rock album this year, hands down.
    6) Buffalo Daughter - Weapons of Math Destruction - BD hasn't disappointed yet (despite dip-shitty Pitchfork reviews)
    7) Laurie Anderson - Homeland - Bleak and beautiful.
    8) amazon saliva - Ultra Bide vs. Bogulta vs. Acid Mothers Temple = Awesome.
    9) Fol Chen - Part II: The New December - Thanks to Future Perfect Radio for this indietronica find.
    10) Front Line Assembly - Improvised.Electronic.Device. - A guilty pleasure for sure, but FLA really does know how to keep its loyal fan base drooling.


    Honorable mention to my favorite single of the year, People Can Do the Most Amazing of Things, as well as the last Memory Tapes album, which definitely would've made the 2009 list...if I'd gone to the trouble of making one. Oh and big boo to me for not trying harder to hear more than one track off the new Ratatat, M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem and Flying Lotus albums, but life sorta got in the way...
    Oh and KMFDM's Krieg just missed the list as well, as did Motor City Ghosts, the breakout artist at Gaijin Sounds this year.

    A really great year, I think. I discovered the whole chillwave thing about a year too late (Coyote Clean Up, Com Truise, etc.) as well as its lo-fi droning demon-spawn, witch-house. Although Japanese music, even the underground, is pretty stagnant, lots of awesomeness worldwide this year.

    Whoops, totally forgot about the new Nitzer Ebb; ah well, let's pretend it's 6.5 on the list...
  • Kisses and A Seed Night 9/10

    11 okt 2010, 15:17

    Well, feeling sorry for myself I decided to splurge on a concert last Friday. Kisses was in town, touring with one of the women from Au Revoir Simone, and I went and saw them down at Kyoto's Urbanguild. The opener was Miyauchi Yuri, and he used live samples to layer loop after loop in some fairly effective indie easy listening. Kisses were good, about what I expected, and I was glad to hear People Can Do the Most Amazing Things live, one of my favorite tracks in recent days. After buying a CD of tour remixes from the Au Revoir Simoner, I scootered home in the drizzle.

    Then Sunday, I was hoping to see my old pal Nick (aka Fucked 76) who was supposed to be DJing at the A Seed Night down at Socrates. Turns out he was AWOL, but ended up having a good time anyway. The first band was Zion, two gaijin on bass and horn/percussion, one hard pounding drummer and one petite and weird 30-40 something woman picking guitar and squealing/crooning ala Haco, Togawa Jun or that woman from Demi Semi Quaver. In fact there was a vaguely DSQ vibe to the proceedings, though the lead singer had never heard of them.

    Then Peachfuzz came on, a quite decent little hybrid of NUMBER GIRL and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I uploaded their little EP, so you can hear it here -> peachFuzz. Then crazy ass ぼんくら峠 were up next, two REAL freaks outta Fukuoka, one pounding a death metal drum solo the whole time, one shouting. The screamer asked the crowd what was a good souvenir from Kyoto, and I answered "tsukemono!" (pickles), so he started this tsukemono rant-song. :) The gaijin friends of friends there were a bit bugged, but I thought they were fun. I uploaded their latest CD to LMD, so check em out.

    Finally, Ultra Bide was on. The crowd was drunk and crazy, it was one of the last nights with awesome Chiaki on drums, and there were two encores (nuff said). Good times had by all, and I finally downloaded The Original Ultra Bide to Last.FM. Best nearly free night in Kyoto in awhile...

    Fri 8 Oct – KISSES & Au Revoir Simone(DJ SET)
  • Chilling with Hide, 3/10

    8 mar 2010, 03:08

    So after a relaxing 300 yen Bass Ale or three with my classmates down at Volta II, I decided to head down to Captain Kangaroo for one last drink before heading home. Lucky I did, because the drum set in the corner reminded me - Ultra Bide was playing a free show there that night! Them and Frying Dutchman. Well, Hide shows and he seems glad to have someone to talk with while he waits for his 11 PM start time. He invites me to come DJ at some oh my cow! event next month, and tells me some crazy news: れお (drummer for ULTRA Jr., NASCA CAR and Ni-Hao! - and almost-friend to yours truly) - is apparently the new touring drummer for Shonen Knife (少年ナイフ)! Talk about a spit take. I don't really know why Etsuko, their current drummer, is taking time out (check here if you like), but Reo-chan is certainly up to the task. We also talked about how the Ultra Bide show they did with a burgeoning blink-182 (for big wig execs in Albany) was the show that broke up that U.S. incarnation of the band (the drummer was just disgusted that they were there performing in front of a bunch of yuppie suits and their dates - who were there to see Blink-182, of course). He also told me I could crash at his pad that night (I would be missing my last train home), and somehow the fact that he had also allowed 80's anti-idol Togawa Jun (see Yapoos) crash there before her show (on the condition that she would actually get up and perform that evening) came out. Much random historical notes about Cop Shoot Cop, The Lizards and other nonsense ensued later. Oh yeah, and the guy from psychedelic desert who had seen the tail end of my (being ]J.P. DuQuette's) DS-10 extravaganza last month came with his girlfriend I had also met but couldn't recall her name (no surprise there, I guess).

    Anyway, Frying Dutchman were a great bar band, but they didn't really catch my imagination in anyway. Hide came on with the overly long soundcheck as usual, and then rocked away, also as usual. An acquaintance there was like, "You said they opened for Blink-182, but they're BETTER than Blink-182!" I couldn't agree more.

    The next day at Hide's apartment, I woke up with a hangover, and he played a brand spanking new amazon saliva (that's Hide plus Tabata ((ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O.)/Zeni Geva) and Nani NANYCAL Z, ZuinosinBOGULTA) track (apparently the next album's going to be on an actual label) and I bought the Original Ultra Bide CD from him (which I will upload to Last.FM asap)...

    Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.