Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yahowa 13 @ Ottawa Blues Fest July 11

Wow... I may have to get it together and go to this one... they will be joining blues legends Girl Talk, Holy Fuck and KISS. Hopefully some other dates to follow...

Yahowa 13 Ottawa Blues Fest July 11

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Acid Mothers Temple @ Johnny Brenda's April 18 2009

The reports from this spring's Acid Mothers Temple "Lord of the Underground Tour" and the shows posted to archive.org had me super excited for this show. Once again, this was gonna be the only show of the tour that I was going to be able to catch, and damn I wish I could see more. Anyways for this one it was Prophase Trust, I mean, Mike and our pal Rob, an AMT virgin, with me, your humble narrator and driver. Plus we were extra extra excited because Prophase put out one of the CDs AMT are touring on, Are We Experimental? The super easy traffic on the way down was the blessing, the crappy parking and search for such was the curse. Luckily we got to hang with Fishtown socialite MissAmandaJones and her friends for a quick round of drinks before the show. I swear I have hung out with her and her dude before like half of the Philly AMT gigs, just, ya know, "tailgating." This time she made it as far as the bar downstairs from the gig... next year, she is going to the show! At least she got to meet Kawabata and Hiroshi outside during a smoke break. Woo hoo. Unfortunately with all this socializing we missed Sonic Suicide Squad, the opening deal that I am rather bummed I missed. Alas.

Headed upstairs for AMT and Johnny Brenda's was packed, not sure how much the Saturday/absolutely perfect weather helped, but damn, it was crowded. Another beer and a lil puff and we were ready to go. Things started out with an awesome Tsuyama intro, all about "Philly, Phillies, Pheelings, Feelings" and such. He was definitely in prankster mode for this show. As far as the set lists go... Wow, I don't even know where to begin/what exactly I remember. They started out with a chugging intro improv jam and went into the new intro to "Dark Stars In The Dazzling Sky" that should probably be it's own song, but I have no idea what it is... and then on to the meat of "Dark Stars...," that ultra heavy riff getting the heads bopping, things really started to take off at this point, the combo of the riff and effects and Tsuyama's throat singing was a head spinning psychedelic swirl.

At this point the set list gets a little hazy for me... I may need some help from the brothers and sisters on the AMT mboard. They definitely did another monster heavy jam... and then there was a breakdown into a blues jam... WTF!? Which led to more WTF? territory when it morphed into a few minutes of "Crossroads," haha. Insane. But so damn good. And then Tsuyama picked up an acoustic and did a gorgeous solo jam with some awesome Kawabata glissando guitar action. Beautiful. This lead to a short, acoustic with flourishes version of "La Novia." Ok, so things are even more out of focus for me at this point... The started out a super long, hypno version of "Pink Lady Lemonade" that was just ripples growing into waves and finally that huge wash when Kawabata breaks out of the main riff with a huuuuge guitar wooosh. This led to a version of "Cosmic Death Disco," another ultra heavy jam that is yet unrecorded (I think)... and then Tsuyama took off his bass and undid his pony tail and did an awesome Jim Morrison on the mic for a weird ass version of the Doors' "The End." They were laughing, we were laughing... it was fucking brilliantly hilarious. There was even a "Morning Dew" tease in there (and I heard someone else mention that after the show, cheers, dude!). "Father... please take me to baseball game... " that said, I couldn't tell what he did the for the "Mother..." line. Alas... He even did the fall down part of the Morrison shtick. And Tsuyama is a million times cooler because he did this all while wearing Crocs! Heads were freaking out, this was the most hippie audience I have seen at an AMT show since their first show at the Unitarian Church (there was even some making out in the audience!). Lots of hard dancing, too. God, please let them play Bonnaroo!

Then they started the initial notes to "Cometary Orbital Drive," which I was super happy to hear live. It is their most "danceable" jam in my opinion and super trance inducing, the simple 3 note riff over and over and over, it reminds me a lot of the Boredoms' "Vision Creation Newsun." They took out there, deeper and deeper. I love how on this tour (ok, at least this show), there is no rush to get to the meat of the songs, they let the riffs go on and on, totally hypnotizing. By the time "Cometary Orbital Drive" ran into "Speed Guru" my brain was paste. I know I say this almost every spring, but if not the best AMT show I have ever seen, very much up there. One of the weirdest, that is for sure. They came out for a super fast hardcore song for an encore which had an intro that lasted longer than the song! Brutal hardcore for about a minute. I wanted to see you in the pit!

After that, it was a sweaty, beat goodbye and merch session. Another incredible one, damn I hope it was recorded. Fingers crossed. There is nothing like an Acid Mothers Temple show. Whew!

Also... it was 10 years ago this month that I saw AMT for the first time at the Khyber and interviewed 'em. Here is a scan of the interview from Nice Pooper issue 23. And sorry for the lack of Kawabata photos, I was in the Tsuyama Zone!

