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Lose it Over Loose Ends

May 15th, 2017 • By: admin NMFT vol 10

If you think pronouncing Yukueshirezutsurezure is HARD, you’ll need a portable airbag watching these four girls because they’re coming at you HARDER than Luke Cage OD’d on Viagra with morning wood.
Last post I said The Taupe will probably impress audience members the most. Well Shidare just called and told me to go ______ myself in the _______ with a pineapple till I’m bleeding from all orifices. Such a lovely girl.

All kidding and hyperbole aside, YSTZ’s live performance is like nothing you’ve ever seen: impassioned dancing/screaming set to catchy pop/EDM with frequent bursts of ferocious hardcore metal.
Last year, I brought Maison book girl to Canada because I felt their music (composed by Kenta Sakurai) had the highest quality of any idol group. They really put the focus on the music and its sublime instrumentation (i.e. music first, girls second). Instead of just fusing a pre-existing genre with idol music Sakurai developed a beautifully sophisticated sound that is incredibly original. However, Maison book girl purposely perform with a cool, deadpan persona to mirror the earnest nature of the music and this perceived lack of emotion sometimes limits the degree of fun and energy to which the audience will reciprocate.
On the other hand YSTZ wear their hearts on their sleeves. The passion and emotion they exude on stage seems genuine and they don’t hold back in making an intimate connection with the audience. The members of YSTZ love to stage dive, crowd surf and go crazy in an effort to make the audience feel comfortable in following suit.
Whereas Maison book girl like to play hard to get YSTZ are tomboys who feel at home with the boys and are always down to have fun. Even though Maison book girl’s music is brilliant and they eventually did a great job endearing themselves to the Canadian crowd, YSTZ should instantly win the crowd over with their fearlessness, charm, raw power and soulfulness.
Even if metal-tinged screamo isn’t your cup of tea, YSTZ will try their damnedest to be the most exciting, most ferocious and most fun act in the NMFT10 line-up.


In Japan, when an idol group performs its actually the madcap intensity of the audience and the creative genius of their cheering methods that make it such a spectacle. It’ll be tough to recreate the cheers and moves that occur at idol events in Japan because…. we have something called self-esteem. LOL.

Still, it’ll be fun to raise some havoc and make YSTZ feel a little bit at home by repping properly to some degree.
If we go nuts, they’ll step up their game even harder and everyone wins.

This is video footage I took last November at Shibuya The Game.

Tsuyame, Komachi and cococo have their birthdays in November so they held a special birthday concert.

In the video, you can notice a few things.
i. fans bring ultramarine coloured glowsticks
ii. half the fans are wearing DIY ultramarine coloured T-shirts they made to celebrate the members’ birthdays (they actually got Tsuyame to draw the design)
iii. During the song “Six Fall Roar” the audience huddles in rings to do a synchronized collective head-bang.
iv. The fans have got chants down on lock
v. Tsuyame who used to be too shy to scream is almost as fierce as Shidare right now

Here is another video of them doing the collective head-bang in circle formation during “六落叫” (Six fall Roar)

Another move that happens a lot at YSTZ shows that isn’t really specific to YSTZ but alt-idol shows in general is people getting hoisted up and carried close to the stage so they can woo or worship the members eye-to-eye.

Now this particular move can be done for any of their songs but in Japan, its during 凶葬詩壱鳴り (Kyousokaichinari) where the audience knows to send a legion of human towers to bumrush the front of the stage during all the screamo parts. When I saw YSTZ at Shimokita Shelter, there were no less than a dozen kids hoisted up in the air all at once forming a human wall sending gestures of worship towards the girls on stage.
If we could do the same in Toronto it would be pretty badass.

The song that gets the audience the most hyped is “つれづれ賛歌” (Tsurezure Sanka) which happens to be my favorite song as well. During this song, just before the chorus is a particular catch phrase “_________ に行っていきます!!”
(________ ni itteikimasu).
Itteikimasu! means “we’re going!” or “off we go!” or “we’re headed out”
(also, you don’t really pronounce the ‘e’ so it sounds more like ittikimasu)

Just before the first chorus it’s:
お好きなように。。。行っていきます!! (Osukinayouni… itteikimasu !!) (The way we like it…. off we go!)

It’s sort of like a call and response where YSTZ yells ‘Osukinayouni’ and the crowd shouts back ‘Ittikimasu!!!’

And before the second chorus it’s:
ゆくえしれずに。。。行っていきます!! (Yukueshirezuni… itteikimasu !!) (To Yukueshirezu….. off we go!!)

And in between these two parts there’s also the “くそマザーファック!!” (Kuso Motherfuck!!) (Shit! Motherfuck!)
So if YSTZ fans in Canada raised their middle fingers in the air and yelled ‘Kuso! Motherfuck!’ at the same time the girls do that would be pretty sweet.

Did you get all that?
Well, here’s some live footage to help you understand:

Note: Shidare always stage dives and crowd surfs during the epic screaming part near the latter part of the song.


Summary

Yukueshirezutsure aka Not Secured, Loose Ends will definitely challenge any of the bands to steal the show as most impressive act. Personally, I still think Maison book girl’s music is much more original and of higher songwriting quality but YSTZ will wipe the floor with MBG in terms of entertainment value in a live setting. And that’s not to say I don’t like YSTZ’s music. In fact, I think their first ep “Antino未deology” is fantastic and was one of the best releases of 2016.

I’ve given YSTZ set lengths of 40 min. Since most of their songs are 4min or less they’ll perform ~10 songs each night.

