Once again, the slithering slimy mess from Canada known as SHLONK seeped up onto Japan's shores for three shirking shows in the Tokyo area. If you don't know the history of this band from my previous posts and the press they've received in Japan, then you're just hopeless! (OK that was mean, but just check Google, cause they just plain kickass!) Straightaway they made a beeline to Poor Cow to meet me for some drinks and chatting with Fifi. Of course he would have a book of the history of Canadian punk with their first album EEE-YOH in it along with some jackets (like SNFU's controversial debut album) that vocalist Al had illustrated!
SHLONK's first show was a HOUSE of MYSTERY mash-up at Heavy Sick which featured a lot of old compadres of SHLONK as well as Yours Truly. The first band was an experimental rock/dub unit called Stupid7Beat featuring some of my old friends from Six o' Minus. Mika from emulsion, an old friend of SHLONK's angie, asked Yours Truly to join in their set and sing a DAMNED song! It was kinda hyper karaoke and I had to mask the fact that I wasn't fully confident with getting it right (despite practicing for two weeks!)... Wayne Manor with emulsion was a two minute blitz of electro-punk, mumbled vocals and a shaving cream attack on the audience to give that Damned Damned Damned effect!
Dressed in bosozuku samurai gear, TOKYO RYOZANPAKU brought an arsenal of 'street' weapons for the audience to parade around with while the lead singer cut himself profusely spouting off right-wing propaganda... yeah, these guys played with SHLONK in Japan before, in 2009. SEPPUKU PISTOLS brought an onslaught of punk rock, tribal electronic noise and Japanese taiku drums, yes, the very big kind reserved for natsumatsuri, or summer festivals in Japan.
Yeah, these guys played the same show as TOKYO RYOZANPAKU in 2009! When SHLONK took the stage at last, the Tokyo crowd was eager, loud and desperate! Al appeared onstage in a tux and took it from there belting out their repertoire with a certain enthusiasm that got kids raging. The kicker for me came with their encore, a very classic hardcore rendition of the NEW YORK DOLLS' "Trash!" which got me hyped for the tour dates to come! And this was just the first night!
(SHLONK with Mika emulsion, empty glasses of course)
The next day, was a bit of a hazard... Yours Truly, went off to shoot a music video for THEEE BAT as an extra. I left pretty concise direction for SHLONK to get to Orange County Brothers in Yokohama... but they took a wrong turn and ended up walking in the middle of bumblefuck Yokohama, yeah the weird suburban area not near much of anything... Well the story goes, they just asked some guys on the street that looked like rockers... and they took them right to the bar! SHLONK ended up bring five people to the show from the street... and they were just like best friends before the end of the night! This show was part of the Sex & Fury & RnR series and featured garage supergroup KUSOKARE, '77-style punk bands THE STAIRS & THE C&C with the headliner being the freaky lolita-gore-feminist grindcore band ZOMBIE LOLITA! Needless to say SHLONK fit in quite well, and moreover brought the party! I showed up while Al was rolling around in his monk's tunic and just in time for their encore... you guessed it "Trash!"
The following Thursday nite, SHLOK headed to the upscale Asakusa part of Tokyo for a gig at the live bar Crawfish, set up by fellow Canadian & expat Chris, frontman of the sci-fi surf group ANDROID BEACH PARTY! This place was more suitable for folk, blues and mainstream rock, but SHLONK brought some rowdy friends... and after a half a week working I was ready to cut loose. Al appeared on stage with a tuxedo again, but brought out a maestro wand an proceeded to conduct SHLONK from the audience, which, of course invited hijinx like tackling, stealing his wand and taking over his position dutiful! Yes, I am guilty! Loads of fun, especially on bellies full of beer and chicken & liver yakitori!
SHLONK meets THE WILD DUDE! Three years ago, SHLONK guitarist Angie contacted the trash rock 'n' roll gorefest that is ED WOODS about setting up some shows which resulted in their first Japan jaunt. This year, I asked ED WOODS to reignite the bonfire and do another show with them. It just so happened that ED WOODS was releasing their latest full-length effort WILD DUDE! and they invited SHLONK to join the record release party at Sangenjaya Heaven's Door. The Harpy's returned to support SHLONK just like they did when they first started out in 2009. That's where the chick party stopped and the Wild Dude took over! Bizzare Cramps-style punk band THE PAPAPA took to the stage, the frontman screeching and howling and eventually crawling in a loin cloth along the filthy, beer-soaked floor of the club.
The audience then braced themselves for killer hardcore group CxPxS, a volatile cocktail of new wave make-up, over-sized Roman helmets and mesh one-pieces and plastic bag tunics and a surprisingly normal-looking frontman, that is until the music starts and the shirt comes off! I was warned guard the DJ station and make sure nothing got damaged. Batten down the hatches! A couple recycling containers got emptied but the turntables made it thru OK. SHLONK, being part of the same stringy thrash punk DNA that created CxPxS, followed with another raw slash of stone-washed punk riffs. This time, Al donned his Jesus robes and halfway thru the set his huge undies some how slipped down around his ankles and, soon enough, they were being tossed around. Maki from The Harpy's got a nice whiff and tossed them right back at Al on stage!
Despite all the half-naked punk rockers, the Wild Dude had yet to unleash his full fury! ED WOODS took to the stage like a redneck revenge outta hell! Inspiring a bunch of trash-baggers like Taka-Rock, Chris Android and Yours Truly to get the full 'Wild Dude' experience. Shirts came flying off and about 15 sweaty Dude-wannabes started jumping around to the monster twang and double bass thump exploding like a gasoline can on a bonfire! The Wild Dude lives! He's alive! Alive!
And so the SHLONK across Japan tour of 2012 passed. A lot of good times eating, drinking, talking & catching up with old friends. Great shows & wild memories! I'm waiting for the next time these sleazy slurkers decide to shlep their guitars back to Japan!