Next Music From Tokyo 11

On for the second time this year, Next Music From Tokyo will bring five indie bands on a four-stop tour of Canada. The genre of music over the years covers a pretty wide range, but often features bands with female vocals, math rock, experimental/noise bands, and most recently underground idols. Here’s the line up coming this October:

JYOCHO

Formed in 2016 by Daijiro (formerly of math pop band Uchu Combini), this band has yet to actually play a live show. The recording singer for their first minialbum which dropped in December was disinclined to play shows, and now that they have a new singer for a live line up, their first gigs will be on this edition of NMFT. They are mathy and light, and a bit folky. Inclusion of a flute is a unique highlight.

Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu

Returning to Canada again after touring on NMFT volume 8. They have a dark alternative sound, occasionally whimsical, occasionally reminiscent of Showa Japanese pop. The music video I linked is their most recent, but most of their songs sound fairly different since most songs are written by vocalist/keyboardist Anisonin and not guitarist Hoshi.

o’summer vacation

This band I’m unfamiliar with but seems to be a kind of noise rock three piece band with just drums, vocals, and bass. Twitter lists their location as Kyoto and Facebook indicates they’ve been going since 2010.

Koutei Camera Girl Drei


This will be the third time in a row an (anti) idol group has made it into the lineup, so perhaps that will be a mainstay of future NMFT as well. From what I can tell, Koutei Camera Girl was the original version of this idol group, and at some point they renamed to Koutei Camera Girl Zwei (Koutei Camera Girl 2). They broke up in January of this year, but are reforming with new members under the name Koutei Camera Girl Drei (3). Their sound seems to be a mix of typical idol music with rapping, but the song I linked has more of a lo-fi quality.

Nuito

Nuito are a big name in the Japanese math rock scene who were on a hiatus from 2009 until last year. They are a bit on the aggressive side with a helping of progressive rock and twangy guitar.

Oct 6 Toronto @ Tranzac
Oct 7 Toronto @ Lee’s Palace
Oct 8 Montreal @ Divan Orange
Oct 11 Vancouver @ KW Studios

Upcoming release of tricot’s third full album “3”

The album was announced a couple months ago, but the full details are finally out and about for 3. The Japanese version of the album will be released on May 17th. It will be available as a digital download and as well as in two different physical versions. The first will be a minimalist “Simple is the Best” version with no jacket or lyrics booklet, pictured below, and will sell for 1500 yen.

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There is also a 999 copy limited edition Deluxe version. The songs will be split into three discs, each curated by one of the band members. It will be in a box designed by artist Cho Hikaru and include a jigsaw puzzle. With the limited number and high price tag of 4,860 yen, it’s only for collectors. Lead vocals Ikkyu mentioned that it initially was going to be even more expensive, but they toned it down. There’s no visual of the Deluxe version available at this time. It’s being sold only at Tower Records and most of the preorders have already sold out, after being made available on Monday night.

Additionally, for the first time tricot’s album will be released by record labels in additional countries. Big Scary Monsters will be releasing it in the UK/EU and Topshelf Records will release it in the U.S. on May 19th. It will be available on CD and vinyl, with a design featuring a taxidermied butterfly.

v600_3_vinyl_coverv600_tricot-3-cd

On March 25th, tricot held a concert at O-West in Shibuya where they played the entirety of their new album in the same track order as the CD. I was luck enough to see the show and the new songs sound great. They still have some of their standard sound but also mix in some new elements and effects. We also see the return of “Pork Ginger.” Although the music video can be watched on YouTube, the song was only available for purchase on Bandcamp for a few days at Christmas 2015. also includes “Setsuyakuka” which was the lead track from their KABUKU EP released last year.

  1. TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL
  2. WABI-SABI
  3. Yosoiki (よそいき)
  4. DeDeDe
  5. Sukima (スキマ)
  6. pork side
  7. Pork Ginger (ポークジンジャー)
  8. Echo (エコー)
  9. 18,19
  10. Namu (南無)
  11. MUNASAWAGI
  12. Setsuyakuka (節約家)
  13. Melon Soda (メロンソーダ)

     

Finally, last week a new song from the album “DeDeDe” was released on iTunes in Japan and is available for listening on YouTube as well. It’s got a bit of a Latin groove with a chorus reminiscent of “Oyasumi.”

