URGH! A MUSIC WAR

This piece was originally published Monday, April 12th, 2010.

Klaus Nomi Post IconFilmed in 1980 and released in 1981, the concert film, URGH! A Music War, was then and still is, a revelation.

Not only was it one of the few film examples at the time where you could actually experience 38 punk rock, “New Wave” and post punk acts performing in one 122 minute back to back smörgåsbord, but a large number of the acts at the time were operating at their peaks of creativity.


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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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ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN: An Intimate Evening At Great Scott

This piece was originally published October 26th, 2009

October 18, 2009.

Echo and The Bunneymen IconThings couldn’t have been more perfectly designed…seeing one of the legendary (and a favorite) post punk bands performing in Allston, MA at a tiny venue called Great Scott. Echo And The Bunnymen, in an extremely rare, intimate one-off return to playing a small room, not unlike their earliest days of performing in the clubs of Liverpool.

Little did I know that a freakish snow storm and terrifying driving experience would almost derail this grand opportunity.

Then again, it was also the perfect backdrop for seeing a band who has weathered the highs and lows of musical superstardom and continued to pilot their musical voyage through the “Seven Seas.”


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RANTING ON THE OLDIES: PACKAGED TOURS WITH A QUESTIONABLE SMELL

This piece was originally published September 28th, 2009

Sack O' Money IconYou’ve seen them advertised, and perhaps you’ve even attended a few: The packaged oldies/nostalgic concert tour.

The tours that bring together several musical acts who had a pop hit or two back during the same decade and now have been relegated to sharing a bill with another act that they probably never had much in common with, other than coming out of a similar genre, a similar time period and a willingness to lump themselves in with these others to play at some amphitheater, local car show, or casino.

Personally, I get a twing of uneasiness whenever I hear about one of these musical extravaganza packages, and I get mortified if one of the acts happens to include a band or artist that I really really like.

I fully understand one of the primary reasons for jumping on board one of these tours—money.

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AC/DC: My Favorite Musical acts I will See Again and Again. Part 3.

This post was originally published August 24th, 2009

Happy Devil IconA few weeks ago I attended a concert by the Australian band AC/DC at Gillette Stadium, a.k.a. home to the NFL’s New England Patriots.

These days, Gillette is located within the confines of a sparkling wonder that is Patriot Place: A mega city of commerce hosting the Patriot’s Hall of Fame, restaurants and macho retail. Really, it is a man-mall of sorts, built out of the barren disrepair and lonely dust that was once the rickety wooden seat loserville known as the old Foxboro Stadium.

Appropriate venue for a band of yobs turned colossal giants that are the boys in AC/DC.

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Mark E. Smith and The Fall: My Favorite Musical Acts I Will See Again and Again. Part 1.

This piece was originally published May 18, 2009

Don’t Give Up On Live Music!

I'm A Mummy IconI’ve been going to see live music for as long as I can remember loving music. Whether it was as a kid being brought somewhere to experience the new sensation of various summertime jazz performers in the park, or later on as I ventured out to nightspots and musical gatherings on my own. I have lived music, played music, gone to support fellow comrades in sound as they too formed bands, and later helped put together a massive 3-day music festival that was beyond an incredible experience.

No matter what your particular preferred genre of sound, simply put, there is little in life that can come close to the thrill of seeing and hearing a live concert. If the concert happens to be by an artist whose music you are already familiar with and own work by, that’s a plus. For myself, there are then the wonderful few who make a return touring visit extra special and rewarding.

This is the first column for what will end up being 13 columns spread out over this year, for which I have cherry picked favorite musical acts that I really get excited about going to see over and over again in concert.

My prerequisites:
1) They are still currently making music I like and are touring live.
2) I’ve seen each more than a few times.
3) All stand out with a unique sound, presence and charisma.

Perhaps there is a chance you will have heard and love a few, or perhaps have not heard of any. Hopefully, at least one will tickle your interest enough to check out a sample or read further about them via their web site.

Fan=fanatic and I guess you could say that for each of the musical acts I will be covering, I am a fanatic and will almost always buy whatever it is that they have to sell me.

Part 1)

The Fall

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