Weird Babymetal Tour

On May 17, 2017, in Concert, Japan, Music, by mugen

Babymetal is “touring” Japan this summer (playing multiple shows in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka). I’ll be in Japan from July 23 – August 12, so I’m considering trying to catch the show… but…

I’ll have to see them in Nagoya, and I’ll need to be wearing corpse paint.

They’ve set restrictions on sex, age, and/or attire for each show. I wonder about the price of tickets…

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¡The Oxymorons!

On November 24, 2012, in Concert, Music, by mugen

I missed the Oxymorons. I was gone off to school in Bowling Green, Ohio, and never saw Dayton’s arguably most successful punk export of the 90s. I didn’t know much about them, even… until I ran into Ben Schelker one day by accident and he mentioned his “new band.” Ben had been a senior at Carroll High School when I was a freshman, and he and a few other kind but edgier sorts took my nerdy self in and basically just tolerated my presence and occasionally smirked when and if I spoke at all and happened to say something amusing. We were on the cross country team together, and if not for that, I’m sure I never would have even known who Ben was.

That year, Ben and some friends (mostly cross country guys) formed a band to play at the “sock hop” in the gym before the Homecoming dance. Underclassmen could go to sock hops, but did I? Of course not. So I never got to see The Squeeky Kleen Boys (formerly known as the Blo-Chunx) play. I had both fliers, though… in fact, I probably still have them somewhere in a box out in the shed.

So I feel a bit like a poser posting this entry on The Oxymorons. I never saw them live. I picked up a copy of Dancing On Billy’s Grave (their only full-length recording) somewhere far from home… maybe BG, maybe North Carolina, wherever I was living at the time. The point is — it’s great music. And lots of it was written by someone who, probably against his will or better judgment, mentored me in some things more important than school as I entered high school. The icing on that cake is that the “Billy” of the title is the Smashing Pumpkin’s frontman, who just keeps seeming to lose track of, oh, just about everything that seems reasonable and important.

Ben was weirdly connected to people I knew later in high school, from various other schools. He was a Dayton figure – part of a scene – in a place where I never could “find” the scene. I hadn’t realized it until about 2004, but we lost Ben 15 years ago. He’s missed by many, and he touched some people much more dearly and closely than my own interactions with him, but I still miss Ben, too. I think about him at the weirdest times, when I flash back to that ragged fringe of summer trailing off before high school really started, or when I’m driving on a cold morning so early it’s still dark, and some hair metal song comes on the radio, so I can mock it like Ben used to when I’d get a ride to school with him and his friends.

The remaining members of The Oxymorons will be reuniting tonight as ArtistPlaylist, and they’ll be playing most of Dancing on Billy’s Grave with guest singers joining them to fill in for Ben. I’m looking forward to seeing Kate sing with the band, and hoping to run into Dave, Jennie, Maggie, and others I haven’t seen in years.

Here’s an article from the Dayton Daily News about the show.

Here’s the entry on The Oxymorons.

Free downloads of all the songs on Dancing on Billy’s Grave.

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I’d never heard of either of the bands opening for The Naked and Famous on April 9 at The Vogue in Indianapolis. Since I had at least a two-hour drive to get to the show (and thinking that the time zone would change… which it did, sorta, but not to any advantage), I figured I’d check them out at least a bit with whatever I could find online. I found about 10 songs by the Minneapolis band Now, Now on YouTube and gave them a listen to prep for the show. My selection was a mix of tunes from their 2010 Neighbors EP and their 2012 CD Threads. For me, their best tune is “Wolf.”

The live set itself was pretty great. The lighting was muted and subtle, and the band had to play in a small space at the front of the stage in front of the other two bands’ gear, but the closeness made the set more intimate, as if Now, Now were playing on a smaller stage, like in a bar. I could hear the band talk to one another — Jess was having trouble tuning her guitar before a song, and she told the others “Don’t go yet!” It all added to the intimacy of the set, which was a nice counterpoint to The Naked and Famous set that came later.

They played several songs I recognized, but again, I really dug “Wolf,” and they dedicated “Roommates” to the woman working the merch table (who was REALLY cool and helpful when I arrived and picked up my special order items). After their set, during Vacationer’s show, the totally adorable Jess worked the merch table and signed a copy of Threads for me. The generosity and humilty was really awesome. At the end of the night, the whole band was working the merch table and agreed to sign a poster for me and posed for this pic.

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“Common People”

On April 11, 2012, in Music, song, by mugen
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On March 19, 2012, in Japan, Music, by mugen

These guys are a 5-piece band playing live, video game-inspired music in the Kansai region of Japan (Kobe & Osaka). The guys are all really friendly and cool to hang out with, and several of them also DJ.

3 songs by THE GAME SHOP on SoundCloud

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On April 13, 2005, in Concert, Music, by mugen

Fugazi (dayton twice, Raleigh, NC)
They Might Be Giants (twice in DeKalb, IL)
Elvis Costello (Raleigh, NC)
The Violent Femmes (Cincinnati twice, DeKalb)
Jane’s Addiction (Toledo and Lollapalooza I in Cleveland*)
Skinny Puppy (Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago twice)
Slipknot (Chicago twice)
Lamb of God + Shadows Fall (Chicago)
Ruby (Chicago)
Black Sabbath (Ozzfest, Chicago)
Sponge (DeKalb)
Pigface (Cleveland twice, Detroit, Chicago)
White Zombie (Detroit twice)
Metric (Chicago)
The Chieftans (Chicago)
Einstürzende Neubauten (Chicago)
Diamanda Galas (Kent State?)
The Pixies (Oberlin, OH)
Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Cleveland)
Sinead O’Connor (Columbus)
ALL (Columbus, Cincinnati)
Tool (Detroit; Raleigh; Ames, IA)
Rammstein + Godhead (northern Indiana)
Metallica (Detroit)
Soul Asylum (DeKalb)
The Breeders (Detroit)
Pantera (Detroit, with White Zombie)
Anything Box (Chicago)
VNV Nation + Haujobb (Chicago)
Gorillaz (Chicago)
North Mississippi Allstars (DeKalb)
Cowboy Mouth (DeKalb)
Gravity Kills (DeKalb)
Nine Inch Nails (Cincinnati, Lollapalooza I in Cleveland)
Liz Phair (Greenville, NC)
Marilyn Manson (Chicago, Raleigh)
Frank Black (Chapel Hill, NC)
Coal Chamber + Disturbed (Chicago)

Big Festivals
Lollapalooza in Cleveland (Jane’s Addiction*, NIN, Living Colour, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ice-T with BodyCount, but I didn’t watch Butthole Surfers or Rollins Band)

Lollapalooza 2 in Cleveland (Lush, Jesus and Mary Chain, Soundgarden, Ice Cube, Ministry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I didn’t watch Pearl Jam)

Lollapalooza 3 in Detroit (Rage Against the Machine, Front-242, Babes in Toyland, Fishbone, Arrested Development, Dinosaur Jr. [yawn], Alice in Chains, Primus, Tool on the sidestage)

Lilith Fair in Columbus (Sinead O’Connor, Indigo Girls, Natalie Merchant, but Sarah Maclachlan was sick)

Ozzfest 2001 (Black Sabbath, Linkin Park, Crazy Town [ugh!], Papa Roach, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Mudvayne, Disturbed, Godhead, Otep, Union Underground, Nonpoint)

*Perry Ferell held my hand all the way thru “Standing in the Shower…Thinking”

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