NMFT10: Choosing the 5th band
Initially I was going to list off a bunch of bands in consideration for the final roster spot and let popular vote be the deciding factor. But then I realized I didn't have a single venue secured yet and the prices for airline tickets jumped from $1350 to $1500/person. Basically, I didn't have time to f*ck around on a popularity vote and time was running out on whether I could realistically afford to do the tour in May.
First off, the tour WILL happen and the schedule is:
May 19 (Fri) Toronto @ ?? May 20 (Sat) Toronto @ Lee's Palace May 22 (Mon) Montreal @ Divan Orange May 23 (Wed) Vancouver @ Biltmore Cabaret (most likely)
It took two weeks to successfully book Lee's Palace because a bunch of different promoters had already placed holds on it for May 20. But I managed to secure it somehow and Divan Orange as well. Those who live in Toronto should already know that Soybomb was forced to close down thanks to right-wing a-hole snitches. The plan was to still use Soybomb secretly on May 19 but Jason (Soybomb) felt I should secure a proper venue instead of taking the risk. Soybomb was perfect for NMFT. Even though the sound wasn't the greatest, it probably had the best vibe/atmosphere/crowd of any live music space in Canada, ever. Soybomb/Lee's Palace back to back was such a great combo. There will never be a space quite like Soybomb but hopefully I can find a new spot (~200 capacity) that complements NMFT almost as well.
In case you forgot, the four bands already on the roster are listed here. I do apologize because I was serious about letting fans choose the 5th band from a long list of potentials but with the threat of airfare creeping higher and higher I had to take executive action. I ended up sending invitations to three great bands hoping one of them could actually make the tour:
Hyacca is one of my favorite bands. But more importantly they are one of Geoff's favorite bands. LOL. Since Geoff does more than everyone else combined x10 in terms of helping me spread word about the tour (i.e. getting me radio, newspaper and TV coverage and promoting on social media) I should try to keep him happy. Hyacca were part of the legendary NMFT3 line-up. I've tried to bring them back to Canada again many times but their work schedule was always an obstacle. I assumed it would be impossible again but it turns out they CAN make it... but there's a catch... two wives and one kid need to come too. WHAAAAAAAAAT?!!! Thankfully, I'm not responsible in paying for their mini-entourage (least I damn well better not be) but if I go ahead with Hyacca it would bring the total number of people (band members + managers + Hyacca's extended family) to 26!!! From a logistical standpoint 26 musicians/people is a freaking nightmare. Also, if Hyacca ends up the 5th band it may be the most 'no-name' line-up in the history of NMFT (even though I guarantee it will be one of the best!). But seriously, it is tough to promote with a band like Hyacca since their internet and social media presence is almost nonexistent. Their existing Youtube content also does a sh*tty job of conveying the jaw-dropping awesomeness of their live shows. So I waited to hear from the other two bands.
雨のパレード (Ame no Parade)
Ame no Parade is practically on the opposite end of the spectrum from Hyacca. Whereas, Hyacca is almost completely unknown even in the underground scene, Ame no Parade is on a major label and one of the hottest young bands in Japan right now. From a promotional standpoint and for beneficial networking/political reasons, Ame no Parade would make my life a whole lot easier. I assumed it would be impossible for them to come in May with an invitation this late but apparently there is just one potential schedule conflict holding them back. There is a 50% chance they MIGHT have to do a show in Osaka on May 21st otherwise their schedule is free enough to take part in NMFT10. .. .. Really?!!!
This actually happens fairly often where I'll invite a band 4-5 months in advance and they'll turn down an expenses-paid invitation to play shows in Canada because they have a regular show in Japan they don't want to cancel. I know for a fact Ame no Parade's members are dying to come to Canada but their manager is worried about reneging on the show in Osaka. But seriously, how difficult is it to tell a promoter "I'm really sorry about this but we just received a fantastic offer to tour in Canada. Since it's still 4-5 months away is there any chance you could find another band to replace us so that we can go on this Canadian tour?" However, the real head-scratcher is the fact that it's only a 50% possibility they might have to do the show in Osaka. It's not even a done deal!! So hurry up and come to Canada already!!! But nope. The Japanese are really rigid when it comes to following through with obligations (even 50% ones) and Ame no Parade can't participate in NMFT10 unless the Osaka invitation falls through. So what did the third band have to say?
These guys are SICK! and I would love to have them on the roster but the problem is WONK has four members but usually perform shows with a 5th support musician. On top of that they have a manager. On top of that most of their songs feature guest vocalists/emcees so I'd probably half to bring at least one guest emcee like Jua who freestyles en français in the video below:
(yeah, that's me yelling in the call and response.*hides in embarrassment* LOL. And holy f*ck! @ the drummer! So good.)
Despite the staffing headache inviting WONK might entail I emailed their manager about NMFT10. They'd love to come BUT because of their jobs they'd only have time to do the Toronto shows. Would that be okay?
Well. Considering I live in Toronto and they'd still be able to do half the shows.... I said "Sure, why not!" .. .. j/k!!!!!!!!! There have been scenarios in the past where bands like Merpeoples and nayuta performed in Toronto but skipped other shows but I don't want fans in Vancouver and Montreal to have a conniption so I'm going to have to decline WONK's counter-offer.
Hey, what's that sound? Oh that was just Geoff screaming "F*ck yeah!!" all the way from Oakville because it looks like Hyacca is the 5th band on the NMFT10 roster. And now he's throwing dabs in silent jubilation.
