Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

I think it’s about time for a Frequently Asked Questions post.

Q. Who are you?
A. I’m an American guy from LA who has spent more than a dozen years in Japan. I have a full-time job in Tokyo.


Can we leave it at that?

Q. How do you afford to go to so many shows?
A. I work.

Q. I will be going to Japan. Can you recommend some shows for me to see?
A. This is the question I get the most from readers, and I usually make the same recommendations.

First, go to Tokyo Gig Guide, which has a good schedule of shows and directions to all the major live houses. Pia has a more extensive schedule, but it’s in Japanese.

The live houses I often go to include the Que, Shelter and Club 251 in Shimokitazawa, O-Nest in Shibuya, and the Red Cloth and Loft in Shinjuku. Check their listings.

If you have any specific Japanese bands you like, try their websites too, because they might just be playing while you are in town.

Q. My band wants to play in Japan. How can we do it?
A. Not easily—I’ve written about this before, here.

Networking might do the trick. A suggestion: if there’s a Japanese band you like, offer to help them come to your hometown and do gigs there. Then, they will probably return the favor when you say you want to go to Japan.

Or, if you live in a big city where Japanese bands go on tour, chat them up after shows (buying their merchandise will help) and become friends with them.

You can try sending clubs your demos and press packs, but don’t expect miracles. Writing them in Japanese will also help, because this is, after all, Japan.

Q. Can I send you my CDs, MP3’s, etc.?
A. Yes, of course!

But if you mean, can I review and write about them in Japan Live, no, probably not. I write (mostly) about Japanese music, and only about music I like.

Q. Can you recommend some good Japanese bands and musicians?
A. The ones I write about in Japan Live are all good. The ones listed on the left, in the section “Bands-“, are among my favorites.

Check out the music I play in Japan Live Radio too—those are all musicians I like.

That’s about it for now. Feel free to write me anyway even if this answers your questions, though, because I always like getting e-mails.

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