Nori at Blue Moon

The other day I went to see Nori play keys for the one and only Asazaki-san at Blue Moon in Hayama Japan.

To be honest it was kinda hard to find the venue itself, but I gotta say that it's a beautiful place to play. I guess it depends what kind of music that your playing, but when you hear those waves in-between the songs in the set, it's just perfect.

they did two sets that night and not to my surprise they didn't play any songs that I would know. But it seemed like they did play some cover songs that the crowd knew.

It was awesome that she got everyone dancing and singing along to the Amami music!

Nori was playing the Nord keyboard that she always uses at the Lo-Fi concerts, but it sounded totally different this night!

Here's Asazaki-san's info if your into the Amami-traditional music.


Message from III's Itta!

Lo-Fi is going to be playing for an end of the summer party hosted by a good friend of the band, Itta Tsunoda.

Here's a message from him to our fans too.

------message start-----
Dear Frinends

I hope all is well,
For me, I felt like I hadn’t really done anything to enjoy the summer this year yet...
So together with my good friends, I planned a party called “DEL AZUL” at my new place in Odaiba on the rooftop... THIS SATURDAY!!!

It will sort of be a party featuring lots of music with a live band and something like10 DJs playing all on the rooftop!
I wanted people to enjoy the atmosphere and the environment fully so that party starts at 2PM soaking up the sun, till we then, watch the sun go down closing the party (at least the first half of it... : ) at 9PM.

I have already 200 people confirming to come but I can use a couple hundred more considering the spacious venue. Bring your friends too and enjoy what the last days of summer has to offer!

Admission (sorry we needed to collect some to put this event together...)
3000yen for guys (w/ one drink)
2000yen for ladies (w/one drink)

2-7-4 Aomi The SOHO 1126 Koutou-ku
Tokyo, 135-0064 Japan


------message end-----

I hope you guys didn't miss that typo he put in the beginning of his email!
Anyway, Lo-Fi is planned to perform around five PM. We're gonna play a full set and maybe more....

Hope to see everyone there!

- Posted by 5

Live report "Surfer's" Zushi beach

Yesterday was a good day.
I was finally granted one of my wishes of being able to play with Hank live.

He's been one of my favorite guitarists for a long time now, one of my influences that made me realize that maybe bass was my thing.

Everything was great until we got cut a few songs short... Well to be honest mid-show... Because people who live across the street from the beach said the concert was too loud and basically called the cops on us.

Well aside from the negativity of the mostly non-local people who live in the expensive beach-side apartments, I'm sure many of the local people and non-local people at our show enjoyed the show for as long as it lasted!
Thanks to everyone that came to the show and kept it happy and lively despite the angry beach security!

Nishiyama Fumio "Hankoya" is a great guitarist that's played with many great musicians worldwide. It'd be great if you guys could check out some of his solo work too! It's great stuff. Can't beat the feel he has "live" though!

- Posted by 5

Surf Jam in Chiba Sep 4th Sat

Lo-Fi is gonna play the Surf Jam event in Chiba on the 4th of September.
We've played at their last event they did that was situated on the beach, but due to many reasons they've moved the party on shore.

This was a photo at the same stage Surf Jam is going to use from another event. It's basically outside and when it's colder at night they used to light the camp fire in front of the stage.

We're doing a fairly long set for this concert so please drop by if you can!

- Posted by 5

Live at Wasted Time

We played the Shibuya bar on Saturday August 14th.
Like usual we brought in our set and keyboards.

Setting up the drums is a burden, but when it comes to sound, you don't want to sacrifice.

We played with a more old school sound band called Acid Bloom that night, and also with a jam band called Egg.

Wasted Time has a special DJ event on Mondays. sometimes they do a movie night on that day too.

It's a bit unfortunate that lately live event spaces can't seem to fill the floors everyday, but at least they're being creative about it!

Next week we're going to be playing a show at the beach house in Zushi Kanagawa Japan.

The event space is called Surfer's and it's a venue known for having lots of great artists playing there the whole summer while it's opened.

We have the privilege of getting to open for the venue when it opened it's doors this summer. We won't be able to make the closing party, so we've arranged to play a special even with the most soulful guitarist I know!

We'll be posting more about this gig on our site soon!

- Posted by 5

The FenderRhodes and stuff

Here's a shot of Nori playin the Rhodes we use for our concerts in Takanawa.

It's a little road worn but still sounds great.
Lo-Fi loves the way the instrument sounds. Unlike many modern. Keyboards, it really sounds different depending on which one you play

Check out this photo of the insides of the Rhodes.
I never really had a chance to look at it, and never had a chance to look into the history of it either.

