Lameness of the fogies.


18 Feb 2011, 2:21

My friend Hide (of amazon saliva, oh my cow!) fame was helping promote this Isolation 3, a Canadian punk band made up of members of SNFU and Schulz. It was my solemn duty to show, even though I wasn't a big fan of anyone but Hide and Mr. Schulz's old band, KMFDM. Apologies to my online class for 'ditching'.

Anyway, I park my scooter near Kyoto City Hall, and then screw about for a few hours before showtime. Dinner at McDonald's (solely because they have a plug to recharge my iPhone). Then a trip to Book Off to scour the 500 yen racks -> score! Great 70's/early 80's Icelandic rock compilation featuring Bjork's Tappi Tíkarrass and many others, as well the Foetus Symphony Orchestra CD I've been hoping to run across for some time. Then a few Hipstamatic pics of the creepiest stuffed monkey in Kyoto, and off to Metro.

Hide was running the t-shirt and CD table in the lobby and looking nervous and tired.; there were several SNFU t-shirts displayed, as well as new Isolation 3 ones. His main unit, Ultra Bide was performing the first time with a new, fresh-faced young drummer. On top of that, the crowd was smaller than he would've liked, and he was worried about letting the Canadians down. Little did he know the amazingly pissy drama that was about to unfold...

The first band was したっぱ親分, and they sounded like a much noisier Captain Beefheart; brutal, skronky stuff, but they did good that night. While they were playing ,Guenter Schulz walks up and (apparently - things from this point didn't make much sense), gets enraged by the fact that their were SNFU t-shirts for sale - t-shirts that were put up by the SNFU guy from the band. So a major snit occurs in front of the CD table between Guenter and the SNFU guy, words occur, and a break-up threatened. This BEFORE the first concert on their Japan tour. Hide looked like he was going to cry.

ふつうのしあわせ were on next, and they were decent, but a bit boring for my taste. Then the droney POWEREMPIRE were on, and I took several can coffee breaks outside. It had started raining. Jeff (the lead singer) and the rest of the Canadian contingency were outside; Jeff had apparently calmed everyone down and had convinced them to perform. Guenter's son, the bassist was looking shellshocked, and I felt really bad for him. EGOS. :(

I noticed that the droning had turned to breakcore, and went back inside. Ydestroyde was playing with two laptops and some virtual DJ equipment, making a royal racket that was actually quite fun. He didn't take himself to seriously, and that helped. Then Ultra Bide came on. Good show, new drummer made a huge difference, but he did fine, and despite severe distractions, Hide pulled out a decent performance.

The tattooed guy from SNFU was off on the side watching Ultra Bide, and I was imagining he was enjoying the show and pulling himself together after all the bitchiness. Wrongo. Suddenly, he started tossing SNFU t-shirts into the audience, as if to say, "Fine, if I can't sell them, I might as well just give them away." Nobody really understood what was going on, and nobody was picking then up; who knows SNFU here anyway? I picked up two shirts for my wife and son (hey they were just going to waste - and they were good shirts). Then SNFU guy takes his guitar and storms off, I assume threatening to quit again. Sigh...

Ultra Bide finish, only vaguely aware of this drama. After another mini-set from ydestroyde, Isolation 3 actually end up taking the stage, though SNFU guy sulked his way through the songs I stayed for. Their brand of punk was okay, but I couldn't really separate my annoyance at their childish ego-fueled antics, and I left after three songs. Great way to depress one of the nicest, most idealistic performers/promoters in Japan, jerk-offs.


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