Simliar to YSTZ they’ll hold scheduled times for taking photographs with the idol members. Unfortunately you’ll have to pay for these photographs (called “checkies”). Is it lame to have to pay for a photograph? Sure, but it’s also lame that most people pirate music off of bands/artists and this is one way idol groups have decided to actually make back some money. I don’t know what the scheduled times are but most likely it’ll be right after their set and again at the end of the concert.

Four members of YSTZ’s official fan club ‘Goonjo’ (Ultramarine) will be coming all the way from Japan to the Toronto shows. One of them is the leader who travels everywhere in Japan to watch YSTZ perform. They’ll help guide the audience in making noise and performing signature moves. LOL.

YSTZ fans can prepare by:
1. bringing ultramarine coloured glow sticks (I can’t believe I just wrote that)
Anyone creative enough to build these monstrosities or one up what’s shown below will be the MAN:

2. Know the call and response parts to “つれづれ賛歌” (Tsurezure Sanka). See above for details but basically shout “ITTIKIMASU !!” at the two designated times. And shout “KUSO MOTHERFUCK !!” (Raising middle finger, optional).
Also, get ready to catch Shidare when she stage dives near the latter part of the song. Let her crowd surf for a bit and then return her to the stage before the end of the song.

3. During “凶葬詩壱鳴り” (Kyousokaichinari) I expect no less than a dozen people getting hoisted up all at once and carried to the front of the stage so they can woo/worship the girls. It should be like a huge mountain of people or cheerleading pyramid on steroids. LOL. This happens during the 3 parts where the girls scream their heads off.
Maybe not go so crazy right from the beginning but have 2-3 people hoisted up for first screamo part, 4-6 for the next and then “world’s record” for the final screamo finale. (Haha. You guys probably think I’m just kidding but I’m actually serious and want to surprise YSTZ by showing them Toronto knows how to represent!)

4. During “六落叫” (Six fall Roar) is when the group head-banging happens. (no homo)
The Rivoli show will be pretty packed (sold out) and there won’t be space to do a circle formation head-bang so just form rows grabbing the person beside you shoulder-to-shoulder and head-bang away. At Lee’s Palace I might ask the girls to perform Six Fall Roar last so that they can come down from the stage and the crowd can form a circle around them on the dance floor but I don’t know if we need to go to such extremes.

Anyhow, YSTZ fans can post away in the comments section if they have ideas on how to make YSTZ feel at home in terms of cheering them on. The audience plays a major role in making idol performances wild and memorable. This time I’m the one bringing YSTZ over but if they feel there is enough fan support in Canada then they’ll come back on their own to not only Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver but all around Canada and the US. So if you want YSTZ and other alt-idol groups to realize there’s a market for them then make plenty of noise for YSTZ in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver (KUSO! MOTHERFUCK!)

And oh yeah!
Can’t forget ‘The Mix’

Aaaaaaa! Yosha! Ikuzo!!

TIGER!
FIRE!
CYBER!
FIBER!
DIVER!
VIBER! (short for vibration)

Jya! Jya!

and if you’re up to it, follow it up in Japanese:

Tora!
Hi! (pronounced He)
Jinzou!
Seni!
Amaa!
Shindou!

Kasen tobi jokyo!

The Taupe will reign supreme at NMFT10

May 7th, 2017 • By: admin NMFT vol 10, Uncategorized

First of all, I actually love all five NMFT10 bands and each act has the ability to steal the show with best performance of the night. In this post I’ll argue why The Taupe may end up impressing you most. (Hopefully I have time to lobby the merits of the remaining four bands in separate posts).

The Taupe is probably the loudest, most powerful band I’ve invited to Canada. I mean any band can just crank up the gain and volume on their pedals and amplifiers, there’s no skill or creativity in that. What The Taupe excels at is building a serene, beautiful soundscape then when you least expect it throttling you with an immense wall of noise. And the moment you’re thinking “Holy s*%t these guys are INTENSE!” they double down and raise the ferocity level to the max. They don’t play loud the entire time nor is it a slow tedious build to a crescendo, they deploy an unpredictable, masterful control of dynamics that will leave you speechless.

Here’s an analogy.
Imagine you’re in car with band members driving.
Bands like Metz (from Canada, eh) and Boris are renowned for being LOUD. They primarily play loud and intense through their entire sets with predictable areas of rest before cranking up the noise again. There’s not too much variance. It would be like racing through a straightaway stretch of highway at top speed, the driver slows down at the usual speed traps and then picks up the pace again when it looks like there are no cops.

Other bands like MONO take a beautiful piece and build to a predictable crescendo, tone it down and then build to another epic crescendo. This would be akin to driving a car peacefully up a hill with a small gradient enjoying the autumn trees and mountains in the scenery and then bracing for the apex when the car will be racing downhill for a minute. Then you do the same thing again on another majestic route with another slow build but a slightly steeper downhill trajectory.

Then you have The Taupe zipping along slightly above the speed limit, changing lanes to pass cars and they see a cop car ahead and slow down briefly before saying “F*ck it! Let’s just gun it!” The cop car gives chase so The Taupe floors it but the cops start to catch up so The Taupe swerve left onto ONCOMING traffic. Miraculously, you and The Taupe navigate through to the nearest offramp unscathed leaving a pile-up of havoc and devastation behind you. That was a bit crazy so The Taupe slows down, you calm your nerves and spot a beautiful hitchhiker whose car broke down. You tell The Taupe not to pick her up but The Taupe like to live dangerously and help those in need so they let her sit in the passenger seat. There’s a stretch of mountainside highway with a view of the Pacific ocean. Lots of twists and turns and you speed through them with finesse. But “Oh S*%t!! It’s the cops again! The Taupe puts the pedal to the metal, again the suped-up cop car starts to close the gap but not only that, there’s a freaking ROADBLOCK ahead with an entire squad of cop cars. This time The Taupe swerves right, gives the cops the finger and you find yourself violently off-roading down a treacherous forest slope with occasional boulders in the way. But not only that, you notice the driver has his f*cking eyes closed because the hitchhiker has proceeded to give the driver head. What the HELL?!! But it gets worse, the forest hill is about to reach an abrupt end, the brakes are destroyed and you crash through a barricade with the car hurtling in the air dropping twenty feet into a river. Your entire life flashes in front of you. Somehow you all survive and not only that but one member of The Taupe caught all the footage on his Samsung S8 and he’s already sending you the video via LINE.

