“Eventually our galaxy will collide with Andromeda.” (fact courtesy of Scrap Livingston)
Scrap and I toured Japan in June; we got together with a band from Tokyo (from Kasukabe, in the suburbs, actually) called Uhnellys; they drove us around the country, playing right before us every night, on bills that would include three or four other Japanese bands. It was pretty hardscrabble; ten day tour, ten shows, no days off. Fatiguing, but wonderful; Kim and Midi, the bass/vocal and drummer duo that make up the Uhnellys, are fantastic people, and a fantastic band, and I felt like I got a view of Japan I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t toured with a local band.
I don’t even have a record out there–haven’t been to Japan since a two-gig trip in 1997–and yet there were 30 or 50 people at each show (including three shows in Tokyo–!!), and we kept encountering those legendary Japanese fans that are so devoted, and freaked out, giving us small gifts and trembling when they met us. Amazingly, too, outside of Tokyo, most of the audiences were made up entirely of Japanese–usually Americans come crawling out of the woodwork for American bands.
Everywhere I looked, there was something fascinating; I have roughly a billion pictures that I hope to post eventually. Despite this, and despite the wonderfulness of the whole scene, when I got lonely, I got homesick, it was such an alienating environment, everything utterly other for a Westerner. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten homesick on tour.
One of the gigs was at a store in Kumagaya called Mortar Records. It may have been my favorite show of the tour. There was a tiny space with a low ceiling upstairs from the store; people sat Indian-style on the floor.
Pre-Order the upcoming release, Yes And Also Yes from Newybury Comics and get an autographed CD Booklet with purchase!
A missive from Mike:
My electro/weird/large-beat/cut-up samples album DUBIOUS LUXURY is out! Right now!
You can purchase it on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, eMusic, and pretty much any other web emporium.
If you buy it off my site, there’s a superspecial deal where you can get the album and a t-shirt for $24.99. See here: http://merchdirect.com/mikedoughty
Let me say again: I don’t sing on Dubious Luxury. There’s sampled vocals from Joanne Kyger, Todd Colby, Erica Livingston, Young Jean Lee, Becky Yamamoto, and—perhaps most interestingly to people who listen to Soul Coughing—Rachel Benbow Murdy, aka the ghostly voice on “Janine”.
I hope you continue to rock. Now, and forever.
A missive from Mike:
Hey UK friends—
Somebody messed up. The London gig, which I thought was on June 30th—this
coming Thursday—was really booked for JULY 30th. I’m ridiculously
So, instead, I’m playing Thursday at Nambucca
They’ll honour tix for the Underbelly show.
Man, I am so sorry about the confusion. And big thanks to the sharp-eyed
London peeps who emailed me when they saw the discrepancy.
Also, for some reason, I typed that the November 11th gig is in
Minneapolis, MI, not MN. Note to self: Minneapolis IS NOT IN MICHIGAN.
So, if you were planning on coming to one of my shows at the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH this weekend, I’m embarrassed to say they’re canceled. Totally out of the blue, the venue shut down, and dudeman who booked me seems to have vanished.
Scrambled to get an alternate venue, but, alas, it didn’t come together. I’m hoping I can get a makeup gig that’ll honor tickets for the Stone Church. I do want to make it super clear that I don’t have your money—they do.
Again, I am REALLY SORRY. Hope I can make amends soon.