Blog - February 2010 Archives
February 2010 Archives
February 20, 2010
MIM exhibition at Bar SiSi
This week we went to Bar SiSi in Tsukiji to see a solo exhibition by MIM, a street artist of the RDK (緑道會 = Ryokudōkai) crew. This is of the same series as the ESOW exhibition we saw at Tri Gallery last month. We were lucky as a good Flickr friend was in town, and this made for the perfect meet-up place!
MIM's artwork mostly involves intriguing characters drawn in his characteristic style, and many of their eyes. I liked that he used gold color in a few pieces. Some pieces on cardboard and some lantern-like ones hanging from the ceiling were low-priced for anyone who wants to take something home, while larger pieces on wood make the best of the show.
After a while we had been there, the artist went to add to an ongoing piece in the corner.
The exhibition goes on until February 27. From March 6 to 20 will be an exhibition by SKEM (also RDK). We were also told that ESOW will be exhibiting again also at Bar SiSi around May.
By the way, Bar SiSi has a master who definitely cares about quality. We had some of the best french fries ever, and my cappuccino was top class stuff. Plus everything is priced at ¥420 (hmm)!
February 7, 2010
The Aprils "Back To The Future Music" release party: report
This week was the release party for The Aprils' 4th album, "Back To The Future Music", out last month. Buying the album gave you right to go to a free show, and even 3 of your friends! What a deal! They did one in Tokyo last Wednesday, and I think today is another in Osaka. Anyone who bought the album could even go to both (if they could make it). :)
Being a "one man show" (only one band playing), they played a full 2 hour show, probably their longest ever!! That's over 20 songs! The band was accompanied most of the time by guitarist Wakky (of Plus-Tech Squeeze Box) and Hase Yasuhiro (of unit Yume to Cosme, previously called Solange et Delphine).
Before going into details, here's the full set list which I got to glimpse at once the show was over.
1st set: Drive My Carpet / Wow! / Back To The Future Music / Play'N Loud / kirameki Moon Diver / ginga tetsudō 999 (Galaxy Express 999) / toki o kakeru shōjo / New Yma Sumac / P.S. Boy Meets Girl / Shine×Shine×Shine×Shine
2nd set: Stainless Girl / Cosmo '80 / LOVE sarigenaku / Metropolitan Museum / Net Surf Music / Time After Time / Santos dōri de koi o shiyō / kaede New Town
1st encore: boku uchū / Pan·da
2nd encore: Astro
The first set was full of songs from the latest album, and also anime covers from the limited edition bonus CD. For "Back To The Future Music" they were joined by special guest Marino who raps on the song, and later by Chee of Spaghetti Vabune for chorus on "Shine×Shine×Shine×Shine". I had actually managed to remember all of the 1st set, but my memory wouldn't last much longer...
During the break there was an announcement that "Cosmo '80" was coming, the song where the audience gets to use their flashing LED sticks, and that those were being sold at the booth. I had brought my old one as I always do for their shows, although this time it had been a while since I had heard this song played live.
The 2nd set started with "Stainless Girl" with another special guest, a laptop computer showed an animated Hatsune Miku (Wikipedia) who was held to a microphone to sing her parts. :) Later for "LOVE sarigenaku" (Creamy Mami ending theme song cover), singer Iguchi Miho seemed to transform into an 80's techno kayō idol. It had also been a long time since I heard "Metropolitan Museum" (a great cover of Ōnuki Taeko)... This is about when I was blown away and forgot everything about the set list.
For the first encore, Imai Kentarō showed up alone with a strange instrument called Omnichord, which he described as an electronic harp. It had a built-in cheap beatbox, and he used it alone to perform "boku uchū" just as heard on the album. Then he was joined by all members and guests (Miku included) plus the giant Gloomy panda, of course for the song "Pan·da"! The song was made longer to fit parts for each of the guests.
They were called back on stage again, and they performed what Imai-kun said was the first song he wrote, "Astro", this one again making me feel very nostalgic!
So yes, we got to hear all of the latest album plus the limited edition bonus CD!! And also many favorites from their previous albums.
I was sad to hear the news that it was the last time my friend Hase-san was playing with them on stage. Imai-kun referred to him as "aka-pen sensei" ("red pen teacher") as when he sends him the chords for a new song, they're often sent back to him with corrections :) and he said that he'll keep asking for his help even if they don't perform together.
Sincere thanks to The Aprils for their great generosity holding this truly awesome show for free!
The Aprils' latest video, "Shine×Shine×Shine×Shine"