Sayonara, Shinjuku Jam

At the end of 2017, Shinjuku Jam closed its doors. This was a place many a Tokyo rock freak spent many a night shouting incoherently with their fists in the air while their favorite band played at max volume on the stage.

My personal fave memory there is when the Dogs played and I lost my shoe in the mosh pit. After the song was over, Loren said into the mic, “Anybody lose a shoe?” while holding up my bar floor goo covered Converse, which somehow got passed back to me goo covered but fine. This is Nakagami-san’s post about Jam from the Target Earth blog. 

telives

In the days leading up to Shinjuku Jam closing its doors at the end of 2017, it had a series of shows that devolved into wild parties to send off the iconic Tokyo venue. I organized one of those shows and I want to write here about Jam and my show there.

Jam opened in 1980, originally as a rehearsal studio. Many people know it for that, but for me and my friends, we know it as a rock club where we saw some of our favorite bands play over the years. It closed Continue reading

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Tweezers bring the rock to Osaka

Some bands wax philosophical and go on long speeches expounding the true essence of rock and roll and what it all means in these interviews. The Tweezers don’t, not in this one anyway. This quick interview was done before they went and played Osaka at the end of last year. None of that philosophy crap here, pal. Just talk about rockin’ and partyin’ and havin’ a good time.  

tweezers2

Joe Zip: Please introduce the band.

Fifi: I think we got together around 1994. We were hanging out after a show drinking and the booze brought on the whole “let’s start a band” discussion. We broke up around three years after. Four years ago, we got back together to play a friend’s wedding party and we’ve been playing ever since.  Continue reading

Farewell, Firestarter

Posted on Facebook by Fifi 12/7/2014…

“Has it really been 17 yrs? Well, with last night’s show, Firestarter is calling it a day. Thanks so much to everybody who bought our records and came to our shows. We really appreciate the support you’ve given us.

“We’re done for now, but who knows? We may turn up somewhere someday. You probably haven’t heard the last of Firestarter. If you hear we’re playing, please come and see us.
So long!”

Firestarter at last show

Firestarter at last show

Teengenerate documentary coming soon to yr DVD player!

Teengenerate doc ‘Get Action!’, which blazed into theaters just a few short months ago, is set to be released on DVD! It hasn’t even finished tearin’ up the theaters of Japan, but pretty soon you can get a copy into your DVD player! And there’s also a limited edition 2-disc set with a ridiculous amount of extra footage!

According to sources at King Records, it just might be the longest player the label has ever handled. ‘Minutemen: We Rock Econo’ clocks in at 308 minutes and both ‘Lemmy: The Movie’ and ‘Kocorono’ expand attention spans at 246 minutes. But ‘Get Action!’ just might have them beat.

For those of you who haven’t mastered Japanese yet, don’t worry. There are English subtitles. Continue reading

Do Anything You Wanna Do – An Interview with Firestarter and the Registrators

This is an interview with Fifi of Firestarter and Otsuki of Registrators, and it’s old. Like maybe in the neighborhood of ’00-’02? Dunno but the Firestarter pic has Fink in it. Somebody with a better sense of dates and stuff can maybe figure it out. The interview is from the Loft website

Translator’s Note: I used the words ‘idiot’ and ‘moron’ to translate 恥知らず which really means something like ‘people who know no shame.’

Registrators

Registrators

JN: Okay, so there are three bands playing this two-day event together. How did you guys originally meet each other?

Fifi: Otsuki came to see my old band, Teengenerate. That was about nine years ago I guess. From then on we always hung out together. We met First Alert five or six years ago when we played with them in Kyoto.

JN: It seems like these three bands occupy a special place here in the Tokyo punk scene.

Otsuki: I don’t think we’re doing anything special. That’s just because the people around us are weird, isn’t it? They’re into weird shit so they see us as weird but we’re the ones who are totally normal. Continue reading

Gonna Be Alright – Teengenerate at the Shelter, 2/23/14

Here’s my translation of Masao Nakagami’s review of the 2/23 show at the Shelter from the Target Earth Blog. A commemorative show was held at Shimokitazawa Shelter, Teengenerate’s old home base, for the release of the “Get Action” documentary. Teengenerate, Youngones, Firestarter and Raydios played. The place was packed, the bands were excellent, the audience was crazy and it was a magical night for all involved…

Since last summer, I’ve had all kinds of stuff related to the Teengenerate movie to do like pamphlets and things like that, so I haven’t felt much like writing. What the hell have I been doing? I guess it’s been a lot of endless, ongoing discussions accompanied by drinking. There was a sneak preview at the end of the year and a preview for the press at the beginning of this year. So, although the movie’s finished, there’s still lots of stuff going on like live events, pamphlets, putting together a soundtrack, etc. I’m not exactly production staff but more like a collaborator, or like somebody who found himself on a boat that’s now rocking back and forth in a heavy gale.

Now that the film’s coming out soon and things are settling down, I thought I should sit down and write a bit.

There are fewer and fewer people who can write about Teengenerate, or really any other band for that matter. We’ve got tons of pictures and videos, but when it comes to words about a band, it’s mostly stuff like, “Wow” or “Holy fuck.” Those are just slang and epithets that are popular at the time. A snapshot or a video can convey the meaning better, but it takes time and effort to really write.

Continue reading

Teengenerate Gets Back Together One Last Time to Celebrate the Release of ‘Get Action!!’

Here’s a review of the Teengenerate show Sunday night at the Shelter (2/23) from CD Journal. What, no mention of the Youngones? Maybe the reviewer went out for a beer. And I added thing ‘Shoe’s whip-fast drumming.’

Photo by Masao Nakagami (Target Earth)

Photo by Masao Nakagami (Target Earth)

Teengenerate is a band that blew up the punk rock scene 20 years ago. On February 23rd, they reformed for just one night to blow it up all over again to a crowd of 250+ rabid fans at a ‘Get Action!!’ documentary release show at Shimokitazawa Shelter in Tokyo.

The first band of the night was the Raydios, Teengenerate front-man Fink’s current band. With a harsh, stabbing guitar that says ‘This is rock and roll,’ the band’s jagged, straightforward songs drove the crowd crazy. Continue reading