There’s a huge variety in mood in The Taupe’s songs ranging from dark and creepy, uplifting, serene, poppy, danceable, raging, to exalting and the sonic intensity can switch from a soft whisper to eardrum shattering in a heartbeat. The Taupe’s music is an unpredictable adventure with an intelligent, sophisticated and incredibly intense delivery. Most of their songs aren’t even loud but they can catch you off-guard at any moment with a sledgehammer to the face.
Unfortunately, The Taupe’s studio recordings do a poor job of capturing the sheer intensity of their live performances.

Last year my friends in Japan kept tweeting about how awesome The Taupe are so I decided to look them up and the first video I saw was this:

I wasn’t too impressed. Sounds too much like college radio indie. But in hindsight, it really shows their versatility as this song has a nice Velvet Underground meets post-punk sound that’s starkly different from all their other material.

And don’t just take my word for it. My friend Eric who lived in Toronto but has been living in Himi, Japan the last two years saw The Taupe play a show recently with Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu, otori and Sasaguchi&New Olympics. He writes for the math rock website Fecking Bahamas and has been to every NMFT since volume 3. This is what he had to say:

“Holy Fu^k. Not that I ever doubted you, but the Taupe are unreal.
Like, they’re the type of band that makes me wanna play music but simultaneously making me think I could never achieve that level of badassery”

(Note: Eric is a pretty skilled guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who writes music and has played in a band)

And this is what Sania who helps out with NMFT and recently went to Japan to watch RADWIMPS had to say:

Steve!! I saw the Taupe tonight. They’re SICK!!
So hyped for May.
Ya omg their show is HYPE and the girl is so pretty!!

LOL.

To me how attractive the band members are is waaaaaaaaaay less important than the quality of their music.
But if they happen to have an attractive female member then bone… BONUS.

So Sania thinks Onodera (bassist for The Taupe) is very pretty.
Eric mentions the guitarists being super-handsome and that Onodera is insanely hot… the 2nd most attractive female out of all the NMFT tours with Yui from Maison book girl reigning at #1.

I countered that he’d have to meet the members of Yubisaki Nohaku before making that claim and cococo (and Komachi) of Yukueshirezutsurezure are also beautiful.

But yeah, with Onodera’s ravishing looks, her mad skills on bass and her ability to SCREAM HER LUNGS OUT, she is definitely someone who’ll haunt your dreams.

The video above doesn’t come close to her full level of screaming prowess. For that, you should listen to the song “ダーカーソーシャリティ” (Darker Sociality) contained on the NMFT10 sampler I’ve been secretly distributing on the NMFT Facebook page (*shhhh*). Onodera makes even Shidare from YSTZ step backwards in fear.

The Taupe are a truly magnificent band with lots of variety in their music and the capacity for MONSTROUS, face-melting sound. Not only will they challenge for best act at NMFT10 but they’re one of the best bands I’ve invited to Canada.. period.

But stay tuned for why any of the other four bands may pull the rug from under The Taupe and steal the spotlight!!

arigarnon friends at NMFT10

May 2nd, 2017 • By: admin NMFT vol 10, Uncategorized

Remember the band PENs+ from NMFT7? They essentially broke up but the kid responsible for their mathy guitar wizardry, Ariga Mao, started a new band last year called arigarnon friends (i.e. a pun based on his name, an ode to the band Algernon Cadwallader, and the fact his band is made up of him and his friends).

arigarnon friends is one of my favorite bands. They were invited to NMFT10 but Ariga started his new office job from hell in April so he’ll probably never be able to get more than a week off to come to Canada and take part in the NMFT tour again.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is Yuji Ino, who plays guitar in both Bakyun the everyday and arigarnon friends will be bringing some arigarnon CDs to sell at the NMFT shows. arigarnon friends’ ep “Boy to Man” was one of the best releases from last year so definitely make a bee-line to the merch table and score a copy before they sell out. Yuji can’t bring that many and I’m pretty sure they’ll sell out at the Toronto shows unless you make a comment here or on his twitter to hold a copy for you.

arigarnon is absolutely killer. Ariga and Yuji bring the lethal twin Jazzmaster attack but not to be outshone is drummer, Sho Sato who also drums for the band fulusu.
Sho is definitely one of the best young drummers in the scene:



So what do you get when you mix the genius of PENs+, fulusu, and Bakyun the everyday?
I don’t know either.
Yeah, I do! F*cking ARIGARNON FRIENDS!!!!!
If you live in Vancouver or Montreal and are interested in the arigarnon friends CD then better let him know to save a copy for you.

It’s too bad I couldn’t bring arigarnon friends to NMFT10 but don’t worry.
Bakyun the everyday are just as awesome in their own way:

NMFT10: Choosing the 5th band

February 7th, 2017 • By: admin NMFT vol 10

Initially I was going to list off a bunch of bands in consideration for the final roster spot and let popular vote be the deciding factor. But then I realized I didn’t have a single venue secured yet and the prices for airline tickets jumped from $1350 to $1500/person. Basically, I didn’t have time to f*ck around on a popularity vote and time was running out on whether I could realistically afford to do the tour in May.

