Shamrocks and Post-rock.
If I was forced to live my life as a do-over but couldn't be Japanese I might choose to be Irish... well... maybe Canadian born Irish.This is not based on any sound sociopolitical ideals... it just happens that some of my favorite artists/bands come from Ireland. =) I don't give a rat's ass about U2 or even the Cranberries though I feel female Irish singers such as Dolores, Sinead, Enya have the most hauntingly beautiful voices. Emm Gryner (Canadian-born Irish/Filipina) used to be one of my favorite singer-songwriters. The first show I saw after moving to Toronto was Emm performing at Ted's Wrecking Yard and to this day that show remains one of the most awe-inspiring performances I have ever seen. Coincidentally, I received an email today from Youtube b/c Emm (or her affiliate) complained about old concert footage I uploaded. Now the peculiar thing is the footage has been up for 3 years and was also made viewable on Emm's facebook page around the same time. All comments on the clips were extremely positive and harbored feelings of nostalgia as the footage was 8-9 years old. The only reason the clips were posted was for the benefit of Emm's longstanding fans and as a small means of helping to promote her greatness. (She's a talent who is grossly underappreciated in her home country.) Furthermore, there is a myriad of clips on Youtube with similar fan-footage of Emm in concert that I assume will likely remain up with no complaints. Not exactly sure why my clips (amongst many) got singled out all of a sudden and at this point in time. All of the clips on my Youtube account are with the intent of helping to promote bands/artists. Most bands have been very supportive but occasionally I've had bands email me requesting to take a clip down b/c they were unhappy with the quality (which is completely understandable and I've complied in removing such clips right away). Anyhow, thanks Emm for being so understanding (insert obvious sarcastic tone here).
Now onto 2 of my favorite Irish bands... actually bands period:
I first found out about Adebisi Shank a couple years ago when they toured Japan with Lite. Although I was in Japan myself at the time I missed the opportunity to see them perform but I did pick up their fantastic ep "This is the ep of a band..." and fell in love instantly. I finally had the chance to see them live at Rancho Relaxo's during Canadian Music week in Toronto. That was a fucking incredible show that was made even more memorable by the guy dancing like a madman in front of me who eventually got invited on-stage by Vinny to sub in for bass. Adebisi played again the next night for a showcase of Irish bands at the Hideout. Unfortunately, the friend i went to the show with isn't a fan of bands sans vocalists so we immediately left for the Whippersnapper gallery to catch Japanther after adebisi finished.
The Japanther show at WSG was extremely enjoyable BUT it kills me to know that had I stayed at the Hideout I could have watched And So I Watch You From Afar. I didn't even know who ASIWYFA were at the time but they gave away free samplers of Irish bands at the showcase. When I listened to the sampler the next day and heard "Set Guitars to Kill" I had to "Set My Underwear to Change"
Serendipitously I ended up catching ASIWYFA at SXSW but it would have been great seeing Adebisi and And So.. on the same night at home in Toronto. Coincidentally, Vinny of Adebisi Shank just asked me to email him. I hope it's not about taking Youtube clips down. =) Actually, at some point I would love to bring a couple japanese bands to Canada to tour with Adebisi Shank & And So I Watch You From Afar. However, I need to make sure I do a good job with my 1st tour before committing to such a project. But it would be an unquivocally sick tour for the Irish half alone.