Tired of hating on all bands besides the handful I tolerate, I’m changing things up this month. In an effort to come across as less of a jerk in these pages, I’ve decided to forgo any and all negative words in this month’s rundown of music and art events in Nagoya. It won’t… ahem, I mean it could be difficult, which is why I’m writing this sober; lots of firsts this month.
Club Quattro (17:00 | ¥5,000)
If all music this month is as awesome and chill as the guitar styling of skater/musician Tommy Guerro, then maybe, just maybe, this experiment in niceness will be a success.
DECEASING MY BRAIN TOUR
Huck Finn (17:00 | ¥3,000)
I may have spoken too soon. Iron Lung is a powerviolence grindcore band from Seattle… stay positive… stay positive… Uh, you’ll be amazed that such a sound is created by only two guys instead of, say, a troop of gorillas destroying a music store.
Nagoya International Center
The Nagoya International Center is opening its doors to foreign artists living in the Aicihi area so that they can showcase their talented works. For almost 30 years, The Foreign Artist Exhibition has given voice to creators who may struggle to find venues. This event is free, but donations are always welcome.
Robin’s Egg Blue
K.D. Japon (19:00 | ¥1,800)
Born in Japan but based in New York, Robin’s Egg Blue makes folk music as beautiful and wistful as the crayon they take their name from.
Club Quattro (18:00 | ¥5,800)
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy are gone; but their punk rock lives on. For 7 years, CJ Ramone filled in as bassist and vocalist for the Ramones, and is often credited with keeping the band relevant and young until they retired in ’96. Now, he tours the world making sure everyone remembers how to Blitzkrieg Bop.
X-Hall (22:00 | ¥3,400)
I’ve been hoping UK DJ Riva Starr would visit my town since I first heard his track I Was Drunk (the video with the mustachioed baby). This is also the guy who did Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat with Fatboy Slim, so you know his set is going to be as funky as it is naughty.
Brian Cullen and friends
Coat of Arms (20:00 | ¥500)
The doctor of Irish folk returns to Coat of Arms with his many friends, all of who just happen to be talented musicians as well. Just to clarify, Brian has a Ph.D., but I forgot what it’s in. I wanna say Teaching Brogue?
Gotham City (21:00 | ¥1,000)
After several appearances at huge local events like The Walkathon and Aichi Vision, fans of StarKat are happy to see this up and coming indie rock group headlining their own show. With The Undertone, who err on the side of pop with their punk.
Ghost of Matsubara
Studio 246 (17:00 | ¥FREE)
Dead Skin, a poignant ballad about love gone wrong, is one of the most adored of local songwriter Tom Fallon. And though it has gone through some changes since it debuted as a folk song, the poetry still stands. This hit single is finally getting a video treatment and you can be a part of it at this free concert. Participants will be filmed and must sign a waiver, but, hey, free music!
Café Domina (16:00 | ¥3,000)
A DJ duo from Brazil that plays only the hardest of techno, PETDuo is also a married couple celebrating 20 years together dropping manic beats like bombs on the crowds.
Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥8,000)
OK, I’m going to find something nice to say about this German power metal band… I like how they do that thing where all of the guitarists in the group line up and rock out together… in every one of their music videos.
Luke Leighfield Japan Tour 2014
K.D.Japon (19:00 | ¥3,300)
As I peruse the YouTube channel for this young British songwriter, his piano-led, straightforward songs of love and life put me in mind of Ben Folds; so, yeah, this is good music.
Aerofall and VibraGun
Tight Rope (18:30 | ¥4,500)
Shoegaze is a challenging music genre, somewhere between the jarring guitars of alt-rock and the comforting vocals of psychedelic. People at an Aerofall (Russia) or VibraGun (USA) concert must have trouble deciding whether to mosh or sway. Probably best to just look at down at your sho… oh, now I get it.
