Saturday November 30th ~ Sunday December 1st
Yebisu Garden Hall, Ebisu Tokyo
Louder Than War’s Tokyo correspondent presents her preview of the upcoming Hostess Club Weekender in Tokyo. Headlined by Neutral Milk Hotel and Deerhunter if promises to be a great two days.
Just one of a near infinite number of reasons why urban festivals are so great is that you don’t have to confine them to the summer months. Thinking joyously outside the box Hostess Entertainment devised and implemented a thrice yearly city based weekender; one in summer, the other two at a) the tail end of and b) the start of winter, allowing for two delights to see us through the wait for the cold to vamoose.
This November 30th will see the start of the sixth Hostess Club Weekender: again at it’s at its original home of Yebisu Garden Hall in Ebisu, an easy to reach destination with numerous public transport options. The surrounding area has a wealth of drinking and eating establishments and calm traffic free areas to grab some fresh air in between sets. That’s if you feel inclined to move from the stage at all as both a) the five acts each day are a fascinating, exciting and intriguing mix of artists, and b) Hostess Club Weekender offers food and drink from local traders often refreshingly different from the usual festival offerings.
Saturday 30th November
Northamptonshire based singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw, bassist Thomas Edison, drummer Sam Toms and keyboardist Adam Smith Warmsley aka Temples bring whirling psychedelic pop to the Weekender, together with emboldened pounding drums, power corded guitars and harmoniously groovy bass. Perfect for starting off a great weekend.
After the unpleasant events the band experienced in Mexico, Japan will be ready to offer a warm trouble free welcome to Delorean. The Spanish four-piece create shrewd, computer-based alternative dance, with a pop sensibility. Perfect for getting hot and bothered too.
Lo-fi music indie rock pioneers Sebadoh’s appearance means it’ll be Lou Barlow’s second Hostess Club Weekender (having also played with Dinosaur Jr in November 2012). After a gap of fourteen years from their previous release, ‘Defend Yourself’, the bands eighth studio album was released in September this year, and is full of classic, buzzy, cross-fading guitars, ponderous fuzz bass and grunge-esque wails. Perfect for a bit of introspection.
Okkervil River, from Austin, Texas, have been blending their own unique folk and indie rock for years now, with lyrics that err on the dark side of life: murder, suffering and ugliness. Together since 1998 the band have a prolific back catalogue, so expect a rich and exciting set, with, if the bands latest release is anything to go by, a lighter tone. Perfect for a visit to the opaque side of poetic musicianship.
Closing the first night is the much admired and, until this return to touring, much missed American indie rock group, Neutral Milk Hotel. Their prolonged hiatus sees them return this year in their 1998 lineup to tour worldwide. The band use inventive instrumentation to craft their sound, along with singer, guitarist and songwriter Jeff Mangum’s confrontational and impassioned lyrics which, combined, have seen the band garner a mass of critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. An intelligent, creative force.
Sunday 1st December
New wave dream pop band Austra hail from Toronto, Ontario and are led by vocalist, songwriter and multi-instruments Katie Stelmanis, whose unforgettably authoritative voice plays neatly with the band’s music which hops about between minor key dark wave and warmer, more atmospheric dance music, together forging a very accessible, grandiose, electronic cinematic noir sound. Austra released their second album at the end of June this year. Called ‘Olympia’ it displayed a rich, full bodied sound that has moved towards a more house inspired synth-pop sound. Perfect to start the day on a luxurious high.
Syrian born Omar Souleyman performs traditional Middle Eastern songs in Kurdish and Arabic. He combines traditional Arabic folk music with distinct influences from both Iranian and Turkish rhythms with techno beats and arrangements. Using the oud and traditional Arabic woodwind instruments, alongside synthesizers and drum machines, his high-energy mix proves to be undeniably engaging. Perfect for some seriously enthusiastic dancing.
Post-rock and electronic musician, Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet, devises music that blends elemental and abstract sounds with house, techo and even jazz music. The seventh Four Tet album ‘Beautiful Rewind’, just released, consists of tracks that range from glimmeringly unassuming rhythms to more enthusiastic and peppy garage beats. Perfect for an invigorating spiritual adventure.
Argentinian singer songwriter, Juana Molina, melds electro folk (predominantly singing in Rioplatense Spanish she infuses her performance with expressive vocal additions), squeals, howls and chants with her guitar and Korg synthesiser. Imaginatively unprocessed and weaved sounds.
Deerhunter are a captivating progressive rock band from Atlanta, Georgia whose sound start at the ‘experimental’ end of the spectrum and moves to the more conventional. Minimal at times, the band also have moments when they ambush with reverb – something that’s liable to occur at any given moment. Deerhunter released their sixth album, Monomania, in May and it’s a return to form being full of fuzzy guitars and punk-rock aesthetics. High quality, vintage garage rock.
Hostess Club Weekender runs from Saturday November 30th to Sunday December 1st and is held at Yebisu Garden Hall, Ebisu Tokyo. Tickets are available now as either a two-day pass or single day tickets.
Hostess Club Weekender has an English friendly webpage where you can get tickets from in English using the service Boardwalk, a mobile phone ticketing service with which you can register and download an e-ticket. You can also use the service without a mobile phone, by registering with your email address to which is sent a QR code which you print out and bring as proof of payment to the entrance on the day. If you need to you can contact Boardwalk for general assistance via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers who purchase tickets via the Boardwalk service will get the following advantages: Live show set lists and photos of artists playing at the Weekender.
Prices are as follows:
- 2 Day Pass 13,900yen (including tax)
- 1 Day Pass 7,900yen (including tax)
Each day you attend you are required to buy one drink token. One drink token is 500yen and can be exchanged for either alcoholic or soft drinks.