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AUG 2005
Issue 063

Billy Corgan

Former mastermind of 90s underdog-turned-hero psych-rock group Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan recently launched his solo album (TheFutureEmbrace) and tour by way of noth-ing less than a full-page newspaper ad, in which he confessed a long held secret as well as a promise. It should surprise few and delight many that the secret is he dearly misses the Pumpkins, the vow, to re-unite the group before long. Whether or not this would include original members James Iha (bass), Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), and D'arcy (bass) is another matter.

"TheFutureEmbrace represents a new beginning, not an ending," says the famously bald native Chicagoan," It picks up the thread of the as-yet-unfinished work and charter of the Smashing Pumpkins.”

Before and since the 2000 break up of his notoriously strife-ridden former band, the prolific Corgan hasn't stifled his creativity in the least, however, composing Hollywood soundtracks (Ransom, Stigmata ), writing a book of poetry (Blinking with Fists, Faber & Faber, 2004), making guest stints with 80s icon New Order, appearing on TV talk shows, and even teaming with fellow Chicago indie rockers Matt Sweeney, David Pajo and Paz Lenchantin to form the short-lived band alt-rock Zwan (whose only album, 2003's Mary Star of the Sea was a critical, if not commercial, success).

Nevertheless this, his first solo release has been almost as highly anticipated as the rumored SP reunion, and preliminary feedback says it has been worth the wait. Hailed as “shockingly affirmative, even romantic” and “a tremendous and noble effort from a major talent” in the music press, the 12-song TheFutureEmbrace beats accusers of self-indulgence to the punch and sidesteps predictability by offering beautifully restrained Daphne Descends- and Adore-esque vibes, unblinkingly confessional text (All Things Change, The Camera Eye) as well as a surprisingly welcome Bee Gees cover You Don't Know What It's Like, (with backing vocals by Robert Smith).

As there are no guarantees Japan residents will get a second chance to see and hear this particular material in this particular format live and direct, be well advised to catch the talented Mr. Corgan this month at Osaka's Namba Hatch (Nagoya-ites check your local listings for 8/3, Tokyoites the 4th and 5th ) , whether it's the end or the beginning of his solo career.

Namba Hatch
Time: 19:00 • Entry: ¥6,300 •
Tel: 0570-02-9999 • Progressive Rock

Glenn Tilbrook


Since his days in the famed Squeeze, South London popsmith Glenn Tilbrook (along with ex-partner Chris Difford) has long been considered one of the most talented songwriters not named Lennon or McCartney. Equally in comma- nd of his smoothly funky tenor voice (though I can't shake George Michael comparisons, despite the generational anachronism) as his multi-dimensional guitar melodies, the sometimes tongue- in-cheek (song titles like Genitalia of a Fool and Hot Shaved Asian Teens from newest release Transatlantic Ping Pong give a mere hint) singer-songwriter Tilbrook is now five years into a full-fledged and successful solo career. His loyal fan base here in Osaka are as charmed to discover the Japanese version of his Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook release as they are to find him perform- ing in the very cozy and hip Minami Horie this month.

Minami Horie Knave
Time: 19:30 • Entry: ¥5,000
Tel: 06-6535-0691 • Pop/Rock

Terence Blanchard
Aug. 22&23

Being hip to Terence Blanchard adds some serious street cred to jazz fans who claim to know what's goin' on, and who's who among today's real cats and tomorrow's legends. While having come to prominence at about the same time, and on the same instrument, as his famed contemporary Wynton Marsalis, and before 'young lions' like Roy Hargrove wasn't necessarily a promotional blessing (replacing the graduating Marsalis in Blakey's Jazz Messengers contingent), for nearly two decades the Louisiana-bred trumpeter has forged his own expressive voice both compositionally (high profile Hollywood scoring projects for Spike Lee like Do The Right Thing and Mo' Better Blues) and as a bandleader and recording artist, both duo (with reed player Donald Harrison) and solo. The Blue Note recording artist's latest recording Flow was produced by none other than the great Herbie Hancock, and is seeped in robust World-music-influenced grooves that showcase a versatility and ear that has cats dropping the Miles comparison more often than the Wynton one. Terence Blanchard is at The Osaka Blue Note this month.

Osaka Blue Note
Time: 18:30/21:30 • Entry: ¥5,400/¥7,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Jazz

Maceo Parker


Look out, y'all. Fresh on the heels of a brand new album (School's In!), frequent visitor to Japan the ever-funky Maceo Parker rides back into town this month. The self described "two percent jazz, 98 percent funky stuff" alto saxophonist remains in a rare class of dance-inspiring instrumental soloists. Prior to the 70s, Parker was known chiefly as the one who, in the middle of a fiery stage show, answered the gritty 911 call “Maceo!” by the Godfather himself (James Brown).

From there, the world's most famous sax sideman has gone on to work with almost all the great masters of funk, from Bootsy Collins to George Clinton to Prince (by whom he was dubbed 'the teacher' after lending his talents on the former's 2004 Musicology tour) and all the various permutations of their numerous side-groups.

Maceo's solo career kicked off in the early 90s, and his live album Life On Planet Groove (1992) launched him as a more-than-worthy headlining draw. Upon their release, Maceo's last three albums, Funk Overload, Dial M-A-C-E-O and Made by Maceo immediately went to the top 40 on the European charts, and include smile-inducing guest spots by such artist's artists as Ani DiFranco, James Taylor and Prince himself. A consistently crowd-pleasing entertainer and soloist, and yet with an often overlooked skill for nuance and understatement, Parker not long ago deservedly received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation for his contribution as a sideman to the genre of R&B.

