Saturday, May 16, 2009

Live Crab, Live Yoshida

Had great fun tonight at Yoshi's with Bryce Digdug. We had live crab that fortunately stayed on the plate and did not stoll around, and then we saw the Yoshida Brothers' show. Very appropriately Japanese, they started at
precisely 10 p.m., opening with Radiohead's "The National Anthem" from their new album Prism. (As they said about the disc, "Go check it out." I don't think they meant to check it out from the library.) It has some great songs, and they are fortunately shifting away from heavy electronic accompaniment to more purely acoustic sounds.

Dressed in traditional matching robes and clogs, they put on a hell of a show. They also had a hip, resourceful percussionist who was dressed in very contemporary garb. They may be bros but have very different hairstyles Ken'ichi has really great spikey tsunami waves on his head, and little brother Ryōichirō has a gorgeous mane of perfectly coiffed locks with a deep henna rinse. Surely he must travel with a hairdresser, not that I'm implying anything.

They both had some incredible facial expression and grunts as their fingers took their Japanese banjos into hemispheres not of this planet. I must admit that I thought more than once about their nimble fingers exploring more than a stringed instrument.

I'm sure that two boys sittin' and pickin' and grinnin' and plucking their shamisens for 90 minutes is not everyone's idea of a fun Friday night, but it was pretty great in my book. And, having arrived early, I managed to pick up a great mini-kitchen set at Kinokuniya across the street before the dinner/concert.

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