I was thinking of the health benefits of going to rock gigs as I watched Supersnazz play at the Red Cloth. Head-banging, pogo-hopping, arm-thrusting, slam-dancing—all those must count as mild to moderate forms of exercise. The thick fog of cigarette smoke in the venue, however, is probably not what the doctor ordered. And the beer, if drank to an excess, will likely go on the debt side of the health ledger as well. The Supersnazz fans, if I can add, were a real beer crowd. Different music genres give rise to varied tastes in alcohol, so that, a few weeks earlier when I saw indie pop groups Vasallo Crab 75 and Risette at the Red Cloth, I noticed that various colorful cocktails were the drinks of choice. (And here, another digression: I've long wondered why punk kids so often drink happoshu, that vile, wannabe-beer beverage. Are they making a fashion statement, symbolically allying themselves with the proleteriat, by buying that cheap stuff? Or do they just not have a lot of money? At the Red Cloth last night I became more convinced that it usually must be the former, because at the club, you have three choices of beer—Ebisu draft, canned Kirin, or canned Coors—and, incredibly, some guys chose Coors... Over draft Ebisu, offered at the same price... Coors is, to me, in about the same league as happoshu, and the only reason I can fathom for someone choosing it over Ebisu or Kirin is they want to make a misguided fashion statement that they're rockers with American tastes... Anyway, moving on...) Supersnazz is a loud band, and the possible long-term damage to your hearing can't be considered healthful. But, the psychological well-being you feel watching such an excellent band play—surely, that must be good for you. So, adding everything together...I have no idea what the answer is.
Supersnazz played both old songs and all the tunes on their new album, Get Down. They have great stage presence, reflecting the fact that they've been rocking for 18 years. As I understand it, they were heavily involved in the U.S. alternative scene in the early 90's, around the same time that American hipsters figured out after discovering Shonen Knife that there is a rock scene in Japan and some of the bands there are even all-girl, and Supersnazz ended up recording an album with Sub Pop. Although I enjoy Shonen Knife, I think Supersnazz is better. A bit obscure, but their old song in the Diode City album, “He's the One”, I think is one of the most perfect rock 'n' roll songs I've ever listened to. More on that some other day.