First off, the tour WILL happen and the schedule is:

May 19 (Fri) Toronto @ ??
May 20 (Sat) Toronto @ Lee’s Palace
May 22 (Mon) Montreal @ Divan Orange
May 23 (Wed) Vancouver @ Biltmore Cabaret (most likely)

It took two weeks to successfully book Lee’s Palace because a bunch of different promoters had already placed holds on it for May 20. But I managed to secure it somehow and Divan Orange as well.
Those who live in Toronto should already know that Soybomb was forced to close down thanks to right-wing a-hole snitches. The plan was to still use Soybomb secretly on May 19 but Jason (Soybomb) felt I should secure a proper venue instead of taking the risk. Soybomb was perfect for NMFT. Even though the sound wasn’t the greatest, it probably had the best vibe/atmosphere/crowd of any live music space in Canada, ever. Soybomb/Lee’s Palace back to back was such a great combo. There will never be a space quite like Soybomb but hopefully I can find a new spot (~200 capacity) that complements NMFT almost as well.

In case you forgot, the four bands already on the roster are listed here.
I do apologize because I was serious about letting fans choose the 5th band from a long list of potentials but with the threat of airfare creeping higher and higher I had to take executive action.
I ended up sending invitations to three great bands hoping one of them could actually make the tour:

百蚊 (Hyacca)

Hyacca is one of my favorite bands. But more importantly they are one of Geoff’s favorite bands. LOL. Since Geoff does more than everyone else combined x10 in terms of helping me spread word about the tour (i.e. getting me radio, newspaper and TV coverage and promoting on social media) I should try to keep him happy. Hyacca were part of the legendary NMFT3 line-up. I’ve tried to bring them back to Canada again many times but their work schedule was always an obstacle. I assumed it would be impossible again but it turns out they CAN make it… but there’s a catch… two wives and one kid need to come too.
WHAAAAAAAAAT?!!!
Thankfully, I’m not responsible in paying for their mini-entourage (least I damn well better not be) but if I go ahead with Hyacca it would bring the total number of people (band members + managers + Hyacca’s extended family) to 26!!!
From a logistical standpoint 26 musicians/people is a freaking nightmare.
Also, if Hyacca ends up the 5th band it may be the most ‘no-name’ line-up in the history of NMFT (even though I guarantee it will be one of the best!). But seriously, it is tough to promote with a band like Hyacca since their internet and social media presence is almost nonexistent. Their existing Youtube content also does a sh*tty job of conveying the jaw-dropping awesomeness of their live shows.
So I waited to hear from the other two bands.

雨のパレード (Ame no Parade)

Ame no Parade is practically on the opposite end of the spectrum from Hyacca. Whereas, Hyacca is almost completely unknown even in the underground scene, Ame no Parade is on a major label and one of the hottest young bands in Japan right now. From a promotional standpoint and for beneficial networking/political reasons, Ame no Parade would make my life a whole lot easier. I assumed it would be impossible for them to come in May with an invitation this late but apparently there is just one potential schedule conflict holding them back. There is a 50% chance they MIGHT have to do a show in Osaka on May 21st otherwise their schedule is free enough to take part in NMFT10.
..
..
Really?!!!

This actually happens fairly often where I’ll invite a band 4-5 months in advance and they’ll turn down an expenses-paid invitation to play shows in Canada because they have a regular show in Japan they don’t want to cancel.
I know for a fact Ame no Parade’s members are dying to come to Canada but their manager is worried about reneging on the show in Osaka.
But seriously, how difficult is it to tell a promoter “I’m really sorry about this but we just received a fantastic offer to tour in Canada. Since it’s still 4-5 months away is there any chance you could find another band to replace us so that we can go on this Canadian tour?”
However, the real head-scratcher is the fact that it’s only a 50% possibility they might have to do the show in Osaka. It’s not even a done deal!! So hurry up and come to Canada already!!!
But nope. The Japanese are really rigid when it comes to following through with obligations (even 50% ones) and Ame no Parade can’t participate in NMFT10 unless the Osaka invitation falls through.
So what did the third band have to say?

WONK

These guys are SICK! and I would love to have them on the roster but the problem is WONK has four members but usually perform shows with a 5th support musician.
On top of that they have a manager.
On top of that most of their songs feature guest vocalists/emcees so I’d probably half to bring at least one guest emcee like Jua who freestyles en français in the video below:


(yeah, that’s me yelling in the call and response.*hides in embarrassment* LOL. And holy f*ck! @ the drummer! So good.)

Despite the staffing headache inviting WONK might entail I emailed their manager about NMFT10.
They’d love to come BUT because of their jobs they’d only have time to do the Toronto shows. Would that be okay?

Well. Considering I live in Toronto and they’d still be able to do half the shows…. I said “Sure, why not!”
..
..
j/k!!!!!!!!!
There have been scenarios in the past where bands like Merpeoples and nayuta performed in Toronto but skipped other shows but
I don’t want fans in Vancouver and Montreal to have a conniption so I’m going to have to decline WONK’s counter-offer.

Hey, what’s that sound?
Oh that was just Geoff screaming “F*ck yeah!!” all the way from Oakville because it looks like Hyacca is the 5th band on the NMFT10 roster. And now he’s throwing dabs in silent jubilation.

I absolutely cringe at the idea of having to babysit 26 people across Canada but it’s basically a done deal with Hyacca.


