This past spring, KAO=S, Aisa & The DEXSTRINGs, Atomic stooges and THE ROAMERS were not able to appear at SXSW and Japan Nite. In lieu of that they’ve done something super cool. May 9th they held, and recorded a live-show, so that they could share it with their overseas fans. We’ve shared KAO=S’s “Saku” here, but be sure to check out the full playlist on YouTube: http://bit.ly/29n9HkP
SXSW is a festival known for surprises. Whether it’s big-name acts crashing house parties or a legendary group showing up at your favorite hole in the wall, SXSW never fails to shock us. Even our little corner of downtown was not immune as Japan Nite descended upon the black walls of Elysium.
About an hour before doors opened and with bleak weather rolling in over our heads, the line outside had already started to build up and buzz with uncertainty. Just hours before, we’d been informed that three of the seven bands slated to play that night came all the way from Japan only to be turned away at customs due to problems with their visas. Atomic Stooges, KAO=S, and DEXTRINGS would be absent from this year’s lineup, leaving a huge hole in the timetable. Allusions to a ‘special guest’ was all the information that we had and many would-be patrons decided to leave in favor of other events now that their favorite acts were no longer playing. Speculation ranged from local fillers to a later opening. The only thing we knew for certain was that the show would go on. More
Young and talented guitarist Rei started playing classical acoustic guitar at just four years old. Her first mini-album BLU released just a year ago and, with a touch of blues and impressively bilingual lyrics, she’s gained great praise throughout Japan, performing at major events such as Fuji Rock. Her latest mini-album released November 4. Find out more about this up and coming artist after the break.
Japanese Art Rock band, KAO=S, founded in April 2011, blends hypnotic vocals with acoustic guitar and Japanese traditional instruments to create a world all its own. Combined with Kaori’s mesmerizing sword dance, their performance will make you feel transported to somewhere mystical. This will be their third SXSW appearance, the first being in 2012. I personally attended their 2013 performance and it was breathtaking. Find out more about this unique band after the break.
Band Name: KAO=S
Kaori (Lady Samurai) Kawabuchi (vocal;sword performance)
Jack (Tsugaru Shamisen)
Shiji Yamagiri (acoustic guitar)
Since 1996, Japan Nite has been showcasing both big-name Japanese artists and acts rising up in the country’s music scene at SXSW, followed by a tour across the United States. After celebrating two decades of shows in Austin last year, the 2016 edition of Japan Nite picks up right where it last left off, introducing fresh-faced Japanese performers to North America while also bringing along some bands who have charmed Texas in the past.
This year’s Japan Nite showcase is set for Friday, March 18 at Elysium (705 Red River), the event’s home for over ten years, and features the SXSW debuts of Tempalay, REATMO, Atomic Stooges, Rei and DEXSTRINGs, along with the triumphant return of jungles!!! from Red Bacteria Vacuum and KAO=S.