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KS Cover no. 78 2006 November

NOV 2006 :: 078


Nov 8

Scottish post-rock pioneers.
Namba Hatch, Osaka

Scottish band Mogwai were formed just over ten years ago in 1995 and have since become one of the most influential post-rock bands of the last decade. Post rock is a genre coined by Simon Reynolds of The Wire magazine in 1994 as ‘using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and power chords’. Well, that makes everything clearer!

The band name comes from the character of the movie Gremlins and guitarist Stuart Braithwaite says that ‘we always intended getting a better name but never got round to it’. During 2004 Mogwai filled the support slot on tour for both The Pixies and The Cure. Devoted fans of Celtic Football Club, Mogwai found themselves in the position of being on stage in Germany whilst Celtic played Manchester United in the Champions League in September. An appeal was put out on the band’s website asking if anyone could video the game for them. After the result they probably won’t want to see it!

Mogwai’s music is a gentle mix of melodic guitar based instrumentation backed with what can only be described as noise. Some would call it painstakingly boring others uplifting and exhilarating. You decide.

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥6,000
06-6535-5569 • Genre: Post Rock

Kyle Eastwood

Nov 6

Scottish post-rock pioneers.
Namba Hatch, Osaka

Well known on the New York Jazz circuit Kyle Eastwood, the son of actor Clint Eastwood, is now beginning to make his name and music known to a wider audience. Though he studied film at the University of Southern California, probably through his father’s influence, it wasn’t long before he set upon a career in music. Eastwood’s instrument of choice is the bass and he is equally talented on electric, acoustic, upright or double. Putting his love for jazz down to his early childhood memories of being taken to the Monterey Jazz Festival by his father he says that there was always Duke Ellington, Count Basie or Miles Davis records playing in the house.

Eastwood’s first album was released in 1998 and featured the vocals of Joni Mitchell. It was another six years before the sequel Paris Blue was recorded, an album he had worked on whilst living in Paris and it reached number one in the French jazz charts.

His latest work Now released in October of this year features a who’s-who of the London underground jazz scene. Many of the tracks were co wrote with Ben Cullum (brother of Jamie Cullum) and Cullum also takes the microphone for a number of songs.

The music is upbeat, postmodern jazz and there is even an interesting cover of The Police’s ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’. As well as his solo music projects Eastwood still has a hand in the movie world and has composed music scores for many films notably Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby.

Ben Cullum will be appearing as special guest at The Blue Note with Eastwood and many fans will be more aware of Cullum as the bass player for the British electronic funk outfit The Egg (who, incidentally, are still going strong).

Time: 6.30pm/9.30pm • Entry: ¥5,400-¥7,400
06-6342-7722 • Genre: Jazz Bass/Pianok


Nov 13

Stalwart Californian melodic punk rockers
Club Quattro, Osaka

Californian punk rockers Lagwagon have been together nearly twenty years. In that time they have released nine albums through independent label Fat Wreck Chords, which have amassed over one million sales (Lagwagon was in fact one of the first bands to join the label when they began). That’s quite a phenomenal sales figure for an indie label and only serves to highlight that the band have built a strong and loyal following.

They put themselves through grueling touring schedules and this no doubt is why they have been so successful without the aid of the media machine of a major label. Getting out on the road and playing to as many people as possible seems to be their policy and it’s a policy that works.

Their latest album Resolve was released in November of last year and pays homage to the bands late drummer Derrick Plouride. The tracks are catchy fast sing-a-long tunes with quite melodic vocals (somewhat in the vein of Green Day). Even if you’ve never heard the band before you’ll find yourself nodding your head along in no time at all and singing away the choruses after just one listen.

Lagwagon are playing four dates in Japan including Club Quattro, Osaka, a short tour that they have dubbed ‘Japandamonium’.

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥5,500-¥6,000
06-6281-8181 • Genre: Punk

The Mars Volta

Nov 19

Uncompromising, fast and furious rock with a slant.
Zepp, Osaka

Guitarist Cedric Bixler Zavala and lyricist/ vocalist Omar Rodriguez Lopez formed American rock band The Mars Volta in 2001. An eightpiece outfit, they also boast an extended list of players who step in to the spotlight from time to time. Generally considered a prog-rock band (with heavy use of ambient sounds to set the mood) they also state influences from punk, jazz and Latin genres, which makes for an interesting mix. Known for their wild and energetic live performances The Mars Volta have built up a large following in just five years and this year expanded upon that fan base when they toured as opening act for The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their latest album Amputechture made the top ten in both the US and Australia and included contributions from Chili Pepper John Frusciante. The Mars Volta will be playing The Corona Music Festival in Mexico City before their four dates in Japan and then will fly off to start their Australian tour.

