Japan Nite 2012
Japan Nite: Music Madness from Japan
The announcement seemed to come a little later this year, as the Japan Nite 2012 tour information was released. It’s a brutal six cities in seven days tour that kicks off at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The bands will travel back in time, crossing the international dateline, on the way to SXSW then hopscotch around the United States time zones, playing a different city for five night in a row. It’s a feat only Audrey Kimura could arrange year after year, in addition to supplementing the US with tours of other great acts between Japan Nite tours. Last summer, Kimura managed Red Bacteria Vacuum’s opening slot for A Perfect Circle’s North American Tour as they crossed the continent no less than three times in a standard van, as they kept pace with APC’s touring machine.
The 2012 Tour
Often introducing acts unheard of in the West to new fans; the tour also makes it easy to acquire the music from these acts, so make sure you are ready to fill in those gaps in your music collection. This year, the tour will be anchored by the ZZZ’s, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass and the Nokies! Do check your venue for exact lineups as there could be changes from city to city as they head out of Austin. This year’s tour will include: Austin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The 2012 Music
The musical talent for the Japan Nite tours have always been amazing. The ZZZ’s are the tour’s veterans. The band has previously made the last two tours as members of the exciting Hystoic Vein. After the sudden loss of Hystoic Vein, Youkaku, Yukary and Lyn wasted no time in going forward and getting the ZZZ’s back on the tour. The sound is a heavier, more industrial experimental post-punk sound from what we have heard so far. American audiences will be seeing what is sure to be an important first look at these amazing three musicians.
The new-to-America n-audiences sounds of The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass.* The Akabane Vulgars bring a mix of econo-jive-rock and smoky dark vocals in what might be described as cabaret meets rock at an Izakaya for a drink or three. Yumi Uchizon’s deep cigarettes and whiskey vocals are in remarkable contrast to the majority of popular J-pop singers, as they flow perfectly across the rock rhythm produced by sister Miki’s bass and Kei’s drums. Unafraid to use the overdrive gear, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass should be an extremely exciting addition to this year’s tour.
The third cornerstone of the tour is fresh pop of the Nokies! who just released the 7 inch OSLO / ALL YOUR TREES GROW in December of 2011. The Nokies upbeat and lush pop sounds is the promise of what American “indie” could have been. Closer to the power pop of the 90’s, their songs are crafted with timeless melodies brought up to date courtesy of your friends in Japan.Also on the tour at various stops will be Johnny Saito , Vampillia and Kao=s. For a full listing of the lineups in your city, be sure to check the Japan Nite and/or the venue websites.
The Japan Nite tour has an amazing history of bands that have been featured. Each year, touring gets more and more expensive and musicians see less and less income from their work. As mentioned earlier, the logistics of a tour like Japan Nite are such that only a few bands can even attempt the feat. In the past, Japan Nite included stops in Denver and Boston, but much to the disappointment of fans in those cities, the tour no longer stops there. This year, the tour had to pass on the city of Seattle as well.
As important tours such as Japan Nite try to stay viable in this new musical landscape; the best way to ensure that this continues it is to support the tour and the bands on the tour. It cannot be stressed enough that tours such as this, could just “go away.” If you have been to a Japan Nite tour before, you will understand how amazing the shows are. The musicians are quite possibly the friendliest on the planet and are excited to be playing in your town. If you have not been, I strongly encourage you to see the tour. Be prepared to love the show, buy some new CDs and come home as a new fan anxiously awaiting 2013 Japan Nite!
*THE AKABANE VULGARS ON STRONG BYPASS have cancelled their participation in the tour.
- March 16, 2012 Austin, TX SXSW
- March 18, 2012 Chicago, IL Double Door
- March 19, 2012 New York City, NY Public Assembly Front Room
- March 20, 2012 San Francisco, CA The Independent
- March 21, 2012 Los Angeles, CA The Viper Room
- March 22, 2012 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Cafe