VIZ Cinema Explores Japan's Underground Music Scene in Live from Tokyo Rock Doc
San Francisco, CA, November 3, 2010 – VIZ Cinema, the nation's only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, takes audiences on a sonic tour through Tokyo's vibrant and varied underground music culture in LIVE FROM TOKYO, a new documentary directed by Lewis Rapkin. After a sold out premiere at the Asia Society in New York City, LIVE FROM TOKYO's San Francisco premiere opens at VIZ Cinema for a one-night-only showing and special event beginning at 7:15pm. Tickets, trailers and more information are available at: www.vizcinema.com.
Immediately following the screening, VIZ Cinema and goforaloop Gallery are proud to present a special simulcast of performances from the bands Kirihito, Sajjanu, Yudaya Jazz, and Onnacodomo (all featured in the film), streamed live from the Forest Limit club in Tokyo.
Tokyo's reputation as a media-saturated hub for global information and cutting-edge innovation makes it the perfect setting for addressing a new outlook on music culture. LIVE FROM TOKYO takes the viewer through the back streets in Shinjuku, the intersections of Shibuya, narrow alleys in Koenji, and all over the city, as it highlights the innovative musicians who create this multi-faceted artistic culture. The film features interviews and live performances by DMBQ, Tenniscoats, Shugo Tokumaru, Nisennenmondai, PARA (ex-Boredoms members), Kirihito, d.v.d., and many more.
Bands and artists featured in Live From Tokyo include:
Sajjanu is a ripping new unit from Tokyo that performs incredibly complex through-composed compositions with few if any repetition. Combining the intensity of the Ruins with the quirkiness of the Boredoms and the compositional integrity of Zappa, Zorn and more, Sajjanu is creating a new Japanese music of infinite possibilities. In addition to releases in Japan, Sajjanu's album Pechiku!! was released in 2009 on John Zorn's New York-based Tzadik label.
"With a reputation for furious, hypnotic live performances, and a sound that evades all attempts to pin it down with the usual genre clichés, Tokyo-based duo Kirihito have gradually carved themselves a position as legends in the underground-music scene." - The Japan Times
As a video artist, Yudaya Jazz, juxtaposes multi-media in a way most people cannot imagine. He synchronizes the images and sounds on an audio/visual platform outfitted with a set of turntables, a laptop, video camera, microphone, multiple projectors and sometimes a piano.
"DJ Codomo, Yasuko Seki and Ruka Noguchi perform in real time using a video camera to capture their spontaneous creations. Shimmering projections are created using water, mirrors and an array of lights, while a world of fantastic images is constructed with found photos, kitchen utensils, toys, stationary, and improvised artwork. Kaleidoscopic, absurd and unreal, Onnacodomo takes you into a slightly-unhinged world that is absolutely original in its conception."
This electronic art trio blends Japanese technology and artistic innovation in a band. Visual artist Ymg was a CG game developer for Namco, Itoken has provided soundtracks for popular Playstation video games and Jimanica has been a professional drummer in both Tokyo and New York City. Their interactive “live installation” blurs the borders of visual art and music, leaving audiences wondering if they are at a concert, video arcade or art exhibit.
Shugo Tokumaru is a multi-instrumentalist claiming to play over 100 instruments on his most recent release and one of today's most talked-about Japanese musicians. With three albums under his belt, Shugo made his US debut in September of 2009, touring with the Magnetic Fields and performing with members of the National and Beirut. Shugo has also been featured twice on NPR in an in-studio performance and on the World Café.
This all-female rock trio from Tokyo has been making noisy, technically challenging, experimental rock for the past decade. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as reputable American bands such as Prefuse 73, Lightning Bolt, Battles, and No Age have all shared the stage and spoken outwardly of their admiration for Nisennenmondai.
Drawing heavily from Western rock and roll, garage and noise influences, DMBQ's high-energy performances and several international tours have made them one of Tokyo's most lauded underground acts. They have also appeared in SPIN magazine.
Tenniscoats is an avant-garde folk duo made up of Saya and Takashi Ueno. Since 2000, Tenniscoats have released albums and also collaborated with a variety of other artists, both Japanese and foreign. In 2008, Tenniscoats collaborated with US-based Indie band Deerhoof in a project called OneOne. Most recently, Tenniscoats collaborated with long-running Scottish band The Pastels on an album called Two Suns.
Tokyo Pinsalocks is an all-female electro-pop trio who has toured the UK and US including the 2009 US Anime Fest in Boston. They curate and headline Spoon Market, an event series that features “the coolest of female artists – be they musicians, fashion designers, visual artists, or cooks.”
Other featured acts include: Kuruucrew, PARA, The Lady Spade, Makoto Oshiro, Sexy-Synthesizer, Umi No Yeah!, Samm Bennett, Shintaro Miyazaki, W. David Marx, Dr. Jennifer Matsue, Suishou no Fune, Plugdead + Yudaya Jazz, Secai, Nu Clear Classmate, Kelly Churko, Cal Lyall, Kenichi Fumoto, The Muzenji Monk, Taguchi Fumihito, Tayutau, My Pal Foot Foot, Elevation, The Lady Spade, Makoto Oshiro, Henrytennis, Mahiruno, ECD & DJ Illicit Tsuboi, Uhnellys, The Fadeaways and more...
VIZ Cinema is the nation's only movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.
About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com.