Akai Koen vs Natsumen

I am back in Tokyo, Japan!!Just 2 weeks after my last trip. But this time I'm only here for four days and the focus will be on music.

Last night I watched a great show at Shimokita Basement Bar. The band I wanted to see was o'valencia but all the bands were pretty good. Line-up in order of 1st to last: ハラフロムヘル / 夢見てる / where is my mind? / o'valencia / Day and Buffalo

All the bands at this show were of the underground power-pop, shoegaze variety. I missed out on the first band ハラフロムヘル and caught the last song by the 2nd band 夢見てる. At the show I was greeted by Ayuko, bassplayer for After the Greenroom. She told me that ハラフロムヘル were f*cking AWESOME and that I would totally love their live show. I said that I saw their one youtube clip but Ayuko said it's nothing compared to watching them in person.

I listened to ハラフロムヘル's demo last night and it RULES! Simple emo-garage-pop but with a lot of heart. Sort of a cross between thai kick murph and early ふくろうず.

o'valencia was just as good as I had remembered them at Shinjuku Red Cloth last year. Ayuko came to the show specifically to watch o'valencia as did Sato, singer-guitarist for Kinoko Teikoku.

Both o'valencia and kinoko teikoku have a similar mature pop-shoegaze sound with tendencies to spazz out on occasion with a wall of distorted guitars and crashing drums.

The band after o'valencia, Day and Buffalo were also surprisingly good. Melodic power pop with extremely tight and creative musicianship played with a ton of passion.

I chatted with Misato, singer of ハラフロムヘル, for quite a bit. She's a huge fan of チーナ's music and she actually knew my name and stuff about me/NMFT tour before we even met.

Tonight I'm going to watch Akai Koen and special guest: NATSUMEN !! Holy sh*t is this show going to be amazing. Maisa composed a new song, a ~10min masterpiece specifically for this event that Akai Koen and Natsumen are going to perform together.