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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Blogger mee said...

I've been to HTE quite a few times, but I think it was better before they started moving it around. Places like Aoyama is a bit too posh for me, and the guest DJ's haven't really appealed much to me either.

Freak Affair at Club Que in Shimokitazawa is a lot of fun. They play danceable indie rock, mostly british I guess, but they also choose an artist every month of whom they play more songs of. And they give away free tequila shots!

There are lots of other similar events though. If you go to one you usually receive a bunch of flyers to other events at the door.

8:10 am, January 23, 2010  
Blogger Dan said...

Nice post!

I've had good experiences at Oath in Aoyama - don't be turned off by the location, it's a very down to earth place with a good atmosphere for dancing. It's tiny, but there's a huge patio outside (where you can drink and talk but still hear the music) and there's often no cover to get in:

I'm always surprised at how late people show up there - it usually hits its peak at 3 am!

Keep in mind this is generally electronic music, so not sure how much this fits with Tokyo Indie Night or Hard to Explain. What gets played there, anyway?

9:58 am, January 23, 2010  
Blogger liza said...

Thanks for the recommendations! Dan-- at the indie night type places they usually play stuff like Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Strokes, Radiohead, etc with some places being a bit more populist than others. It's great to hear obscure stuff but as the night wears on it's also nice to hear stuff everyone knows!

3:14 pm, January 27, 2010  

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