These days, the remarkably tireless bandleader is always either recording, touring, or both, a pace many players half his age fail to maintain. Pick up the new album (School's In!), and check guest spots by his son Corey Parker (rap), and fellow saxist Candy Dulfer (What A Wonderful World), as well as the Jackson 5 cover (ABC). But fans already know that what Maceo's really about is the live show, and the irresistible dance grooves that take hold. School is out for the summer, but in session this month at the Osaka Blue Note.

Osaka Blue Note
Time: 18:30/21:30 • ¥6,500/¥8,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Funk, Jazz, R&B

Live Listings August

Junshi Yamagishi/Papa Grows Funk @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥5,400~¥7,400. Z 06-6342-7722. Funk, Jazz
Eddie Palmieri Afr-Caribbean Jazz All-stars @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/ 21:30. ¥6,500/¥8,500. Z 06-6342-7722. Latin Jazz
Sergio Mendes @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30 ¥8,000/¥10,000.
Z 06-6342-7722. Latin Jazz
Ono Yuji @ Phoenix Hall. 18:30. ¥6,300. Z 0570-000-403. Jazz
Hihgest Mountain 2005, Pushim, Ryo the Skywalker, Fire Ball @ Maishima Yagai Tokusetsu Kaijo. 14:00. ¥5,800. Z 06-6233-8888. Reggae Festival
Subzero @ Club Quattro. 18:30.
Z 06-6362-7301. Hard Rock
Zeppet Store @ Big Cat. 19:00, ¥4,000 (adv.) Z 06-6258-5008. Rock
John Pizzarelli @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥5,900~¥7,900.
Z 06-6342-7722. Jazz
Eastern Youth @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Rock
Zapp @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/ 21:30. ¥6,400-¥8,400. Z 06-6342-7722. Funk, Soul
Lightnin' Blues Guitar '05 @ Namba Hatch. 18:00. ¥6,000 (adv.).
Z 06-6233-8888. Blues
The L.A's @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥6,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Pop
Reggae Disco Rockers @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,000. Z 06-6341-4506. Reggae
Ng head/Rhymescientist @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,000. Z 06-6341-4506. Reggae
Kevin Lyttle @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,900~¥8,900.
Z 06-6342-7722. Reggae, Soca
Summer Sonic 2005 — Oasis, Weezer, Kasabian, Rip Slyme @ Osaka WTC, Intex Osaka, Zepp Osaka. 9:00. ¥13,000, ¥24,000 for 2 days.
Z 06-6233-8888. All genres
Summer Sonic 2005 — Nine Inch Nails, Duran Duran, The Mad Capsule Markets @ Osaka WTC, Intex Osaka, Zepp Osaka. 11:00. ¥13,000, ¥24,000 for 2 days. Z 06-6233-8888. All genres
Steph Pockets @ Club Quattro. 20:00. ¥4,300. Z 06-6362-7301. Pop/rock/reggae
Kemuri @ Shinsaibashi Drop. 19:00. ¥3,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Ska
Makoto Ozone: The Trio @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,000~ ¥8,000. Z 06-6342-7722. Jazz
The Travellers @ Club Quattro. 20:00. ¥3,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Rock & Roll
Me First and The Gimme Gimmes @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥5,000.
Z 06-6362-7301. Punk Rock Covers
Four Tet/Mugison/Caribou @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥5,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Experimental electronica
The Ventures @ Kosei Nenkin Kaikan Geijutsu Hall. 18:30. ¥6,000. Z 06-6362-7301. Surf Rock
Yano Akiko @ Kobe Chicken George. 19:00. ¥6,000. Z 0570-02-9999. Jazz
Gerald Albright @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,000-¥8,000.
Z 06-6342-7722. Jazz, Fusion
Yura Yura Teikoku @ Namba Hatch. 19:30. ¥3,150. Z 0570-02-9999.
J-Pop, Rock
Ulfuls @ Banpaku Koen Momiji-gawa Shibafu Hiroba. 16:00. ¥5,800.
Z 0570-02-9999. Rock
Al McKay All Stars, (former EWF members) @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/ 21:30. ¥7,500~ ¥9,500.
Z 06-6342-7722. Soul, Funk
Lisa Ono @ Festival Hall. 17:30. ¥6,300. Z 0570-02-9999. Brazilian Jazz
Ketsumeishi @ Osaka Jo Hall. 18:30 ¥5,775 Z 06-6341-3525. J-Punk Rock
Nine Back Alps @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥5,500. Z 06-6362-7301. Rock
Donavon Frankenreiter @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥5,800. Z 06-6362-7301. Rock
Fall Out Boy @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥4,500. Z 06-6362-7301 Hardcore/ Mellowcore

LIVE Section compiled by HWJ

:: Online Articles


Dance machines
Kansai street dancers


Fatal beauty
The canyons of Arizona


One piece or two?
Summer beachwear style guide


Solar flair
Cirque du Soleil — Alegria 2


DJ John
The rhythm in the heart of Osaka

:: Listings


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

:: ART

Best exhibitions + listings


Best events + listings


Best gigs + listings


Parties not to miss + listings

:: Also in this month's mag


Green Earth
Vegetarian and vegan cuisine, Honmachi


Snacks Romana
IL Bar, Kitahama


A summer survival kit
Keeping ahead of the heat


New releases and top ten paperback books


Reel reviews of the silver screen +
Short Shorts Film Festival, Osaka


Net security on the cheap
Keep the worms out of your PC


Domestic and international news