November 09, 2005

TsuShiMaMiRe / The Amppez / Red Bacteria Vacuum / All Ages, SF, 11/8/05.

Let me cut to the chase: for about 45 minutes last night (more if you count the drive home), TsuShiMaMiRe (or Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, or Tsushimamire) seemed like the greatest band in the world. Go out and look for their 2004 Benten album, Pregnant Fantasy -- one of my favorite listens of the year. (You can preview/download it from the iTunes store; just do a search on the album title.)

All Ages was the opening band -- I didn't pick up their merchandise, so their name is near-unGoogleable -- and they played good basic power pop, though I think they'd be most remembered as "that band with the goofy Japanese guy with the big mouth and the mohawk who stripped down to his boxer briefs." (Later he would start a mosh pit, into which I was dragged at some point against my will.)

And then onto Japan Girls Nite proper: Red Bacteria Vacuum -- self-described, I think, as "a Monster Girls Rock band who plays Pop to Hard core with amazing performance" was first up. Headbanging hardcore, lots of screaming, with (I think I used this phrase to describe Om in a previous entry) hair flying everywhere.

Red Bacteria Vacuum.

ranran from red bacteria vacuum
Ranran from Red Bacteria Vacuum. (Later she would bonk her head pretty hard on my shoulder while dancing to Tsushimamire's set.)

Akeming and Ikumi from Red Bacteria Vacuum
Akeming and Ikumi from Red Bacteria Vacuum.

Marie from the Amppez
Marie from the Amppez.

The Amppez's set was unfortunately marred by a ridiculously loud fuzz guitar; I couldn't hear what sounded like rather pretty melodies over the guitar chaos (and no, I don't think it was a My Bloody Valentine move).

And then, TsuShiMaMiRe:

TsuShiMaMiRe in full nudge-nudge wink-wink Orientalist mode.

Mizue and Mari from Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re
Mizue and Mari from Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re.

Yayoi from Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re
Yayoi from Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re.

I don't have very good pictures, simply because I was jumping around too much, as was everyone else, to bother grabbing the camera. It's hard to describe how damn good (and fun) this band is; style-wise, they run the range from Japanese disco-funk to hardcore to and yes, hair flying everywhere. Sometimes, in the space of one song (like the marvelous "Tea Time Ska"), a death-metal vocal interlude gives way to a pop ska chorus. They didn't have much material to draw from -- one 32-minute album and a CD of demos -- but they sure played the hell out of it. With, uh, hair flying everywhere.

J-Lu's making me and her friends wait for over an hour outside Studio Z.Tv paid off: one of the best things about being front and center -- other than being right there -- is that you get to yell your requests and actually make them heard. For the seemingly unplanned encore (it wasn't on the setlist), TsuShiMaMiRe played the song we were yelling out, the epic "Manhole" and "Lingerie Shop."

And so J-Lu's friend Kenny caught one of Mizue's drumsticks, J-Lu got her CD signed by all the band members, and I shook hands with them, got my CD signed by Red Bacteria Vacuum, got my chin "signed" (long story -- Akeming wanted to do it), and got asked if I was Japanese (Ikumi then grabbed my hand and yelled "Firipin!").

Posted by the wily filipino at November 9, 2005 11:23 AM

Yea, that show was pretty phenominal. Ive been in RBV and TsuShiMaMiRe withdrawl ever since.

but I'll be seeing them again overseas next year i believe.

Posted by: Tomcat on November 14, 2005 05:58 PM
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