Blog - January 2010 Archives
January 2010 Archives
January 26, 2010
Full Swing "Our Song" release party: report
On Sunday was a release party for indies instrumental band Full Swing (MySpace), who released a new (mini-)album "Our Song" earlier this month. This was held at Shimokitazawa's 440, a place I was happy to go back to, with memories of seeing dahlia with the fascinations three years ago.
Full Swing is actually formed of two, Yamaguchi Yukinori on Hammond organ and Yamamachi Kazumi on electric bass, although they seem to usually play accompanied with drums and guitar. Well this time we were treated to a full band of 9 members(!)!
The guest musicians were: Sugata Noriyuki (drums), Kōno Haiji (guitar), Nakamoto Kōichirō (sax., of Bonjour), Tanaka Yūji (sax., of La Turbo), Hattori Yasuhiko (tromb., of Your Song Is Good), Matsuyama Suzuko (tromb., of suzumiki), and Ukawa Tomohiro (pedal steel, of Frisco).
The band's main feature is the Hammond organ that leads all the songs. While many sound like they must be classics from the 60's, just so groovy and catchy, what they played was mostly originals from their 3 albums. Lots of great music! Towards the end of the 2-hour show, they played their arrangement of Disney's "Some Day My Prince Will Come" from the "Mosh Pit On Disney" compilation (2004).
One band that came to mind hearing Full Swing is Wack Wack Rhythm Band, although where Wack Wack is mainly brass, Full Swing is fully organ-powered! At this show I was also really happy to see pedal steel guitar played live, maybe for the first time, a really nice instrument that always intrigued me (ever since hearing Leo LeBlanc on Beck's "Stereopathetic Soul Manure"). Here it had nothing to do with country music though.
Check out this live clip from a show last year, song "Express Train". There's more over at their MySpace.
The band can next be seen for free next Sunday (January 31) at the 5th floor of Shibuya's Tower Records, starting at 15:00. Those who buy album "Our Song" at Tower Shibuya can get a free eco-bag (while supplies last).
They also announced other upcoming shows, including one where they'll be accompanied with vibraphone. I'll keep my eyes open for more from this cool band!
January 24, 2010
ESOW solo exhibition
Today we went to catch an exhibition by street artist ESOW, held at Tri Gallery in Ochanomizu. His works are often easily recognizable by the caricaturesque characters. This solo exhibition is titled 「大人のESOW展」 ("otona no ESOW ten", or "adult ESOW exhibition"), as it features slightly more serious works and also his drawings on pottery.
We bought a painting showing ESOW's main character standing over Asakusa with his finger on the top of the upcoming world's tallest tower Tokyo Sky Tree. It can be seen on the Tri Gallery site. This has to be one of the first appearance of the Sky Tree in art? :) ESOW's crew seems heavily focused around the Asakusa area.
As soon as we said we wanted to buy the artwork, he pulled out blank stickers and started drawing. We were very happy to leave with these great gifts:
ESOW's solo exhibition ends this Sunday January 24. Tri Gallery is open from 12:00 to 19:00.
Soon will follow exhibitions by other members of the RDK crew (緑道會 = Ryokudoukai) he's part of. MIM exhibits from February 13 to 27, and SKEM from March 6 to 20, both at Bar SiSi in Tsukiji, from 12:00 to 23:00.
See more photos of ESOW's works in my Flickr gallery.