Blog - June 2009 Archives

June 2009 Archives


Music Stage .29 Maezono Naoki Group live at Atelier Fontaine: report
Music Stage .21 frenesi in-store live report
Art Photo Tokyo .21 Gwa Gwa exhibition, and more El mas Santo
Art Photo .16 El mas Santo in Tokyo pt.2
Art Photo .07 El mas Santo in Tokyo

June 29, 2009

Music Stage Maezono Naoki Group live at Atelier Fontaine: report

前園直樹グループOn Friday, June 19th, I went to Atelier Fontaine, a theater located near Roppongi, to see a "one-man" show of Maezono Naoki Group who were about to release their first album a few days later, on vinyl only. Tickets for the event were reserved by email, as it's often done, but I was surprised to actually receive a specially designed actual ticket by mail. The ticket was paid for on the event day at the entrance, and there was no shipping fee at all. Also upon arriving, everyone received a special edition of the Group's self-produced 'zine. All those unusual practices are part of the Group's great attention for detail.

Located three floors underground, we arrived in the modest sized room of 10 rows by 12 seats. The very high ceiling made it about cubic in size. Sitting at the 9th row, the stage felt at the same time far and close. Waiting for the start, I looked at the yet unreleased record that I had just bought at the entrance, noticing more fascinating details, like the 7-inch like design of the center label.

The show featured most songs from the album, some other regulars that they often play live, but a lot of the set actually consisted of newly rehearsed songs that they played live for the first time.

Maezono Group 1st set: hoshi ga itta yo / Tokyo no machi ni yuki ga furu hi, futari no koi wa owatta. / koibitotachi no jikan / asa / aozora o dakishimeyou / kuroi hanabira / Alicante/yoru no Paris

The show also featured two special guests, the first one was Smooth Ace, a chorus group whose lead members include a guy of the Gospellers. Smooth Ace were produced by Konishi-san recently on the "uta to Guitar. Piano. kotoba." compilation, with a Nomoto Karia cover, but also on a single in 2004. They sang both of these songs accompanied by the group. They were amazing!

With Smooth Ace: dōshite konnani anata ga suki nano darō. / korekara ai ni iku yo.

The 2nd guest was Lemon (blog and photo), an indies female singer with a great voice who also appeared on "uta to Guitar." She showed up in a sexy décolté black dress and her signature big hair. She recounted the recording where she kept stepping too close to the mic, and Konishi-san ended up putting a pencil on the floor and telling her not to step further. Now when she listens to the song she remembers how she was worried about the pencil on the floor as she sang. :) That was her first work with Konishi-san, but she couldn't leave after just one song. She started the next with a monologue about how there aren't any kind and cute and rich men lately. The next song was of course a cover of P5, the first track from "Playboy Playgirl"! (see lyrics)

With Lemon: utahime / fukeiki (La dépression)

Then things became a little bit quiet again, continuing with the group alone. Konishi pointed out that at this show the band gets eaten by the guests. :) The highlight here was again a P5 cover, "kodomotachi no kodomotachi no kodomotachi e", that had everyone clapping along.

Maezono Group 2nd set: kanashii sake / kyō wa sora ga ame de dekiteru / kodomotachi no kodomotachi no kodomotachi e / suki nandakara / yoake no uta

The band went off-stage, but came back quickly for an encore. I was glad that they hadn't forgotten to play my favorite, Sugar Babe's "Show"! I find it too bad that it didn't make it to the album.

Encore: Show / mado ni akari ga tomoru toki

The show contained a total of 18 songs, and lasted a whole 2 hours. To make it all perfect, when heading out everyone was handed a set list sheet.

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 23:35 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (0) | Tweet |

June 21, 2009

Music Stage frenesi in-store live report

Today I went to HMV Shinjuku South to see a free in-store live show by frenesi. I've been really enjoying her new album "Cupra" and couldn't wait to see her live. She was accompanied by 4 musicians, on piano, bass, steel drum and cajón. Frenesi played some leads on her keyboards once in a while, but most of the time just sang with her cute and quiet voice.

All her musicians funnily wore HMV outfits, and after a few songs Frenesi said "thanks to all from HMV" and her band gave a small bow, haha. :)

She played several songs from the new album, but also some non-album ones. The 30-minute set was mostly upbeat bossa-ish pop songs, as goes her repertory. I really liked how the steel pan gave the sound a special touch. The set opened with Lowits Arc, one of my current favorites from the album. There was also chōrinkairyūtai I think, a song about a very tall boyfriend, and closing the set was nero.


Frenesi can be seen live again on July 18 (Saturday) at the FP*L event at Shibuya O-nest, together with The Lady Spade, marino, EeL, Sexy-Synthesizer and Consumers. Check the details at Tokyo Gig Guide.

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on June 21, 2009 at 21:20 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (2) | Tweet |

Art Photo Tokyo Gwa Gwa exhibition, and more El mas Santo

Today I went to see an exhibition of works by Gwa Gwa, an animation and design unit formed of good friend Shimada Kozué and her husband. Displayed were forests with lots of mushroom characters, lit plastic bottle installations, and a demonstration of real-time animation using a video camera and a turntable.


The mushroom forests were a perfect environment for our El mas Santo wrestlers.

El mas Santo X GwaGwaEl mas Santo X GwaGwa

The mushrooms can be seen in action in the short stop-animation film "DoReMi", also shown on a big screen at the exhibition along with other video works.

Lots of great ideas and talent! The exhibition ends tomorrow on June 21 (Sunday), so if you have time go have a look!

Gwa Gwa 展
Gallery okarina B
2-16-10 Nezu, Bunkyō-ku, Tokyo
June 21 (Sunday) from 13:00 to 18:00

Information flyer with map
GwaGwa official site
GwaGwa official site

And here are photos of a legal wall in Ochanomizu by street artists ESOW and KAMI. Some wrestlers hidden here too. :)


Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on June 21, 2009 at 00:38 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (0) | Tweet |

June 16, 2009

Art Photo El mas Santo in Tokyo pt.2

My El mas Santo luchadores continue their journey in Tokyo!

El mas SantoEl mas SantoEl mas SantoEl mas SantoEl mas Santo

There are lots of other great contributions on the project's site. I love the recent ones with the zebras.

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on June 16, 2009 at 23:55 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (0) | Tweet |

June 7, 2009

Art Photo El mas Santo in Tokyo

Recently I was contacted on Flickr out of the blue by an artist from Poland asking me if I would participate in her art project. This would consist of me being sent a lucha libre wrestling figure and then I would take photos of it in the city where I live. It sounded great, and the web site looked like a lot of fun, so of course I accepted!

Just a week later a box arrived at my door, and I was really happy to see that it contained not one but two luchadores! It's a very nice small handmade sculpture and they look great!

Today the weather was great and we were out for a bicycle ride, so we took the two and went to take some photos. Here's the result:

El mas SantoEl mas SantoEl mas Santo
El mas SantoEl mas SantoEl mas Santo

El mas Santo project web site

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on June 7, 2009 at 21:49 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (0) | Tweet |

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