All in all, I’m very excited for the release next month. Following the release, tricot will be heading out on a 47 stop tour where they will visit every Japanese prefecture besides their now-home of Tokyo (and twice in Hokkaido). There’s about a month gap in the middle where they will be playing at ArcTanGent Festival in England August 17-19 and I expect they will play more shows in the UK and Europe around that time.

 

Next Music From Tokyo vol. 10

Next Music From Tokyo is a tour of Japanese indie musicians across Canada, organized and paid for out of pocket by my friend and fellow music enthusiast Steven Tanaka. In the past, NMFT has featured bands you may have heard of such as andymori, MOTFD, Akai Kouen, Zazen Boys, and Kinoko Teikoku, as well as plenty you may have not, like Merpeoples, a favorite of mine which broke up a couple years ago. It happens 1-2 times a year, and the current format is a four-stop tour with two shows in Toronto, one in Montreal, and one in Vancouver.

Here are the five bands making up the line up for Volume 10:

Yubisaki Nohaku

Bakyun the everyday

The Taupe

Hyacca

Yukueshirezutsurezure

 

I’ve talked about Yubisaki Nohaku quite a lot on here before, but they’re one of my favorite alt rock bands at the moment. Bakyun the everyday is the only other of the five groups I’ve seen live, but they’re a quite energetic punk/garage rock band with twin male/female vocals. The Taupe is also a favorite of a lot of my friends in Tokyo. Hyacca is the only repeat band on the list from a previous NMFT. Yukueshirezutsurezure is an alt idol group, which makes this the second NMFT in a row to include such a group.

May 19 Toronto @ The Rivoli
May 20 Toronto @ Lee’s Palace
May 22 Montreal @ Divan Orange
May 24 Vancouver @ Biltmore Cabaret

http://www.nextmusicfromtokyo.com/

 

 

COMezik’s First U.S. Tour This January

Three-piece alt rock band COMezik will be playing six shows in NJ, NY, MA, and RI from January 3rd through 8th. Their sound has a bit of a metal influence and some idiosyncratic vocals, and they overall remind a bit of System of a Down. This is my favorite track. Their live shows are great, so I’d definitely recommend checking them out if you’re in the area.

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Zekkei Kujira signs to tricot’s Bakuretsu label

In a bit of serendipity, I talked about Zekkei Kujira and tricot in the same post earlier this year, and it turns out they are now labelmates, with Zekkei recently announced to become the first band signed to tricot’s independent label Bakuretsu. That is of course excluding tricot’s joke band “Disappointing Girl.”

In a follow up to Tadori (“picture taken by someone else”), released earlier this year on Jackman Records after being one of the 2015 winners of the RO69 JACK 2015 amateur band contest, in just four days they will release Jidori (“selfie”) on Bakuretsu. “Saishin heiki” (“newest weapon”) is the single track from this upcoming mini album.

Ex-Stereopony’s Aimi is Back Again

One of the first Japanese bands I took an interest in was pop/rock three piece Stereopony. Back at that point, I wasn’t paying much attention to the Japanese music scene and discovered them due to their song being the theme to a (mediocre) anime, the sequel to Darker than Black. Stereopony was also the first band I saw in Japan (which you can read about in this old post).

After they broke up, the frontwoman Aimi did some acoustic shows here and there. Next, she had a big build up as a solo project, with a song as the theme to a play and one headliner concert. The music was pretty similar to what she had written for Stereopony. But after that, her solo career ceased as quickly as it began.

Next, she teamed up with guitarist Arai from serial TV drama to make a zombie-themed hard rock band called Alice in Underground. They released a couple singles and played shows before ceasing all activity without even an announcement.

Now, Aimi’s back again. This time with a pop solo project. She has her first gig coming up next month, and today she released a YouTube video with partial demos of two tracks. On first listen, this is my least favorite of her work so far, but I’m remaining cautiously optimistic.