This, folks, has been a big year for Japanese rock in the U.S. -- and in the Bay Area. We recently witnessed local shows from X Japan
and Dir en grey
, two big-time rock groups from the island nation that are still struggling to break into the U.S. despite massive success at home. We've also seen local shows from Guitar Wolf, Shonen Knife
, and other J-rock bands.
Next Friday will bring a smaller, but still very interesting, addition to the year's list of local J-Rock events. Following a screening of Live From Tokyo
, an intriguing new documentary about the Tokyo rock scene, three Japanese rock bands will perform a simulcast live show from a Tokyo cafe for the screening audience.
Which is good, because frankly, after watching the trailer for the film, we had to fight ourselves really hard to keep from throwing a plane ticket to Tokyo on our credit card. Check it out after the jump.
Director Lewis Rapkin's Live From Tokyo
sold out its New York City screening this past Friday; so far, the only other U.S. screening planned is Friday, November 12, here at San Francisco's Viz Cinema
. The film documents the underground rock scene in Tokyo, which, from the director's description, sounds pretty exciting:
The documentary looks at Tokyo's music culture as a reflection of Japanese society and in relation to international music culture. In 2009, we find ourselves well into the iPod generation of hyper-connectivity and information culture. The Internet has become a household portal into the endless information of the world. The music industry is plummeting and listeners are accessing and treating music in a new way. Barriers that separated music cultures in the past are becoming less relevant as globalization continues to connect artists. A new paradigm of music culture is upon us. Tokyo's reputation for an overwhelming variety of global information, media-saturated urban environment and cutting edge innovation, makes it the perfect sample for addressing a new outlook on music culture.
Fighting that credit card urge yet? Check out the trailer:
After the show, four bands featured in the film will perform a simulcast concert live-streamed from Tokyo's Forestlimit Cafe for the S.F. audience: Kirihito, Sajjanu, Yudaya Jazz, and Onnacodomo. Since we're guessing those names aren't terribly familiar, check out this funky-tech video from Kirihito for the song "Sai-Bo."
The screening and performance happens for one night only, on Nov. 12 at VIZ Cinema in Japantown.