Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Was Able to Buy a Ticket for Melt-Banana's April 29th Show in Setagaya

In honor of that achievement, here's the video I made of the band last year. This will be my fifth and probably final time seeing Melt-Banana in Japan, and it comes exactly 8 months after the last one.

I've never been to Setagaya (as far as I can remember), so it should be a double treat. Three bands, a new locale, a few new vistas. It will require some hard traveling-- I have to get to Tokyo, check into a hotel, find the venue, enjoy the show, get up early the next day and come back to close out my apartment, then it's back to Tokyo again.

But it's MxBx, so it's worth it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rika's Bass Playing Never Ceases to Amaze Me!

This song has it all. Agata's counter-musical guitar attack, Yasuko's barked, high-speed vocals and one of Rika's most propulsive bass lines.

And here's a short live clip of the band playing it live at Shibuya's O-Nest, March 21, 2005:

I was at this show. Fantastic night. Enthusiastic bodies packed the venue and interior temperatures soared. MxBx opened for the Red Krayola, but after their set I went up the exterior steps-- since closed to the public-- for some fresh air and to gaze out over the Tokyo skyline. An infinity of city lights, some flickering, some blinking and some perfectly still punctuating the night like satellite transmissions made visible.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

France Honors "Beat" Takeshi...

This is some cool news. One of my favorite filmmakers/omnipresent TV personalities, Kitano Takeshi, has been named a Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government.

I love me some Kitano Takeshi. He's a multi-talented, seemingly tireless and incredibly complex artist. He also hosts some of the funniest shows on Japanese television, like the strange spectacle of a large group of comedians being zapped with missiles via satellite by then-President George W. Bush whenever they failed to answer trivia questions correctly. And the time he declared what was apparently a ghostly head in the background of a ghost video to be just a homeless person sleeping behind a concrete planter.

I've been meaning to read his autobiography and soon I'll have plenty of free time in which to do so. Hearty congratulations on this honor, Mr. Kitano. Now, let's enjoy a television interview with this master of arts:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Melt-Banana: Eight Short Songs Video...

I'm so happy to have gotten a comment on this blog, I decided to post another Melt-Banana video: Yasuko having fun on stage. This is a pretty nice clip, one of the more professional MxBx concert videos I've run across and it gives one an excellent feel for what their live shows are like. I tend to prefer them in an intimate setting so I can focus on each element without distraction but it's heartening to see the band in front of a large, appreciative and receptive audience.

Melt-Banana doesn't have many upcoming shows this spring. All I've seen listed is one at Earthdom in March, a Melt-Banana Lite gig. It'd be nice to catch them once more before I jet out of Japan, but that may not be possible.

Oops... I just checked the MxBx MySpace page. They've got a show on March 21st, but their live schedule hasn't been updated. Kinda makes it hard to search for one last chance to catch them before I go home.