Sunday 24 January 2010

Tokyo Gig Guide presents Farm Party #1 on Jan 31st

On Sunday January 31st, Tokyo Gig Guide will hold its first music event.
It will be a bit different than the usual Tokyo gig though.
Tokyo gigs often have heaps of bands playing straight after each other, but at this event there will be three bands spaced out through the evening. Between bands, DJs will be playing some eclectic sets.
Also, it won't be held at a typical livehouse, but at Gamuso, a fun bar/gallery in Asagaya. Gamuso has a bar downstairs and a small live music room upstairs. You can read about it in this Metropolis article.
It will be cheap too, just ¥1000, plus ¥500 for a drink.

The bands playing are Abikyokan, Walkie Talkie In The Cornfield and PSOCASE.

Abikyokan formed around the core trio of Jacob Arntson (Seattle, USA), Grant McGaheran (Sheffield, UK) and Tatsumi Ochiai (Chiba, Japan) in Tokyo in 2004. The band pool a wide variety of influences to create a new avant-pop sound.

Walkie Talkie In The Cornfield is a two-piece Irish/Australian lo-fi experimental electro-pop group which formed last year.

PSOCASE is a Japanese experimental lo-fi duo which combines electronic sounds, guitar, sax, vocals and keyboards. The wonderful Eri Makino will join them for a song.

DJs on the night will be Jake and Grant from Abikyokan, DJ Timebread, and dj craig eee who will also be providing video projections.

The party kicks off at 7pm.

Details here:

Don't worry by the way, although it's called Farm Party, there won't be any chickens wandering around and there (probably) won't be any barn dancing.

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Thursday 21 January 2010

You can dance if you want to

by liza

When a show lets out at 9 or 10pm, the excitement is high but the night is still young! What to do then?

When the usual izakaya or bar seems like a buzzkill, there's always getting your dance on. And there are definitely places that play music other than what you'll hear at a Gaspanic horrorshow or Roppongi pick-up joint.

Tokyo Indie
lists these nights in English. (I suppose "indie" is now a genre instead of a way of thinking, but I digress.) I'm not affiliated with this site at all but I'm glad it's there!

This Saturday night, they're throwing a party at Hell's Bar in Sangenjaya. I went to the one in November and had a good time, even though it was really crowded and seems like it will be again. I'm sure the cover charge of "free" has nothing to do with this!

As for other bigger parties -- Hard to Explain is once a month and the location changes sometimes. It's usually good fun with more obscure music toward the beginning of the night and "classics" once everyone is good and liquored up. They used to have bands playing earlier in the evening but I haven't seen any since the night has moved to smaller venues.

Mighty Pop
throws parties in different places. I've been to one at the Chelsea Hotel that had a good opener band and slightly more obscure but good music, but it was quite fashion-y. Lots of people dressed up standing around chain smoking looking bored for awhile. But they loosened up.

Parties listed on Tokyo Dandy seem to be more electro- and fashion-oriented. Haven't been to any yet.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but my late-night standby when all else fails is the Rock no Cocoro bar in Shibuya. The music is not especially "cool" but the people and staff there are usually really nice and like to party. (plus there's no cover!) Stay away from the food though...

Anyway those are the bigger ones, am still sussing out the smaller ones so let's hear it if you know a good one!

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Monday 18 January 2010

Tweeting from Tokyo Gig Guide

Did you know you can automatically tweet anything from Tokyo Gig Guide including gigs, livehouses and forum posts?
I've moved the icons up to the top left of the page and changed them a bit. You'll see Twitter, Facebook and 'plus' icons.
Click the twitter icon and it will bring you to Twitter with your update already automatically filled out for you tweet.
Click the Facebook icon and it will bring you to Facebook with a post already automatically filled out including a thumbnail.
If you want to use any other social networking, sharing or bookmarking sites, click the plus icon and you will have a choice of over 200 sites.
Speaking of Twitter, if you want to keep track of the latest gigs added to Tokyo Gig Guide, they are automatically tweeted at tgg_latest.

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Saturday 9 January 2010

New Year's Resolutions & eplus

By Liza

Last year, I made a New Year's resolution I had no trouble keeping!

It was simple -- go to at least one gig a month, be it a major international act, bratty teenage garage band or a non-routine DJ set. And I succeeded in my mission!

I felt good about this because I missed my days of living for shows, before I moved to Tokyo. In my native Florida, gigs are super cheap and start well after work. Plus, there's no language barrier keeping me from discovering new acts (unless you count Spanish!)

However, in Tokyo I found myself working too late for the early-starting shows, and too broke after drinking away my hard-earned yen while lamenting my glorious rock and roll days.

No more! With the help of this site (and a job change!) I'm back on track. Learning a bit of Japanese has also helped, and I discovered the glory of pre-ordering tickets.

As dorky as it feels to buy gig tickets often months in advance (like I did with the Pavement reunion show in April!) it's much better to know I have my tickets to see the bigger international acts and don't have to scramble to a ticket machine on a weekend morning.

Here's a little info on how to use the eplus presale system. You'll need to have a bit of Japanese ability but with the help of a friend or Google translate it's not too difficult.

1. Open up an account with your e-mail address. (it's free)
--Click the "はじめての方" button next to the "Top" button near the top of the screen.
--Scroll down to "会員登録" button on the bottom left and click.
--Hit the yellow button to agree to the terms of service.
--Enter your info. You can pick how you want to pay for tickets. I had trouble getting it to accept my (American) credit card, so I selected the option to pay for and pick up tickets at FamilyMart. (more later)

2. Find the show you want to see. The search bar at the top left of the screen will search by artist, and I find that the names of most foreign artists are in English, not katakana.

3. It will list all the shows for that artist in Japan. Click the yellow button to pick the one you want.

4. Here's the page for an upcoming show of the very excellent Shibusashirazu Orchestra (渋さ知らズオーケストラ). You can see the venue (with venue info button underneath) , then the date, then the info we want: the pre-order period ("プレオーダー" is the magic word), and then the public on-sale date. Looks like this show is available for pre-order Jan. 22-28, and general on-sale from Feb. 13.

5. Now here's where you'll have to take my word on things. Click the yellow button to select this show. You'll only have the option to do the pre-order during the designated period, exactly at the times listed.

6. Click the button to say you want to pre-order, and you'll be prompted to log in (if you haven't already, sometimes it asks you earlier!) Log in, enter the number of tickets you want and confirm.
-- What you're doing now is entering a lottery for a set number of pre-order tickets. You'll get an e-mail confirming this -- make sure you get the e-mail or you haven't entered!
--The e-mail will tell you when you can check the site back to find out if you got the tickets.
--There's a fee of probably 210 yen a ticket when you do the pre-order, along with some "service" fee.

7. You'll get another e-mail telling you if you got the tickets, or you can log back in to eplus at the customer page to see the status of your application. ("会員の方" button at top menu bar, then the ">>申込み状況照会" option.)

8. Pick the show, and you'll see the price info. You'll also get a date when the money is due, if you're paying at FamilyMart like I did. Here's the tricky part: you'll need to click on the bigger yellow button at the end of the show info, and this should go to another screen showing the name of your chosen payment convini chain. Click the yellow button next to it.

9. I recommend printing out this next screen. You will need to enter this number in the convini ticket machine in order to pay for the show. The bottom of it shows the screens to touch on the machine in order to get to your personal payment screen -- you can't just enter the number in the regular ticket lookup number section. The convini clerk can help you.

10. Pay for the show at the convini. The clerk will give you a receipt, but you probably can't print out the tickets just yet -- it seems like you have to wait until the general on-sale to print them out.

11. Bring your magic number back to the convini after the date you're told and you can get a slip for printing out your presale tickets. Don't worry if you lose the printout with your number on it; you can always go back to eplus and access your number.

12. Enjoy your show in like, 6 months' time!

Way uncool I know but better than stressing out the morning the tickets go on-sale! I've seen bigger international acts sell out small venues (like Liquid Room in Ebisu) in a couple of hours.

I hope this info has been helpful! Does anyone else have any gig-related resolutions?

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