Sunday, September 26, 2010

Peelander-Z & Guitar Wolf @ Santos Party House

Whoa, what a show! 


Definitely one of the most memorable gig I've attended since I moved to New York...and I don't say this every time; I remember saying this, let's see


Beans/Four Tet/Battles/Prefuse 73 @ North Six (now "Music Hall of Williamsburg)
Kenny Muhammad/Squarepusher @ Southpaw, The Coral @ Bowery Ballroom 
Infected Mushroom @ Webster Hall, Primal Scream @ Music Hall of Williamsburg and what else...oh, Guitar Wolf @ North Six.

I've watched Guitar Wolf about 5~6 years ago, I think, when I was still in college. 
There was a left-over ticket my friend wanted to let go of, so I grabbed it and walked over to North Six (I used to live nearby) by myself, although I had no idea who they were. 

After a couple of drinks, I realized I'm diggin' it and soon found myself in moshpit. 
Not just because they are Japanese (well, that might have added some encouragement too of course), but also I was purely mesmerized by their performance. 


I was in the center of crowds that were trying to touch Guitar Wolf, who was holding out his hand. Then the next thing I remember was him grabbing my hand and pulled me up on the stage, and gave me his guitar to play.

Being honest, I don't have exact recollection of how I did- it was too chaotic, covered by over-amplified noise and crowds suddenly in front of me, I probably sucked. That's that, what can you expect? 

After the gig's over and I was bragging to everyone, including my friend Geoffrey, who happens to be good music friend with Oblivians, who happened to have toured with Guitar Wolf. Also included Peelander-Z, who have played with them many times also. Peelander-Z was not as big as now, and we talked and talked about how cool Guitar Wolf is, and how cool Peelander-Z can be. 

5 Years past, my relationship with Peelander-Z still there, although many things have changed of course. Billy from Guitar Wolf died, the drummer of Peelander-Z changed from Blue to Green. I left the production company to be freelance. Guitar Wolf never played in the States, even after new bassist joined.

And it so happened that Guitar Wolf play for the first time since then, having Peelander-Z as opening. I showed up late because of work, so didn't have very good look of Peelander-Z playing, I've seen them enough times. 


After they finished, I talked briefly with Peelander-Yellow, surrounded by his fans, and he told me "This show is our turning point. Guitar Wolf had influenced us when we started, and they influenced you. Now it's the time for new beginning." 


Peelander-Z ain't a mere opener any more, but it was the gig with 2 headliners. 







This is Peelander-Yellow's mission statement, lol... he looked kind of scary after the show.



I was that guy 5 years ago!  It feels awkward in the beginning but ecstatic towards the end, lol.



P.S. Just to note, those bands who are pretty well-known in the U.S. are not very well-known in Japan. Sometimes popular Japanese bands, that are well-managed by major labels that sets everything up for them, come to play in NY.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Behind the Scene: Music Video "Disturb" by The New House

Been working at a production company since last week- my unexpectedly long summer vacation had sadly and happily ended. Researching, setting up for shoot, etc...but this one is about "Invention of film & Early Film History" in so it's kind of interesting subject to work on. I can dig it.

This week also had: 
My friends Rei & Jeff's wedding party @ Frying Pan on Wednesday, 
My friends' band Jojo Mayer & Nerve's live music @ Nublu on Thursday
Drinking out w/ my new & ex coworkers on Friday

.... so I'm sitting here in my apt doing this blog on Saturday. I'm getting old...um, grown up. Locking myself up to clean up the mess I care less when I work hard.

Anyway, so this blog is meant to promote my latest project I directed, which will promote the music itself hopefully. Music video for the band "The New House", good & talented dudes from Japan. 

They did their first tour in the U.S., including SXSW, Brooklyn Bowl, Bowereee Ballroom, etc.  Pretty good for their first gigs in the States... they're only in early 20s.
I was just hanging out with them, showing them around in NY, and shot some loose live footage, just for their memorabilia.

Next thing I learned is that I'm making music video for them. Out of 40 minutes footage, shot on SD Camcorder I purchased 10 years ago. But limited resource always gives me more motivation to be creative somehow... (although I have to admit I was yelling at the footage while I was editing; "COME ON HOLD IT STEADY!")

Anyway, after lots of experiment, I think it came together okay finally. I like all of their music anyway, and they liked what I did. 

Hope you enjoy it. I will soon have my own HD camera, and not having a drink in my hand while I'm shooting, if I knew it'd be a serious gig. So, HIRE ME!!







Music Video "Disturb" from Kenji Hayasaki on Vimeo.




