A Tribute to Tokyo Indie Music

On the release party of our album last February 15, 2014, we were blessed to play with some amazing bands in Tokyo. The night was epic and deserves to be remembered. Here I present to you my impressions of the lovely musicians who performed that night. Gratitude once again to all.

-- Astrid

p.s. Truth is, there are too many tracks that I liked to mention, so forgive me for posting only a few here. 

The Mootekkis

The first time I heard the Mootekkis was in Ruby Room, perhaps 2 years back. The place was packed and everyone was moving to the tunes and to Mike's voice. I knew that these guys knew how to make a party rock.  They have quite a loyal following too. The Mootekkis have a very consistent and solid image of their punkish rock sound. When you hear that riff, drums, bass and then that vocal, you will know it's them.  The Mootekkis help you let out one's inner rebel, with the songs "Public Display of Affection", "Norma". If you need some empathy for your affinity to alcohol, try out "The Whiskey". Listening to them always makes me feel like I just want to forget about my day's troubles, kick off my shoes, grab a drink (or maybe more), try grooving or simply enjoy watching other people get infected with Mike's contagious dancing. I can party with that.



Kinlay Band

Funk = Kinlay. Undoubtedly one of my most respected bands in Tokyo. Andy has gathered great musicians and produced 3 albums oozing with funky goodness and are guaranteed to drown you with the grooviest rhythms in town. Drum beats that are perfectly timed and highlighted with fantastic solos. Playful bass lines that are sure to make you shake something, anything! Keys that add amazing color to the tunes. Funky and reggae guitars that always seem inspired by Hawaii or a perpetual summer. Andy plays with seemingly simple melodies but arranges them intelligently and decorates them with versatile vocals.  If you are into funk and/or musical mastery you are bound to enjoy any Kinlay show. Songs to note, "Japan Japan", "Big Chance", "If It Were Only Me". I always found it difficult to play funk due to the tricky rhythm, so these guys definitely have my respect.




Jimmy Binks and The Shakehorns

I have to admit that the first thing that comes to my mind when you say Jimmy Binks, is a cookie. I first caught sight of them at Basement Bar in Shimokitazawa. Sadly I was late and only heard the last part of their set.  Some friends strongly recommended them to me so I sought to see them again and the next thing I knew was I was dancing like a fool to Half the Time and going mad for the cowbell. I never thought I would rock this hard for country music.  I guess deep inside my father's taste in country stuck to me. Jimmy Binks is not just about the warm, comfortable instrumentation and lovely vocal harmonization. To truly get into the Binks, one has to pay attention to the words. Not everyone can get away with happy and sunny chord progressions and sing about being bitter in love. If there is one thing I am grateful for because of these guys, it's for making me look forward to Christmas again, when I am away form home. My loves, "Half The Time", "Apple Tree", "Mama's Got Cookies", "Not Too Late". Another plus for these guys is, they are ALL too kind and warm, it's insane.



The Watanabes

If you are looking for some guitar pop eargasm, you are looking for The Watanabes. I once went to a party where almost everyone left just to go their show. I have to admit I was intrigued. The Watanabes are not Watanabes at all. They are a couple of adorable brothers from the West. I originally thought they were twins.  I found videos of them online (directed by Darrel Guinn, who also happens to be our videographer/director). To me their music reminds me of Weezer or Sigur Ros, unplugged. There is a lot of emotional acoustic pop going on in their album. And I did find myself surprisingly relating to some of them. Definitely worth listening to are "Guilt", "Ice Age", "Rooftop".






Poetic License Project

Jerome is a professor of Psychology in my graduate school. He sports long wavy locks and a very curious smile. He also fronts the Poetic License Project. His voice is deep and engaging and probably as mysterious as his life story. I confess I enjoy listening to blues and he has some lovely tracks on this genre. His songs are all carefully crafted and intelligently arranged. The lyrics are brilliant, poetic, naughty and should not be missed. He likes to play with dissonance and pulls it off nicely. He is excellent in creating a mood with all the sounds he uses be it the guitar, vocal effects, or other distortions. It feels like there is so much to explore in his music, so I will be curious and will keep looking and listening. My picks: "Follow Thy Fair Sun", "Traveling Oceanside Blues", "Spider Catching".


Welcome to Tits, Tats & Whisker's official website! We are pleased to offer you samples of our pictures, music, and videos. Feel free to peruse the site and be sure to keep up to date with our live schedule. Come and see us live and join the Tits tats & Whiskers family.

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