What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

Feb 26, 2017

What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

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When a band changes its name, it sometimes signifies a switch in artistic direction. For indie band Cairophenomenons — previously known as Cairo — the decision was far more practical, even if the new moniker is a bit of a mouthful. “Our band didn’t ...

| Feb 26, 2017

Music venue Three tries to up its numbers

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Tokyo’s independent live music scene has always been somewhat dysfunctional. Complaints from performers about the prevalence of the ubiquitous pay-to-play ticket quota system — in which bands need to guarantee a minimum number of customers — have gone way past outrage and into the ...

Paellas aim to redefine the sound of 'now'

Jan 15, 2017

Paellas aim to redefine the sound of 'now'

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Fitting into the sound of the moment while still standing apart from it can be a tricky thing to do. Paellas guitarist Satoshi Anan says he wanted the feeling of “now” to come out on his band’s newest album, “Pressure.” “But I didn’t want ...

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

Nov 20, 2016

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

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The members of Ogre You Asshole are bracing for something. At least, that’s what the title of their seventh album, “Handoru o Hanasu Mae Ni” (“Before Letting Go of the Handle”) suggests. (The album’s official English title is the less tense “Everythingsomethingnothing.”) “It’s not ...

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

Jul 10, 2016

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

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Though seasoned music festival veterans overseas, the four members of British rock band Bo Ningen had never been to a Japanese event until Fuji Rock in 2013. “It was really fun compared to festivals in other countries,” says singer and bassist Taigen Kawabe. “It’s ...

Mitsume's long days on the road pay off

Jun 3, 2016

Mitsume's long days on the road pay off

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Over the past decade, a go-to method for older rock bands to drum up excitement for a tour is the promise of playing a classic album in its entirety. It’s a win-win proposition: Fans get to feel nostalgic while the artists themselves can coast ...