Tokyo Damage Report

reup: afurirampo, gekitetsudan @ Spiral in Aoyama

osaka avant-garde band tour live.

april 9, 2005 @ Spiral in Aoyama

劇鉄団 GEKITETSUDAN (iron theater squad)

 

These guys were kind of a rock opera. They had a lady on stage telling a story over minimal flute music, while ? on the side of the stage- a huge picture frame displayed a selection of hand-drawn pictures which corresponded to what she was saying. Also, I should mention the whole stage was covered with life-sized pregnant alien women, and the band-leader was a midget in a Mao Red Army cap with a miniature pez-dispenser flute which played tones only dogs could hear, and everyone was wearing stuffed-monkey neckties, and while all this was going on . . . they were in front of a video projection of skydivers. And when the accordion player starts jamming, watch out!!!

Eventually the whiny irritating vocalist left in disgrace, and the musicians could get on to the serious job of rocking. They played nothing but hammer-ons, of course. Just this intense rigid clockwork metronomic fast 16 th note figure which repeated over and over, but the guitarist would cue people to change key. It repeated for 20 minutes and was amazing!!

Oh, shit, I forgot the best part: EL MYSTERIOSO. He was a dude in a black hood and eyepatch who stood on the side and did not sing, or play an instrument, or even move. He just stood there, like, dude, I don’t NEED to do anything. I AM EL MYSTERIOSO. You should thank me for not doing anything, because if I really did my thing on stage here at this time, it would BLOW YOUR FUCKING MIND. fuck, he should be in EVERY band.

 

 

 

—- check out homey – Maoist Red Army Cap, Stuffed Monkey Necktie, and a Flue the Size of A Pez Dispenser. But totally totally serious. Also note the bassist fingertapping nonstop in the background.

 

—- gekitetsudan and their Solid Gold Pregnant Alien Dancers.

 

—- The Mysterioso!! He doesn't say anything! He Doesn't sing or play instruments! He doesn't HAVE to!! He is THE MYSTERIOSO!!! He's all like, "that's right, I am not doing anything. Because if I DID do my thing on stage, it would BLOW YOUR FUCKING MIND. you are not READY for The Mysterioso, humans!"

 

—- AFURIRAMPO!!!!!!!!!!!! From osaka.

I guess I am the last person to hear about them ? a guitar-and-drums duo out of osaka who toured with sonic youth. Apparently they are like 20 or 21 years old and sing in a bunch of languages. Their performance relies heavily on vocals. Sometimes as melody but usally as percussion or chanting, thus turning them into a quartet. Also, it is half performance art and body motions.

Some songs are really noisy and some are quiet and hypnotic. Some songs are nothing but acapella, some songs involve just running around the stage with little hand-held microphones, scraping them across various surfaces to the beat, while the guitar feeds back in a corner. Some songs are just them striking myserious cheerleader poses with no music.. The opening song just looped one note and a yell like this ? BWONNGGGG . . . .YEAAAAHH!!! .. . BWONNGGG . . .YEAHHHH!!! it was so awesome!! They were totally confident for people that age, plus they even managed to strike a balance between being theatrical without being totally phoney ? something that many musicians twice that age can’t do. Also, I should mention ? matching cherry-red Roaring ‘20s flapper dresses for no reason.

I would not say that I would buy the CD for the music, but the performance was creative and I hope they get famous for reasons besides being young japanese girls.

For the finale, the guitarist and bassist traded screams and mean faces (to the beat naturally) and eventually, the guitarist just charged the drums like a rhino and leaped on top and played a waling solo balanced on the kickdrum. Then the drummer started playing the guitar with her drumsticks, while the guitarist used her hands to make chords on the fretboard. Even after the semi-transparent curtain went down, we could see them dancing around like crazy backstage. I kind of got the idea that music was only the public face of their 24/7 weirdness. . . in between songs I pictured them growing up together and creating a special magical world that they lived in and developing like hundreds of little characters and unique languages and things,. Kind of like Bjork mixed with House of Pain.OK, You try to do better.

—- singing acapella whilst doing cheerlead moves AND scraping metal objects with hand-held contact-microphones.

 

—- more acapella

 

—- drummer PIKACHU

 

—- CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!

 

—- Guitar ONICHAN (little demon)

 

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—- first Oni and Picachu got in this kind of call-and-response fight, where they totally forgot about the audience, and would take turns yeling at each other and Oni would advance towards the drums each time like she was going to fight, then she suddenly LEAPED UP ON TOP OF THE KIT AND PROCEEDED TO DO A MASSIVE SOLO.

 

—- here, Picachuu is PLAYING THE GUITAR WITH HER DRUMSTICKS as Oni is holding it out.

 

—- and what is up with these cats????

 

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—- seriously there were over 20 of them, all just sitting and waiting for something. #efirecap.jpg —-

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