Pete Seeger Tribute
All Saints International Church (19:30)
Earlier this year, we lost a modern folk hero when American singer and activist Pete Seeger passed away. Known for using his words and his songs to fight for those with neither voice nor music, Seeger led a life worth celebrating. The All Saints International Church remembers Pete Seeger on this evening, with a focus on how his music influenced the labor, civil rights, peace and environmental movements.
Nagoya Autumn Jam
Flex Lounge (22:00 | ¥3,000)
Vinny “my enemies call me The Butcher” Vintage is back with his seasonal Jam party, which is packed with the hottest RandB and hip-hop acts in Aichi, including Chriz Jay, Marie, Ali Baba Urbano with DJs KAZMO and scrying.
Tomo Nakayama and Yuuki Matthews
K.D. Japon (18:30 | ¥3,800)
As part of Grand Hallway and The Shins (respectively) Tomo Nakayama and Yuuki Matthews are accustomed to making beautiful music that’ll change your life (“I swear”). It’s very appropriate that the opening band is ROTH BART BARON, back from their latest American tour. I caught them the last time they played here, and I had a Garden State moment when I heard their track Monsters. Highly recommended!
For anyone who enjoys the power piano pop of Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol but is turned off by their accents, here’s Windsor Drive from America.
Winger Japan Tour
Electric Lady Land (18:00 | ¥8,000)
Back in 1989, I thought it strange that Kip Winger sang about a Seventeen year old being “old enough” for him. Now that he’s 53, Japan is probably his best chance to find a target audience.
The Sunshine Underground
Tight Rope (18:30 | ¥4,800)
Four years between albums is a long wait for more of the addictive indie dance of this English band. But their third LP shows a depth and maturity beyond their previous outings, so maybe I should just shut up and learn to be patient.
Gotham City (19:00 | ¥2,500)
Stage, screen and music; besides being a triple threat, Elijah Ben is probably one of the hardest working artists in Nagoya. He’s releasing his new album Prophetic Technology on this night with the help of StarKat, anohito and Mado Yamamoto and The Good Lookin’ Brothers. Make sure to pick up a copy on this night for just an extra ¥500 at the door.
Distant Is The Sun Tour
Club R.A.D. (17:00 | ¥3,000)
I’m certain there is someone in Nagoya who will be very happy that this Australian progressive metal band is playing here. Heck, there could even be 2 someones.
Live and Lounge Vio (18:00 | ¥3,000)
A little bit of Dixieland and a little bit of ragtime and you get the jazz of Little Fats and Swingin’ Hot Shot Party. Their sound of days long gone will put a smile on your face and a swing in your step. Steppin’ Out with Ako will also be performing along with the burlesque dance of Violet Eva.
Club About (23:00 | ¥3,000)
The night of debauchery returns to About with a live bondage show, body painting and erotic dancing. A few fetish shops will be selling their wild wares to help bring out the gimp in you.
Diamond Hall (18:00 | ¥7,500)
Pop meets jazz fusion in this band from Stockholm, which is an excellent example of a sum being lesser than its two parts.
Zepp Nagoya (18:00 | ¥9,000)
Do yourself a favor. Go to YouTube and watch the entire seven minute version of their video for Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Besides being a damn fine song, the video is chock-full of everything that made the 80s the greatest MTV generation: bold hair choices, strange fashion and odd minute-long non sequiturs of band members turning into animals. It’s awesome to the max.
Napalm Death and Brutal Truth
Electric Lady Land (18:00 | ¥7,800)
Ah, Napalm Death, my old nemesis come to test my resolve at the very end of my journey. Well played, November, well played. OK, stay positive. Grindcore is a music genre that many people enjoy (the same people that probably smile ghoulishly when driving by an automobile accident). No, stop it! Uh… I got it! This is the Brutal Truth farewell tour, which definitely makes me smile.
Whew! And that’s it. Through 30 days and 25 entries, I managed to avoid all negative words and insults (for the most part). And if I had to do it all over again? Not even if they paid me to be nice! I need a drink.