Monday, December 06, 2004


I've been skewing kind of mainstream lately, and that's probably going to continue this week, so I thought I'd take a brief detour into indie-land. Nothing hugely exciting.

Asobi Seksu are a NYC band getting hyped in some circles. They feature our old friend pop-wrapped-in-guitar-noise avec female Japanese lead singer, and I've been kind of dubious about them based on the mp3's I'd heard, but I did recently learn that their guitar player James Hanna (a guy with a very nice -- and not at all US-indie sounding -- Kevin Shields voice) sings lead from time to time.

I had missed that detail despite reading innumerable articles/blog entries about the group, since most reviewers seem more focused on translating the band's name (if memory serves, it means "food madness" or "I heart Sean Lennon" or something like that) or discussing how odd it is that people focus on the lead singer in a group otherwise consisting of three white men in their twenties who chose a Japanese band name, Japanese lead singer, and Japanese graphics, with lyrics often sung in Japanese. Weird, right? Blondie is a group! (And don't you forget it!)

I thought I'd post a track today on the off chance that I'm not the only person in the world who vastly prefers Asobi Seksu in boy-singer formation.

Anyways, here's Let Them Wait (which is also available on the band's website). It's not my favorite song in the world, but it's nice enough. I'm thinking that, given the way rock critics are, it would be career suicide for Asobi Seksu to go with this sound full-time, but I'm secretly hoping that James will continue to get one or two tracks on their future albums.

A group who seem to get better press now than they did back when I somewhat liked them is Blonde Redhead. Along the lines of certain debates that Flaming Lips fans have, I doubt that it's worth arguing about the highs and lows of their career. I'm pretty sure that many people who came on board with Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons would be less-than-thrilled with the more abrasive Fake Can Be Just As Good, but FCBJAG is the album I like best, partly because I hear Kazu Makino's (high and irritating) voice making more sense in a noisier context.

My favorite song of theirs was and is Symphony Of Treble, track number two from FCBJAG. Cute touch: note that the guitars switch speakers one time, about halfway through the song. Test your brain: does it sound better with noise on the right and notes on the left, or vice versa?

While doing some googling vaguely related to all this, I happened to notice that Jun Kurihara who used to be in a sort of cult, Japanese twee band called The Nelories is a member of The Music Lovers. Interesting, slightly. If anyone knows if The Nelories' song "Blue Flower" is related to the Slapp Happy song, that's something I've been wanting to know for a long time, but it's been a while since I've been in a twee enough phase to consider tracking down the album it appears on.

I changed my mind. Tomorrow will also feature indie-ville and Japan.

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