Sunday, 23 April 2017

Alexa Dexa Japan Tour 2017

New York based artist Alexa Dexa is bringing her unique toychestral electronic pop solo project to Japan with her desk bells, baby grand toy piano, electronic beats and soulful voice. See her at Tokyo Gig Guide's Farm Party on the 28th!



24 April (Mon) Alexa Dexa, Chiharu Mitamura, Lunakate, Tsuji Shion
@ DUO Music Exchange, Shibuya http://www.tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/16472

25 April (Tue) Alexa Dexa, HOWNOWMER (Australia), SHOKO, 神々のゴライコーズ
@ Basement Bar, Shimokitazawa
http://www.tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/16215

28 April (Fri) Alexa Dexa, Energish Golf, Barry Zogon Band, Youthmemory
@ Ruby Room, Shibuya
http://www.tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15920

29 April (Sat) Alexa Dexa, Synth Sisters, Erb/Loriot, James Barrett + Masayo Hirota, Cranky Bhard
@ Imagination Pika Space, Osaka


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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Karaoke guide

On nights when there are no good gigs on, why don't you get your music fix at karaoke? You could try singing enka with the old guys in "snack" and "pub" hostess bars if you like, but don't worry, in Japan most people sing in private rooms (karaoke "boxes") with their friends or colleagues. Karaoke outlets offering private rooms are absolutely everywhere in Japan. Just look for the logos of the chains detailed below or big places displaying signs with the word カラオケ (karaoke).

Going to karaoke is a common impromptu night time activity after drinking when people want to keep the party going. Karaoke boxes are also popular places to end up in after midnight when you have missed the last train.

Because they can be so cheap during the day, many people use karaoke boxes just as places to hang out or kill time. Some people use them for meetings or lessons, to practice their musical instruments or just take a nap. It's often just as cheap as going to a cafe but you get your own cozy private space.



About karaoke boxes

  • Prices listed are almost always per person and per 30 minutes, usually with a minimum of one hour.
  • Weekdays before 18:00 or 19:00 are always the cheapest times with the price sometimes under ¥100. The prices jump up significantly in the evenings and on weekends, on public holidays and the day before a public holiday.
  • Almost all karaoke chain branches have "free time" deals available, mostly for quieter times such as during the day on weekdays or after midnight. This means you can stay for as long as you like during that time and it usually works out cheaper if you stay for longer periods.
  • In most cases, you have to order at least one drink as well. Otherwise, you can order an all-you-can-drink alcohol deal or, in some places, free refill soft drink bar. If you are going to have a few drinks, the all-you-can-drink deals usually end up being worthwhile. In all branches of Uta Hiroba the prices already include the soft drink bar.
  • If you are a student, bring your student card as a lot of places have significantly discounted rates for students, particularly at Big Echo, Cote D'Azur and Karaoke Ban Ban.
  • If you plan to go to the same place a few times, it's worth becoming a member, especially at Big Echo, Karaoke Kan and Tetsujin, where members get big discounts.
  • Going to karaoke alone might seem strange but is absolutely okay, particularly during less busy times like during the day. However, a few places do charge a little more for "hitokara" (one person karaoke).
  • As tempting as it may be, karaoke places don't allow outside drinks to be brought in. If you are caught, an extra charge is likely to be added to your room.



OK, let's go to a karaoke box!

  • The prices should be displayed on a sign outside the karaoke place or inside
    the entrance.
  • At the front counter, tell the receptionist how long you
    plan you stay and how many people will be using the room. Sometimes you can choose a smoking or non-smoking room. Some places have a form that you have to fill out. In Karaoke Kan for example, you have to write your name (お名前), age (年齢), how many men (男) or women (女) are in the group, the total number of people (計), and how many hours (時間) you plan to stay. Sometimes you'll also have to write your phone number (電話番号). At some places, you have to become a member at first. The receptionist will help you if you don't understand anything.
  • You will usually then have to choose whether you want to just order one drink to start, a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) course, or a course which includes food.
  • They will often ask you which karaoke system you prefer: Joysound or DAM. It doesn't make a huge difference. Joysound has more songs than DAM, however you do find songs on DAM that are not on Joysound. Search their songs using the above links and choose which system has more that you like. DAM also tends to have more music videos rather than just the generic background videos, and is more likely to have furigana on the Japanese songs. Both have smartphone apps that you can use to search songs and even use as a remote control at karaoke. I find the Joysound app easier to use and it allows me to save my favourite songs.
  • Some places will have "concept rooms" with particular styles or themes that you can choose from. For example, Adores in Akihabara has various themed rooms. 
  • Some rooms are tiny with enough room for no more than four people to sit, and in some places huge group rooms are available complete with a stage and a dance floor.
  • Most places will have two or more microphones and remote control panels in the room but in some places they give them to you at the counter. They will also give you a receipt with the room number and start and finish times printed on it.
  • Some places will have costumes, and tambourines, maracas or other instruments that you can borrow and bring to the room.
  • In the room, use the touch screen remote control panel with the stylus to search for songs. Most places with newer machines will have English so look for the icon to change the language. You can search for songs by song title or artist. Unfortunately, the thick songbooks you used to get are becoming less and less common.
  • When you choose a song, it gets queued after the previously selected songs.
  • On the karaoke machine under the screen, there should be three or four knobs. One will be the volume of the music, one will be the microphone volume, and one will be for the amount of "echo" (reverb) on the microphones. There is sometimes another knob to control the volume of the BGM - the background music and ads which play when no song has been selected. You can also adjust the pitch. By the door you should find controls for the room lighting and air conditioner.
  • You can order more drinks and food from the room. In most stores, you order using the telephone in the room. Just pick up the phone and when a staff member answers, clearly state the items you want. In some stores you can order using the karaoke remote control panel or a separate remote control.
  • At some places, after you finish each song, the screen displays a rating on your singing performance and how many calories you have burned.
  • Around ten minutes before the allocated time is up, the phone in the room will ring. When you answer, you can ask to extend the time if you want to stay longer. Otherwise, say "hai, wakarimashita" and get ready to leave.
  • Bring the receipt to the counter and pay. Note that at some places you have to pay at the start.

Popular chains in the Tokyo area


KARAOKE KAN (カラオケ館)
You will find branches of this common chain near most larger train stations. The prices range a lot depending on the branch and the time but it is usually not expensive. They offer good discounts for members. A few branches have free refill soft drinks. Their food menu includes the standard fried things, snacks and pizza. Soft drinks start from about ¥380 and alcoholic drinks from about ¥540.
The price before 18:00/19:00 ranges from ¥80 to ¥386 depending on the branch and the day of the week. The price for after 18:00/19:00 ranges from ¥333 to ¥813.

Featured branch: Karaoke Kan Shibuya (Map)
The karaoke scene in the movie Lost in Translation was filmed in this branch. Before 19:00 the price is from ¥120 to ¥173. After 19:00 it's from ¥533 to ¥653. Free time before 20:00 is from ¥1346 to ¥1760, and after 23:00 from ¥1986 to ¥2653.


UTA HIROBA (歌広場)
This is often the cheapest place because all the listed prices already include free refill soft drinks which means you don't have to pay for extra drinks. As it's so cheap, it tends to be popular with young people and can be a bit shabby. It's called 'Jankara' in some other parts of Japan. They offer 10% off if you make a reservation online. Alcoholic drinks start from ¥420. The Kanda West Exit branch has craft beer! The basic food menu includes fried chicken, chips, ramen and takoyaki. Before 18:00 the price ranges from ¥125 to ¥200, after 18:00 from ¥350 to ¥800, and after 18:00 including all-you-can-drink alcohol from ¥670 to ¥950, depending on the branch and the day of the week.

Featured branch: Uta Hiroba Ryogoku (Map)
After watching the sumo, pop in to this branch of Uta Hiroba, directly in front of Ryogoku station. Some of the rooms have a view of the station platform. 30 minutes is ¥145 before 18:00, and ¥350-¥440 after 18:00. Free time is ¥1010 before 20:00 and ¥1180-¥2180 after 23:00.


KARAOKE NO TETSUJIN (カラオケの鉄人)
With a name meaning "Karaoke Ironman", this is quite a nerdy but fun karaoke chain and is generally not expensive. It is said to have the largest number of English songs and you can request English menus at the front counter. Some branches have special themed rooms and all have costumes to hire. Soft drink prices start from about ¥370 and alcohol drinks from about ¥500. Their food menu includes the standard fried things, snacks and pizza, as well as ¥500 lunches. The price before 18:00/19:00 can be as low as ¥25 and up to ¥312, and after 18:00/19:00 from ¥337 to ¥725, depending on the day of the week and the branch.

Featured branch: Karaoke no Tetsujin Koenji (Map)
This is a cheap branch of Karatetsu popular to visit after seeing a live concert at one of the nearby music venues. Prices before 19:00 are from ¥62 to ¥112, and after 19:00 are from ¥337 to ¥450. Free time before 19:00 is from ¥700 to ¥937, and after 22:00 is from ¥1600 to ¥2137.


BIG ECHO (ビッグエコー)
This is another very commonly seen karaoke chain which usually offers slightly nicer rooms. It tends to be a little more expensive than other chains but offers discounts for members, seniors and students, as well as discount coupons on their website. The food menu includes fried things, pizza and pasta. The price before 19:00/20:00 is from ¥100 to ¥320, and after 19:00/20:00 it can be as low as ¥300 and as high as ¥750, depending on the day and the branch.

Featured branch: Big Echo Shinjuku Higashi-guchi (Map)
Conveniently located near the east exit of Shinjuku station, this branch has a number of interesting themed rooms. It costs ¥200-¥300 before 19:00 and ¥500-¥653 after 19:00. Free time before 19:00 is ¥1200 and after 23:00 is ¥2000-¥3213.


PASELA (パセラ)
This place calls itself a resort with more luxurious rooms with decent food (English menu) and is famous for its giant honey toast. It's good for large groups and parties. Alcoholic drinks start from ¥480 and their all-you-can-drink soft drink or alcohol deals can be reasonably priced. The branches are in Ginza, Akasaka, Shibuya, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ueno, Akihabara and Yokohama. Before 18:00, prices start from ¥232 and after 18:00 from ¥399.

Featured branch: Pasela Akihabara (Map)
In the otaku mecha of Akihabara, this unique branch of Pasela has anime and game themed rooms like Evangelion and Final Fantasy, as well as some cool Japanese retro style rooms. Before 18:00 rooms are ¥232-¥278 and after 18:00 it costs ¥454 for concept rooms and ¥574 for official collaboration rooms. There are lots of food and drink plans to choose from.


MANEKINEKO (まねきねこ)
They usually offer some non-smoking rooms and there are some branches which let you bring in food and drink. You can check out their menus in English. Check out their coupons and campaigns. Before 18:00/19:00 the price can be as low as ¥10 and as high as ¥200. After 18:00/19:00 it ranges between ¥250 and ¥500.

Featured branch: Manekineko Yotsuya-sanchome (Map)
This branch not far from Shinjuku offers English menus with halal food and prayer rooms for Muslim customers. Outside food is also allowed to be brought in. Before 18:00, 30 minutes is ¥200 and after 18:00 it's ¥350-¥400.


COTE D'AZUR (コート・ダジュール)
There are discounts for students and coupons on their site. They have a basic izakaya style food menu and soft drinks start from ¥340 and alcohol from about ¥480. The price before 18:00 ranges between ¥50 and ¥380, and after 18:00 between ¥240 and ¥660, depending on the branch and the day.

Featured branch: Cote D'Azur Roppongi (Map)
There are some cool rooms in this branch including some with stages. Before 18:00, 30 minutes is ¥205. After 18:00, it's ¥410-¥496. Free time before 20:00 is ¥831 and after 23:00 is ¥1857-¥2160.


JOYSOUND
Joysound is a common karaoke machine system. They also have a number of nice karaoke stores around Japan, including some in Tokyo. They have discounts for students, seniors and members. The price before 18:00 starts at ¥160 and can be up to ¥340, and after 18:00 it runs from ¥450 to ¥750, depending on the day and branch.

Featured branch: Joysound Shinagawa (Map)
Here you can find rooms with live stages and musical instruments, high quality sound rooms, ladies' rooms and plush VIP rooms. Before 18:00, prices start from ¥340 with free time from ¥1280. After 18:00, from ¥750 and free time after 23:00 from ¥3150.


SHIDAX (シダックス)

This used to be a large chain but a lot of the stores have closed recently. They have some left in Tokyo including ones in Shinjuku, Asakusa and Roppongi. Soft drinks start from ¥400 and alcoholic drinks from ¥500. Before 18:00, the price ranges from ¥150 to ¥300, and after 18:00 it's generally between ¥250 and ¥400.


KARAOKE BAN BAN (カラオケバンバン)

The daytime prices are cheap and often include free soft drink refills. In the evening, some branches include free drinks too. Some branches also have darts and billiards. They offer discounts for students. The price before 18:00 is usually between ¥120 and ¥240, and after 18:00 it's from ¥240 to ¥530, depending on the branch and the day.
Their branches tend to be in the suburbs but they have a few more central locations like Ikebukuro, Koenji, Kita-Senju, Yotsuya, Asakusabashi and Kichijoji.


KARAOKE 747 (カラオケ747)

This cheap and often worse-for-wear chain has a number of branches in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, but also one in Shibuya and one in Shinbashi. The prices are different in each branch and you can often get it cheaper if you negotiate with the touts out front. They have a standard junk food menu and alcoholic drinks start from ¥550.


1KARA (ワンカラ)
This chain, owned by the same company that owns Manekineko, has small soundproof rooms with headphones specially designed for people to do karaoke alone. It's generally not so cheap. There are stores in Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Ueno, Shibuya, Kanda, Koenji, Shinjuku and Kawasaki.


ROUND 1 (ラウンドワン)
Round One is a bowling chain which also offers karaoke, billiards and other activities. Their current locations in Tokyo are Odaiba, Ikebukuro, Itabashi, Minamisuna, Hachioji, Machida, Musashi-Murayama and Fuchu. Before 18:00, the price is between ¥260 and ¥400. After 18:00, it's between ¥430 and ¥490.


Useful Japanese for karaoke:

  • カラオケ   karaoke
  • 30分 (sanjupun) 30 minutes
  • フリータイム   free time
  • 飲み放題 (nomihoudai)  all-you-can-drink
  • ドリンクバー   drink bar
  • 会員 (kaiin)  member
  • 学生 (gakusei)  student
  • 月~金  Monday to Friday
  • 金・土・日・祝・祝前  Friday, Saturday, Sunday, holiday, day before holiday
  • ichijikan - one hour, nijikan - two hours, sanjikan - three hours
  • hitori - 1 person; futari - 2 people; sannin - 3 people; yonin - 4 people; gonin - 5 people; rokunin - 6 people
Karaoke machine:
  • マイク   microphone
  • エコー   echo/reverb
  • ミュージック   music
  • BGM  Background Music
  • キー   key
  • テンポ   tempo
Remote control panel:
  • 歌手名   artist name
  • 曲名   song title
  • 予約 or 転送   choose the song to play next
  • もどり or 戻り   return to the previous screen
  • 演奏停止   cancel the song currently playing


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Saturday, 8 April 2017

Fuji Rock Festival '17 daily lineup



The next Fuji Rock lineup has been announced including some welcome additions like Japanese electronic rock act Cornelius and 90s dream-pop group Slowdive alongside other recent additions including Gorillaz and Queens of the Stone Age. The artists have also been separated into days so we can start choosing which days we want to go.
Here's the lineup as it stands so far:


Fri 28th
GORILLAZ, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, THE XX, CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN, RHYE, ARCA DJ & JESSE KANDA AV, THE BACK HORN, CLARK, DATS, DÉ DÉ MOUSE, DOCTOR PRATS, EDEN, EVIAN CHRIST, FATHER JOHN MISTY, GALLANT, GENSHI SHINBO, Group Tamashii, the HIATUS, mouse on the keys, OGRE YOU ASSHOLE, RAG'N'BONE MAN, SAMPHA, SUNNY DAY SERVICE, TRAIN, Yogee New Waves, more

Sat 29th
APHEX TWIN, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, CORNELIUS, THE AVALANCHES, Ozawa Kenji, QURULI, TEMPLES, THE AMAZONS, CHRONIXX, DAY WAVE, DEATH GRIPS, ELVIN BISHOP, The fin., THE GOLDEN CUPS, A GUY CALLED GERALD (Live), H ZETTRIO, JAKE SHIMABUKURO, THE LEMON TWIGS, THE MARCUS KING BAND, never young beach, NINA KRAVIZ, PUNPEE, THE RAMONA FLOWERS, RON SEXSMITH, Sambomaster, TAKKYU ISHINO, 10-FEET, WESTERN CARAVAN

Sun 30th
BJÖRK, LORDE, MAJOR LAZER, ÁSGEIR, THE STRYPES, THA BLUE HERB, BONOBO (Live), DYGL, GOLDROOM, GRAPEVINE, JET, LOVE PSYCHEDELICO, LUKAS GRAHAM, MAGGIE ROGERS, THE NOVEMBERS, REAL ESTATE, REKISHI, SLOWDIVE, STURGILL SIMPSON, Suiyoubino Campanella, SHUGO TOKUMARU, TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE, TROYBOI, more


Until June, 1 day tickets are ¥18,000, 2 day tickets are ¥34,000 and all 3 days will cost you ¥39,800. Tickets for the campsite or carpark are ¥3,000. You can get tickets from within Japan or overseas from Gan-Ban.


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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

New Year's Eve Gigs 2016-2017

ROCK & POP

Unfortunately, the huge 4-day Countdown Japan festival at Makuhari Messe is already sold out for New Year's Eve. There are some tickets remaining for December 28th though. On that day you can see a large range of Japanese artists from Polysics to Perfume.

Koenji High have some of their favourite bands playing, including shoegaze outfits like Cruyff in the Bedroom and electro-pop groups like (M)otocompo.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15512


Marz in Shinjuku is hosting Countdown 2016→2017 with some up-and-coming indie bands like Tempalay and Denims.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15511

The Pillows are putting on Countdown Bump Show at Shibuya O-East where they are playing alongside Tomovsky, Pop Chocolat and others.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15341

O-Crest in Shibuya are having a Year End Party with a collection of local rock bands like Large House Satisfaction and Necokicks.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15505

At 7th Floor in Shibuya, they are holding quite an eclectic Count Down Party with artists such as Elekibass and Katsu Marley & The Soul Kitchen.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15499

For a whole bunch of hardcore bands, head to Antiknock in Shinjuku for Burning Spirits 2017. Bands include Systematic Death, Die You Bastard! and System Fucker.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15515


DANCE & ELECTRONIC



An interesting range of live electronic musicians and DJs including Solar and DJ Nobu will gather for Future Terror at Unit in Daikanyama.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15349

Liquidroom's New Year Eve Party 2017 features the Japanese techno DJs Takkyu Ishino and Fumiya Tanaka.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15470

Over at Contact in Shibuya, catch Francois K and Toshiyuki Goto.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15477

Ageha in Shin-Kiba are hosting another massive Count Down party with DJs like R3HAB and Yasutaka Nakata.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15510


New Year Countdown to 2017 at Womb will include Techno and house DJs Josh Wink, DJ Sodeyama and more.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15469

Taicoclub, WWW and Frue are planning a big NYE Countdown to 2017 at WWW and WWWX in Shibuya. The lineup is yet to be dropped.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15471

Tecnho legend Ken Ishii is playing with other DJs at Vision New Years EVE Party Count Down to 2017 at Sound Museum Vision.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15468

Drinks Out for Harambe is planned at Cross Point in Shibuya with a bunch of DJs and alcohol.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15525


JAZZ

Shinjuku's Pit Inn is planning another of their massive All Night Concerts with loads of jazz legends including the Takeshi Shibuya Orchestra and Orquesta Libre.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15315

For smoother jazz, FOURPLAY are serenading Blue Note in Omotesando.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15502

The acoustic jazz duo of Kazuhiko Obata and Natsuki Kido are performing at Cafe Tone in Urawa, Saitama.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15400

An interesting performance event including dance, art and music called Joyamai is planned for Kid Ailack Art Hall in Meidaimae.
tokyogigguide.com/gigs/event/15422



Full list of New Year's Eve gigs

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Tokyo Gig Guide presents Farm Party 21 on Dec 10

The 21st installment of the always enjoyable Farm Party curated by Tokyo Gig Guide is this Saturday, the 10th of December. We have another exciting and diverse lineup once again, this time covering krautrock, synth-pop, psychedelic, experimental, electronic, new wave, post-punk and everything in between.

Tokyo Gig Guide presents FARM PARTY 21
10 Dec 2016
@ Ruby Room, Shibuya
Open/start: 18:30. Door: ¥1500 (+ 1 drink ¥500)
LIVE: COCOON PIT, ネオンズ (NEONS), 病気くん (byokikun), Barry Zogon Band
DJ: Roodmin (Hippo Disco), Grant McGaheran, craig eee

Details on Tokyo Gig Guide
Facebook event




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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Scott & Charlene's Wedding return to Japan

The Australian lo-fi pop band Scott & Charlene's Wedding are returning to Japan this week and next, playing shows in Tokyo and Kyushu and in between.
They played two fun shows for Tokyo Gig Guide on their Japan tour in 2015.

This Sunday in Tsunashima, Yokohama, they are playing a little gig with fellow Aussies Thigh Master from Brisbane.
Nov 20th 2016 @ Tsunashima R (Dream On Records) 
5-15-1 Komaoka, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama
Open/start 13:30. Entry: donation

On Monday, you can see them in Shibuya with moo from Sapporo.
Nov 21st 2016 @ O-Nest Shibuya
Open 19:00, start 19:30. Adv 3000円, door 3500円.

Full tour dates:
16 Nov @ Kochi - cafe & bar gigi
20 Nov @ Yokohama - Tsunashima R
21 Nov @ Tokyo - O-Nest
22 Nov @ Hamamatsu - Kirhherr
23 Nov @ Matsumoto - Give Me a Little More

Tour details: Dead Funny Records

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Tokyo Gig Guide presents Farm Party 20 on Oct 9

We have a big gig set for the 20th edition of Farm Party this weekend with five bands, and because the next day is a public holiday, you don't need to worry about drinking on a Sunday night.

On their Japan tour, we have the French/Cambodian electronic duo dorcelsius, along with the Tokyo indie-rock/pop bands ビニールハウス5 (vinyl house 5)potlucks, postcard of japan and harps. Djing will be Gotal and Ralouf from lo-shi.


It will all kick off on October 9th at 18:30 at Ruby Room in Shibuya. Entry is 1500 yen plus a drink.
More details on Tokyo Gig Guide
Facebook page


-----------------------------------------------------


dorcelsius

http://dorcelsiusjapantour.tumblr.com/
http://dorcelsius.tumblr.com/
https://soundcloud.com/dorcelsius/
https://www.facebook.com/Dorcelsius/


ビニールハウス5
http://vinylhouse5.com/
https://soundcloud.com/urbandance-1

potlucks
https://twitter.com/potlucksband
https://potlucks.bandcamp.com/

postcard of japan
https://twitter.com/postcardofjapan
https://soundcloud.com/postcard-of-japan

harps
http://youcallyuko.tumblr.com/
https://vaguenessrecords.bandcamp.com/

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Super gig weekend - Sep 30 to Oct 2

There's no excuse to stay home this weekend with all this original music going on.


Yuck  Tropical Death

Friday, Sept 30

There are a few good gigs on Friday night to kick off the weekend.
More gigs on Friday.

 





Saturday, Oct 1

Where do we start for Saturday night? There's too much going on but here are a few of the highlights.
More gigs on Saturday.




Sunday, Oct 2

If you have any money left, there are still plenty of things happening on Sunday night.

More gigs on Sunday.

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Monday, 25 July 2016

Rehearsal studios for 'studio live' in Tokyo

Renting live houses to organise gigs in Tokyo can be expensive. Therefore, a popular alternative for smaller gigs is to do a 'studio live',  a casual kind of event held in a rehearsal studio room. Of course it is a bit cramped, but the sound is usually good and everyone can bring their own drinks.

Sound Studio DOM, Koenji
Events are regularly held at this very punk studio, usually in their larger room, but also in the smaller ones. They also have a rooftop area where you can drink and have barbecues. You basically pay the hourly rental price plus 900 yen for staff.

Studio Zot, Asagaya
They have a nice large room that you can use for gigs. It's basically 4000 yen per hour with a minimum of 5 hours. It is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the station though.

Rinky Dink Studios
This rehearsal studio chain allows studio live events in some of their locations. You'll need to call them for details.
Kichijoji 2nd
Hachioji 1st
Hachioji 2nd
Umegaoka

Studio Ongakukan
Some of this chain's studios have rooms set up for gigs.
Nishi-Shinjuku
Akihabara
They have live spaces called Attack (48) and Music Inn 50 respectively, although at about 7000 to 8000 yen an hour, it doesn't end up much cheaper than booking an actual live house.
Takadanobaba
Otsuka
Shibuya
These spaces are more reasonable than the Shinjuku and Akihabara ones, at about 4000 to 5000 yen an hour.

Maldic Studio, Kita-Sando
This place which is not far from Yoyogi station allows live events in one of its studios for around 3000 yen an hour.

Bass on Top, Nakano
This studio at Nakano Sun Plaza has a large room for 4200 to 4500 yen an hour.

Gateway Studio, Shibuya
At 6000 yen an hour including 2 staff members to help with the PA, you can organise gigs here.

Little Monster, Shinjuku-Gyoen
This place has very reasonable prices (15000 to 19000 total) for mini live shows.

Studio Bayd, Shimokitazawa
This place seems to work somewhat like a live house.

A lot of other rehearsal studios with a big enough room will allow studio live events. Just discuss it with them. Here are a few that have allowed live events before:
Studio Revole, Akihabara
Studio UEN, Nishi-Ogikubo
Studio PACKS, Kita-Senju
Studio Koyaama, Koenji
Hill Valley Studio, Shinjuku
Studio NODE, Shinjuku
Noah Sound Studio, various locations

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tokyo Gig Guide presents SPACE FÊTE #3 - June 5 2016

This Sunday June 5th, Tokyo Gig Guide is holding the third of its Space Fête experimental music events. There will be five live music acts starting with hitodama who will do one of his ambient guitar noise pieces, followed by Barry Zogon Band and their strange electronic rock. DJ Topgear will follow them with his live variegated beats and then OPQ will bring his bank of original circuit-bent gadgets to the stage. Closing the night will be the wild free jazz of Kiyasu Orchestra, then the eclectic DJs Grant McGaheran and craig eee who will also play sets between the bands. See you there!


Tokyo Gig Guide presents SPACE FÊTE #3



LIVE: Kiyasu OrchestraOPQDJ TopgearBarry Zogon Band人魂 (hitodama)

DJ: Grant McGaheran, craig eee

Sunday June 5, 18:30. 1000 yen (+ drink)










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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Super gig weekend - 28th & 29th May

This weekend is another super weekend for gigs, especially Saturday (May 28th).

First, there are these 3 cool little festivals happening:

SHIMOKITAZAWA SOUND CRUISING
A ticket to this annual event lets you wander around the Shimokitazawa district and pop in and out of all its important live houses. You can check out lots of established and up-and-coming Japanese indie bands like Lucky Tapes, Homecomings, Learners, Lostage, Paellas, avengers in sc-fi, Fukurouzu, Halfby and plenty more. The daytime part opens at 14:00 and costs 4500 yen and the night part opens at 23:00 and costs 3000 yen, or you can pay 5900 yen to go to both.
More info


OOO! vol. 5

This is a crazy collection of noise artists mixed in with some punk, electronic and other kinds of bands held from 3 pm to 5 am at the Shinjuku JAM live house and studios. And it's only 2500 yen! See ZENI GEVA, BLACKPHONE666 x ..., BUMBUMS, PUNSUCA, AKBK and lots of other artists written in all caps.
More info



CRAFTROCK FESTIVAL

This craft beer festival held in Toyosu features some great local bands like clammbon, group_inou, toe and eastern youth, alongside beers from the likes of Baird, Brewdog and Coedo. It opens at 11:00 and tickets will set you back 6800 yen.
More info



Some other highly worthwhile events on Saturday the 28th are:

MEKARE-KARE, ReddTemple, bonstar and 1000sofcats at Studio Packs in Kita-Senju. info

Shugo Tokumaru at O-Nest in Shibuya. info

world's end girlfriend, Vampillia, VMO, BOOL, canooooopy and Metoronori at WWW in Shibuya. info



On Sunday the 29th, there are also some great gigs on including:

ROVO, De De Mouse and Clammbon at Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall. info

Shoegaze bands broken little sister, edy, Hata Yusuke Group, Shojoskip and more at High in Koenji. info

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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Abandoned theme park in Tochigi

Last year I visited the abandoned Western Village theme park in Tochigi and loved it so much that I went back again recently with some friends. The second time, some of the plants that were taking over the park had been cleared and unfortunately more vandals had visited.
It's quite a creepy place to explore, especially because there are cowboy mannequins and creatures around every corner.

The photos are a mix of both visits including some iPhone photos taken after my camera batteries died. Check them all out in this flickr album.

The front:
Front

Inside, it's a really wild wild west town:
Overgrown town

It has a large game centre:
Air hockey

Giant cowboy and dummy:
Nap

Faceless animatronic guy in the shooting game:
Face off

Overgrown town:
Downtown

Collapsing balcony:
Collapsing balcony

Dentist in the horror house:
Dentist nightmare

There are lots of body parts lying around:
Torso

A real buffalo:
Real buffalo

Bed in the toilet:
Bed in toilet, of course

There is a whole building full of giant teddy bears:
Bear antics

Some depressed animal rides:
Animal rides

Creepy wheelchair:
Wheelchairs always look creepy

Some of the many cowboys:
Eye socket

Rubber face

In the saloon:
Saloon

In the offices:
Boardroom

There is also a huge replica of Mount Rushmore:
Mount Rushmore

Lots more photos in this flickr album!

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