The Pillows Do America With Noodles and All Ages

“Ride On Shooting Star” – the ending theme from FLCL that made Pillows fans out of a generation of American anime fans.

The Pillows vocalist Sawao Yamanaka once turned down an opportunity to open for Oasis on one of the UK-based band’s Japan tours. Prior obligations did not prevent Yamanaka from accepting the offer. Normal rock star maladies such as being in the middle of a recording session, a bandmate in rehab, a breakdown in relations with the record label or a suicidal tour schedule were not to blame. Yamanaka turned down the brothers Gallahgar to have a fun story to tell.

I’m guessing they’ve got more than just the one; like how an anime about a boy with an inter-dimensional gateway in his head called FLCL helped them achieve recognition on an international scale (see the above video). They’ve also toured the States twice; playing SXSW’s Japan Nite both times.

For those of you keeping score at home, that means that their upcoming tour kicking off slightly less than a week, is the band’s third in the continental U.S.

A precious five shows are planned for the NAP-Utatane Tour (named for the three participating bands: Noodles, All Ages and The Pillows). The tour starts in L.A. then moves on to San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and finally Austin. Check out the official schedule here.

And what, pray tell, brings these Hokaido-based rockers halfway across the globe for five shows in some of the U.S. of A’s most notable cities? Not that much, actually. The Pillows have released two singles this year: Tobasco Disco in February and Cosmic Sonic in June. Their most recent album, Horn Again(the 17th in their discography), came out in January. Maybe they’ve finally found the time to check back in with their American fans. Maybe they’re just looking for another fun story to tell.

Either way, if you’re an indie rock fan with even a passing interest in Japanese Music and you’re undecided as to whether or not you’ll make it out to the show, take my advice: sleep on it.


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