March 16th, 7pm – Where will you be? If you’re not sure yet, definitely consider checking out the 16th annual Japan Nite at Elysium, featuring about seven up-and-coming acts out of Japan. Why it’s awesome: these bands hail from places like Tokyo, Osaka and Minamihorie, and mesh elements from the Japanese music scene with interesting and wildly popular indie, avant-garde, rock and country music styles.
Take 24-year old Saito Johhny, for instance, who is innovating a new type of style with his blend of Japanese influence with country, rock and bluegrass. This melodious hybrid was personally selected by Taylor Swift to open her shows for the Japan and Hong Kong leg of her 2011 tour. The young musician started making music as a teen, and cultivated a nice following for himself throughout college. His songwriting is above and beyond his young age, and his swift skill on the banjo and other instruments proves that he knows what he’s doing.
With music self-described as “a beautiful chaos,” the alternative band Vampillia from Oksana caught the attention of NYC record producer Rusty Santos, who’s produced records with names like Animal Collective and Panda Bear. With his help, Vampillia released Alchemic Heart in 2011, which received high praise via Pitchfork. These high-energy rockers are looking to become world class artists, so let’s help them out by rocking out.
Taking an indie turn, check out NOKIES! comprised of college students influenced by well-known, youthful rock groups like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend. With their focus on catchy guitar riffs and dream pop influence, NOKIES! are creating a bright, youthful hipster scene in Japan, as well as spreading their catchy tunes around the world!
Other bands to perform at Japan Nite are the avante-garde Kao=s, The Rubies, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass and ZZZ’s. Japan Nite’s SXSW stop is just one on a leg of U.S. shows – catch these great acts in an intimate setting while you still can!