Tuesday 27 May 2008

Maher Shalal Hash Baz & Doronco Gumo

Thursday 1 May 2008

Aprils, Hazel Nuts Chocolate, Aira Mitsuki, Furil @ Basement Bar 26 April

Deciding I needed a dose of happy-happy pop, I went down a Shimokitazawa basement to Basement Bar. Surprisingly, the place was chock-a-block with an odd mix of folks.

First up was Furil, who I didn't know anything about and who didn't really help with my need for happy-happy pop. They were a squeaky synthetic karaoke act who took themselves too seriously, but seemed to go down well with the otaku I noticed congregating at the front of the stage.

hazel nuts chocolate

The otaku didn't quite know how to react to the next performance, Hazel Nuts Chocolate.
Yuppa made a hilarious entry and danced about singing a bunch of Hazel Nuts classics. Although she was singing to a backing track, she also played synth and was joined by Dr Usui from Motocompo on guitar. They were loud, eccentric, danceable and put a smile on my face as they always do.

aira mitsuki

When Henachoco finished, there was sudden excitement on the otaku front. Patrick, who I ran into at the show, was perfectly correct in guessing they were all there to see Aira Mitsuki, the idoru who was up next. She was an idoru of the Perfume type, and like Perfume, she was actually blessed with some interesting songs, produced by Yasutaka Nakata worshipper, Oonishi Terukado. At first I was admittedly a bit afraid though; a singer who looked like a doll wearing a maid-like dress, her management wearing suits, choreographed dancers, nerds enthusiastically copying the moves.. Was this Shimokitazawa or Akihabara? Well, perhaps Akihabara via Shibuya. Well, via the post-Shibuya-kei techno-pop of the likes of Capsule.
She even did a cover of Cornelius' Star Fruits Surf Rider and even pressed a couple of keys on a synth. Bonus points.
Everything she sang was through a vocoder and she not only sounded, but also looked like a robot. However, this artificiality was indeed intentional and part of what made her interesting.
Quite enjoyable actually. Though those otaku were scary.. But they made a mad dash to the merchandise table after Aira finished, leaving a bit more room for us to enjoy Aprils.


I pulled out the light stick Aprils gave out for free (Oh no! Otaku behaviour! I'm becoming one of them!) and watched Aprils enthusiastically belt out some of their happy-happy pop classics. As usual, they filled the stage with supporting members, lights, smoke, pico-pico-flipper's-guitar-pop and monitors synched up to their songs. No appearance by the giant blue panda this time though. But they did play Pan・da:

Check out the Chipple report of this show.

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