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Review Wed Mar 02 2011

Review: Asobi Seksu and BRAHMS @ Empty Bottle

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Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu (photos by Steve Stearns)

It's been said that Asobi Seksu Asobi Seksu is plays somewhere in the dreamy pop realm of ambient shoegaze — or something like that. While it's easy to see why singer/keyboardist/cute front girl Yuki Chikudate would fit those sorts of descriptions with her soft and often operatic soprano, at Empty Bottle on Monday night those descriptors just didn't fit. Asobi Seksu may have released shoe gaze albums in the past, but Monday there was just too much noise (of the really fantastic variety). Asobi Seksu seems to be pushing the experimental envelope, and while not completely leaving shoegaze behind, they took it to harder places on Monday night.

Generally, it is Chikudate's vocals that are at the forefront of the groups tracks, but as song "Put the Drummer in Front" suggests, that isn't necessarily the case all of the time. Throughout the set guitarist James Hanna wailed out thunderous guitar riffs which sounded more punk-like, with their rowdy tempos, than anything shoegazey (although Hanna did look at his shoes a lot). While Hanna was gazing, drummer Larry Gorman's sticks flew across his kit with heavy hits so fast that it looked like Empty Bottle had a strobe light on him — they didn't, he's just really fast.

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James Hanna (photos by Steve Stearns)

Meanwhile, petite singer Chikudate maneuvered her keyboards, head banging her long highlighted hair to the cymbal clashes while also managing to balance out the rest of the band's testosterone with the sweetness of her soprano. The band's hour longish set included "Strawberries", "Thursday" and as well as several tracks off of new album Fluorescence like "My Baby" and "Sighs".

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Yuki Chikudate (photos by Steve Stearns)

Preceding Asobi Seksu, the Bottle was warmed up the super-synthy-effect-laden band BRAHMS. BRAHMS is certainly testament to the times: they had 5 computers on stage to 3 band members. BRAHMS members, Eric Lodwick, Drew Robinson, and Cale Park, each switched off between a real instrument and their respective effects creating machines. Software aside, BRAHMS is infectiously fun to dance to.

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BRAHMS (photos by Steve Stearns)

 
GB store

BRAHMS / March 3, 2011 3:48 AM

We use NO laptops in our live show. Specifically, not one. Our setup is: 3 synths, a drum machine, a drum pad, bass guitar, electric guitar and and some accoustic drums. Thank you for dancing.

-BRAHMS

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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