Friday, June 24, 2005

Condor 44, Vasallo Crab 75, advantage Lucy

Condor 44 Posted by Hello

A three-course Japanese indie pop music feast at the Que Wednesday night. Performing were Condor 44, Vasallo Crab 75, and advantage Lucy--all three of whom I'm a big fan.

Big news was announced at the event: advantage Lucy singer Aiko said the band is going to start selling a four-song maxi-single on July 22, ahead of the release of its eagerly-awaited full album Echo Park (which it now looks like come out at the end of September). The single will be sold only at Lucy shows and through the band's Internet page (the album will be sold everywhere).

The maxi-single isn't finished yet, and the Lucy guys are considering putting into the CD one live recording song, which they taped at the Que show.

Therefore, during a break they asked the audience to cheer loudly and applaud "fast and heavy" (as Japanese TV producers apparently ask live audiences to do) after songs so it sounds good on the CD being recorded.

The audience took the Lucy instructions to heart and clapped more enthusiastically than usual after each song.

advantage Lucy Posted by Hello

A strange thing happened though, because of the Lucy request. The audience, normally fairly subdued and shy, turned up the volume of their cheers. But when Lucy later announced that they will be going on a three-city Japan tour (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) in August, and the crowd oohed and cheered and applauded to that, it wasn't clear whether the audience members were responding this way because they were genuinely happy, or they were still half play-acting enthusiasm. Or so Aiko wondered on stage.

Though, really, we were all happy that new Lucy works were coming out and the band was about to hit the road.

The members of Lucy themselves said after the show that they may have tried to play too perfectly for the recording, making the act less spontaneous than usual, but they seemed brilliant as usual to me.

Particularly stirring was Aiko's singing. Not a flashy vocalist, she nevertheless commands the audience's attention because on stage she's utterly immersed in her songs. Like someone in the ocean, she sways lightly with the waves of the music. Her voice is delicate as silk in the quiet songs, but in the more intense tunes, she gives it everything. A real star, in my book.

Vasallo Crab 75 Posted by Hello

Opening the event was Condor 44, a good trio that does shoe-gazer-type music. The petite girl on bass is skilled and totally rocks.

And Vasallo Crab, the final act, was hot as always. Anyone in Tokyo who likes funk and indies pop owes it to him/herself to see this excellent band.

Talking to Vasallo singer Daisuke Kudo after the show, I found out, to my surprise, that he doesn't know the names of the chords used in Vasallo songs, and he creates the music by exploring combinations of musical notes. Which may explain Vasallo's unique sound. He said if someone had to transcribe Vasallo songs it would be a difficult task.

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