UPDATE: Check out Doctor B's recording of the show here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Floating Action April 16 2009 World Cafe Live

I am a huge mark for Seth Kauffman and his band Floating Action, so this one was a no brainer, even though he was the opening act for Toubab Krewe, whom I had never heard of. Anyways, with RayJay in tow, I made the drive and we rolled in just in time to get some Dock Street Porters and find seats on the floor. I know World Cafe Live and XPN are not my normal venues, and as much as I love the sound, it has to be annoying to play to a bunch of folks eating dinner and having dinner conversation. At least it is annoying to me, an audience member. That said, this place was not made with me in mind, so... anyways.

Floating Action played great, a nice ramshackle sound... deceptively simple songs played with a loose band. I love the recordings, they have a raw, vintage sound that is pretty hard to find in this day and age, but the band is equally good live and the excellent sound of this venue definitely benefited them. New songs mixed with some oldies, man.... if I throw the Woodstock style bday party of my dreams, I want Floating Action to play all afternoon. Such a party band, like beer AND pills. And baked. But danceable! So yeah, it was a bit odd to be sitting down watching them, but so it goes. Highlights for me were the older song "Sunlight" where Seth rocks the electric sitar, new jam "50 Lashes," the semi new arrangement of "Absolute Sway" and the set closing "Could You Save Me." Sure I was a tad buzzy and asking for "the dub version of 'Grind Pills' and 'Lost All My Money'" but alas, that was it for the night. We high tailed it out of there because it was a work night and the room was awash with patchouli. And I like patchouli, but ya know... Anyways, here are some crappy pics. Go see Floating Action and Acid Mothers Temple playing together tonight at the Mercury Lounge in NYC! And buy the new Floating Action CD from Park the Van records.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sweet & Honey- Trips Festival 1993

As promised earlier in the week, here is another Trips Festival tape from Japan. Man, they do the hippy/heavy psych thing like nobody else! This one is a cassette from Sweet & Honey, a pre Ghost band from Masaki Batoh. Definitely more in the Hawkwind/Amon Duul overload vein than Ghost's mystical ethereal vibe, this one clubs you over the head with repeating riffs and long jams. Their LP, Live at Your Cosmic Mind on The Now Sound (man, that was a great label, since rescued and reissued by Drag City) was one of the first Japanese Psych pieces I picked up back in the mid nineties. It's goofy Funkadelic style cover was a big hit on 18th and Fitzwater and the jams enclosed were even better, this was exactly what I was looking for at the time. Fantastic long jams and heavy riffs, mumbled barely audible vocals and tons and tons of guitars... Much more heaviness than Ghost and lots more wah wah damage. Alas, that was their only release save for a track on a Tokyo Flashback comp that called them "sweat rock." Nice.

Anyways, in the early 2000s I snagged this live cassette from Eclipse Records. I am not sure exactly if any of these tracks were on the LP, but the cassette definitely has one track that was never released, an early version of the Ghost warhorse, "Guru In the Echo." This version doesn't feature the amazing guitar playing of Michio Kurihara that pops up on the Ghost 7" on The Now Sound, nor is it the ultra mellow recorder driven version on Ghost's Temple Stone CD. Anyways, this one is the meat of the riff and chorus with some killer wah wah guitar dive bombs. Probably my favorite Ghost song, so glad they still play it live. The rest of the tape is equally awesome. Man, I wish I had been at this Trips Festival! Enjoy!

Sweet & Honey - Trips Festival 1993 Bear's Osaka

And remember, Ghost is touring the USA in May:

Tuesday, April 28
San Francisco, CA
The Independent

Thursday, April 30
Portland, OR
Doug Fir Lounge
(w/ Six Organs of Admittance)

Friday, May 1
Seattle, WA
The Crocodile
(w/ Six Organs of Admittance)

Saturday, May 2
Missoula, MT
The Badlander

Monday, May 4
Minneapolis, MN
7th Street Entry
(w/ Baby Dee)

Tuesday, May 5
Chicago, IL
Empty Bottle
(w/ Baby Dee)

Wednesday, May 6
Pontiac, MI
The Crofoot (The Pike Room)

Thursday, May 7
Pittsburgh, PA
Andy Warhol Museum

Friday, May 8
Philadelphia, PA
Johnny Brenda's

Saturday, May 9
Brooklyn, NY
Music Hall of Williamsburg
(w/ Magik Markers)

Sunday, May 10
Washington, DC
Velvet Lounge
(w/ Magik Markers)

Monday, May 11
Chapel Hill, NC
Local 506
(w/ Magik Markers)

Tuesday, May 12
Asheville, NC
Grey Eagle Tavern & Music
(w/ Magik Markers)

Wednesday, May 13
Athens, GA
Tasty World
(w/ Magik Markers)

Thursday, May 14
Birmingham, AL
(w/ Magik Markers)

Friday, May 15
New Orleans, LA
One-Eyed Jacks

Saturday, May 16
Austin, TX
The Mohawk

Monday, May 18
Denver, CO
Hi Dive

Tuesday, May 19
Albuquerque, NM

Wednesday, May 20
Tucson, AZ
Hotel Congress

Thursday, May 21
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Acid Mothers Sunday Vol 12: Nipponianippon Live Dec 10 1994

