A F*cked Up Halloween (shh.. double entendre)
Ryogo (グーミ) gave me the heads up that his friend Kokaji Takayuki is visiting Toronto and wants to meet up with me. Kokaji's girlfriend, Mayuko, has been in Toronto for almost a year on a working holiday and he came over to spend some quality time with her. I found out that Mayuko went to watch both Next Music from TOKYO tours and she helped support my fat ass while I crowd surfed @ Velvet Underground. Kokaji Takayuki is a guitarist and singer for a bunch of bands in Japan. His main band is probably →SCHOOL←「
Another is Chamois. He has at least 4 bands at the moment. He also plays support bass for a bunch of other artists/bands including eri-nyo. Finally, in addition to being the busiest musician in Japan, he's also a promoter on the side. The same way I bring Japanese bands to Canada, Kokaji has been bringing J-indie bands to Korea in order to stir up more interest in indie/underground J-music. One F'd up thing that Kokaji told me is that in Korea, for a cover charge of $10 you can go to shows with 5 bands playing... AND it's ALL YOU CAN DRINK!!. GOOD F*CKING LORD!! I need to go to Korea! This year Kokaji brought eri-nyo
and Anima to Korea.
You might remember ANIMA from the Dope Female Drummer Thread As a bit of trivia, ANIMA's guitarist is going out with eri-nyo and he also plays support Gt in her band. Here they are together:
It turns out that Kokaji's birthday falls on Oct 31 i.e. Halloween. Which is somewhat F'd up. He said growing up his friends would go trick or treating instead of coming to his birthday party. Since it was Kokaji's birthday, I took him to a restaurant near his girlfriend's homestay: Black Hoof. My friend Larry joined us b/c he loves good food and Black Hoof is one of his fave restaurants. Mayuko (Kokaji's gf) joined us later on as well. She was dressed up as a China Doll for a Halloween party she'd be going to later. We started off with some charcuterie.
It was good, but honestlly I don't understand all the fanfare behind charcuterie. It's pickled meat for chrissakes. I don't deny that it takes years of training to prepare properly but I find it to be a profound waste of good meat given we have these new inventions called refrigerators and freezers.
In Japan, 牛タン (gyuutan = beef tongue) is rather popular so we shared a beef tongue on brioche sandwich.
The most F'd up thing we ate was the duck heart tartare.
It was ordered on recommendation by the waitress. It totally slipped my mind that I was consuming RAW DUCK HEART until the slimy, sinewy texture nearly caused me to cough up my own cardiac organ. I actually managed to gulp it down without vomiting. I seriously considered becoming vegetarian at that point. My sincerest apologies to Donald, Howard and Daffy.
The most interesting dish was the Uni (sea urchin) Carbonara.
Kokaji seemed to like Canadian micro-brewery beer. Larry drank Innis & Gunn. It's a Scottish beer that is aged in whisky barrels and it tastes f*cking legend. It's become one of my favorite beers along with Hitachino Nest white ale.
After eating at Black Hoof, Larry had to take off but Kokaji, Mayuko and I walked over to the Garrison to watch F*ucked Up Fest with Holy F*ck, the Sadies and... F*cked up. Kokaji wanted to see at least one show in Toronto before heading back to Japan on Nov2. Since it was 1130pm when we got there, the only band left to play was F*cked Up. The show was sold out but we managed to get in since some patrons left early.
F*cked Up started their set with a bunch of Seattle "grunge" classics: Pearl Jam "Even Flow", Mudhoney "Touch Me I'm Sick", Hole "Miss World", Temple of the Dog "Hunger Strike" and Nirvana "In Bloom"
Then they played about 5 original songs
To be honest I have never listened to any of F*cked Up's albums. Prior to the show I had seen a couple of their clips on youtube but that's about it. However, I did know that they had won the Polaris prize last year for their album "The Chemistry of Common Life." I also know that their shows are legendary for the crazy mosh pits, stage diving and singer Pink Eyes stripping down to his skivvies exposing his vainglorious manboobs. I can definitely see why F*cked Up has garnered so much hype and worldwide recognition. Damian (Pink Eyes) is incredibly charismatic, witty and you can tell he just loves performing and making sure the crowd has the time of their lives. He spent half the time in the crowd, pacing around the entire dancefloor hugging fans. He's big and mean enough to sh*tkick half of UFC's roster but he seems to be one of the friendliest guys you could ever meet. The band is loud as f*ck and reasonably tight. However, many of their songs sounded the same with simple/trite chord progressions. Do they really need three guitarists to achieve that sound? There's a whole lot more going on with Rin Toshite Shigure's music with TK as the sole guitarist (and also the lead singer!)
I was a bit irritated at how F*cked Up had such a great turnout (they deserve it) but all these people were completely oblivious to the immensely talented Japanese bands that came through town 2 weeks before.
Anyhow, I wrote in a previous post that a line-up of F*cked Up, Matt & Kim, Monotonix and Japanther would be a ridiculously fun and energetic show. For NMFT vol 3 I want to create the Japanese version of such a show. With mowmow lulu gyaban, SEBASTIAN X and the Mornings tentatively on the roster, it may end up the funnest show Canada has ever seen. Though I want to add a more "serious" technical band to finalize the roster. We'll see how the line-up crystallizes in the next couple weeks.