A wintry snap of crisp air holds Austin, Texas in its grasp for now. But in the hearts and on the lips of her citizens, and those already scheming to visit to her, one spring break promise lingers: South By Southwest.
For the three of you that have been hibernating on some secluded spit of pop culture wasteland, South By Southwest (SXSW) is a collection of conferences held in Austin, Texas each year. SXSW Film is pretty self-explanatory; think Cannes with BBQ. SXSW Interactive is for budding multimedia professionals and folks who are plugged in enough to openly discuss things like “web standards.” We will be occupying ourselves primarily with SXSW Music and the ginormous list of bands currently on board to pack into every inch of performance space in Austin, Texas from March 13-18.
Of the hundreds of bands listed, a precious five of them hail from Japan (so far). They are…
Electric Eel Shock
If you’ve been listening to Nihongaku Radio, you know that these guys have been on my heavy rotation for months. These metal heads have been touring the world since 1999. They named their first album Maybe…I Think We Can Beat Nirvana. They rock hard and they’re not squeamish about using the word “fuck” an obscene number of times in a single song. Don’t miss Electric Eel Shock.
Have you stared into the heart of darkness. Have you ever been inclined to let your mind teeter on the brink of absolute madness. Oh, well then you’ve probably never seen Vampillia. I happened to catch these guys at SXSW 2011 and God help me if I know what’s going on here. There’s a clown who appears to be the band leader. He’s joined by a mongoloid woodcutter who actually saws into a piece of wood seemingly at random during the performance. They’re balanced out (relatively speaking) by a dude dressed as a lady who belts out operatic warbling.
All I know about Kao=S is in the video linked from the SXSW band list (above). Frankly, any showcase could benefit from a woman swinging a katana around. Why more bands don’t incorporate shamisen, I will never know.
Hell yes! There’s not a whole lot out there on Lagitagida. Their YouTube page, on the other hand, is packed full of prog-rock instrumental madness.
This band is a little rough. They’re by no means bad, just lacking in experience. Pinky Piglets describe themselves as “A japanese GIRL’S ROCK band, Funny from Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan to the world!!” on their MySpace page. As evident by that description, and a listen to some of their tracks, Pinky Piglets has a core of punky goodness here that’s probably infectious live.
So far there is no word as to whether or not these bands will be appearing as part of SXSW Music’s annual Japan Nite showcase. More than likely, some of these bands will play the unofficial Japan Day Preview Show which usually occurs before Japan Nite.