Diamond Hall (18:00 | ¥6,300)
This teen pop sensation rose to fame with his 2012 hit “Say You’re Just … No. I’m sorry. No, I just can’t do this. NEXT!
Blue Note (17:00 / 20:00 | ¥9,000)
You’ve probably heard the expression “Big in Japan” more than once before, as it has been used to describe a number of musicians who inexplicably attain a stronger fan base here than in their native lands. These pioneers of surf rock did it before all of the rest, and have managed over 2000 concerts here since 1965.
Diamond Hall (18:00 | ¥6,500)
With more and more indie acts passing Nagoya by for a second show in Tokyo, getting the psychedelic neo-rock of MGMT gives me hope that 2014 won’t be all Austin Mahones and Selena Gomezes.
K.D. Japon (18:30 | ¥3,500)
This Swedish musical duo’s upbeat indie-pop plus the comfortable atmosphere of Nagoya’s hippest music spot makes for a great kick-off to 2014.
Pre-Apocalyptic Rock Funk
Plastic Factory (20:00 | ¥1,500)
When 2 of the members of Semi-On left Japan last year fans of their gypsy funk rock were uncertain of the future of this much-loved local band. Enter Astromartini, formed by the remaining members John, Byrony and Kazuya along with a few new members. I haven’t heard them yet. But with all that talent, their “Music for the 23rd century” is sure to fill the huge hole in the scene that Semi-On left.
Nagoya Metro Club
Lover:Z (22:00 | ¥2,500)
Madame d’Metro is getting an early jump on the Horse (kinky!). Her all-sexuality/gender-embracing parties are the stuff of legend, and I am sure she has some wild tricks hidden up her sleeve (among other places) for 2014.
K.D. Japon (18:00 | ¥2,500)
First discovered this local band when they opened for The Last Dinosaurs in December, and although they are relatively new, their fun music, which exist in that mystical place somewhere between folk and rock, has put them firmly in my top 10 local bands to watch this year.
Shooters (18:00 | ¥600)
Seeing as Monday is a national holiday and most of us ain’t gotta work, why not spend your Sunday night with Nagoya’s pre-eminent international ballroom dance group. Nagoya Swings offers lessons at the start of every party, and can teach even the most left-footed of you to cut a rug proper-like.
The Autumn Defense
Club Quattro (18:00 | ¥5,500)
While I appreciate the Autumn Defense for their proficient use of many instruments and beautiful words, I can’t stop wondering if all that talent would better be used making the next Wilco album.
Club Mago (22:00 | ¥3,000)
The 100% pure, uncut house music that DJ SUGIURUMN drops will sound great moving the dance floor of this loved Nagoya club.
X-Hall (22:00 | ¥3,500)
The popularity of bigroom EDM in 2013 was the slap in the face the dance scene needed, as it had been in a coma induced by too much Guetta ft. The-Flavor-Of-The-Moment. While we’re only one “Sexy Party People Partying at the Party” hit track away from a relapse, I plan on enjoying this renaissance of cognizant dance music while it lasts with the help of Montreal DJ duo, Paris and Simo.
Zepp Nagoya (18:30 | ¥9,000)
…deep breath… As much as I dislike most child TV stars turned pop musicians, I feel hesitant about speaking ill of this particular pop princess. I mean, after being in bed with both Disney and Bieber, hasn’t Ms. Gomez suffered enough?
Club 3Star (16:30 | ¥5,500)
And speaking of suffering enough, in an effort to lighten the spirits of an increasingly despondent populace, the country of Greece has sent their preeminent “extreme metal” band on an “anywhere-but-here” tour.
Tokuzo (18:00 | ¥2,300)
It’s come to my attention that some of you still haven’t experienced the frenetic, indie pop of Nagoya’s own Budo÷Grape live. This is your chance to make it up to your eyes and ears. Their live shows are a feast for both.
Apollo Base (17:00 | ¥5,000)
Sunlandic Twins will go down as one of my favorite albums of all time. And while Kevin Barnes’ sound continues to evolve to something unrecognizable from their earlier efforts, I will always love this American indie band for the joy that record brings me spinning on my turntable.
Saturday, February 1
As a member of Underworld, Mr. Emerson is the titan whose shoulders today’s DJs stand upon. If you ever enjoyed a rave in the 90s, there is no doubt you were getting freaky to a tune heavy with his influence.
Los Lonely Boys
Club Quattro (17:30 | ¥6,500)
Wow, Los Lonely Boys… that takes me back. Their breakout song “Heaven” was hard to avoid the summer before I came to Japan. Seems crossing an ocean wasn’t enough to get away from their Chicano rock (does that sound racist to anyone else?)
Sunday, February 2
Diamond Hall (17:00 | ¥6,500)
No to detract from this British crooner’s original music, but good lord can he rock a cover song!