Oh Sucka! Not-so Yucky Niku and a potential line-up change.

I decided to make use of my JR pass and head southwest to Osaka.The internet connection at my hotel has gone AWOL so I am currently typing this post at an internet cafe. There is a bit of a dilemma regarding Merpeoples' participation with the NMFT3 tour. I don't want to get into specifics but there is a chance another band may be taking their place but nothing is definitive. For now assume Charlotte et al are coming to Canada but be prepared for a possible change.

On Fri Jul 30, I probably should have been in Niigata taking video footage of NATSUMEN and showing support for uhnellys but I decided to take it easy and stay in Tokyo. During the day I hung out with my friends Ryotaro (Kulu Kulu Garden) and Vish (fan who went to both NMFT vol 1 and 2 in Toronto). Ryotaro and Vish are creating the official NMFT3 promo video. Ryotaro is doing all the main work and Vish is offering some technical advice. The video is looking absolutely amazing so far esp since it's a DIY project. After watching what Ryotaro has done with the video so far we went to eat lunch at Tonchang in Ikebukuro. From what I've heard people line up for blocks to get a table at the original Tonchang in Shin-Okubo but the Ikebukuro branch at lunchtime was fairly empty. Tonchang is a korean restaurant that specializes in grilled fatty pork strips (like yakiniku but with pork. Butayaki?) and using the grill at the end to cook rice mixed with sesame seed oil, kimchee, scallions, spices and a variety of toppings with the best being more of the fatty pork strips and loads of CHEESE. Ooooh man was the last rice dish ever tasty. When I get back to Tokyo or when my hotel internet starts running again I'll post some mouthwatering pics/video. For dinner I went to a great Kyushu izakaya that specialies in tebasaki chicken wings. People rave about the wings at Sekai no Yamachan but the tebasaki chicken at とめ手羽 (TomeTeba) is in a completely different league. After eating there you wouldn't serve the tebasaki wings from Yamachan to your dog let alone yourself. Yamachan's wings have barely any meat and are way overspiced. Tometeba's wings are loaded and literally dripping with the juiciest, premium chicken meat and have the perfect amount of spicing. Their ochazuke (normally a simple unassuming dish of steamed rice mixed with tea) is also out of this world. Shinjuku isn't known for having great places to eat but TomeTeba is a "well-kept" secret that actually isn't so well kept because the place is completely packed from open till closing. The company at dinner was my bro, Hiroki (older brother of Yutaka from Sebastian X), MOTFD's manager and his gf, and one of the A&Rs from Zankyo Records. I was given some really sweet advance copies of CDs eg 赤い公園 (akai kouen) and Mudy on the 昨晩. The new 赤い公園 demo is the best thing I have heard in a very long time and 赤い公園 has sort of become my new favorite band. Similar to Matasita89 and ミドリ, Akai Kouen are very secretive/private and refuse to put youtube clips of live performances on the internet. They even go a step further by not having any samples of their music to hear on Myspace, Audioleaf or anywhere on the internet. The members of Akai Kouen are only 18-20 years old but they're ridiculously talented and are making their major label debut next year. They sound like how pre-Seimeiryoku Chatmonchy with Maps and Atlases and My Bloody Valentine thrown in. Obviously they're not as skilled as Maps but it's scary how good these girls are going to be in a few years.

On Jul 31st, I was invited to watch MOTFD perform at Zepp Tokyo for Girl's Factory 2011. I watched 1-2 songs at most by FLiP, Scandal and Steropony who are all-girl bands that play generic arena-rock. For the most part my friend Midori and I wandered off to other parts of Odaiba to stave off boredom from the female rock snore-fest. MOTFD didn't get the hugest ovation from the anime-watching crowd who were partisan to Stereopony and Scandal but they were easily the highlight of the fest in my opinion. They had Naoya of Qomolangma on guitar and played almost all new songs saving "Highlight" for last which Nacchan knows is my favorite motfd song. Their is tons of pressure from the label for MOTFD to churn out more accessible music for potential radio hits. The new songs are poppier in a sense but at the same time they're alot more experimental and aggressive in parts. Nacchan will always be punk/HC at heart and she's doing her damndest to keep that element in her songs despite opposing forces that want something more radio-friendly.

In a couple hours I'm headed off to Osaka Muse to watch a show with a long line-up of bands. The ones I'm interested in are memento森 and chouchou merged syrups.