My eyes are still puffy and I’m wolfing down Halloween candy sandwiched between Ritz Crackers to make up for energy/sleep deficit, but I must say, this past weekend’s Japanese punk rock show at bpm was off the hook!
Four bands, three local, one straight outta Tokyo, made bpm’s sound-proof studio/performance space into one helluva concrete mess. In the tradition of Japanese order, of course.
Nosso, BabyShakes, Gito Gito Hustler and The Spunks thrashed like it was 1991 and I was immediately thrown back to my high school days in Allston, MA where bands like Slapshot and Sick of it All, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Murphy’s Law ruled my world. Needless to say, I have mellowed with age (not old age, just age) and find the more melodic of punk suits my tastes best.
Nosso, a side project of The Spunks lead singer, Hajime, incorporated some emo-grooves making their sound punk and hard, but heartfelt, too. BabyShakes, a Queens-based all girl band (except for the drummer) punked out with a more traditional rock n punk sound, reminiscent of the Ramones and 1950’s Beach Boys pop. Meanwhile, Gito Gito Hustler, truly all-girl Tokyo punk, screamed and thrashed their way around the stage. I met the drummer who is too cute for words. And when I said, with some disbelief, “You play drums?” She answered “Yes, I’m very very strong.” and made a skinny little muscle.
Mind you, those skinny little arms were all guns on when she played. And I must say, while cute boys are always fun to watch, girls grinding into guitars always seems to get my most immediate attention. At bpm, all the girls in the audience screamed their agreement by shouting “Kawaii! Kawaii des!” at Gito Gito.
By the time the Spunks came on, I was beat and wanted to go home. But I stayed on and witnessed some interesting anti-Chinese sentiment from Hajime who demurely stated that The Spunks were strictly Japanese – at which point the audience laughed since the Spunks drummer, Al, is white. Hajime went on to complain about Chinese food and how greasy it is and full of MSG. Somehow, I was reminded of the manga (yes, there will always be a comics tie in to my entries) Ken Kan Ryu or “Hating the Korean Wave”. Ken Kan Ryu was a break out 2005 comic in Japan that sold over 300,000 copies and can pretty much be classified as K-bashing in graphic novel format. The popularity of KKR also gave rise to a comic “I Hate Chinese People” (loose translation).
Well, sometimes Chinese people get on my nerves, too. (I’m so glad my parents don’t read this.) As for cuisine, let’s just say that whenever I visit Thailand, my friends make fun of me for eating bland (not burn-the-tastebuds-off-your-tongue spicey) and tease me by saying “You eat babyfood.” Which is what I sometimes think of sushi….