Doctors of Madness in Japan, Part 1

Here’s part one of the story of Doctors of Madness coming to Japan by Masao Nakagami from Target Earth Blog

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The Doctors of Madness came to Japan and played at Rock-ichi Rock-za a few weeks ago. In case you don’t know them, they’re a band that gets wedged into the “proto-punk” category, as being a punk band on the eve of punk rock (and they were part of the punk scene when it did break out). If you want to read more about them, you can head over to Wikipedia and get the whole story, but I wanted to write a little about how Continue reading

A sizzling slice of punk rock and roll boogie action – Rangsteen / High Life split EP

Hey, this is not a review. I haven’t got the record yet. Yet (although if I’d had more than a couple of 100-yen coins to rub together at Poor Cow the other night, I’d a had). This is the product description from the Base Records website via Rangsteen blog. Enjoy and then buy the rekkid…

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What’s this!?! Yeah, that’s right, it’s a slab of pure Tokyo punk rock badassfuckery smacked onto vinyl by none other than the city’s reigning kings of street rock, Rangsteen and High Life.

Out on the illustrious Stay Free label run by Continue reading

Haunted – the history of The Evil Hoodoo

The Evil Hoodoo is getting back together to play at this year’s Rock-Ichi Rock-Za at Shindaita Fever on September 3 and I’m excited as hell. Definitely one of the garagiest of the garagey garage punk bands, and plenty dark and noisesome to boot. Here is a history of the band by Masao Nakagami just published on the Target Earth blog.

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Although the Evil Hoodoo are considered to be a band in the true tradition of garage rock that plays music faithful to its 60s roots, they were never really part of Tokyo’s garage scene. Their existence was like an air pocket, and like an air pocket in the sky, it caused some turbulence. Continue reading

The heady aroma of a duke’s armpits – an interview with Texaco Leather Man

 

I don’t want to rave too crazily but I first saw the force of nature that is Texaco Leather Man my first weekend in Japan at the 2004 Back From the Grave Halloween Ball at Shimokitazawa Shelter and I think that was the moment when I let the gods know that they could kill me now and everything would be fine and dandy. Glad that didn’t happen because a whole ton of cool shit has happened since then, but when they took the stage, I knew I’d made the right choice in coming to Japan even though I worked for Nova, the shittiest among shitty eikaiwas and each day was a living hell until the weekend. For those who don’t know, Texaco Leather Man are a perfect example of a Japanese mutant punk rock band that takes everything from the Monks, Keiji Haino and thrash metal and twists it all into something wonderfully weird that you’ve never heard before. And singer Mokkos is swinging a sword at you.

This is an old interview from 2003 when they released their LP “Duke.” The translation’s a little shitty in parts but I couldn’t give Fuck #1.

Texaco Leather Man is one of the greats of Tokyo garage punk along with Guitar Wolf, Mad3, 5,6,7,8’s, and Jackie & the Cedrics. Finally, 15 years after their formation, they’re putting out their first full-length. Including new versions of previously recorded songs, it’s a masterpiece that really showcases well their unique style. Texaco Leather Man’s style isn’t just garage rock, but also incorporates elements of psyche, punk, hardcore, metal, and noise, greedily gobbling up genres and spitting them back out into a new, mutant form. Known for their excessively loud and unruly live shows, they’re a band not to be fucked with.

Interview by Taneyuki Shiina

──I don’t think this is an album that fits into the category of”long awaited.”

Mokkos: No, it just happened that way. Basically, recording has never really gone well for us. That’s all. We never felt a great urge to do it.TXCO

──But you always wanted to put out a full-length, right?

Mokkos: I guess we thought about it maybe every five years or so.

Osama: We recorded stuff before but partway through, things would always fall apart. At the end of the day, we were never that serious about putting something out. It’s on principle, kinda. Continue reading

A new wave interview with Radio Shanghai

There was an era in the 2nd half of the 70s and 1st half of the 80s right after punk hit that folks call “post punk” or “new wave.” To put it really basically, a slew of bands took that punk rock energy, creativity and anger, and busted out all kinds of unexpected sounds that flew in the face of what the mainstream media was telling us “punk” was supposed to be. Just when you think this is a bygone era and start getting a little nostalgic, up steps Kyoto’s Radio Shanghai. With their first album coming out on Loft Records, I had a chance to talk with self-appointed frontman Suzu.

This is the intro translated. I thought I couldn’t’a said it better myself, so I left it as-is. But FYI, actually Radio Shanghai isn’t around today, but its ex-members still fly the flag with their current bands Liquid Screen and Boys Order.

(Interview by Umezo Kato)

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“We do it our own way”

Suzu: (Looking at the profile written by the label on the record): Hmmm… Okay, I see. I dunno, we’ve never had a profile like this written for us before. Continue reading

Rock tonight – the story of Stairs

Here’s an interview with Tappei (mostly) from Stairs that Nakagami-san gave me from the vaults. It’s from June 2009 and was recorded at an undisclosed Tokyo location that probably has cheap drinks. Here’s Nakagami-san’s intro…

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It’s never really occurred to me to interview the Stairs because I was in their previous band and I know pretty much everything about them, and I went to high school with the ever-quirky Iizuka. So, what on earth could ask them about? But once we started talking, things started getting interesting. Stairs are starting to amass a pretty big following and they have a 7-inch coming out on Needle Records. In this interview, we mostly talk about the formation and history of the band.

Tappei There was a guy I used to work with, he was a real business type but he had some kind of connection with Kei Ogura*, and he said, “Hey, let’s go play on the street in Shin-Yokohama.” That was back when you didn’t see so many people doing that. Continue reading