Last month I came across a new band at a show in Shinjuku: Oiran Shonen. It was a booking night, where the bands are invited by the manager or booking staff at the venue, as opposed to part of a tour or event organized by one of the bands performing. All of the bands seemed to be relatively new, young bands, so the place was pretty empty. Oiran Shonen took the stage near end of the night and played a really inspired set of songs. Their name means “Courtesan Boys,” but all three members are girls (I supposed for the irony value?). They hit a number of different styles, tempos, and time signatures but still managed to have a cohesive sound. They sound a little rock, a little punk, and a little kayokyoku (old school Japanese pop). The closest band I can think of is GO!GO!7188, but they certainly aren’t mimicking them; they have their own sound. The technical skills were a little bit lacking, but I’m excited to see where they’ll go. They’re based out of Kanagawa, the prefecture just south of Tokyo. So far they have a single 8-track venue-only CD. The YouTube video below is a song from that album.