あせるくらい長くなってしまった夏休みを終え、先週からやっと仕事が始まっております。今のところは主にリサーチなんだけど、テーマが「フィルムの開発と初期映画史」だけになかなか興味深くラッキー!

水曜が普段お世話になってるプロデューサーの林れいちゃん&HBOなどで活躍してるベテランディレクターのジェフの結婚パーティーに参加、木曜が長年の知り合いのタクヤさんが参加しているバンドJojo Mayer  & Nerveのライブ、金曜が今仕事している会社の飲み会という感じで、土曜日の今日はひっそり家でブログの更新・・・。

やっとThe New Houseのミュージックビデオが完成しました!
そもそもの始まりは、マネージャー的役割をしてた日本の友人が「アメリカ初ツアーするよ!」って事で、ニューヨークに来た際に一緒に遊びがてらなんとなく撮影して、ライブも記念用に撮影してたんですが、結局ミュージックビデオを仕上げる事に・・・。

メンバーもみんなそれぞれユニークでいい連中だったし、音楽も好きなタイプだったので、喜んで!だったんだけど

全く後の事考えないでゆるい感じで撮影した映像だった
撮影機材が購入して10年も経つ今や懐かしSDのカムコーダーだった(苦笑)
ライブ撮影した素材が全部で40分くらいしかなかった

という三重苦で、編集に時間かかったかかった。やるからにはちゃんと仕上げたいし、バンドもがっかりさせたくないし・・・

編集中、カメラマン(←自分)に「おい、しっかり撮れよな!」と何度突っ込んだ事か・・・。映像制作がよくわからない人のために簡単に説明すると、ご飯と卵と冷蔵庫の残り物でどれだけおいしいチャーハンが作れるか、みたいな感じです。でもこれからはHD(コシヒカリ)で撮るよ!

色々実験しながらやっと仕上げた問題作です。でもバンドも気に入ってくれているらしいこのミュージックビデオ、ぜひ視聴してください!
バンドのページにもはっついてるよ!他の曲もかっこいいから聴いてみて!





http://www.secondroyal.com/thenewhouse/index.php
加熱するTokyo Indie~Electroシーンの盛況をすっと横目にしながら、突如現れた平均年齢22才の5人組バンドThe New House。2008年の結成から1年、爆発する初期衝動と様々な音楽的要素を含有したインディ・サウンドで渋谷、新宿、下北沢のライブハウスを中心に話題を拡大。今年6月にはNeils Childrenジャパン・ツアー、Pills Empire&Quattro主催のフェスに参加、7月にPlasticzooms、Buffalo'3のレコ発、8月には「Snoozer×Second Royal」、「Style Band Tokyo」、「Quadrophonic」が主催するイベントにそれぞれ出演。またニュー・ヨーク発ガールズ・バンドVivian Girlsのジャパン・ツアーにフロント・アクトとして抜擢されるなど、国内外&ジャンル問わず精力的に活動中。9月には1stシングル「Kill The House」をアナログ盤限定にてリリース、東京発の新世代レーベル「Good On The Dancefloor」のコンピレーションCD「Alt a Native Syndicate」に参加するなど、さらに注目度が高まる中、2009年11月11日に待望のデビュー・ミニ・アルバム「Want Alone But Help Me」をリリース。ROCK'IN ON / SNOOZER / MUSICAの雑誌掲載、iTunes「今週のシングル」ピックアップ、大型フェス出演など、怒涛の勢いで話題拡大中。

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fennesz @ Le Poisson Rouge

As the summer is ending and people are rushing to party out, I've come to be so busy with my own projects. 2 music videos: one in post-production, the other in pre-production, and minor re-write on my Off the Route script for a competition.



In such time, however, I was informed that Fennesz is here to play at very last minutes. His previous album "Endless Summer" is my favorite album, after having it as my soundtrack for my long-term backpack travel a while ago.



Nobody knowing who he is (or busy partying or working-), I decided to go alone. On my way to the concert, I ran into my buddy Sean (BNS Sessions), Kika (Cyphered Threads), and Paul (Salt Mastering), and told them about my plan. They were on their way to a birthday party, but Paul told me he just mastered Fennesz's newest album! Sweetness. This kind of weird coincidence happens a lot to me in NY.



Arriving at Le Poisson Rouge where I saw Jojo Meyer & Nerve before, I realized something different from then; tables filled up in front of the stage, like some nice jazz bar. And they were full. So I stood behind tables and watched the second musician Soap & Skin sings and plays the piano.



