Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bo-Peep meets James Brown

Yesterday evening at Shibuya's Duo Exchange, the Japanese television channel NHK World hosted and filmed a live music event showcasing new talent in Tokyo. Four reputable underground Japanese groups were on the roster: visual-glam band Doubt, viciously named ska group Doberman, funk outfit Osaka Monaurail, and of course, my favorite ladies on the Tokyo scene, Bo-Peep.

The program is scheduled to be broadcasted overseas on NHK World on the final four Mondays in August. In Japan, the program will be available via the NHK World iPhone application.

Bo-Peep- having recently released their new album Vibe- have been in overdrive lately. Their album release party last week at Super Deluxe was probably the most intense set I've ever seen the girls do. Last night, in an effort to show off their Japaneseness to their intended foreign audience, the girls all donned yukatas, which are basically summer kimonos. I'm looking forward to seeing how the cameras catch their characteristic energy.

Taking the stage after Bo-Peep was the throwback funk ensemble Osaka Monaurail. The group is a classic funk tribute band led by lead singer and organist Ryo Nakata, who takes on the personality of James Brown when on stage. Down to the stiff full bodied dance moves, husky voice, and full suit, Nakata's James Brown was totally spot on. The whole crowd, including Bo-Peep and crew, were simply grooving.

And if the group wasn't authentic enough, they even had personalized 45s for sale at their merchandise desk. The inner vinyl junky in me had to pick up a few for posterity.

Tribute band or not, I love funk and soul, and Osaka Monaurail had it going on. I'll definitely be checking them out again.

Stay tuned in August for a link to the feature broadcast on NHK World.
Osaka Monaural's webpage: click here

And a cool music video via youtube:

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