One last round of voting!
Good news! Kinoko Teikoku are inBad news: group_inou can no longer participate
More good news: I asked my friend Hiro (ex-manager of Akai Koen & Mass of the Fermenting Dregs), an unbiased and very reliable judge of musical talent to watch Uchu Combini play live and to tell me what he honestly thinks. He was quite impressed. Especially by their technique and skill. I was worried about their lack of stage presence and emotion but Hiro felt they had these qualities in more than adequate amounts. And the best part is they would be able to come to Canada in May.
So I can just go ahead with a line-up of Kinoko Teikoku, jizue, Happy!Mari and Uchu Combini.
I think this is pretty solid although we do lose the crazy, ferocious stage energy of group_inou and replace it was a mellow, technically impressive Uchu Combini. This is a lot different from the line-up I originally envisioned with tricot, group_inou, Happy!Mari and jizue which would have SLAYED for sure!! I don't think I've downgraded the quality with Kinoko and Uchu Combini but the atmosphere and balance is a lot different now.
I don't mind going ahead with Uchu Combini but…. there are a few more bands worth considering; although I haven't even asked yet if they're available to come to Canada in May. I need to make a decision a.s.a.p and most likely it will have to be Uchu Combini but the following bands are under consideration:
1. MAMADRIVE homepage
They’re from the city of Kobe and started off with a style similar to NMFT alum band Mass of the Fermenting Dregs who were also from Kobe.
Although MOTFD were much more post-punk/HC while MAMADRIVE have more of a mainstream arena-rock feel. However, MAMADRIVE have recently switched up their style to a technical sound resembling tricot.
I saw them play live last year and they're very energetic and know how to play to the crowd:
One of the reasons I was initially reluctant to bring tricot in 2011 was due to the fact their music wasn't exactly in-line with the post-punk/underground/creative aesthetic of NMFT. MAMADRIVE also have a straightforward generic J-rock quality that doesn't sit well with me but if I'm willing to compromise and bring tricot then I guess I can consider MAMADRIVE.
2. mothercoat homepage
One of the very first bands I brought to Canada. Their sound almost perfectly exemplifies the thought provoking originality and musical brilliance I look for in NMFT bands.
Some people may be put off by the vocals but those that aren't are usually blown away by this band when they perform live.
3. nayuta homepage
Truly great band that's loved by a lot of underground heads in Tokyo's music scene. The problem is we're talking really underground and hardly anyone in Japan knows about them. Their music is unique. Noone else sounds like them and they're also fantastic musicians who know to jam and improvise so that every time you see them the songs are a bit different.
Here they take the 3rd song "manchicken" from the above video and stretch it from 5min to 14min of pure amazingness. This is a true live band compared to Uchu Combini who right now only know how to play a song one way, the same as it sounds on the CD. To me what separates a great live band from an average band is their ability to improvise and add new tweaks to songs at the drop of a hat to give songs a new feel so that it doesn't sound exactly like the CD. The following may be taking it a bit to the extreme but it shows that they're true musicians and not robots that do things only one way.
I don't think nayuta are going to get too many votes but this band also exemplifies the unique sound and incredible talent I look for in NMFT bands. I'd compare them to Praha Depart in that people who appreciate underground music will love nayuta but people who only listen to mainstream or typical US/UK indie will not comprehend this band. Praha Depart blew people away in Vancouver and Montreal but they sort of bombed during the 2nd Toronto show because the largely Japanese crowd didn't quite get what Praha were about and were weirded out. Anyhow, they're going to be touring in New York and nearby cities in November 2014 and I'm definitely going to support them by going to see them when they do.
4. rega homepage
I was thinking of bringing them for NMFT7 with tricot. Since jizue are already on the roster would having two instrumental bands be too much? I don't think so since they don't sound anything alike but some people might be turned off by having more than one inst band. Also, all of the current youtube videos only show their clean sounding, jazzier material but they actually have some songs, especially newer ones with a much beefier, heavier sound. Unfortunately none of these songs have been captured on youtube.
Realistically it looks like it's going to be Uchu Combini but let me know if you'd much rather see any of the above bands instead. I think MAMADRIVE is going to get a lot of votes but their music deviates the most from the style of music I want associated with NMFT.
In case you forgot, this is Uchu Combini: