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July 2004
Issue 050

Special 50th Issue!


Let there be Rock

The end of July sees a one-of-a-kind event manfully strutting its way to Osaka, a Homeric odyssey of Rock. The two-day show (Sat 24th and Sun 25th), sponsored by Pocari Sweat, is the first of its kind and will be playing simultaneously in Yokohama and Osaka Dome, with Saturday’s acts rolling up to play Yokohama the following day. The lineup features some of the worlds most recognizable names in the pantheon of rock and roll — Rock Odyssey 2004 features international acts such as long-time favorites Red Hot Chili Peppers and aging rockers The Who, playing alongside some of Japan’s finest, including Osaka’s very own Ulfuls, rockers L’Arc En Ciel and Love Psychedelico.

24th July Saturday
11:00 Hy
11:45 Trapt
12:40 The Black Eyed Peas
13:40 L’Arc en Ciel
15:10 Lenny Kravitz
16:50 Red Hot Chili Peppers
19:00 Eikichi Yazawa
25th July Sunday
11:00 Love Psychedelico
11:45 Josh Todd
12:40 Michelle Branch
13:50 Ulfuls
15:10 Paul Weller
16:50 The Who
18:50 Aerosmith

24th July, Saturday

The Black Eyed Peas


These longtime L.A underground players are somewhat of an anomaly to this festival, being as they are the only hip-hop outfit to make it over. That shouldn’t detract from their appeal, as the group themselves feel that they transcend genres. As their website puts it, “[B.E.P mainstay] will.i.am’s talent lies in his ability to mold live instruments, samples and drum machines into a uniform sound.” Their recent success with their third album, Elephunk, should provide listeners with a few hints of what’s to come. Think of the hugely-popular ‘Where is the Love’ with Justin Timberlake and “this summer’s” party anthem ‘Let’s Get it Started’ for an idea of the rich funk that they’ll be bringing to the show.

http://www.blackeyedpeas.com/

L’Arc en Ciel

Formed in Osaka way back in ’91, L’Arc en Ciel have been making waves domestically ever since. Their flashy image — a more serious version of The Darkness, in the same vein as Glay — fits their sound admirably, and the quintet has long been favorites for a wide and varied audience. They came of age in ’99, when they sold out the 56,000-capacity Tokyo Dome in only 4 minutes. They took a little break shortly after this, and Smile, their latest album, marked their return after an almost four-year recording hiatus. Their recent tour to promote the album, which began in May of this year, has been rocking audiences throughout the country. Expect a warm reception for the return of Osaka’s prodigal sons.

http://www.larc-en-ciel.com

25th July, Sunday

Aerosmith

If not the hardest-workin’, one of the most consistently successful bands of recent times, with a career spanning four decades, 23 albums and famed collaborations with artists such as Run D.M.C. They also started the run on guest appearances on The Simpsons, and, in short, are cultural icons. Although this will be by no means their last appearance, it’s worth showing up to see these wily, aging rockers. Despite their years, Aerosmith undoubtedly have the pedigree and experience to put on a top show. Wide-mouthed frontman Steven Tyler has put himself through no end of scandal and debauchery, and ranks with Keith Richards as one of the most unlikely humans to still be alive. But, alive he is, and still struttin’. Their latest album, the curiously named ‘Honkin’ on Bobo’, has met with reviewers’ approval, showing that there’s life in the old dogs yet.

http://www.aerosmith.com/

The Who

“Hope I die before I get old”, sang Who vocalist Roger Daltrey on their seminal track, ‘My Generation’. Thank-fully, his wish didn’t come true, meaning that not only his, but future generations get a chance to see this legendary rock band. Central figures from their heyday in the 1960s as pioneers of the British Invasion and Mod culture, The Who are living memories of that feted era. The band has had its ups and downs, including ner-vous breakdowns, alcoholism and the death of crazed drummer Keith Moon in 1978. They’ve broken up numerous times but have always reformed, to the delight of their enduring fanbase. A band that always pushed the envelope, trying new and daring projects, the Who’s members have gone on to claim success in other fields, such as Pete Townsend’s mod movie Quadrophenia. The Who? You know who.

http://www.petetownshend.co.uk/projects/thewho

Other live gigs this month

Boyz II Men

7/5 - 7/7

The most commercially successful R&B group of all time, Philly-bred harmonizers Boyz II Men find themselves in the midst of a ‘fresh start,’ over twelve years into their career. With the recent retirement of Michael “Bass” McCary (now heading his own entertainment company), and their release from former record label, Arista, the ‘Boyz’ can now bank on the kind of artistic freedom that their streamlined size and new independent label (MSM Music Group) are likely to afford. Nate Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris find themselves in Japan not only out of love for one of their most loyal fan bases, but also giving a taste of their first album as a trio, Throwback, scheduled for release on August 24.
While the vocally acrobatic (and oft-imitated) group had some initial success with mid- and up-tempo tracks — notably on their CoolyHighHarmony debut — their niche is unarguably their rendering of lush, heart-melting super-ballads, with the picturesque and dramatic music videos to match. To say the least, “I’ll Make Love to You,” “End of the Road,” “On Bended Knee,” and “One Sweet Day (Duet with Mariah Carey)” are probably mix tape essentials for most slow-jam lovers over age 25.
The new album's first single is their take on Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love," and in keeping with its old school theme, includes a contribution from veteran rapper MC Lyte. About Throwback, Nate says, "This is our chance for creative expression, considering we've been tied to major record labels for our first twelve years in the business. The labels would think that an album like this wouldn't be financially viable for them. But we decided that our first album back would be something that we wanted to do."

Kosei Nenkin Kaikan Dai Hall • 19:00 • ¥7000/ ¥8000
Tel: 0570-02-9570

Shonen Knife

7/12

“For us, Tokyo seems as far away as the United States,” says Naoko Yamano, Shonen Knife’s main vocalist/ songwriter and de facto leader.
Shonen Knife, the band that made the world safe for songs about flying jelly beans, household cleaning liquid, and insect collecting, is Osaka’s best known musical export. Their music is a strange but endearing amalgam of the Ramones, the Ronettes, and the Beatles as well as their own comically kitsch sensibility. Over the years the female trio has moved from being so-bad-they’re-good to a more polished style, without losing their charm or sense of humor. Their recent album, the acclaimed Heavy Songs (released in Japan in 2002) was released in North America last October. It was hailed by The Japan Times as “one of the best albums by a Japanese band
in years," and featured Shonen Knife's trademark hard, fast and friendly sound. Closing out the album was the epically cheerful "Mango Juice (A Tribute to George Harrison)."
The homegrown worldwide phenomenon will appear at Minami’s Club Quattro wielding material from their latest effort, Candy Rock, which veers a bit from their typical formula — it contains no English versions, and nary a synthesizer is to be found. Just pure punk pop simplicity — guitar, bass and drums. Catching the trio here on their home turf is sure to guarantee you membership in Japan’s punk ‘in-crowd,’ if only for a night. As an added treat, concertgoers will be able to catch one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite songwriters, and former Vaselines front man, Eugene Kelly, who shares the bill.

CLUB QUATTRO • 19:00 • ¥4500
Tel: 06-6535-5569

Live Listings June

Aerosmith
Osaka Dome 7/13 19:00 ¥8000
Tel: 06-6341-4506 Rock
Shonen Knife
Club Quattro 7/12 19:00 ¥4500
Tel: 06-6535-5569 Pop/Punk
Kelis
Bayside Jenny 7/1 Call ¥6500
Tel: 06-6634-7010 R&B/Funk/Pop
Andy William
Grand Cube Osaka Main Hall Hall 7/27 19:00 ¥9500/ ¥11000
Tel: 06-6341-4506 Classic Pop
Fuji Rock Festival
Niigata Naeba Ski-jo 7/1 all day ¥36000 for 3 days
Tel: 0180-993-998 Rock/Dance/Pop
Rock Odyssey 2004
Osaka Dome 7/24 & 7/25 11:00 ¥14000 (1 day)
Tel: 06-6341-4506 Rock
Fall Out Boy
Club Quattro 7/1 18:00 ¥5800
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Punk/Pop/Emo
The Offspring
Osaka Jo Hall 7/21 19:00 ¥7000
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Rock
Britney Spears
Osaka Dome 9/10 19:00 ¥7500/ ¥8500 Tel: 06-6362-7301 Pop
Edguy
Club Quattro 7/8 19:00 ¥6500
Tel: 06-6362-7301 Heavy Metal
Kenny G
Kosei Nenkin Kaikan Dai Hall 7/2 19:00 ¥7500/ ¥8500
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Smooth Jazz/Pop
Muraji Soichi
The Phoenix Hall 7/17 18:00 ¥4500
Tel: 06-6341-0547 Classical
Boys II Men
Kosei Nenkin Kaikan Dai Hall 7/5-7/7 19:00 ¥7000/ ¥8000
Tel: 0570-02-9570 R&B/Soul
Bonnie Pink
Namba Hatch 7/1 19:00 ¥5000
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Rock
Laughin' Nose
Club Quattro 7/3 19:00 ¥3500
Tel: 06-6535-5569 Rock
Brenda Russell
Osaka Blue Note 7/5 19:45/21:30 ¥8000 Tel: 06-6342-7722 R&B/Jazz
Impellitteri
Big Cat 7/9 19:00 ¥6500
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Metal
Summer Sonic 2004:
Green Day, Beastie Boys, etc WTC Open Air Stadium 8/7 & 8/8 11:00 ¥13000 / ¥24000 for 2 days
Tel: 0570-02-9999 Rock/Hip Hop/Dance/Pop
Takashi Matsunaga
Suntory Museum 7/12 16:00/19:00 ¥4200 Tel: 06-6577-0006 Jazz
Yuji Ono Trio
Osaka Blue Note 7/14-7/15 18:45/21:30 ¥7400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 Jazz
Fried Pride
Osaka Blue Note 7/27-7/29 18:45/21:30 ¥7000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 Jazz
Stanislav Bunin
Kobe Shimbun Matsukata Hall 7/3 17:00 ¥12000
Tel: 078-362-7191 Classical
Catia & Saigenji
Osaka Blue Note 7/2 & 7/3 18:00/20:45 ¥6500 06-6342-7722 Brazilian
Janet Kay w/ Thriller U
Osaka Blue Note 7/8-7/10 18:45/21:30 ¥9500 06-6342-7722 Reggae

:: CINEMA LISTINGS

Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: EVENT LISTINGS

Festivals, performances, shows, gallery openings...your guide to what's coming up in the next few weeks.

:: FEATURE

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Organic farming in Japan.

:: TRAVEL SPECIAL

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Your guide for summer travel plans both domestic and overseas.

:: TECH

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Outdoor traveling gear.

:: FOOD

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Beans for gourmets

:: DRINK

Buzz Cafe
Triumph of style and design

:: NEWS

Some of the news you won't see printed elsewhere, plus the best of the rest.

:: ART

Best of monthly exhibition reviews + listings

:: STYLE

iStyle
Apple's new mini iPod.

:: LIVE

Air guitars at the ready for the Rock Odyssey plus Boyz II Men, Shonen Knife & more incoming live acts...

:: CLUB

Emma House, Quiet Moment in Neon Park Life and all the usual hot picks...

:: FILM

The Dreamers, Open Range and many more reel reviews...
SHORTSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL 2004 ShortShorts Film Festival line-up.

:: SNAPSHOT

Tony Grund
Tuning a career in music in Japan.