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Frantic noise and a pornographic stage show means the Boredoms are anything but; Japan's PINE*am brings its comical pop to town

Wednesday, May 18 2005
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The beauty of Boredoms is that they're anything but. This 20-year-old experimental brainchild of madcap Japanese vocalist Yamatsuka Eye -- who earned considerable avant-garde cred early on from his work with John Zorn's Naked City -- is a veritable freak show for the attention-deficit generation. Songs range from stomping Godzilla grooves to synth-swirly squirreliness, punk rawk mayhem to krautrock psychedelica. Live shows feature an ear-bleeding massacre of caterwauling vocals, amps-on-11, and a relentless smashing of drums. On every front, Boredoms aim to provoke. The artwork to their albums and posters draws its images from surrealism and pornography: dismembered eyeballs, kaleidoscopic collages, barely legal bare breasts. Onstage accoutrements may include enormous blow-up phalluses, cartoonish masks, and naked flesh. A particularly curious Boredoms T-shirt is a white-on-white design, which means you can really only see the band's logo in ultraviolet light. So what's the point of all this zaniness? Vanquishing the status quo, of course. Do your part on Thursday, May 19, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or go to www.theindependentsf.com. -- Sam Prestianni


If the Cartoon Network ever needs a replacement for the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show (featuring the music and semilikenesses of the Japanese sugar-pop duo), the station should contact PINE*am . The threesome -- whose members met in Japan at art school in 1999, but now live separately in Osaka and Vancouver -- has the same knack for whipping together electronic caffeinated beats, comic book fuzz guitar, and hyper vocal harmonies. Although many of the songs on the trio's third release, Pull the Rabbit Ears (Eenie Meanie), have the spastic nature of a coked-up hamster, there are plenty of moody synth atmospherics as well. Perhaps PINE*am's TV show could be as much Peanuts ennui as Powerpuff Girls overstimulation. Switch it on when the group plays the Make-Out Room on Tuesday, May 24; call 627-2888 or go to www.makeoutroom.com for more info.-- Dan Strachota

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