2012 Dec18 & 19: 浮遊ｽﾙ猫 / toe / stim / Kimura Kaela
2012.12.18: Last month during チーナ's one-man @ Daikan UNIT, Naka recommended a new band called 浮遊ｽﾙ猫 (fuyuu suru neko = floating cat) to me. I checked out their clips on Youtube and admittedly their style of music is a bit generic for my tastes but I was intrigued by the fact they namedrop チーナ in the following vid (7:50-8:15 mark):
There wasn't much going around live-music wise that I was interested in so I thought I'd check out fuyusuruneko with low expectations. Fuyuneko were playing at Shibuya 乙 (Kinoto) and they were the 2nd band up. The fact that they use Canadian band Death From Above 1979's "Romantic Rights" for their stage entrance music caught my ear and I gave them props for that.
Overall fuyuneko's music didn't veer off much from my expectations of an all-girl band playing emo-tinged alt-rock. But they were much better musicians than I expected and they showed glimpses of angular melodies/rhythm and rawness/dissonance that gave their music some edge. I also like the fact both guitarist Kyon and bassist Ichiru can sing lead, alone or in tandem.
So I enjoyed fuyusuruneko's set a lot more than I thought I would. They're an extremely new/young band who are reasonably skilled for their age and have potential to approach the success of a band like tricot in a couple years. Especially if they can be creative with music in ways that stray from the standard girl rock bands like SCANDAL, Stereopony etc. The other reason I'm being quite supportive of this band is because they told me they came and watched Next Music from Tokyo vol 3 in January @ Shindaita FEVER. :)
2012.12.19 木村カエラ (Kimura Kaela) / toe / stim / Shigekazu Aida / BRAZILLIANSIZE / Frontier Backyard @ Ebisu LIQUIDROOM
I am going to be honest and admit that I used to like Kimura Kaera's music quite a bit but I hadn't been to one of her shows in 3 years. My main mission tonight was to talk to toe's manager about taking part in NMFT5 or in future tours. To do this I didn't even have to watch the show since at LIQUIDROOM there is free access to the upstairs floor where bands sell merchandise. However, I did want to see toe play live and it would be nostalgic watching Kimura Kaela perform again. (note: I did see Kimura Kaela this summer at Rock in Japan but from really far away while transiting between Zazen Boys and Akai Koen's performances.) Unfortunately, tickets were already sold out and I didn't buy tickets in advance. Oh well. So I headed upstairs and managed to find members of toe who directed me to their manager. My right-hand man, Geoff, had emailed them about NMFT5 and toe's manager had some interest in coming to Canada especially since they are touring the US next year. However, they would need time to think about it, could not commit to anything and would send Geoff a response later on. Mission completed. I was on my way out of Ebisu LIQUIDROOM when I ran into Kenji Kakizawa of NATSUMEN. It turns out he was playing trumpet for Shigekazu Aida tonight. When he found out I didn't have tickets for the show he talked Kimura Kaela's manager into putting me on the guest list. Kimura kaela's manager also asked me to consider another band he manages called レムチャップ for a future NMFT tour. I actually looked into レムチャップ earlier this year because they played at Eternal Rock City. They're a bit too poppy like ねごと for my tastes but I told him I'd keep an eye out for them. Surprisingly, toe were the first band to play and they only had time for 3 songs?! The final song was "Goodbye" where Kimura Kaela joined toe onstage to provide vocals.
(note: this clip is with Asako Toki from the CUT dvd. I didn't take any video footage from tonight's show) Most of the audience came primarily to watch Kimura Kaela so it was great to see almost the entire crowd cheer and give a ton of appreciation for her drummer's band. In fact, all the bands tonight consisted of bands Kimura Kaela's support musicians normally play in.
Nakamura Keisaku has two "main" bands: kowloon and stim. But he also has side project bands like WUJA BIN BIN and Hotel New Tokyo. This is on top of being the keyboard player for toe, sgt. and of course, Kimura Kaela. I've met and hung out with Keisaku before at sgt's shows but I never knew he had such a great sense of humor. His banter during the emcee breaks had the crowd in stitches and when performing during Kimura Kaela's set he jumped up onto one of the amps and started dancing. Totally out of character from the somewhat quiet Nakamura-san I'm used to seeing.
At the show I ran into Akashi Koji of sgt and his wife. We spent most of the time in the lobby chatting and drinking since we didn't have a huge interest in watching the other bands outside of toe, stim and Kimura Kaela.
At the end of the show they gave away some sort of present to all the attendees. I have no idea what it is but they look like mini tissue boxes:
Although I don't know most of Kaela's newer material, she put on an energetic and entertaining show and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see her live again.