JAPAN NITE! AN INTERVIEW WITH AUDREY KIMURA

This piece was originally published March 15th, 2010.

Japanese Demon IconIf I had to pick one single annual event that would be my all time favorite to attend, it would without a doubt, be JAPAN NITE, which is a touring musical showcase/festival that brings to the United States some of the coolest, most creative (and at times most insane) Japanese pop, punk, rock and beyond bands that you’ll ever see.

The lineups change on a yearly basis and you get to hear and experience amazingly fun groups who otherwise would doubtlessly not have a chance to tour the States on their own.

Some of these bands are really popular and signed to major label record deals back in Japan, and many due to their appearance on one of these JAPAN NITE prestigious tours, which includes the hugeSouth By Southwest Festival a.k.a. SXSW, gives an added boost to further their careers and create large American cult followings (and for some even bigger prospects along the vast trajectory that is now indie rock’s network).

As well as having one of the nicest vibes you’ll ever experience (yes politeness and happiness really is the order of the evening, however crazy the show gets) and you’re able to purchase all sorts of great merchandise and meet the band members in person after they perform.

The Mystery Box
 had the great pleasure of talking with JAPAN NITE’S inimitable founder and tireless promoter, Audrey Kimura, who sheds some light on this most happening of all music evenings…

Audrey Kimura and her fantastic, signed Lolita No.18 poster
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Little Steven’s Underground Garage: Celebrating 7 Years (So Far, and So Far Out) of Garage Rock Radio Greatness

This piece was originally published April 6th, 2009

Mop Top IconThe Little Steven’s Underground Garage syndicated weekly radio show began 7 years ago and is currently celebrating a seven year anniversary of playing selections from the ever growing umbrella of Garage Rock’s creatively wild, brilliantly defiant and just plain freakin’ good music from the ’50s to NOW. The current program is listed at show #366 and there is definitely no sign of slowing down.

One would be hard-pressed to find a better music radio host at the moment (ok Bob Dylan might be an equal, but he’s the subject of a future column) than the gravely voiced, street smart Dead End Kid who is Little Steven…

Steven Van Zandt a.k.a. Little Steven, was born at the beginning of the rock and roll decade, in 1950, to an Italian American family in Winthrop, Massachusetts. Moving to New Jersey when he was 7, his life as a musician will forever be one for modern music’s history books. Even an incomplete list of accomplishments is staggering: founding member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, several early pre fame Bruce Springsteen bands, twice (and currently) a key figure in the legendary Springsteen E Street Band, activist and leader of the ’80s all star “Artists United Against Apartheid” Sun City benefit ensemble, and infamy as an actor in The Sopranos as the memorable Silvio. Hell, most folks would probably lounge on an island doing nothing else between recording albums and nightly four hour plus shows of touring with The E Street Band alone.

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Thankfully, for those of us who live, love and breathe cool music, Mr. Van Zandt seems to be a workaholic, and number one fan of all that he programs on his radio show.
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