Friday, February 17, 2006

Ken M, Band Flier Analyst

Anytime you go to a rock show in Tokyo, you get a stack of fliers at the door advertising upcoming shows, events and new albums.

Some people consider these fliers a nuisance, and chuck them right into the trash bin. I, however, consider them a treasure trove of information.

Like the way a Kremlinologist would have studied photos of a May Day parade to see in what order Soviet leaders are seated, I go over these fliers with care.

They not only tell you what shows are around the corner, and who has released new albums, but they also reveal stuff like which band is friendly with which other band, and what kind of venues a band is playing at and how often, providing a sense of that group's career choices and degree of success (are those things interesting? Well, they are to me...).

The fliers are also often wild, colorful art objects--you can tack them up on walls for interior decoration purposes, if you are so inclined. Here are a few fliers I was given at a couple of shows I went to recently:

First, the flier above, "Attack From the Back Position"--I love this one! It totally grabs you. The green armed, purple haired slacker monster is wearing a NOFX T-shirt, suggesting that the bands playing at the show are into that kind of punk rock. Even if that's not your thing, you still have to love punker fools who decide to name their band Brassier Hook (as in 'bra strap'...Romeo Rocks and Spitball Spiky are also good names for rock bands).

I don't know any of the bands in this flier above, but I like this cartoon/expressionistic picture of the guitarist.

This guy scares me a bit... I hope this is meant to be humorous.

I found myself strangely drawn to this show, my appetite whetted, I'm not sure why...

A cool illustration of a spaceman on a kid bicycle.

A flier for mothercoat's first album Interphone, which I'm planning to buy, and their Japan tour (I hope I can make it to at least one night of those shows). If you look carefully, one of the little guys has a cable coming out of a mighty strange place...

These guys had a good show the other night at the Shinjuku motion.

A nice illustration of a Tokyo (?) street at sunset. This flier is for a band named Doburoku, Japanese for 'moonshine sake'.

A couple of classy fliers. The second one advertises a show by Northern Bright, a band I've been wanting to see for a while.

This one looks futuristic in an Asian way.

Barbie Attack Doll(s)
! A great name. And I like the photo of the kid holding up a Gibson Les Paul in a park somewhere.

Nice pink art.

Apartment is a band I've heard good things about, and have wanted to check out.

A minimalist flier by Shugo Tokumaru.

A hand-written, hand-drawn flier aimed presumably at conveying a homey mood.

Again, a very home-made flier. Interesting figures in the middle, especially the one with the big horn...

The Kitchen Gorilla's announcement of their first solo show is completely hand-written.

And here's another flier for Kitchen Gorilla's solo show on March 20 at the Yoyogi Zher The Zoo. They REALLY want you to go, and you should, if you are free and you like good rock.

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