Having said that, I’ll still list a few of the bands I was considering for the 5th roster spot.
You guys can clamour “Steve!!! Hold up!!! If there’s still time, invite ________ instead!!!!” in the comments section but then Geoff will probably murda yo’ ass.

逃亡くそタわけ (Toubou Kusotawake)

One of my favorite underground bands. Yeah that’s me again you hear in the background shooting the video and shouting the chorus like an idiot. 🙂

AGE FACTORY

Great friends of PENs+. Nobumi of bakyun the everyday feels they are the best up and coming band in the scene right now.
They are supremely talented musicians but half of their songs have a bit of a generic emo-ballad quality that irks me.
However, some of their songs are straight up fire like the song above and these ones too: “Puke” and “Ginger

Yoshida Yohei Group

These guys are absolutely amazing live. But their band consists of seven members. Just hanging out with Kuro-chan (of TamTam) who is also in this band would be awesome but maybe on a future NMFT.

校庭カメラギャル (Koutei Camera Gal)

Is ramy t talata legit shouting “To my ho(ez)! To my ho(ez)!” in the chorus? SMFH.
*edit: No, it’s actually the world’s worst pronunciation of “Tomahawk! Tomahawk!!” and the song title is “GalTomahawk” *
Since I love underground hip hop I used to prefer Koutei Camera Gal (aka Utegya) over the house/EDM stylized Koutei Camera Girl Zwei (aka Kouteka2) but after “Night on Verse” dropped, Kouteka2 became not only my favorite idol group but favorite band or group to watch live PERIOD. I would have brought Kouteka2 to Canada in a heartbeat even if it meant bringing them along with Yukueshirezutsurezure but Kouteka2’s break-up was announced in September even before I had a chance to see them perform live let alone invite them. Utegya is also dope but their songs have nowhere near as much variety and creativity as Kouteka2. Hopefully, as time goes on Tapestok will inject some added fire into the instrumentals/production because (now that warwar2me is gone) ramy t is my fave member of the Tapestok massive. Don’t be surprised if Utegya and Kouteka3 end up on NMFT11 or 12. 🙂

ミドリ (Midori)

Midori was almost on the NMFT2 roster back in 2010 but they ended up responding too late and I had already finalized the line-up with sgt. How dope would Midori + MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS + uhnellys + susquatch have been??
I convinced Mariko Goto that coming in May during NMFT3 when the weather is much warmer and nicer would be even better and it worked. Midori was the first band confirmed for the NMFT3 roster and they were all set to come to Canada in 2011…. but then they decided to break up in December 2010. (FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!)
The whole idea of NMFT started because I thought it would be awesome if one day I brought Midori, Rin Toshite Shigure and Chatmonchy on a tour of Canada because in 2008 those were my three favorite bands at the time.
Even though it’s been 6 years since Midori broke up I felt maybe I could talk Mariko Goto into reforming Midori even if it were just for NMFT10. And I would have given Midori an extra $10,000 to make it happen.
I had this idea a couple years ago and when MOTFD got back together again I felt maybe there would be a chance for Midori to do the same.
But when group_inou broke up and I found out how absurdly expensive Rin Toshite Shigure would be I gave up on the idea of asking Mariko Goto. However, they were totally open with coming to Canada before (even without a $10000 bribe) so there is a remote possibility of making this happen.
It’s probably too late now but I’m still choked at how close I was to bringing Midori to Canada before they surprisingly broke up in 2010.

There are artists and bands like

iri

and

ZA FEEDO

whom I’m super interested in but I haven’t actually seen perform live yet so they are on the back burner for now.

There are also young interesting bands like:
花魁少年 (Oiran Shounen)

who are a bit too raw to bring yet but I am keeping an eye on them. Shout out to Chris for bringing them to my attention!!
I really like this song by them –> 後天性のっぺらぼう (simple emo but awesome)

fulusu

My friend Eric felt fulusu were one of the best bands at Fecking Bahamas vol 3. They kicked out the bassist and are now a 2-piece band (less expensive for me, yay! LOL) using pre-recorded bass. Sho Sato, the drummer, is a BEAST and one of the best young drummers around:

Microcosm

Since Gesu no Kiwami Otome seems less busy after the whole Enon/Becky scandal I asked Mio if there was a chance Microcosm could get back together for NMFT10. But after I broke my promise to watch Mio’s new band ayutthaya in December (I watched Kouteka Camera Girl Zwei instead) I figured Mio might be a bit pissed at me so I never bothered following up on Microcosm. LOL

There are a whole bunch of cool bands (more than I listed) that had a shot at NMFT10 but it looks like the final spot on the roster is reserved for Hyacca (26 people though?!! goddamnit!). Unless you can convince me to do otherwise and don’t care about getting shanked by Geoff.

Note: Hyacca is based out of Fukuoka. I told them I’d pay for return flights to Canada departing from Tokyo but they’ll be responsible for getting from Fukuoka to Tokyo and back. If they expect me to pay for transportation between Fukuoka and Tokyo (I’ll probably give them some money to help but not 100%) or even worse, if they expect me to pay the cost to bring the three family members tagging along then Hyacca can Fuk(uoka) off! LOL.
In that case, if Ame no Parade manage to settle the whole Osaka show non-sense in time, they might end up on the roster. Or maybe a band like AGE FACTORY… or even Koutei Camera Gal. LOL.

