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.
Time: 19:00 • Entry: ¥6,300 •
Tel: 0570-02-9999 • Progressive Rock
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
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
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
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
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.
Hihgest Mountain 2005, Pushim, Ryo the Skywalker, Fire Ball
@ Maishima Yagai Tokusetsu Kaijo. 14:00. ¥5,800. Z 06-6233-8888.
Subzero @ Club Quattro. 18:30.
Z 06-6362-7301. Hard Rock
Zeppet Store @ Big Cat. 19:00, ¥4,000 (adv.) Z 06-6258-5008.
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.
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
Z 06-6233-8888. Blues
The L.A's @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥6,500. Z 06-6362-7301.
Reggae Disco Rockers @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,000. Z
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.
Kemuri @ Shinsaibashi Drop. 19:00. ¥3,500. Z 06-6362-7301.
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.
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.
Ulfuls @ Banpaku Koen Momiji-gawa Shibafu Hiroba. 16:00.
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.
Ketsumeishi @ Osaka Jo Hall. 18:30 ¥5,775 Z 06-6341-3525.
Nine Back Alps @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥5,500. Z 06-6362-7301.
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