I absolutely cringe at the idea of having to babysit 26 people across Canada but it's basically a done deal with Hyacca.
Having said that, I'll still list a few of the bands I was considering for the 5th roster spot. You guys can clamour "Steve!!! Hold up!!! If there's still time, invite ________ instead!!!!" in the comments section but then Geoff will probably murda yo' ass.
逃亡くそタわけ (Toubou Kusotawake) One of my favorite underground bands. Yeah that's me again you hear in the background shooting the video and shouting the chorus like an idiot. :)
AGE FACTORY Great friends of PENs+. Nobumi of bakyun the everyday feels they are the best up and coming band in the scene right now. They are supremely talented musicians but half of their songs have a bit of a generic emo-ballad quality that irks me. However, some of their songs are straight up fire like the song above and these ones too: "Puke" and "Ginger
Yoshida Yohei Group These guys are absolutely amazing live. But their band consists of seven members. Just hanging out with Kuro-chan (of TamTam) who is also in this band would be awesome but maybe on a future NMFT.
校庭カメラギャル (Koutei Camera Gal) Is ramy t talata legit shouting "To my ho(ez)! To my ho(ez)!" in the chorus? SMFH. *edit: No, it's actually the world's worst pronunciation of "Tomahawk! Tomahawk!!" and the song title is "GalTomahawk" * Since I love underground hip hop I used to prefer Koutei Camera Gal (aka Utegya) over the house/EDM stylized Koutei Camera Girl Zwei (aka Kouteka2) but after "Night on Verse" dropped, Kouteka2 became not only my favorite idol group but favorite band or group to watch live PERIOD. I would have brought Kouteka2 to Canada in a heartbeat even if it meant bringing them along with Yukueshirezutsurezure but Kouteka2's break-up was announced in September even before I had a chance to see them perform live let alone invite them. Utegya is also dope but their songs have nowhere near as much variety and creativity as Kouteka2. Hopefully, as time goes on Tapestok will inject some added fire into the instrumentals/production because (now that warwar2me is gone) ramy t is my fave member of the Tapestok massive. Don't be surprised if Utegya and Kouteka3 end up on NMFT11 or 12. :)
ミドリ (Midori) Midori was almost on the NMFT2 roster back in 2010 but they ended up responding too late and I had already finalized the line-up with sgt. How dope would Midori + MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS + uhnellys + susquatch have been?? I convinced Mariko Goto that coming in May during NMFT3 when the weather is much warmer and nicer would be even better and it worked. Midori was the first band confirmed for the NMFT3 roster and they were all set to come to Canada in 2011.... but then they decided to break up in December 2010. (FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!) The whole idea of NMFT started because I thought it would be awesome if one day I brought Midori, Rin Toshite Shigure and Chatmonchy on a tour of Canada because in 2008 those were my three favorite bands at the time. Even though it's been 6 years since Midori broke up I felt maybe I could talk Mariko Goto into reforming Midori even if it were just for NMFT10. And I would have given Midori an extra $10,000 to make it happen. I had this idea a couple years ago and when MOTFD got back together again I felt maybe there would be a chance for Midori to do the same. But when group_inou broke up and I found out how absurdly expensive Rin Toshite Shigure would be I gave up on the idea of asking Mariko Goto. However, they were totally open with coming to Canada before (even without a $10000 bribe) so there is a remote possibility of making this happen. It's probably too late now but I'm still choked at how close I was to bringing Midori to Canada before they surprisingly broke up in 2010.
There are artists and bands like
whom I'm super interested in but I haven't actually seen perform live yet so they are on the back burner for now.
There are also young interesting bands like: 花魁少年 (Oiran Shounen)
who are a bit too raw to bring yet but I am keeping an eye on them. Shout out to Chris for bringing them to my attention!! I really like this song by them --> 後天性のっぺらぼう (simple emo but awesome)
My friend Eric felt fulusu were one of the best bands at Fecking Bahamas vol 3. They kicked out the bassist and are now a 2-piece band (less expensive for me, yay! LOL) using pre-recorded bass. Sho Sato, the drummer, is a BEAST and one of the best young drummers around:
Microcosm Since Gesu no Kiwami Otome seems less busy after the whole Enon/Becky scandal I asked Mio if there was a chance Microcosm could get back together for NMFT10. But after I broke my promise to watch Mio's new band ayutthaya in December (I watched Kouteka Camera Girl Zwei instead) I figured Mio might be a bit pissed at me so I never bothered following up on Microcosm. LOL
There are a whole bunch of cool bands (more than I listed) that had a shot at NMFT10 but it looks like the final spot on the roster is reserved for Hyacca (26 people though?!! goddamnit!). Unless you can convince me to do otherwise and don't care about getting shanked by Geoff.
Note: Hyacca is based out of Fukuoka. I told them I'd pay for return flights to Canada departing from Tokyo but they'll be responsible for getting from Fukuoka to Tokyo and back. If they expect me to pay for transportation between Fukuoka and Tokyo (I'll probably give them some money to help but not 100%) or even worse, if they expect me to pay the cost to bring the three family members tagging along then Hyacca can Fuk(uoka) off! LOL. In that case, if Ame no Parade manage to settle the whole Osaka show non-sense in time, they might end up on the roster. Or maybe a band like AGE FACTORY... or even Koutei Camera Gal. LOL.