And then there were 5

As it stands the line-up looks like: 1. 385 2. Merpeoples 3. 百蚊 4. チーナ

However, Natsumen are still lurking in the background. I have talked to their manager a couple times over the last few days and they couldn't have made it more clear how much they'd love to play in Canada. However, they would all have to take time off work and they are all very tight in terms of money (as are all the bands). But I'm not made of money either and I refuse to pay for all 8 members of Natsumen and their manager, soundman and roadie. The manager has cut his request down to the band + himself; however, ultimately the soundman must also come since he is necessary to Natsumen's performance. My friend Geoff contacted the Japan Federation in Toronto and looked into possible grants/bursaries. Thanks to him there could be a way to bring Natsumen (and all the bands) to Canada more affordably.

However, the biggest obstacle to bringing Natsumen on this tour would have to be their fans. Nothing would piss me off more than to go out of my way spending so much of my own time and money to bring Natsumen to Canada and have their fans come to the show without helping in any way.

I've made it clear numerous times that this is a grassroots tour for fans by fans. I may have started this project but it depends on everyone chipping in and helping for it to survive. Bringing a band with as many members as Natsumen puts me WAY over budget and it will be a nightmare for me to look after them and 3 other bands by myself on the tour. Other than Geoff and the person who came up with the idea for using Kickstart, noone interested in Natsumen has volunteered to help in any meaningful capacity.

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to come to the shows and one of my main goals is to help spread interest in Japanese music within the general public. But for the fans who already love Japanese music and in particular fans of the bands i'm going out of my way to bring for their benefit, I expect much more out of you than just coming to the show. I need people to help me design posters and create videos to promote the concert. It would be great if people living in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal could offer a few of the band members a place to crash so I don't have to spend so much money on hotels (I had all the bands and some fans, 21 people, stay overnight in my apartment in Toronto on the last day of the 1st tour!! And my room isn't THAT big). People in bands who could lend their drumkit or amps would be a huge help.

I posted messages at a couple of Japanese music fansites where hardcore fans of Japanese bands such as Natsumen tend to lurk. There were plenty of people interested in seeing Natsumen but noone willing to lift a finger to help.

I love Natsumen. They're a truly awesome band that I would love to bring to Canada in October and I would be willing to go over budget to bring them here. But for me to lose an extra $10,000 and have their apathetic fans sit back and watch me slave away by myself until the day of the show when they reap the benefit would make me want to go on a Natsumen fan killing spree. :)

It would be cheaper for me to fly a cool,deserving fan like Geoff over to Tokyo so he can watch Natsumen. (Seriously, we should go to Japan and watch shows together and get pissed drunk with Ian. hahaha)


Also, just as important as the financial and logistical burden of bringing Natsumen to Canada is the fact that I'd have to tell one of the other 4 bands that they can no longer come.

So who are merpeoples? Well I wrote a spotlight on them last year: check it out

As live performers they are nowhere in the same league as Natsumen. Watching Natsumen play live is the equivalent of musical orgasm. But what merpeoples lack in sheer skill and showmanship they make up for with a chock-full of charm, sexiness, quirkiness and fun.

For me, the best thing I get out of these tours is developing friendships with the bands. Charlotte wrote the sweetest email expressing how much Merpeoples would love to come to Canada and take part in the tour. They have sincere interest and are genuinely appreciative of the offer I've given them. Compare that to some other bands I've invited who act with a sense of entitlement and the delusion that they're the ones doing me a massive favor by (potentially) participating.

In choosing the bands I have to know I can get along with them and have fun with them on tour. Merpeoples aren't the most elite musicians but they are solid and getting tighter with each performance. Their music is lo-fi but incredibly catchy with awesome melodies. I've seen them live numerous times and hung out with them after shows and I know it will be a blast having them on tour. Natsumen vs 4 cute girls... c'mon now. :) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

385 I've mentioned frequently in my blog posts. To be honest, their music is a little bit one-dimensional and could use some variety/heterogeneity but the songs that do stand out are pure BADASS. I'm still disappointed ミドリ broke up and weren't able to come to Canada in May so having 385 come in their place is a nice consolation. Especially since Hajime (ミドリ) is currently playing support for them after Jun quit the band. Unfortunately, 385 will likely have found a permanent replacement by then but it would be cool if Hajime came to Canada with them in October.

By the way, Hajime seems to be hanging out with Kominami Yasuhaalot. Hajime was at the same show when I went to see her perform at Shibuya LUSH last year.

Okay, now I just realized he's a support member of her band: