Wednesday, 24 January 2007

deerhoof & ooioo at shinjuku loft 20 jan

by craig

I had only seen OOIOO once, and that was years ago opening for Stereolab at Liquid Room when it used to be in Kabukicho. On Saturday night they played just around the corner at Loft which, despite the name, and like most clubs in Tokyo, is in a basement. Also, like most clubs in Tokyo, Loft isn't very big, so the show was sold out.
When Yoshimi (from Boredoms) and co came on stage, the crowd started whooping and cheering. The girls launched straight into an almost non-stop set of psychedelic guitars, pounding and screaming. Brilliant! Like Boredoms, OOIOO are becoming more rhythm-based, and it's the two drummers who drive the band and excite the crowd. The vocals are wild and undecipherable, sometimes screaming, chanting and yelping. One friend noted that they sometimes reminded him of Mongolian throat-singing. How does Yoshimi do it? It sounds just like on their cds. The guitars are less harsh than I had expected, and allow some repetitive, overlapping melodies to come through. Most songs were of course from the new album 'Taiga,' which is great by the way.
Because I was fairly blown away by OOIOO, Deerhoof were going to have a hard time impressing me. This is also because I've seen Deerhoof quite a few times. They often take trips to Japan and I try to go to all of their shows. I love Deerhoof, but to be honest, I preferred them as a 4-piece and think 'Milk Man' is their best album. Anyway, of course they were still great, switching between noise and cuteness. Unlike OOIOO's constant, building rhythms, Deerhoof have you jumping and twitching all over the place, stopping, starting, fast, slow, changing timings. John, who's concentration can be seen by his ever-changing facial expressions, somehow keeps his guitar under control, even managing to fill out the songs which originally had two guitars. Tight as ever.
Satomi's soft girlie vocals (I love the songs about dogs and pandas) and funny poses were not the only cute parts of the performance. Perhaps the cutest were Greg's trips from his minimal drumkit to the front of the stage to try to speak Japanese into the mic between songs. His broken Japanese delighted the girls in the crowd no end. I remember the first time I saw Deerhoof, between every song he would dive to the front of the stage, say 'thankyou,' and dive back to the drums in time for the nest song to start.
We wanted to hang out in the bar after the show but everyone was kicked out after we'd only had one drink.

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2 Comments:

Blogger dan said...

hey, this is a good idea. Your main site has been really useful to me since I came here, and it's nice to see a bit of follow up on the shows.
I don't want to go stepping on anyone's toes, but how about you open up the blog so people can post their own show reviews? If you want to document live shows in Tokyo, you'll get more comprehensive coverage that way. Of course, if you want to keep it to yourself, that's cool. It's your site. (Full disclosure: I just reviewed Calexico's Saturday night show on my own blog )

9:12 pm, January 29, 2007  
Blogger craig said...

thanks for the great idea dan!
i don't think you can open a blogger site to anyone to post anonymously, can you? and if i did, it would get filled with spam, advertisements, plugs and such. perhaps some kind of bbs or forum thing would be good..
but in the meantime, it would be a good idea to open the blog to people who i can put on the permissions list which would allow them to post here. they'd just have to make a blogger id.
so if you want to post that excellent calexico review here too (or any future reviews/entries), let me know and i'll put you on the permissions list.
btw, great blog! i've come across it a few times before.

10:31 am, January 30, 2007  

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