Saturday, January 27, 2007

Asobi Seksu @ Triple Rock

I'm pretty disconnected with music scenes in other places, but I feel like in the Twin Cities there is a wealth of opportunities to see national acts in intimate settings like The Turf Club, 400 Bar, 7th Street Entry and The Triple Rock. I like being able to see what the musicians are doing, and to inspect what kinds of instruments people are playing, and occasionally to hear the off-mic comments. I'm always amazed to see bands set up before the show - the logic behind the chaos of chords and wires and plugs and amps. This couldn't be more true for Asobi Seksu. Armed with effects pedals galore and flashing Christmas lights, the entire stage at the Triple Rock was filled with a sea of power strip enabled gadgets.

Asobi Seksu is know for fuzzy guitars and the ethereal vocals of their lead singer. Referential comparisons to the so-called shoegazers may be apt, but so are the comparisons to new wave Brit-pop of the late eighties and early nineties. However, this also falsely implies that their music is something of a rehash. With Yuki's airy voice switching been Japanese and English (not to mention their Japanese name), this NYC quintet could easily be confused with some sort of alternative Japanese pop band. Their second pass through the Twin Cities since the release of their very assured sophomore effort, Citrus, was at The Triple Rock this past Thursday (with Story of the Sea and The Appleseed Cast).

Asobi Seksu powered through most of the songs on Citrus as well as a few from their self-titled debut. As a band they certainly have a sound to be reckoned with - they are every bit as delicate as they are bold with the wall of sound they build with guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. The highlights of the show would be when they would launch into rapturous segues of strobe light induced lousness (see photo to right) in the middle of Red Sea or the end of Strawberries. The anchor for Asobi Seksu, both live and recorded, is Yuki's swooning vocals have a breathy power that was fully apparent live.

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