Powerful yet sensitive voice. Eccentric performance and shouting. It reminded me of Fiona Apple (I'm sure this's been said hundreds of times). However, as her stage went on, with more electronics/organ sounds, it became something unheard of. Later I found out this diva is only 20 years old Austrian. Hope she will continue her path. 



Before Fennesz arrives, I found one seat available, at the top front of the stage, so I sat appreciating my luck for today. As he starts his performance, the flood of noise effect started mesmerizing me. When I closed my eyes I wasn't certain where I was. I felt like I was at the perfect beach, universe, or nirvana. Yes, it's exaggerating. But almost.




But I've wondered throughout the show, how he makes this crazy & beautiful sound- not so much equipment or pedal effectors were seen, but I couldn't see what's on his laptop. 



I usually don't like to go to the gig alone, especially on Saturday night, but somehow it worked out perfectly. Next gig I know I'm going is 9/23, Guitar Wolf & Peelander-Z. That, I have to bring people out!


P.S. Excuse me for such poor quality pictures above- my camera broke. Thinking about getting Canon 7D or t2i. Of course I'll be shooting video a lot too. Any suggestions??




夏も終わりに近づきあちこちで惜しむ様にパーティーをしてる中、急に抱えているプロジェクトが忙しくなってきた自分。そんな折、大好きなミュージシャンのFenneszがニューヨークでライブをやるという事を嗅ぎ付け、一人で行って参りました。


もともと日本の幼なじみの音楽マニア君からのおすすめで好きになったミュージシャン。ノイズエフェクトをふんだんにつかった実験音楽で、こ〜いうマニアックなのって誘える人も限られるんだよね・・・。


特にアルバム「Endless Summer」は昔、夏の間バックパック旅行をしてた時の移動用音楽として結構お世話になってたわけです。3年ほど前には坂本龍一さんともコラボとかしてみたいですね。


ウィリアムズバーグのおなじみのカフェで、あるコンペに提出するためにOff the Routeの脚本の一部を書き直し、さあ出発と駅に向かう途中でおなじみBNS Sessionsのショーン、彼女のキカ、そしてSalt Masteringの経営者ポールとばったり出会う。


Fennesz観に行くことを言ったら、ポールが「ついこないだ新アルバムのマスタリングしたよ!」だって。でもライブしてる事は知らず、彼らはこれから誕生日パーティーに行くそうな。


場所が、前のブログでも紹介したLe Poisson Rougeという、それなりに名の知れたアンダーグランドアーチストがよくプレイする場所。前回とはまったくセッティングが代わり、ステージ前は全てテーブルで埋め尽くされ、座り客がほとんど。満員だったため仕方なく後ろの方で立ち見。ちぇっ。


今回のライブはオーストリア音楽というくくりのイベントだったようで、オープニングこそ逃したものの二人目のSoap & Skinという女性シンガー/ピアニストのパフォーマンスに早速度肝を抜かれました。



出だしはピアノを弾きながらパワフルかつ繊細な歌い方で、フィオナ・アップル的な印象を受けました。声も似てたし、途中で演奏中断するエキセントリックさも含め。結構そう思った人多いんだろ〜な。


ちょっと違うと思い始めたのは、一度幕が閉じてから再登場した時。
エレクトロ/オルガン音に合わせて、文字通り全身全霊込めてのパフォーマンスと雄叫びにも似た歌は、そんな既成概念はどうでもよく鳥肌が立ちました。まだ20歳だって。このまま続けてってほしいなあ。


そしてFenneszが登場する前に席を見回したら、空いてる席を最前列に発見!ラッキーなことこの上無し!



ギターを片手に、MacをいじるFennesz。思ったより機材は少なく、ペダルのエフェクターも数えるほど。ど〜やってこんな気持ちいい音を出してるんだろうと。人気ラーメン屋のスープみたいに企業秘密なんだろうな。ぜんっぜん音楽の感じは違うけど7年前にブルックリンで観たスクエアプッシャー(こいつも大好き!)のライブがフラッシュバックされました。


ビートがない音楽はほとんど聴かないんだけど、この人の曲は荘厳であり甘美であり、目を閉じて聴くと自分がビーチにいるのか、宇宙にいるのか、はたまた涅槃にいるのか(大げさじゃない!)わかんなくなるよ、本当に。溢れ出す美しいノイズエフェクトに脳みそのゴミを吸引された気がしました。結果的に一人で行ってもさびしくないライブだったな〜。その後に呼ばれていたパーティーはもうお腹いっぱいでキャンセルしました。


それにしても携帯写真、質が悪いな〜。Canonの7Dを買おうかT2Iを買おうか迷い中。もちろん映像もたくさんとるんだけどどっちがいいんだろ〜か・・・。