Monday, April 24, 2006

Ex-Girl at Spaceland, April 22, 2006

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Ex-girl, from Japan, are like a smoothie made from Shoichi Aoki’s fruits and the Powerpuff Girls, colorful and tasty but with the gritty aftertaste of some powdery energy boost. They make discordant yet catchy pop-opera punk about space-frogs and mushrooms, claiming the planet Kero Kero (Kero is Japanese for “ribbit”) as their place of origin. Unexpected harmonies, complicated vocal syncopation, and jarring time signatures (see:here) misled me to think they had to have been classically trained as musicians before rewriting their own history as Ex-girl, but apparently they had no musical experience before they got together in 1997.

Ex-girl have released five albums, several of which were produced by Hoppy Kamiyama, an incredibly prolific producer responsible for loads of good Japanese pop and known affectionately as the Japanese Eno. The tracks posted below are from their fourth album, “Back to the Mono Kero” (2001). With this album they impressed someone enough to be asked to join Siouxsie and the Banshees on their European tour, which is cool.

Ex-Girl - Waving Scientist at King Frog
Ex-Girl - Pop Muzik (cover)

Ex-Girl live is a sight to behold--their shows include custom-designed costumes, projected animation, and choreographed spasms. On this fine evening they took the stage dressed as lobsters, doing a little exoskeleton shuffle onto the stage through the giant gullet of king frog. After a hyperactive set that included a pitch-perfect execution of the a cappella intro to “Waving Scientist at Frog King” they left the stage for a costume change and came back as anime froggies for an encore rendition of James Brown's “Get on Up.”

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2 comments:

Anh Nam said...
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An Binh said...
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