I went to see Acid Mothers Temple in Tenjin last weekend, with a full bill that actually included Kinski from Seattle, who are on Sub Pop, and apparently love Japan as well as Acid Mothers Temple. Anyway, the show was great, and like the Haino Keiji show, totally not like a show in America. Well, it felt kind of like a college show that you have either organized or your friends have set up, and you go and when it actually gets started, it’s like this huge relief and awesome achievement that it actually happened. That’s kind of how this felt. The venue was really cool, and the guy that owned it actually played a set, you can see that in the terrible photo I took, above. The guy was playing an instrument that was a cross between a guitar, an accordion, a distortion pedal and a trumpet. It looked like Jules Vern invented it. He played it with Kawabata from Acid Mother Temple, who was doing really beautiful layered feedback shit, and this guy playing the drums/a light-sensitive television. So that was one of the opening sets, which was great, but right after, the club owner/steampunk guitar player started handing out champagne to everyone. We were trying to figure out if the champagne was actually for us, and people just kept pointing to it and then our mouthes. Like I said, everyone there seemed to have some hand in putting the show on, and were so stoked about bringing AMT to Fukuoka that they felt it would be appropriate to buy the fucking crowd champagne! I also thought it was appropriate. I have to point out that the underground community here is soo underground, it’s actually almost impossible to find out about these types of shows if you don’t know someone who knows. Internet promotion sucks, clubs are really hard to find; like this one was in a random alley on the 4th floor of a building. This is kind of frustrating for me, but when I do manage to crash one of these things, it’s like a family reunion for the people in this area, and they’re so thrilled about it that they want to, nay, they MUST give me alcohol. Anyway, it was also rad to see Kawabata from AMT do a neat ambient collabadoo. Also funny to mention, Acid Mothers Temple were all asleep during the third opening act, which was a grinding noise duo. I looked over and they were all snoring at the merch desk. This was especially hilarious because the keyboardist/guitarist Higashi Hiroshi looks exactly like a Japanese Tommy Chong, and he was sleeping with a cigarette that I thought was going to light his beard on fire. Anyway, they managed to wake up and play an amazing set. They are a magical band to see live, and if they come to Cleveland or Columbus this year and you own a car, you’re taking me.
For some reason, there was an ongoing drama throughout the set between Kawabata and his guitar strap. However, as the set reached its final climax, this turned out to be perfect for his guitar swinging solo. Oh, and this was the Melting Paraiso UFO version of Acid Mothers, in case nobody cared, haha
There’s a cool article on the early Tokyo music underground by Alan Cummings in the Wire, which can’t stop being my favorite magazine for some reason, I don’t know what it’s problem is, but anyway it’s a nice piece, and it’s particularly interesting to me to discover that the underground music here is still incredibly home-spun and tight-knit, like the best kind of Christmas sweater. Everyone is really nice to each other and really laid back, maybe because the Japanese media STILL doesn’t give half a shit about them, and neither does 90% of people in Japan. In America, counterculture is co-opted faster than bands can release albums, but in Japan the music is way too weird, and the people playing it are way too cool for that to happen. I don’t know. That might be a reason, but it’s a lesson to the rest of the world. Being an avant-garde musician doesn’t mean you can’t plug in your own effects pedals, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you can’t show your appreciate for the audience, like, by buying champagne AND providing the cups. Come on.
After the show, we went to meet some people who had the best idea ever; partying at a Love Hotel. I had been wanting to do this the whole time; just rent a room in a pretty swank love hotel in Nakasu or Tenjin and screw around. The cherry on top of this particular night was, ironically, Michael Jackon’s death. This meant that the radio stations were playing Michael Jackson songs all night. DANSU PA-TI!
I have to remind you that this was a love hotel, and it literally has everything you need for a romantic evening, and then some shit that you and your girlfriend or boyfriend would probably just laugh at. I won’t go into gory detail; it’s the sort of thing you have to see for yourself, in sort of a tour-mode, like, this is the two person sauna, the million switches for mood lighting, the, ahem, DVD collection, the 200-jet hot tub bath thing, all sorts of ridiculousness. Totally worth it, however. Anyway, tonight is Yamakasa, or rather tomorow at 4:59 am is Yamakasa, so I’m prepping myself for an intense night. Yamakasa is repped to be one of the most intense summer matsuris (festivals) in Japan, and if you just google image search it, you’ll see why. But better yet, wait for me to tell you about it! I just put some batteries in my camera, so it’s game on-desu