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Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Mizu Asobi

Wednesday night I hoofed it pretty much directly from the The Science Of Sleep screening to the Horseshoe to catch Asobi Seksu, who would be offering up some dreaminess of their own, albeit several thousand decibels louder.

Openers These Electric Lives seem to have mastered the elusive art of the anthem – almost every song in their set either swelled into a major-key fist-pumper or started out that way straight out of the gate. Their configuration is fairly standard rock guitar and bass with a light sprinkling of electronic flourishes and benefiting from the tightness of a click-driven drummer. Nothing new, but very well executed. In the demerit column, they were pretty lightweight lyrically, offering up vaguely cliched and over-emoted declarations of love and devotion. Granted, no one really pays attention to the lyrics in anthems so long as they’re easy to remember and sing along to, but that’s still no excuse to be lazy about it. And I’m sorry, but the foot on the monitor guitar solo is only acceptable if you’re a Drive-By Trucker. But overall the balance sheet comes out on the plus side and their high-energy set certainly had the audience on their side.

I have to say I was amazed at the turnout for Asobi Seksu – there wasn’t nearly this sort of buzz and enthusiasm when they were here back in May. I guess the Summer has been good for them and for Citrus – and deservedly so. Also interesting was the much higher-than-usual percentage of Asian faces in the audience. On one hand it seems perfectly natural but on the other, I still found it bewildering. But hey, a fan is a fan is a fan and I’m sure the band’s not complaining.

Asobi’s set was short, tight and quite surprisingly energetic compared to last time and the somehow managed to convey this energy without actually being more physically animated than last time – there’s not much Yuki can do whilst being anchored to her keyboard. They did benefit from an excellent mix – despite the whirlwind of sound onstage (they had added an extra keyboard/utility player from last time because I guess they weren’t quite loud enough last time), most parts were still individually discernable and most importantly, Yuki’s trilling voice was quite audible throughout. But whatever it was, they were quite simply better all around. They’ve struck that perfect balance between noise and melody and songwriting that can elevate them beyond the shoegazer tag that they’re surely tired of hearing from the likes of me. Judging from the rabidness at the mech table after the show, they’re already tapping into a larger audience – good on them.

Drive Blind has got a live Asobi set from last week available to download.

Photos: Asobi Seksu, These Electric Lives @ The Horseshoe – September 20, 2006
MP3: Asobi Seksu – “New Years”
MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Thursday”
MP3: These Electric Lives – “Wake Me Up”
MP3: These Electric Lives – “We Should Be Believing”
Video: Asobi Seksu – “Thursday” (MOV)
MySpace: Asobi Seksu
MySpace: These Electric Lives

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats discusses Get Lonely with The Fordham Observer and worries he’s coming across too emo.

Billboard offers details on the forthcoming live album from Neil Young album Live at the Fillmore East 1970. It will comprise 6 songs culled from two performances in March 1970 with Crazy Horse (expect lots of jamming), it’ll be available in a CD/DVD package with a hi-res audio mix and lots of archival-type documentation and goodies. It’s out November 14.

That’s all for today. I’ve got weddings to attend all weekend, so time is a bit in short supply. Just trying to get ahead of the curve until next week when things should finally settle down after a particularly insane/intense September.

np – Beirut / Gulag Orkestar

By : Frank Yang at 9:37 am
Category: Uncategorized
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