Monday, October 18, 2004
Sloppy Joe at the Shibuya O-Nest
Sunday was guitar pop night at the Shibuya rock club O-Nest. Playing were the Japanese bands Swinging Popsicle, Sloppy Joe, Bowlie Weekender, and the headlining band, the Starlets from England.
Guitar pop is a not very well defined sub-genre of rock that is popular among some bands in Tokyo, especially those in Shimokitazawa. As the name suggests, it’s pop where the guitars get the spotlight. Bright, twangy-sounding guitars like Fender Telecasters are favored, and the musicians tend to be down-to-earth types who don’t stand out in crowds. This isn’t teen angst music. It’s more like young adult happy music lovers’ music.
Bands that are called guitar pop groups don’t always agree that’s what they are. There’s the, ‘We’re just playing music, we don’t want what we do constrained by convenient labels’-mentality at work. But it’s clear these bands are approaching music and life differently than, say, a hardcore punk band or a visual-kei group.
Sloppy Joe at the O-Nest.
Take Sloppy Joe. I’d seen this quintet once before a few ago, but had forgotten how good they are. They play driving rock with hints of rockabilly, though the singer says he was influenced by the Smiths. Between songs, the lead guitarist walks back to pick up his mobile phone that’s lying on an amp. The singer asks him what’s up. He says he got an e-mail from his mom on his mobile phone. What’s it say?, the singer asks. "It says, ‘relax, have fun and show a nice smile on stage’," the guitarist says.
I love guitar pop shows!!!