02/25/09 SPANISH MOON BATON ROUGE
02/27/09 EMOS ALT LOUNGE AUSTIN
03/02/09 RHYTHM ROOM PHOENIX
03/03/09 ECHOPLEX LOS ANGELES, CA
03/05/09 INDEPENDENT SF, CA
03/06/09 DOUG FIR PORTLAND, OR
03/07/09 NEUMOS SEATTLE, WA
03/24/09 L’UBU RENNES
03/25/09 BT59 BORDEAUX
03/26/09 LA FOURMI LIMOGES
03/27/09 LE PHARE TOULOUSE
03/28/09 LA COOPERATIVE FERRAND
04/03/09 TRIPOD DUBLIN
04/08/09 CARGO LONDON
04/09/09 THE FAVERSHAM LEEDS
04/10/09 DEAF INSTITUTE MANCHESTER
04/11/09 THE PLAYROOM GLASGOW
04/12/09 LITTLE CIVIC WOLVERHAMPTON
04/17/09 START THE BUS BRISTOL
04/24/09 CASA D ARTES DE FAMALICAO
05/14/09 NUIT BOTANIQUE BRUSSELS
After a long day of schmoozing and being obnoxiously charming, I couldn’t have looked forward to Fujiya & Miyagi’s show any more than I did. (My real job involves niceness.) Turning F&M way, way up on the drive into Minneapolis, I was itching to dance and be in the company of friends. And luckily, in this case, the build-up made the delivery deliciously satisfying.
School of Seven Bells opened up the sold-out show. I’d heard them on the radio a few times before and was entertained but not intrigued. Never had that urge to Wikipedia them or play hooky in order to pick up their album. And, for me, that feeling carried over to their live performance. Identical twins, Alejandra and Claudia Dehez, are gorgeous and have the voices to match; guitarist Benjamin Curtis is obviously very talented (and under-utilized, in my opinion) but their set, on the whole, left me with a general feeling of indifference. If I can say this without sounding like an after-school special, I think SoSB has enormous potential and just doesn’t realize it yet. Keep your eye on them, though.
Surprisingly, the crowd thinned out a little after School, which was alright with me since I couldn’t see nor breathe.
Let’s move on to shakin’ it.
Fujiya & Miyagi. Yes, yes, yes. The fine English gentlemen opened with “Sore Thumb,” a scene-setting song from their most recent release, “Lightbulbs.” A song that says, “You’re going to need your sexy dance pants for us.” And that crazy talkin’ song speaks the truth. Next up was “Ankle Injuries” from 2007’s Transparent Things, featuring (gasp!) a real, live drummer! Prior to this tour, F&M were a trio with a drum machine. The addition of said drummer, Lee Adams, was a wise choice, resulting in fuller, cruder sound (there is such a thing as too precisely perfect, you know).
With that excellent and promising start, the boys led us through an evening of spellbinding entertainment, perfectly transitioning from high energy crowd-pleasers to stare-off-into-space soundtracks to your silly little daydreams. Both Lightbulbs and Transparent Things were well represented. And with the crowd being so tight, the sound being so together and my hips having a mind of their own, I felt like I had invited all of my friends (and their friends and their friends) into my living room for a spontaneous drunken dance party. Something about this show felt more intimate, more comfortable than most. I guess that’s what happens when everything comes together perfectly: David Best’s sultry whispers and complex guitar work, Steve Lewis’ hard beats and fancypants technological skills, Matt Hainsby’s hot bass grooves, and an overcrowded room of eager hipsters. Damn.
Fujiya & Miyagi are not the guys to listen to when you want to relive your most recent break-up or explore your sensitive side. I don’t think most people could say they feel an ‘emotional connection’ to this noise but I prefer it that way. Sometimes you need to turn your head off and move.
This is music you feel in your tailbone; these are songs that dare you to stand still; this rhythm is seriously going to get you (yeah, I just said that).
Fujiya and Miyagi are on tour in support of 2008’s Lightbulbs. Don’t miss them if you can help it.
Tour dates can be found on their Myspace page at: http://myspace.com/fujiyaandmiyagi.