Thursday, November 27, 2014

Takako Minekawa and Dustin Wong at 51West November 26th 2014

It was my first time at 51West in Tempe, AZ and I have to say it was a really cool new venue. The place has a vibe to it that reminds me of Modified Arts in Phoenix. The sound was very good and the staff was really friendly.

The front of the venue looks mysterious in this picture.  Who casts yon shadow?
Takako Minekawa, P.S. and Dustin Wong

I first heard Takako Minekawa's music in 1999 from an Emperor Norton sampler.  It was remix of "Milk Rock" from her album Cloudy Cloud Calculator.  I never thought that I would have an opportunist to see Minekawa perform.  I really enjoyed talking with Minekawa and Wong about living in Tokyo and our favorite foods.  They listened as I shared my experiences in Tokyo and Arizona.  We talked about all the important subjects of the day: tacos, Don Quixote, and my uncle the piece of candy (see picture below).


The show was unlike any other musical performance that I have ever seen.  Minekawa and Wong both sing using their voice as an instrument in the best possible way.  Their vocals don't rely on the use of conventional lyrics.  I would say their brand of music is experimental but that is greatly underselling it.  They use drum machines, tape loops, guitar and synth to create a wholly new musical experience.  I could feel their music like a tide flowing over me and see movies in my mind (and I was not on any drugs!).

Minekawa and Wong made music from the energy in the air and shaped the sounds like a pair of expert sculptors working with clay.  Each song started with beat and expanded into something new like a story unfolding.

I am a big fan of Minekawa's airy and mystical solo songs and I feel deeply connected to Wong's worldview from the interviews that I have read.  This collaboration is the ultimate Marvel Team-Up bearing exotic alien fruit fresh from the vine.

After the show Wong and Minekawa were so pleasant, taking time to talk with everyone.  They signed albums and made conversation until closing time.

Wong mentioned to me that he and Minekawa play frequently in Tokyo.  I look forward to checking out their show when I visit next time.

Cousins Takako-chan and Dustin-san arigato gosaymasu for visiting Arizona.  I hope to see you again soon!

Takako Minekawa and Dustin Wong's new album, Savage Imagination is available now on Thrill Jockey Records.

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