NMFT10: Diamonds in the Rough

January 21st, 2017 • By: admin NMFT vol 10

Three to four years ago I envisioned planning something spectacular for the 10th tour by inviting some bigger name bands. I flirted with the idea of: 凛として時雨(Rin Toshite Shigure), group_inou and Tokumaru Shugo. But group_inou went on hiatus and bands/artists like Rin Toshite Shigure, Suiyoubi no Campanella and RADWIMPS (LOL. I know one of their staff) ask for waaaaaaaay too much money along with having to pay to bring an entire entourage (e.g. manager/staff/roadie(s)/engineer +/-photographer etc). I was willing to put in a lot extra for a superstar line-up but the reality is it wouldn’t have been worth it since the price is way, way higher than even I expected and the tours are much more fun hanging out with younger, hungrier bands. (way more expensive and less fun = hell no).

Then I thought about my good friend Geoff who has helped me immensely in helping this tour grow and how much he would dig an exclusively post-punk/HC/noise line-up like:
百蚊(hyacca), otori, DEEPSLAUTER, skillkills and Qomolangma Tomato. But Qomolangma Tomato just broke up, otori can’t come in May (neither can Hyacca most likely), skillkills’ drummer is way too busy managing a studio to probably ever get more than a week off from work and when I think about it despite how awesome it would be to go full-on underground punk/HC I don’t want to alienate a large chunk of fans who might find such a line-up too abrasive.

So I decided not to go for a ‘big name’ indie line-up, a completely hardcore/noise line-up or even an all-star cast of NMFT alums. Instead, I’m inviting four great acts that aren’t that well known (at all!) but are guaranteed to kick as much ass as any of the bands I have brought to Canada in the past. Plus I’m going to ask for some input from you guys to round out the line-up with a 5th band/artist.

Here are four of the five acts:

1. The Taupe

The Taupe had been on my radar for a while with friends on twitter lauding them for putting on one of the craziest, LOUDEST and most awe-inspiring shows around. Along with Hitsuji Bungaku, then were invited to play the Rookie Stage at Fuji Rock Festival last year. So even though The Taupe are fairly unknown (just 804 followers on twitter) they’ve already been recognized as one of the best up and coming bands by the organizers of Japan’s best music festival.
Their music is mostly psychedelic post-punk with similarities to Hyacca. Not as fast or with as much punk energy but lots of unusual sonic textures where the music just envelopes you with its breathtakingly odd yet beautiful tones and dynamics. And they are better than almost any band at going from soft and melodic to ear-shatteringly LOUD in a heartbeat.

They also surprise you with their versatility as with this song “Fiction”:


2. 指先ノハク (Yubisaki no haku)

In Tokyo I have a group of friends I always see at shows featuring female bands like Akai Koen, Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu, Hitsuji Bungaku and Regal Lily. And the band they like the most by far is Yubisaki no Haku. I had tried really hard to like Yubisaki no Haku’s music for the past 3-4 years but for some reason their music never grabbed me like the other aforementioned female bands. I actually fell asleep standing watching one of their shows but jet lag might have played a small part in that. It seemed to me they were in the underground scene but aiming for the mainstream and they tried to force their music into sounding emotional but without putting any real soul into their compositions. I also just assumed my friends adore Yubisaki the most because they are arguably the most attractive female band in the underground scene (See! I am all about the music not the looks. LOL)
However, I don’t know what happened but within the past year Yubisaki have made a number of small tweaks and the accumulation of those have in my mind made them into a completely different band that I think rules. Obviously my friends will argue that they’ve always been this good and I was just too dumb to notice.
tricot fans might complain that Yubisaki are biting tricot’s style hard but Yubisaki have been around longer than tricot and they’ve always had a prog rock element to their music. However, I do agree that tricot may have influenced Yubisaki into taking a more serious tone and technical approach to the music than they already did in the past. Yubisaki and tricot are good friends and they recently played a two-man show together at Shimokita Shelter that I would have given my left testicle to have seen (no not really but I would have planned a trip around that show had I known earlier).
Their latest ep “Full Range” is one of my favorite releases of 2016 and I’m happy to tell my friends I’ve finally come to my senses and wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to brink Yubisaki no Haku to Canada.


3. bakyun the everyday

I am bringing bakyun the everyday to Canada mainly because the guitar/vocal duo of Nobumi Nanamure and Yuji Ino are two really good friends of mine. Seriously, that is the primary reason. Because I think it would be cool to bring them to Canada and just hang out with them.
Me and my friends Eric and Sania went to watch a band called しゃっく play at Shimokitazawa ERA two years ago. After しゃっく’s set, we went to go get drinks and snacks at the LAWSON conbini with members of しゃっく and that’s where we met Nobumi and Yuji. They mentioned they were in a band called bakyun the everyday and I said (in Japanese) “No fucking way! I’ve actually been meaning to see your band play live since I thought your songs on soundcloud are pretty cool.” And then when I mentioned I was planning to leave ERA and go to nearby BASEMENT BAR to see the peggies and OWARIKARA, she said she was thinking of doing the same and asked if Eric, Sania and I already had tickets. When I said no, she texted the peggies’ manager and got all of us into the show for free.
So instantly we became pretty good friends but it was a few months before I actually got a chance to watch bakyun the everyday play live. I had listened to their CD and liked it but watching them live the first time I was COMPLETELY. BLOWN. AWAY!! Mostly because they play way louder and faster than they do on CD. Going in to the show I was planning on cheering them on regardless of how good or bad they were but it was a pleasant surprise to see they were incredibly badass.
Right after the show, I messaged Eric: “Dude! bakyun the everyday are actually fucking AWESOME live. Maybe not to the point I’d bring them to Canada but they were surprisingly good!”
And the more I saw them, the more I liked them but I always felt that maybe it’s just me and the fact that Nobumi, Ino and I are friends had biased my decision.
Then a few months later it was Eric’s first time to watch bakyun the everyday at a tiny livehouse where he was basically the only audience member other than the other bands playing. I had to go to different shows to watch Regal Lily and Toranoko Rammy who were under consideration for NMFT8. And while I’m watching Toranoko Rammy Eric messages me: “HOOOOOOOLY SHIT! bakyun the everyday are fucking amazing!!!!”
So that made me feel happy because it’s not just me. There’s at least one other person with great taste in music that thinks bakyun are awesome.

