NAG Live June 2014

Gappy-Ranks-15-16Gappy Ranks Plays Radix June 27

Daniel Ostrander Offers Up Some Sound Advice

Wednesday 4

Primal Fear
Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥7,500)
Not the only German power metal band hitting Japan this month, but at least they’re not the worst. But that is not saying much at all.

The New Mendicants
Tokuzo (18:30 | ¥4,000)
I have to give thanks to the pretentious gods that music snobs pray to. This Canadian-based indie rock supergroup, formed by Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, is an early sign that this month won’t be a complete metal wasteland.

Friday 6

Eluveitie Japan Tour
Club 3Star (16:30 | ¥5,500)
Swiss folk death metal… I couldn’t make this shit up, folks. One of their members plays a bagpipe with a goat skull on it. It’s the kind of music Satan would listen to if he were an ironic hipster asshole.

X-Hall (21:00 | ¥3,000)
Featuring DJ NANO from Spain, whose bombastic Eurotrance mixes are probably best enjoyed with party favors.

Saturday 7

Sakae Spring
At live houses around town (12:00 | ¥3,500)
For a crash-course on the local music scene, don’t miss this 2-day event showcasing nearly 200 bands. It’s no Fuji Rock, but it’s the best music festival Nagoya is going to get. Two day passes are available for ¥5,700.

AraabMuzik Japan Tour 2014
Club Mago (22:00 | ¥3,000)
The stuff this man can do with a drum machine is unreal. His furiously fast fingers fling out some sick beats. It’s the only way to listen to dubstep.

Dance Craze!
Club Buddha (22:00 | ¥2,000)
Get swept up in the Mod-ness of the soul and RandB of the 60s, along with the fashion and the Vespas.

Sunday 8

Nagoya Swings Intermediate Workshop
Shooters (18:00 | ¥600)
A great chance to get more involved with the swing dance scene that is surprisingly vibrant in Nagoya, on this night you can get a bi-lingual dance lesson for singles or couples. If you’re looking for something a bit simpler, check out their intro to swing dance on the Sunday the 22nd, same place and time.

Thursday 12

Gamma Ray
Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥7,500)
Much like the Hulk, Gamma Ray turns me into an uncontrollable rage beast. Unlike the Hulk, I only have words to express my anger at superfluous German power metal bands.

Friday 13

Club Mago (22:00 | ¥3,000)
Since 1997 this party has been bringing talented DJs like UK legend Mike Maguire to the biggest clubs in Japan. 17 years later and it seems no one has bothered to ask if anybody still cares about trance music anymore (outside of Eastern Europe).

Cyber EDM
Club Ozon (18:00 | 2,500)
World-renowned DJ Afrojack’s new album Forget The World hasn’t even been out for a month, and the promoters behind Cyber EDM are already co-opting it to promote this “release party” that Afrojack neither knows about nor will be in attendance of. But if you wanna catch some other D-bag pushing play and preening for an hour, you’ve found your party.

Saturday 14

Nagoya Metro Club
Lover:Z (22:00 | ¥2,500)
I’m not sure what wild shenanigans Madame d’Metro has planned for this month’s celebration of “alternative lifestyles”, but one thing is for certain. Hotter weather means fewer clothes, and this is a dance floor that is comfortable with nudity in all its shapes and sizes. Let your pride show, Metro!

DayTrive (18:00 | ¥2,300)
I’ve got a lot of respect for local artist Steve McLellan and his crew. They keep it simple: good music + open bar = damn fine party. To get there, head to the CBC building in Shinsakae, cross Hirokoji and look for the DayTrive/Trim sign on the 3rd floor. Pay the man at the door, pour yourself a drink and kiss goodbye to Sunday.

Fred P a.k.a Black Jazz Consortium
Club JB’s (22:00 | ¥3,000)
You are going to dig the deep and soulful mix of this American DJ with the best handle ever. Black Jazz Consortium sounds like the tagline for a sequel to Reefer Madness.

Bee Lincoln
Club About (22:00 | ¥2,500)
On any given Saturday night, once you’ve finished tying one on at the Red Rock, instead of heading left on the street towards the subway; make a right towards JB’s. About halfway there, listen closely for the minimal yet infectious grooves coming from seemingly underground. You’ve arrived at About. You’re welcome.

Tuesday 17

Zepp Nagoya (18:00 | ¥9,000)
OK, I’m going to just skip over the 30-plus years of sing-along-inspiring progressive rock this British band has put out, and instead focus on the only other thing a vinyl-junkie like me cares about: the album art, painted by our greatest living artist, Mr. Roger Dean. Without his alien landscapes and fantastical creatures, the album covers of the 70s would’ve been another decade of boring photos featuring the bands or, worse even, dirty, naked hippies.

Friday 20

Cave Party
Café Domina (21:00 | ¥2,000)
Dr.Nishimura prescribes a dose of funky house for a club scene suffering from a case of chronic EDM and persistent warbled bass.

Saturday 21

X-Hall (22:00 | ¥3,500)
Speaking of which, Tokyo DJ duo Dexpistols return with a new mix CD and a night of the bangingest of beats and bass.

Wednesday 25

Ginger Wildheart
Apollo Base (18:30 | ¥6,300)
In the game of life, this British rocker just keeps plunking quarters into the machine whenever the “Try again?” screen pops up. On top of at least 5 incarnations of his band, The Wildhearts, he’s also taken on more side-projects than Wikipedia can keep up with. Good on him for finding a fan base in Japan, though. That’ll hold him over until forever.

Friday 27

the pillows
Zepp Nagoya (18:00 | ¥4,000)
Happy Birthday to the pillows, the Rolling Stones of Japanese indie rock. In a world where egos destroy most bands before they even think of a second album, 25 years together is fucking awesome.

Gappy Ranks
Radix (19:00 | ¥3,000)
This club under the train tracks doesn’t find itself on the Live Calendar often, mostly due to the fact that their schedule doesn’t waver much. And while on the surface this party may appear to be just another in their reggae / hip-hop rotation, it features the uplifting dancehall of Gappy Ranks from London. Good feelin’ and love abound in his music.

Saturday 28

Club Zion (15:00 | ¥2,500)
Recordshop Zoo’s regular party is the first stop for those curious about the sound of the Nag punk scene; and it’s sounding pretty damn good. Pop-punk dominates, but that’s a good thing in the hands of bands like ANDMORE and Dizzy Sunfist.

Taurus (18:00 | FREE)
Being an aspiring musician is tough no matter where you live, but Japan has discovered a way to further crap on your dreams with the exorbitant fees that come with performing at a live house. In celebration of 5 years of giving local bands a great space at the lowest cost in town, Taurus is throwing a completely free party: bands have no participation fee and tickets won’t cost you a single yen. They’re signing up acts now for 30-minute sets through their website. Good luck.

Sunday 29

Eddi Reader
Club Quattro (17:00 | ¥7,000)
The lovely folk music of this Scottish darlin’ is a pleasant way to wrap up the month and my write-up for it. See you in the summer!

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