Time: 6pm • Entry: ¥6,700
06-6233-8888 • Genre: Rock

Live Listings November

Roger Joseph Manning Jr.

11/1 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,250-¥6,750 06-6535-5569 • Acoustic singer-songwriter

Adrian Sherwood

11/2 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥5,800 06-6535-5569 • Dub

Bobby Caldwell

11/3 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥10,000-¥12,000 06-6342-7722 • AOR Vocalss

Mystery Jets

11/4 @ Club Quattro, Osaka/b>
7pm • ¥5,500 06-6535-5569 • Rock

Kyle Eastwood & Ben Cullum

11/6 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,400-¥7,400 06-6342-7722 • Jazz Bass/Piano


11/7 @ Zepp, Osaka
7pm • ¥7,500 06-6362-7301 • Latin


11/8 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,000 06-6535-5569 • Post rock

Andrew WK

11/9 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 06-6233-8888 • Rock

Eric Clapton

11/11-15 @ Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka
5pm/6pm/7pm • ¥8,400, ¥9,450 06-6341-4506 • Blues/rock


11/13 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥7,500 06-6233-8888 • Rock


11/13 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥5,000, ¥6,000 06-6281-8181 • Punk


11/16 @ Big Cat, Osaka/b>
7pm • ¥4,800 06-6535-5569 • Jazz Big Band


11/16 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥2,500 06-6344-3526 • J-rock/Pop-punk


11/17 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
7pm • ¥4,000 06-6535-5569
• Jazz/Big band

Sounds of Blackness

11/17-18 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,500-¥8,500 06-6342-7722 • R&B

“Tokyo Session” Solo Live 2006 — Yamunda Costa

11/10 @ Brazilain Embassy, Tokyo
3pm • ¥8,000 03-5637-5469 • Acustic

The Mars Volta

11/19 @ Zepp, Osaka
6pm • ¥6,700 06-6233-8888 • Rock

The Living End

10/24 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 • Tel: 06-6281-8181

Pizza of Death Records Presents Ken Yokoyama/ Asparagus/FIB/Slimeball/ Razors Edge

11/20 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
6.30pm • ¥3,000 06-6535-5569 • Rock


11/20-21 @ Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka
6.30pm • ¥4,800 06-6233-8888 • Japanese male duo

Stanley Clarke

11/22 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,400-¥8,400 06-6342-7722 • Jazz-funk bass

Saori Yano with Dizzy Gillespie Allstars

11/24 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥4,900-¥6,900 06-6342-7722 • Jazz

Your Song Is Good plus Nikaido Kazumi

11/25 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
6.30pm • ¥3,000 06-6535-5569 • J-pop

Steve Hackett Acoustic Trio

11/27 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,000, ¥8,000 06-6342-7722 • Acoustic/Prog rock

The Porcupine Tree plus Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew

11/28 @ Zepp, Osaka
7pm • ¥7,500 06-6233-8888 • Prog rock

Jimmy Higashihara Allstars

11/30 @ Zepp, Osaka
7pm • ¥4,000 011-210-0311 • Jazz

Jamie Cullum

12/5 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,000 06-6535-5569 • Jazz/piano/vocal

David Sanborn

12/5-6 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥10,000, ¥12,000 06-6342-7722 • Jazz sax

Compiled by Phillip Jackson

:: Online Articles


International Bicycle Fund & Ibike
Sustainable transport


Arashiyama on wheels
Exploring Arashiyama by bicycle


A spin through ancient Japan
Cycling through history in Okayama Prefecture


One helluva of an FNQ ride
Cycling in Northern Queensland, Australia


Bike maintenance
Do-it-yourself guide to bicycle maintenance


Beat the wind
Getting into cycle racing

:: Kansai 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


All the hot picks

:: Also in this month's mag


Asian Dining Rara, Shinsaibashi


Best festivals & listings


New releases & recommendations


OEFF + Best films & cinema listings


The bicycle law


Tatsu Sakamoto, world cyclist
55,000 kms, 51 month, 6 continents, and 1 man


Purchasing property
Advice from IFG-Asia


Autumn Hiking in Kyoto
Guide to Atago-san, Daimonji-yama, & Daigoji-yama


A pretzel in paradise
Yoga in Koh Samui, Thailand