Eric, Nobumi, me, Ino hanging out at Akai Koen park in Tachikawa.

bakyun the everyday play melodic punk. They aren’t elite musicians and Nobumi will never be accused of having perfect pitch. In fact, a lot of people might cringe at her singing but I actually feel it’s the imperfections in her voice and delivery that give her singing so much character. She knows she doesn’t have the greatest voice but she gives it her all when she sings and that’s what punk is all about.
The main reason I’m bringing bakyun the everyday to Canada is because they’re good friends of mine. And after you see them perform, hopefully, you guys will agree that they’re an incredibly fun band to watch live and they’re definitely worthy of being part of the NMFT line-up!

4. ゆくえしれずつれづれ (Yukueshirezutsurezure)

Until I discovered Maison book girl I never listened to idol music. I hated how popular it was and how it took attention away from talented musicians who wrote and performed their own music.
Well idols still don’t write their own music or lyrics but at least the underground idol scene has upped the ante in terms of producers creating decent music for their female muses.
ゆくえしれずつれづれ’s “Antino未deology” was one of my favorite releases of 2016. Due to the immense popularity of BABYMETAL and the punk antics of B.I.S., idol groups with a heavy metal/hard rock sound started coming out of the woodwork. However, to me ゆくえしれずつれづれ (YSTZ) was the only group that had a great emo/HC vibe with quirkiness and intelligence to boot. Unfortunately their follow up ‘double A’ single “六落叫 / ニーチェとの戯曲” had less soul and the full album released in December is mostly generic metal fluff.
I think the producers at Codomomental realized that they’d get a much larger fanbase if they sounded less Emo/HC and more like BABYMETAL which is a shame.
Having said that, YSTZ put on a craaaaaaaaazy, energetic and intense show. And as long as they play three of the classics from their first mini-album their performance can’t miss. To be honest a lot of the craziness and energy (screamed chants, moshing, crowdsurfing) comes from the audience at YSTZ’s shows. Because of the aggressive style of the music their fans tend to be more youthful than the older dudes usually seen at idol events. They also have a greater proportion of female fans than most idol groups. YSTZ’s fans call themselves “群青” (goonjo) which is the color ‘ultramarine.’ The Gunjo are really creative in their support of YSTZ and often plan ahead all sorts of interesting things to do at the shows to make them more fun. 12-15 fans of Maison book girl came to Canada all the way from Japan to watch NMFT9. I’m gonna challenge the Gunjo to see if they can improve on that. LOL. Seriously, even if just a couple of Gunjo were to make it to Canada they’d show us how it’s done and the audience would become 10x more hype.
I have really great footage of YSTZ’s awesome performances with the crowd going ballistic but right now I’m not allowed to make these videos public as Codomomental prohibits any of YSTZ’s live footage from being shown. But I’ll be able to use portions in the teaser for NMFT10 where you can witness the YSTZ/Gunjo insanity for yourself.


So these are four of the five acts. I know Geoff, Jason (Soybomb) and some of you are shaking your heads and rolling your eyes because I’ve invited another idol group. Yeah, I’m not sure what I’m doing myself either sometimes. LOL. But having underground idol groups and punk/noise bands play together is commonplace in Japan and as long as there is enough integrity and artistic merit in the music I’ll be open-minded to inviting the occasional idol act to add a twist to and increase the variety of the line-up.

So a number of bands who were potentially going to be the fifth act had to back out. They really wanted to be part of NMFT10 but couldn’t come because of work/scheduling conflicts.

otori

Bad news is original bassist Miyata had to quit the band due to work and family reasons. Great news is OWARIKARA’s Tsuda-san became the new bassist and HOOOOOOOLY SHIT is the new line-up absolute fire! otori will be releasing a new album soon and they totally wanted to come to Canada and showcase the new songs to their Canadian fans.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if you guys remember but NMFT7 was held in June and the reason why is because otori and PENs+ couldn’t come in May. And the situation remains the same that otori’s guitarist can’t get time off work to come in May this year either. But don’t you guys worry because I’m doing another tour in October and otori have already committed to clearing their schedule to come to Canada then.

JYOCHO

I was actually super close to having Uchu Conbini reunite to be part of NMFT7 in 2015 but Daijiro and Yuto couldn’t convince EmiChoco to strap up the bass for one last tour. Daijiro loves Canada and I’ve been in close contact with him on bringing his next band on the NMFT tour. JYOCHO were almost part of NMFT9 but many of you probably don’t know that JYOCHO has never played a single show… ever. Not even in Japan. The singer, rionos, refuses to do any live performances which is why they couldn’t be part of NMFT9 (obviously).
Daijiro has been scrambling to find a new singer in time so that JYOCHO could play their first ever show in Canada as part of the NMFT10 tour. Daijiro thought it would be fun and an awesome publicity stunt to play their first show in Canada before Japan. But so far Daijiro hasn’t found a suitable replacement for rionos and he’s said it would be safer to wait to come to Canada in October for NMFT11.

That’s right otori and JYOCHO are basically confirmed for NMFT11!!

