Travel Blog

15 May

Next Music From Tokyo May 22

Kinoko Teikoku Next Music From Tokyo

Kinoko Teikoku, one of the bands playing Next Music From Tokyo May 22 at the Rickshaw. Photo courtesy: Oswaldo Perez Cabrera

Last year’s Next Music from Tokyo was one of Vancouver’s best and wildest rock shows of 2012. This year’s edition looks to be just as much fun, with an eclectic line-up of some of Tokyo’s most exciting bands.

Headlining the eclectic bunch is the acclaimed band Mouse on the Keys. Other acts include Kinoko Teikoku, Chi-na and Harafromhell. Let’s take a look at each.

Mouse On the Keys – Formed in 2006, Mouse On the Keys fuses elements of jazz, funk, post‐rock and electronic music. The trio consists of two former members of the influential Japanese underground band Nine Days Wonder, along with drummer Daisuke Niitome. Arrangements based on two pianos, two keyboards and drums help give Mouse On the Keys its unique sound.

Kinoko Teikoku – Instrumentally, Kinoko Teikoku follow the heavy, dreamy guitar sound of shoegaze bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine. But KT also incorporates influences as varied as Cap N Jazz, Radiohead, Explosions in the Sky, Jeff Buckley and Battles. The band’s hallmark is the dynamic range of singer Sato’s vocals. According to the Next Music press release, “Depending on their mood and setlist Kinoko Teikoku can set the tone either dark and serious or energetic and fun. But either way their performances are enchanting, LOUD, and completely unforgettable.”

Chi-na – Back on the Next Music From Tokyo tour by popular demand, チー ナ (pronounced “chee-na”) fuses classical, jazz, pop and post-rock sounds. The group was founded by singer-songwriter and pianist Kyoko Shiina and includes violinist Yukako Shiba and Eri Hayashi on contrabass.

Chi-Na Next Music from Tokyo

Chi-Na. Photo courtesy Oswaldo Perez Cabrera.

Harafromhell A melodic pop-punk band with female vocals, Harafromhell originated in Dec 2010 when Hara and Ishizuka, guitarist and drummer respectively from the band Nekoze, joined forces with singer/songwriter Tatejima Yoko. The results? Never less than stunning.

If you’re a fan of new sounds and great performances, this is definitely a show to check out. Tokyo has one of the healthiest music scenes in the world, and the bands are rarely run-of-the-mill. If this show is half as much fun as the last Next Music From Tokyo, it’s going to be one of the best of the year.

Next Music From Tokyo is on Wednesday May 22 at the Rickshaw Theatre (254 Hastings). Advance tickets at

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