It’s March and that means South By Southwest and with it, the Japan Nite tour.
So you’re probably wondering what Japan Nite is and what it has to do with anime. Well, depending on the year and the lineup, nothing with the latter. The former? It means some good music from Japan. That’s not to say that it’s never anime/manga/etc related; in the past we’ve had bands like CHATMONCHY (Kuragehime) and SCANDAL (Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood) and seen many others in an menagerie of genres and sounds. Most acts have been rock or metal (one of the major organizers, BENTEN Tokyo, is a big proponent of Japanese rock) but electronica and traditional instruments like the shamisen are not unheard of.
The Japan Nite US Tour has for the last few years started at SXSW in Austin and snaked its way across the continent with this year’s going to New York, up towards Toronto, and back towards the west coast. This year’s tour ends on the 24th in San Francisco at The Independent. It’s also the show I’ve attended for the last four years.
This year’s lineup for The Independent includes the bands Jake stone garage, Chihiro Yamazaki + Route 14 Band, Pirates Canoe, Four Minutes Til Midnight, and tour veterans JOSY. The big show at SXSW is fortunate enough to have a couple of extra acts like Kao=S and Charan-po-rantan but unfortunately they will be absent for the rest of the tour. That’s a pity because I really enjoyed Kao=S on last year’s tour and Charan-po-rantan’s accordian sounds like a fun addition. We already have is a great set of bands. Jake stone garage has their high-paced rock, Chihiro Yamazaki + Route 14 Band a bit of jazz, and Pirates Canoe some folk. Four Minutes Til Midnight and JOSY are adding some funk to the mix. One thing of note is that Four Minutes Til Midnight has an English vocalist so even those who don’t speak Japanese will be able to understand.
Here’s a list of all the stops:
March 14 (Th): Austin, TX - The Grackle (Preview)
March 15 (F): Austin, TX - The Elysium (SXSW)
March 17 (Su): Chicago, IL - Double Door
March 18 (M): Colombus, OH - Ruby Tuesday
March 19 (T): Brooklyn, NY - The Knitting Factory
March 20 (W): Toronto, ON - Clinton’s Tavern
March 22 (F): Las Vegas, NV - Backstage Billiards
March 23 (Sa): Los Angeles, CA - The Amplyfi
March 24 (Su): San Francisco, CA - The Independent
If you’re in the area for any of these, come on out for a good show. Tickets are cheap ($10-15) and the variety can’t be beat.
For more information about Japan Nite please visit the official site.