Time Bomb Records 15th Aniversary
@ Shibuya Club Quattro (18th Sep '05)
feat. Blind Beast (Thurston Moore+Jim O'Rourke+Yoshimi), The Evens (Ian MacKaye+Amy Farina)
with Ruins alone, Tamio Inoue
"Something Old And Something New"
If you love American or Japanese underground music than there was only one place you should've been (or yearned to be) tonight - Shibuya Club Quattro. In honour of their 15th anniversary, Time Bomb Records brought together an awesome array of talent for events in Tokyo and Osaka. The Shibuya show featured such esteemed artists as Tatsuya Yoshida, Yoshimi Yokota, Ian MacKaye, Jim O'Rourke, and Thurston Moore. Each of the undeniably talented musicians unveiled something new, yet vaguely familiar to their past acclaimed work.
Superhuman drummer Yoshida was up first. Performing under the moniker Ruins Alone, his stellar set featured him playing selections from Ruins, well, alone. Ruins are a fantastic Japanese act comprised of only a drummer and bass player. Currently between bassists, he's using a sampler to handle the bass parts in his innovative music.
Although the idea of watching a drummer for 35 minutes may sound boring, Yoshida's set was anything but. The man was a machine, whipping through each frenzied, prog-inspired track with calculated fury. His spastic drumming and avant-garde singing style easily held the attention of the sold-out crowd of Tokyo's indie elite. With all of the bass playing having been pre-programmed, Yoshida had mere seconds to gasp "Arigatou" before the next number kicked in. He performed without stopping for almost a half hour before pausing to wipe the sweat from his brow and explain what Ruins Alone is all about.
The huge roar that erupted from the floor as Ian MacKaye soundchecked his mic made it clear who many were at Quattro to see. With a resume that includes starting Dischord Records and playing in bands such as Teen Idles, Embrace, Minor Threat, and Fugazi it's easy to see why the crowd was so pumped. With Fugazi on indefinite hiatus, MacKaye is concentrating his musical efforts on his latest project, The Evens. Featuring MacKaye on guitar and Amy Farina (who some may know from The Warmers) on drums, the acoustic duo create thought provoking, atmospheric pop and folk. Although The Evens may sound quite different from MacKaye's past acclaimed hardcore and post-hardcore work, the innovativeness, blunt political subject matter, and DIY attitude that have been cornerstones of his career are still prevalent.
Opening with "Blessed Not Lucky" from their self-titled debut, The Evens quickly won over the highly responsive audience. Working their way through cuts from their album, the chemistry between MacKaye and Farina was incredible. MacKaye's expressive singing style, contemplative one moment, angry the next, was complemented wonderfully by Farina's soft harmonies.
Although performing much quieter, intimate songs, MacKaye still injects a fair amount of rock n' roll into them. Seated on a chair at the front of the stage, the "godfather of hardcore" headbanged along to the notes flowing from his guitar and Farina's excellent, subdued percussion. Although the lyrical matter is very serious, The Evens have fun with their music in a live setting. Before beginning "Mt. Pleasant Isn't", MacKaye invited everyone to sing along. After teaching the crowd its part he exclaimed "This is going to be fucking great. This is punk rock shit," with a huge grin upon his face. To keep things rooted in the punk rock spirit he screamed "Come On" and started rocking out as he kicked into the song.
Before wrapping up their set, MacKaye said, "It would be impolite for The Evens to leave without singing one song about that motherfucker George Bush." The politically charged anthem got the capacity crowd so excited that they refused to let the group leave. Despite the band packing up their gear and MacKaye apologizing and saying that they were out of time the audience refused to let up. The sound guy became everyone's hero when he told the group that they had ten more minutes. After a brief huddle, Farina and MacKaye turned out three more tracks - "Until They're Clear", "Crude Bomb", and "On The Face Of It".
Blind Beast, a new group comprised of Sonic Youth's Jim O'Rourke and Thurston Moore and Yoshimi Yokota (P-We) from Boredoms (Vooredoms)/ OOIOO closed out the night's festivities. The trio unveiled a single 40 minute composition that taunted and teased the ears and minds of fans.
Moore handled guitar duties, O'Rourke worked on manipulating sounds with various pedals and other electronic toys, and Yoshimi handled keys and percussion. Under waves of feedback-dominated electronic landscapes, Yoshimi chanted, sighed, and occasionally sang while beating her drums and shaking other noisemakers, giving the track an almost aboriginal feel at times.
Combining the arty and extremely experimental sides of both of their full-time projects, Blind Beast melded melody and noise together to create their own sort of soothing, twisted lullaby. Yoshimi was the most active of the three playing harmonica, flute, shakers, drums, and keyboards. O'Rourke swayed lightly while turning knobs and pushing buttons while Moore doubled over his amp rubbing his guitar on it in numerous ways to produce different blasts of feedback. The song rose lightly at times, but never morphed into
the full blown psychedelic explosion that many were expecting. Nonetheless, it was cool to witness and will certainly make for a mind-warping headphone experience if it's ever committed to disc. As the track died down the band made their way off stage. Moore paused briefly to say "Happy anniversary Time Bomb. Sonic Youth loves you," before exiting.
After the brilliant showcase of music you can be certain that a lot of others love Time Bomb as well. Can't wait to see what's in store for their 20th anniversary!
report by toddy and photos by saya38
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