Saturday, July 14, 2012

Enban Festival of the Disk

On Friday I made it out to Shibuya O-Nest for an long and eclectic day of experimental and independent music from Tokyo and beyond. The show was hosted by Enban, an independent record store based in Koenji. The middle of the club was full of merchandise that normally lines the shelves of the store, and featuring many of the artists performing. There was an amazing selection of zines, records, tapes and independent artwork.

Hopping back and forth between the 6th and 5th floor, with one guy performing in between, I was able to soak in a dense amount of new music that I had sorely been missing.

As I walked in I caught the first act, Ju Sei, setting up their equipment. Instruments included wind-up toys, Bunsen burners, bottles, cans, propellers, guitar and vocals. The microphone was held up by an elastic stretchy band which snapped to the wall every time the singer didn't need it. The performance was full of surprises, sometimes grating, sometimes melodic, always enjoyable. A smoke machine closed out the last song but by the time the next band set up it had all magically disappeared.

This guitar and Therimin duo was good but a little heavy. Plus I had to get outside to see...

This guy. He was literally playing the entire day. From 4pm to Midnight. I saw him walking down the street later looking completely dead but with a suitcase full of Yen.

Te_ri is a guitar and drum duo with spazzy rhythms and chords that are like chords I love to play. I loved their set. After I asked what the guitar player's favorite bands were and he said Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.

Horaizun was my favorite act of the night. I managed to catch the singer later and asked him in my wonky Japanese about his curious onstage acts. He said the two shoes were like the man and the woman. When the laces were out of the shoe, the woman was nude. The music started with the singer conducting a wall of horns and gradually progressed to a rock quartet (the band's usual line-up). The music was so joyous and alive, especially with the amount of people on stage.

One of the bands that I had kind of heard of before was Tennis Coats. Early in the night I ran into a friendly red-bearded gentleman from Kansas. He mentioned he'd be signing a song later with one of the bands. At the end of the night he appeared on stage with a chorus of Japanese women, singing fluently in Japanese and sounding like Bon Iver. It was pretty amazing to see a guy come from so far and be so accepted into another culture.

On my way out I caught the middle of this ska-funk band's set. The lead singer was wearing a cat in the hat hat and guzzling whisky. The music was the most fun of the night with every song ending in a crazy drawn out mess. Many of the horn members of Horaizun were on stage. I really wanted to see the whole thing but had to catch my last train!

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