Wednesday 31 October 2018

Foreign angles

Growing as a band or as a label in Japan can be a difficult and often dispiriting experience. Bands rehearse, write songs and play shows week after week and yet never seem to get a foothold. The paths to something greater seem few, and distant. However, looking overseas can be one way of breaking this sense of inertia.

This brings its own set of difficulties, since the cost of physically travelling overseas and the short amounts of time most Japanese musicians can take off work mean that foreign tours are only for the very wealthy or very dedicated. Embarking on something as logistically challenging as a tour isn’t the only way to reach out and keep things fresh though, and some of us here in the CAR family are working on a few different projects at the moment.

The most immediate one is a tour by US band Pregnant, starting November 1st and which Shingo from Tropical Death has (among others) been working hard to help set up and support.

Pregnant (from USA) Japan Tour:
11/1 Tokyo, Shimokitazawa Basement Bar, w/ Tropical Death, Bonstar
11/2 Tokyo, Akihabara Studio Revole, w/ 1000s of Cats, Mekare-Kare
11/3 Tokyo, Shinjuku Ninespices, w/ Loolowningen & The Far East Idiots, Windowz
11/4 Tokyo, Kunitachi Chikyuya, w/ Tropical Death, / Loolowningen & The Far East Idiots, Suppa Micro Pamchopp
11/7 Osaka, Namba Bears, w/ Los Oxxo Sexos, Tokiyo (And Summer Club), Sou + Kanchenjunga
11/8 Fukuoka, Kokura TBA
11/9 Hiroshima 4.14, w/ Usagi Bunny Boy, Uma-darake, Le Film, Shyboy

The other angle we’ve been working is setting up releases of a couple of split singles/EPs with overseas bands, although as always with projects like this that have so many moving parts, it’s difficult to know when is a safe time to announce any details. For now I’ll just say that one is a vinyl single that we’re producing in collaboration with a UK-based label, while the other will probably be a CD EP with another Asian band. In both cases, releases early next year are most likely. As far as tours supporting the releases go, they’re both under discussion and we’d love to do something if possible, but let’s just see how that goes, alright?

Other news from CARland is that I’ve given notice to quit one of my jobs in order to spend more time with writing and the label – two activities that are becoming increasingly difficult to separate, with all the problems that entails. Meanwhile, I’m DJing at about a hundred events over the weekend (well, three), so if you’re not catching the Pregnant tour on that particular day, by all means drop by.

11/3 (evening) @ Koiwa Bushbash – Excellent noise-rock event featuring Jailbird Y, In The Sun and more great bands.
11/3 (night) @ Shibuya Lush – Another event with a great looking lineup, which I’ll be joining at some insane hour of the night/morning.
11/4 (evening) @ Roppongi VARIT. – A ‘90s-themed DJ night featuring a pretty eclectic-looking range of DJs, at which I’ve threatened to play a set composed entirely of Guided By Voices but probably won’t follow through.

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