NAG Live – September, 2014

Thursday 4

Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥9,000)
As the lead singer of Helloween, Michael Kiske shouted life into the power metal scene in the mid-80s, angering parents on both sides of the Atlantic. While his new band doesn’t have that same adult-enraging power, his vocal range is still as impressive. Fellow kraut rockers Edguy to open.

Friday 5

Club Mago (23:00 | ¥3,000)
Charles Cohen and Morphosis are masters of the Buchla synthesizer, which look like an old-timey switchboard. I love their sound, which can best be described as a threesome between a Dalek, a fax machine and Sputnik. If you see someone dancing during their set, they are high.

Saturday 6

Brian Cullen and Friends
Coat of Arms (19:30 | ¥500)
The second floor of CoA has become the new home for songwriters in Aichi, and I want to thank Dr. Cullen for giving the scene a new direction. Stop by for the amazing music from this Irish son and many others, and stay for the exceptional dishes on the menu.

Thursday 11

Rise Records Japan Tour
Club Quattro (17:00 | ¥5,000)
Some friendly advice to the rap / metal-core bands Issues and Alive Like Me. Co-opting the sounds of better music genres does not lend credence to your shallow rage and talent. Stop polishing that turd.

Buss A Blank
Radix (20:00 | ¥2,500)
The son of rocksteady legend Alton Ellis, Christopher Ellis continues in his father’s stead with his soulful voice and smooth songs of love. This is the perfect show for a date, just don’t expect her, or him, to be thinking of you.

Friday 12

Churchill In Love
Nanatsudera Kyodo Studio (19:30 | ¥3,000)
The opening night for KPB Theatre’s newest play, this original drama from the talented duo of writer Gary Beaubouef and director Stephen Pottinger takes a unique look at the post-war life of Sir Winston Churchill. Featuring an impressive cast consisting of some of Nagoya’s best actors, this is sure to be yet another hit from KPB. There are also shows on Saturday and Sunday at 16:00 and 19:00. Advance tickets and student prices are available at

X-Hall (21:00 | ¥3,400)
While American superstar DJs are content with their over-compensating bass and push-play-and-pose stage shows, the French scene is still vibrant and dynamic with a stronger focus on the music than the “musician”. Producer Breakbot’s nu-disco is a pleasant reminder that the old sounds can always be made fresh again.

Saturday 13

Riot Girl
Cafe Domina (23:00 | ¥2,000)
I’m glad to hear that indie rock hasn’t been completely abandoned by the Nagoya nightlife.

Sunday 14

Charlee Laine
Shooters (18:00 | ¥300)
From Las Vegas to London, lounge singer Charlee Laine has entertained audiences with his wide repertoire of ballads from Neil Diamond, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka and all the greats. In the proud tradition of fellow UK crooner Tom Jones, he prefers panties thrown on the stage in lieu of applause.

Sonset Strip (18:30 | ¥18:30)
Things are bound to get trippy with psychedelic bands Dreamtime from Australia and Rollfast from Bali.

Wednesday 17

A Loss For Words
Club RAD (¥4,000)
Of the many, many scourges America has unleashed on the world, I put the advent of pop punk very high on the list of the worst.

Thursday 18

Painted Palms
K.D. Japon (18:30 | ¥2,500)
This San Francisco band’s chillwave is some perfect summer-is-over music.

Cannibal Corpse
Electric Lady Land (18:00 | ¥6,900)
Over their last three Japan tours, I’ve developed a love / hate relationship with this death metal band. I love to point out that they suck, and their fans send me blood-inked hate mail. And since their newest album A Skeletal Domain is best used as a soundtrack to a double hemispherectomy you can reach me at

Friday 19

Club JB’s (22:00 | ¥3,000)
Hailed as a “guardian of the house music industry”, German DJ Prosumer has travelled the globe keeping alive the sounds born from the Big 3 (Detroit, Chicago and New York). His mixes echo that passion with a floor-filling hodgepodge of smooth beats and seamless transitions.

K.D. Japon (18:30 | ¥2,300)
It’s pretty obvious, at least to my editor, that I often drink while writing. And I was pretty deep in my cups when I first came across this Tokyo duo’s newest album The Ice Age, so I felt compelled to come back to it once I sobered up a bit (mostly because I don’t think “Fuk me, tha’s beutifl.” does their music justice). I’m going to go ahead and put this album on my best of 2014 list; this will not be the last time you hear me rant about how talented these guys are.

Saturday 20

Elijah Ben
Gotham City (19:30 | ¥1,000)
Nagoya-based songwriter Elijah Ben has a new album coming out very soon. I cannot wait to hear some of what he’s been working on, and I cannot think of a better place to preview his talent than this new performance space in Shinsakae. This show is part of Gotham City’s month-long soft open, a tease of sorts to get Nagoya excited when they go full-power in October. To get there, start at the Red Rock and walk away from Sakae towards the Nagoya Expressway. After passing under the highway, turn right at the first intersection. GC is on the right, first floor; look for the banner.

David Dycus
Country Joe (21:00 | ¥500)
At first glance, fans of local music may feel they have a tough choice on this night, but no fear. Gotham City and Country Joe are close enough that you could do both; so there’s no need to miss out on David Dycus’ talented slide-guitar style.

Club Mago (22:00 | ¥4,500)
British musician Kevin Martin has produced killer tracks under a number of monikers but he’s best known for his alias The Bug. Dancehall, grime, dubstep influences combined with a raw DIY technique and garnished with smooth rhymes from a number of talented MCs, including Flowdan who joins him on this night taking over Mago.

Sunday 21

Radix (17:00 | ¥3,000)
Damn! Radix has lined up the most impressive number of international super-stars this month, including Jamaican reggae singer Da’Ville. The club under the tracks is far from done.

Saturday 27

Ghost of Matsubara
DayTrive (18:00 | ¥2,500)
GoM never fails to put on a damn fine show, and the open bar is a nice touch. But all of their fans want to know when they’ll give us the followup to their smash debut From The Ashes Not Yet Cold. I know you read this, Tom. Get back to the studio!

Chant Down Babylon
Club Buddha (21:00 | ¥2,000)
This long running night dedicated to rocksteady, ska and reggae music welcomes a very special selector this month. From the UK, ASHER G, the Rocksteady Daddy, whose superb selection of Jamaica-born sounds will move ya.

Flatbush Zombies
Club Radix (18:00 | ¥5,000)
The Brooklyn-based Flatbush Zombies have complex rhymes and a fine flow, but the message seems to remain the same from verse to verse. They like to get fucked up.

Sunday 28

Harmonium Parlour
Plastic Factory (18:00 | ¥1,000)
This month’s Parlour features a special performance from NYC’s own Ali and his all-star international band in celebration of his new CD which is full of original smooth RnB, like the single Fancied U. Along with the plethora of talent this open mic attracts, this will be the best sampling of local artists all month long.

Tuesday 30

Club Quattro (18:00 | ¥8,000)
So I finally figured out what is wrong with the Nagoya music scene, and it only took me 10 years writing about it. A large portion of it is stuck in the 90s, like some road-worn Poison groupie frozen in carbonite. How else can one explain the Gotthard-on some people in this town have for bands whose popularity runs parallel to that of Aqua Net.

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