But one look into the construction and the mystery of why fender was making keyboards was obvious.

If you look to the left side of the photo you can see the copper color of the coils for the magnetic pick-ups

We want to take this one on the road with us, but considering the weight and the fragility of this instrument, we haven't found the right opportunity just yet.

We are definitely going to use it for our next album though.
Hopefully a good amp will be available for us to get the right tone out of it!

For tonight's concert we'll be using a two keyboard setup, with the Nord and the Yamaha. Not enough channels though at tonights bar to do our full setup with the samplers though.

See y'all tonight!

- Posted by 5

Recording the new album

Lo-Fi is a doing well as a band since we finally settled with the three members we are now. We've released our album at the end of last year, and hopefully if things move on as scheduled we'll be releasing our next album around the same time this year too.

Then it will mean that we really have something available for our fans when we finally reach them live where-ever they are. I especially miss being in the US to perform. I haven't been there before with my band, and I think it'd be a great environment to play our sound.

Japan has an interesting musical environment, but it seems as though the neo-soul kind of sound hasn't really hit main-stream here yet, and it seems like a very underground movement compared to other genres like punk-rock and ofcourse the Japanese traditional J-POP / Kayo-kyoku sound.

I love the old Japanese music, that was J-POP once, but now categorized as Kayo-kyoku. The sound is a blend of traditional Japanese music melody mixed with influences from western music. Maybe the trend shifts are moving too fast for the public to follow, but just like anywhere else in the world, CD sales are plummeting and digital sales are the main source of income for many artists.

Just check out the shift toward the end of the chart (at the bottom) where CD sales are down but there is trend for more movement on video media.

Here's some information they also researched about the consumer trends for music.

It's easy to tell that the television media is very dominant in controlling what people buy.

It's no surprise that international artists have very limited sales in Japan. Then again I don't this is the whole picture, because the Japan Record association only has access to those who have registered and filed their reports into their database.

So even though we are in rough waters doing music here in Japan as an indie artist, we are getting really good feedback from our audience, and they are helping to keep our band going. We are incredibly grateful for the love and support of our music. We sell the most records at our shows, even though our CDs are physically available all over, I guess when they see a live performance it's more convincing for them that they will get what they paid for when they buy the CD.

Right now we were successful in getting about 1000 CDs sold and that got us enough support to help start making our second full album. We've gotten almost all the songs written and now we're starting the recording process all over again.

The new album should have even more live sound and jamming, can't wait to get it all together for people waiting on our new music.

Higher Video

Here's a new video clip from a concert that was performed in Nagoya. At the Apollo Theater there.
It was strange that a venue would use such a famous name with no regard to it's origin!
Anyway, they have a great sound system and the crowd was really great there.

Photos from recent shows

We did a show at a really special place in July called "On The Rocks"
The bar owner George is a big fan of our band and we're grateful he organized this very personal night just devoted to hours of our music and some nostalgic DJing by George.

BTW that mirror ball was handmade by George...!

We played right in front of George's huge record collection that fills two walls of the bar...

This is another small show we did at Ayumi and Yoheyy's exhibition in Nakameguro. We did the show at a cool cafe there called Didn't play with a drum set but used my Mac to give us some beats.

In the end we just ended up playing as an acoustic guitar and piano duo, cause the drum rhythm wasn't really getting too interesting. Live human played music has the most punch I think.

Anyway they have the kind of "living room" -like atmosphere there so it was really different compared to some of the other intense shows we've done with them in the past.

Ayumi is one of my favorite painters and here are some of her paintings behind us.

Reno, Yoheyy, Ayumi, 5, Nori

A close up of the live painting that night

- Posted by 5

Live at Oasis in Hayama

The gig at Hayama beach house Oasis was really great!
We played there in July but now it's almost halfway into August and it's too bad I haven't been updating my blog yet.

We played two sets that night and both were very different. We started out the concert with some slow jams and covers. After we got people listening we did a bunch of Lo-Fi songs for the second set.

I didn't know that the beach there in Hayama was so cool.
I lived in the Fujisawa area for a few years as a student here but never got a chance to visit the beaches I was so busy studying Japanese and music.

This month we've got gigs planed on the 18th Saturday in Shibuya at a venue called Wasted Time. it's right near Tokyu Hands.
we start after eight and play till quarter before nine.

The next week on the 24th Thursday we'll be playing a gig back on the beach in Zushi. We plan to play with Hank and maybe a special guest we are still arranging.

The venue is called Surfers.
It's really close to the other music venue there called Otodama.

Hope to see everyone there.
Time flies!

- Posted by 5