Paragraph -節- Live Stage! House of Rocks Yotsuya
Turned out we stumbled upon the 国吉亜耶子and西川真吾Duo, and one of the most inspiring performances I've seen in a long time.
Ayako is an amazingly talented fruitcake of a piano player with unbelievably strong vocals that waver between haunting classical Japanese and Jagged Little Pill. Somewhere in the middle she evokes Wong Faye 王菲, and would possibly be as depressingly maudlin if it wasn't for Shingo laying down a solid groove on drums. Together they are a treat to see and hear.
The live performance is really LIVE, and they come over well on CD (Paragraph -節- is their latest), even if I do miss the quirkiness and humor of the live set. Like the poetic diatribes inbetween numbers that make you laugh even if you do not understand a word that is being said.
I don't know where you can buy their albums (the CD is mine!) and have no idea how to find them performing ... but look out for them, and if you do manage to catch them live, you won't regret it!
The Freeze by Phrase is a nice ohrwurm to get you started..
NB: I am retro-blogging Tokyo which is why this post is a little delayed