Elephant Gym

So I thought, CRAP! Since JYOCHO can’t do NMFT10 and neither can otori maybe a math-y band similar to JYOCHO would be good. And the band that immediately came to mind who I had been wanting to bring for a while but couldn’t because the members had army duty is a band that isn’t even Japanese. They’re from Taiwan and they’re the supremely awesome Elephant Gym who release their music in North America through Top Shelf Records
Since I was sure either otori or JYOCHO would be able to make it in May I was late in asking Elephant Gym. Their guitarist Tell replied back that they’ve heard amazing things about NMFT and would be STOKED to be part of the tour but they have a prior commitment to play an important show in Taiwan that conflicts with NMFT10. Tell said they’d absolutely love to come next year but I didn’t tell him about the tour in October yet.
Honestly, when I was emailing Elephant Gym I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about playing with the four bands already in the line-up because none of them are math/emo and they usually play those type of shows.
But how awesome would it be to have JYOCHO and Elephant Gym on the same bill in October?!! With otori!!
I’m going to email Tell back and see if Elephant Gym can make it in October instead of waiting till 2018.

校庭カメラガール (Koutei Camera Girl)

To be honest my first choice as idol group to bring for NMFT10 was actually Koutei Camera Girl Zwei.
In October, the staff of Maison book girl stayed with me at my parents’ home in Vancouver. They asked if I was going to bring another idol group to Canada after Maison book girl and I said I was considering either Yukueshirezutsurezure or Koutei Camera Girl Zwei. And they said, “Oh really?! Well that’s too bad then because tapestok records just announced that Koutei Camera Girl Zwei would be disbanding in January.” And I thought to myself “Fuck!” because I had a feeling that KCG whose music I liked but hadn’t seen live yet might be the best underground idol group around.
Then in November I got to see KCGZ perform and indeed they became my favorite idol group by far.
YSTZ arguably put on a more intense, energetic show but I loved KCG’s music so much more. And then in December, KCGZ released their final album “Night on Verse” which became my favorite release in all of 2016. The same day YSTZ released “ポスト過多ストロフィー” which I felt was their weakest effort thus far.
At first I preferred KCG’s sister act Koutei Camera Gal more because it was closer to traditional hip hop (note: I realize they’re using a Nas instrumental in the link) whereas KCGZ was EDM with rapped vocals. But more and more I started to lean towards the uniqueness of KCG Zwei because the music was much more diverse and creative and the vocal delivery wasn’t as laughably ‘thuggish.’
In a span of five weeks I got to watch KCG Zwei seven times before they broke up on January 13. Out of any band or idol group listed on this page (including otori, JYOCHO and Rin Toshite Shigure), Koutei Camera Girl Zwei became the act I wanted to bring most to Canada because their music and live show was just THAT good.

The good news (for me maybe not for Geoff) is that just last night tapestok records announced they’re forming a 3rd incarnation: 校庭カメラガールドライ (Koutei Camera Girl Drei) (note: shoutout to daze for pointing out my mistake in romanizing it as ‘dry.’ Zwei = 2; Drei = 3; Steve = Dummkopf in German)

And if the producers continue with the same quality of supremely dope beats and manage to find new members that are as charismatic and talented as KCG Zwei were then I have a feeling I might already be preparing to invite KCG Drei to Canada as early as October. (note: one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with KCG Zwei is because of warwar2me who is a huge fan of group_inou just like me and it’s depressing to know that Kouteka3 won’t have warwar in the line-up).

arigarnon friends

I love this band so much.
When Ryo decided to live in Canada for a year and put PENs+ on hiatus, Ariga decided to form his own band based on solo material he had been writing and accumulating the last couple years.
He recruited one of the dopest young drummers around in Sho Sato (from fulusu) (<--- you MUST watch his drumming) and invited his friend Ginya Kato to play bass. They started off as a 3-piece but then Ariga recruited Ino from bakyun the everyday for an unrivalled twin Jazzmaster attack. arigarnon friends were a shoe-in to be part of NMFT10. I was actually going to invite them to NMFT9 but decided to bring Hitsuji Bungaku instead. Unfortunately, Ariga starts the daily grind of office work life in April and once that happens he will never be able to get 10 days off to bring his band to Canada. I joked that I would save up money to buy the company he works for and bring arigarnon friends to Canada one day. LOL. I'm not that rich but hopefully one day Ariga lucks out and manages to get enough time to sneak off to Canada for an abridged tour.

So these are a number of bands (and idol group) that I had tried to get on the NMFT10 roster but lady luck refused to smile my way. At least, NMFT11 is looking mighty badass already.
But don’t sleep on NMFT10!!!!!! The Taupe and Yubisaki no Haku alone will have you shitting your pants and I am certain bakyun the everyday and YSTZ will surprise you with their awesomeness as well.

And oh yeah, I still have one more band to choose!!
Since this post is already way too damn long I’m going to end it here and start a new blog entry for you guys to weigh in on the possible choices for the 5th band of NMFT10.
Wait for it! (hopefully later today!)

A few more tickets were added to the online advance ticket pool for both May 19 (Rivoli) and 20 (Lee's Palace). There will definitely be tickets left aside to purchase at the door in limited quantities.

Advance tickets are now available at local record stores! Soundscapes & Rotate This in Toronto. Red Cat on Main, Red Cat on Hastings & Zulu Records in Vancouver. Cheap Thrills in Montreal.

Here are the Facebook event pages for: Toronto (Rivoli, Lee's Palace), Montreal, and Vancouver Tell us you're coming and please help spread the word by sharing the event!

Advance tickets for NMFT10 can be purchased online: Toronto at Rivoli & Lee's Palace, Montreal and Vancouver.

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