Ok, for this one, I am not even sure what it is, exactly. I traded for this in the early 2000s and honestly can't remember who I got it from or what the exact story is... The info on the tape says it was recorded at the Holy Trip Festival Dec 10 1994 at Tekurinji Temple with no real band name. And of course, the Acid Mothers Temple connection is Kawabata Makoto playing in this configuration. The players are listed, though time has faded the already tiny printing so these are approximations:

Masriya Yokogama - Perc
Tako- Perc
Kawabata - Sarangi
Daiji Sakakibara- Didgeridoo
Numagi - Sitar
Yohda - Syth

The name "Nipponianippon" does not appear anywhere on the tape. I picked that name because the Nipponianippon track on the Acid Mothers Temple Family compilation set, Do Whatever You Want, Don't Do Whatever You Don't Want!! shares as least some of the members as the tape. As Kawabata's liner notes indicate, they did play at temples and the sounds are similar:

* Yokoyama Mabo : percussion, vocal
* Takobo: percussion
* Sakakibara Daiji : didgeridoo
* Kawabata Makoto : guitar, electric sitar, ocarina

Nipponianippon were an ur-tribal improv group that I used to play with when I was involved with a Japanese hippie commune. The group consists of: Yokoyama Mabo, a percussionist who has toured Eastern Europe with Allen Ginsberg and Nanao Sakaki, as well as playing with the likes of Tsuchitori Toshiyuki and Kitaro; Sakakibara Daiji, who picked up the didgeridoo when he was living with the aborigines in the Australian desert; and well-known session percussionist, Takobo. I filled in on guitar, bouzouki, harmonium, etc. The group played mainly at temples and worked with the Japanese beat poet Nanao Sakaki.

So while not totally the same, close enough? Anyways, part 1 is about 29 minutes long and part 2 is about 10 minutes. The sounds are slow building drones with echoy percussion and pulses of synthy washes. Calming at first, but the intricacies make themselves apparent soon enough. The second part starts out with some more overt tribal percussion, mixing with space noises and big background drones. Sounds pretty much perfect for rocking a temple.

I also dug up a tape of Sweet & Honey, Masaki Batoh's heavy psych band called Trips Festival 1993 that I will be uploading this week. Damn, in 1993-1994, these Japanese Trip Festivals woulda been so up my alley (as they are today, but back then... man, whew!). Not to mention when Kawabata "was involved with a Japanese hippie commune."

Nipponianippon Holy Trip Festival Dec 10 1994 Tekurinji Temple

And don't forget, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. US & Canada Tour April 2009:

Apr. 2009
3 (fri) @ Echoplex LOS ANGELES CA (http://www.attheecho.com) w/ Kinski, Sonic Suicide Squad
4 (sat) @ Bottom Of The Hill SAN FRANCISCO CA (http://www.bottomofthehill.com) w/ Kinski, Sonic Suicide Squad
5 (sun) @ Holocene PORTLAND OR (http://www.holocene.org) w/ Kinski, Sonic Suicide Squad
6 (mon) @ Sunset Tavern SEATTLE WA (http://www.sunsettavern.com) w/ Kinski, Sonic Suicide Squad
7 (tue) @ Biltmore Cabaret VANCOUVER BC (http://www.biltmorecabaret.com) w/ Kinski, Sonic Suicide Squad
10 (fri) @ 7th Street Entry MINNEAPOLIS MN (http://www.first-avenue.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
11 (sat) @ Empty Bottle CHICAGO IL (http://www.emptybottle.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
12 (sun) @ Grog Shop CLEVELAND OH (http://www.grogshop.gs) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
13 (mon) @ Magic Stick DETROIT MI (http://www.majesticdetroit.com/stick.asp) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
14 (tue) @ El Mocambo TORONTO ON (http://www.elmocambo.ca) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
15 (wed) @ La Sala Rossa MONTREAL PQ (http://www.casadelpopolo.com/contents/lasalarossa) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
16 (thu) @ Middle East Upstairs CAMBRIDGE MA (http://www.mideastclub.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
17 (fri) @ Mercury Lounge NEW YORK NY (http://www.mercuryloungenyc.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
18 (sat) @ Johnny Brendas PHILADELPHIA PA (http://www.johnnybrendas.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
19 (sun) @ DC9 WASHINGTON DC (http://www.dcnine.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
20 (mon) @ Ottobar BALTIMORE MD (http://www.theottobar.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
21 (tue) @ Local 506 CHAPEL HILL NC (http://www.local506.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
22 (wed) @ The Earl ATLANTA GA (http://www.badearl.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
23 (thu) @ Hi-Tone Cafe MEMPHIS TN (http://www.hitonememphis.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
24 (fri) @ Hailey's DENTON TX (http://www.haileysclub.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
25 (sat) @ Emos Alternative Lounge AUSTIN TX (http://www.emosaustin.comnet/) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
27 (mon) @ Plush TUCSON AZ (http://www.plushtucson.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad
28 (tue) @ Casbah SAN DIEGO CA (http://www.casbahmusic.com) w/ Sonic Suicide Squad