Sayonara Goto-san and best wishes to all of ミドリ
I'm an idiot. I knew about Midori's concert on Dec 30 and bought a ticket for it over a week ago without knowing the significance of the event. (Due to the fact I can't read kanji well at all!) I had met and talked with Mariko Goto in October and she was keen on coming to Canada next year. Their manager told me they would be recording/releasing a new album around May/June which is why I was postponing bringing Midori to Canada until October.
Now I just read their site more closely and realized that the title of the concert is "Sayonara Goto-san" signifying that Mariko Goto is officially leaving the band. Obviously, there is no ミドリ without Mariko Goto and apparently a statement was made today over Ustream (which I haven't watched yet) that the Dec 30 show will be ミドリ's last.
That explains why Hajime was in a weird mood when I saw him at the MOTFD tour finale and at Shibuya LUSH a few days ago and gave me strange answers when I asked him about Midori coming to Canada in October.
That also explains why 385 are now with Perfect Music Records.
This actually puts a huge damper on me wanting to continue with the Next Music from TOKYO tours. ミドリ are one of my favorite bands and it was going to be a huge coup bringing Midori to Canada since they've rejected all offers to play in foreign countries in the past. It's really a shame since they are one of the best live acts I have ever seen. Luckily I had the chance to see them live 11 times in 2008-2009. I haven't seen them play at all this year though. So I'm thankful I'm in Tokyo right now and will make it to their final show.
So no more Midori for NMFT vol 4, but Natsumen really want to take part. I also talked to Nakano Pierre about Rin Toshite Shigure and it'll likely be costly but doable. When RTS went to the UK they brought their sound tech and vey minimal crew (~2 roadies).
If I do a tour in May, the line-up is looking like: N'Shukagawa Boys and/or KIng Brothers (2 members play in both bands). 385 viridian (from Nagoya, not Tokyo. There is another band from Tokyo with the same name.) SuiseiNoboAz or a band from the Zankyo label (?Mudy on the Sakuban, Perfect Piano Lesson or te' if I'm lucky) or SOUR
Others I'm strongly considering: otori, Praha Depart, wozniak, BUGY CRAXONE.
I'm not sure I'm willing to spend ~$30,000 on a line-up I'm still lukewarm about however. Therefore I'm leaning back towards taking it easy in May.