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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002



Wonderful Parade 2002

Every year, the pholks at Philter Records, Japan's phearless purveyors of phoreign indie pop, bring a phleet of artists to these shores for a special showcase called Wonderful Parade. Last year, the pheatured artist was Of Montreal, which has nothing to do with Canada and everything to do with the Elephant 6 collective that included other indie phaves like Elf Power and Olivia Tremor Control. We say "was" because the collective recently called it quits, taking most of its members into the void with it.

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No phear. Philter still has the inimitable Linus of Hollywood (Kevin Dotson), the most phormidable one-man pop encyclopedia in Los Angeles. Once a well-used studio musician, Linus phormed his own record company in the late '90s in order to release his '60s-style songs. The roots of his unaffected pop are characterized by his phavorite singer-songwriter, Margo Guryan, who penned hits for Spanky and the Gang, and Bobby Sherman way back in the Stone Age.

One of Linus' side projects is The Mellow Cads, which is essentially talk-show host and lounge-singer wannabe David Ponak augmented by Linus' attempt to re-create the ambience of mid-'70s soft-rock songwriters like Paul Williams and Roger Nichols. Shamelessly kitschy, Ponak is not above singing in Japanese about the joys of "soaplands" for a bonus track on the Japan edition of his new album, "Soft as a Rock."

Also on the roster is the Brian Wilson-inspired silliness of Bikeride, the kind of lo-phi band that records a song called "Do You Like Ping Pong?" as an exercise in stereo separation. Rounding out the evening's entertainment is Riviera, known to its phriends as Roland and Julia Wolff, German siblings who dabble in lounge music and who will be augmented here by local multi-instrumentalist Toshiaki Goto. If you have any phurther questions, check out the new "Wonderful Parade" omnibus, which includes these and other phantastic Philter artists all remixed by Takao Tajima, better known as Original Love. Phile it under phabulous.

Wonderful Parade 2002: Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m.; Ebisu Garden Hall. Tickets are 5,800 yen and 6,000 yen. For info, call Kyodo Tokyo at 3498-9999.

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