Japan Girls Nite | 08.15-17.09

jnheader.jpgJapan’s finest bring a Harajuku-style party to the left coast.

 

 

Japan Nite always brings the best and brightest of Japan’s rock scene to Austin’s annual SXSW festival. But this year, the left coast is getting some love, too, in the form of Japan Girls Nite, a trio of shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles. They’re taking this "girls nite" seriously, packing the stage with three all-girl rock trios, and making the lone guy on the tour (electronica DJ Omodaka) share the stage with a bevy of beautiful Harajuku fashion models. Read on for more info!

 

Noodles [Website] [MySpace]

 

In 1991, just as Kim Deal was getting ready to split the Pixies to carve her own musical path with the Breeders, four Japanese girls joined together to follow in her footsteps. Eighteen years, 7 albums, and three EPs later, Noodles has now whittled down to a trio, but the mission is still the same. With chugging distorted guitars, catchy girl-girl harmonies, and explosive choruses, the girls follow Deal’s classic formula to a T on songs like the "Gigantic"-meets-"There Goes My Gun" track "NEW WAVE" (from their 2004 mini-album Fuzz Hill). But the band has other weapons in their arsenal, as proven on the sunny "empty girl," which pairs sighing vocals, a la Sing-Sing, with a surf-ish lead guitar line. The band has impressed plenty of listeners, including Pillows frontman Sawao Yamanaka (who signed the band to his label) to Deal herself: Noodles opened for the reunited Breeders in 2003, which paved the way for the band’s first American concert appearance later that same year.

 

Omodaka [Website] [YouTube]

 

The house/electronica music that Soichi Terada records under his nom de DJ Omodaka bears a passing resemblance to Daft Punk, but it’s the similarities in approach, not musical style, that really stand out. Like that famed French band, Terada first grabbed attention by pairing his beats with eye-catching videos, most notably the trippy clip for "Kokiriko Bushi" that garnered over 700,000 views on YouTube. Terada’s beats are prone to go odd but interesting places, like his 8-bit version of Bach’s "Cantata No. 147" that plays like a blip-hop/classical hybrid. Starting last year, Terada has been taking the Omodaka show on the road, and given his penchant for mixing the worlds of audio and video, the results are undoubtedly something best experienced in person. This particular batch of shows finds Terada joined by the 6% DOKIDOKI Girls, a group of fashion models that will be strutting the "shockingly cute" designs from the store of the same name that defines the infamous Harajuku Style.

 

Red Bacteria Vacuum [Website] [MySpace]

 

You know the old saying about "sugar and spice and everything nice," but this all-girl trio takes spicy to a whole other level. The self-proclaimed "monster girls from Japan," Red Bacteria Vacuum play blistering hardcore punk in the vein of the Dead Kennedys or early Hüsker Dü. Their 2005 single "Roller Coaster" is all about buzzsaw guitars played loud and fast with screamalong choruses wailed over the din, while "Nightmare" has a metal edge and the chant-inducingly catchy chorus of "Gimme Culture" will drill its way into your head (the Ned’s Atomic Dustbin-esque guitar lick is also a nice touch). RBV prove that things don’t have to be loud and heavy all the time with "Standing Here…", a solid mid-tempo almost-ballad with buzzing lo-fi guitars and Weezer-ish vocal melodies delivered in a passionate scream.

 

TsuShiMaMiRe [Website] [MySpace]

 

It takes two very different kinds of skill to be able to both write a song for Cartoon Network’s Powerpuff Girls and tour with the Suicide Girls. But if there’s one thing that Tokyo-based trio TsuShiMaMiRe knows, it’s variety, from the power pop ditty "Hyper Sweet Power" (the aforementioned Powerpuff Girls song) to the Big Black-esque dirge "Manhole," from the Stray Cats swing of "Lingerie Shop" to the Franz Ferdinand-ish disco-strut drums of "Umeboshi Plums – Big Seeds." Nowhere is the full range of TsuShiMaMiRe’s abilities on better display than on "Tea Time Ska," where the cutesy sing-speak verses butt up against a full-on death metal bridge (Cookie Monster growl included!), and only in the hyperactive chorus to the bouncy guitars and chirping vocals does the title’s "ska" come into play. | Jason Green

 

08.15 San Francisco, CA @ Peace Plaza MTV Iggy Stage

with: Red Bacteria Vacuum / noodles / TsuShiMaMiRe / Omodaka with 6% DOKIDOKI Girls

Show info: http://sxsw-asia.com/JGN2009/SF.html

 

08.16 San Francisco, CA @ Yoshi’s

with: noodles / TsuShiMaMiRe / Red Bacteria Vacuum / Omodaka with 6% DOKIDOKI Girls

Show info: http://sxsw-asia.com/JGN2009/SF.html

 

08.17 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre

with: TsuShiMaMiRe / Red Bacteria Vacuum / Omodaka with 6% DOKIDOKI Girls

Opening Bands: Lemon Drop Kick / Ajuku Girls

Show info: http://sxsw-asia.com/JGN2009/LA.html

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