As the tattoos on my right arm will attest, I love Mutant Monster. Not just because they are a great band, which they are, but because they are an important band. They are also three of my favorite people in the world. The trio operates on the fringes of the Japanese “girl’s band” movement; a broad sub-scene operating within and across myriad genre-cultures currently redefining what it means to make exceptional music in transgressive genres grown stale with western tropes of sociologically emphasized and exoticized femininity. A fringe operation befits their punk-rock ethos, and punk is not something that has ever really connected with me in a meaningful way.
My friend and I landed in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido—Japan’s northern most prefecture—feeling rather confident we could score a ticket or two to the sold-out Babymetal show in a few days time. A flurry of assistance spurred on by our pathetic and desperate Big Western Eyes of Sadness® had brought ticket success in Osaka a few days prior and along with the excitement of seeing a new city in a new region, this second-guessed and rather expensive excursion to Japan’s gorgeously mountainous north had become more than a worthwhile adventure. Continue reading
Portland. I live here. I hate it.
It has its charms and its moments, but there are plenty of reasons this city doesn’t sit well with me. Trumping all other grievances is one hell of a subcultural disconnect. I’m not represented here in a meaningful way. I think I prefer London. Surprised? Me too. London offered me something I miss almost more than anything at the moment (I’d say it’s second on the list). That city, that sewer of a noisescape and vacuum of value and standards, managed to resurrect my love of music and bring me back to a place of fandom I had not experienced since I was a kid. Whether it was Continue reading
My first full day in Japan was going to be a good day. Workout, breakfast, a long walk, a museum, lunch, and then train to Saitama where I would experience Babymetal in all of their sold out home-country glory. It was going to be my day when, as Neil Peart once wrote, “my feet catch the pulse and the purposeful stride.” But as they say, the best laid plans of Babymetal fans… Continue reading