Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Goodbye, Lost In Found

If you've never heard of a Japanese band named Lost in Found, that wouldn't surprise me. They were only around for a few years, and never released a proper album, though they did come up with a full-album-length CD-R that was quite good (you can listen to song samples from it here). But for quite a while, I was as excited about Lost in Found as I was with actually well-known bands, felt they were something new and would go places, and so now it makes me sad to hear that they’ve decided to call it quits.

They didn’t give a reason for splitting up. Some of the members will play together in new bands, and the name “Lost in Found” will live on as the name of a new independent record label.

Lost in Found was a group of guys and girls in their twenties who already had day jobs but loved indie pop bands like Belle & Sebastian and the Lucksmiths and decided to form a band of their own. The members changed, but the way I remember them most is as a six-piece band that included Mike, a tall Canadian, as the singer and rhythm guitarist, a girl named Mineko as the second vocalist and keyboardist, and another girl named Yukiko on flute, trumpet and synthesizers. On stage, they always seemed like happy beginners, but that was part of their charm.

I first found out about Lost in Found when I took a trip to Seoul to see advantage Lucy and others on an overseas tour; Lost in Found was one of the groups traveling with Lucy. Takayuki Fukumura, the late guitarist of advantage Lucy and Vasallo Crab 75, brought the two bands together, in one of his tireless efforts to befriend musicians and get them connected (how I wish I could have met him at least once!). In Seoul, some of Lost in Found were in awe of advantage Lucy, a popular band with a long career (guitarist Taisuke said he was nervous at first talking to Lucy singer Aiko because he’d only seen her before on TV); Lucy, for their part, saw a reflection of themselves as a young band in Lost in Found, and also liked the relaxed and pure quality of their music, and became big supporters.

From Seoul they went on to play at relatively prestigious Tokyo live houses like the Que and Shelter in Shimokitazawa, in addition to gigs at tiny caf├ęs, and there was talk about their working on an album this year, but I guess that was never to be. Still, I think their album that never officially came out is well worth listening to—I especially like an upbeat song from the album called “Radio 24” that deals with breaking up and contains raw lines like: “One of my friends told me, she started taking Ecstasy, when her boyfriend left her”. Who knows, if you like their sample MP3s, and if you ask them nicely enough, maybe their indies spirit will prompt them to send you a copy.

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