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Friday, June 2, 2006

LISTENING POST

LIVE

The Can't See / moools


The key to making it as an indie band is networking, if for no other reason than to secure a couch to crash on when you arrive in an unknown town for a one-night stand. John Atkins is a respected Seattle-based singer-songwriter-guitarist who came to prominence as the leader of the emo duo 764-HERO and then as one half of his hard-rock side project, The Magic Magicians. His new trio, The Can't See, reportedly doesn't have a American record deal yet, but their lively debut, "Coma Comma No More," came out in Japan two weeks ago. This week the three-piece are crashing couches -- or maybe futons -- with a mini-tour of the archipelago behind local indie stalwarts moools.

Moools is a folk-rock trio whose network is as good as it gets, having toured with Modest Mouse and Folk Implosion. It seems only right that this time around The Can't See opens for them, but indie club tours are rarely about who's on top, and in this case the pairing is auspicious.

Both bands take the "alternative" guitar pop form in a different direction. Atkins, with his high-pitched emotionally drenched vocals and varied guitar technique, is an idiosyncratic craftsman, and "Coma Comma" works with a fuller palette than that utilized by your usual monochromatic Pacific Northwest rock group.

Yasuaki Sakai is just as excitable a singer as Joe Strummer, though that's not denying the fact that moools is very much a band. Their new album, "Motif-gaeshi" (out July 5), is built on atmospherics, irresistible repeating riffs and a wild experimental spirit that is bold enough to embrace jazz, R&B and even arena rock. The June 4 show will also include a set from Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi, an instrumental side project of moools bassist Mitsuhiro Ariizumi. Also performing on that night is Takashi Ueno, the saxophonist for Tenniscoats, another local indie band that knows how to network. Just bring yourself. The couches are covered.

The Can't See, moools play June 2, 7 p.m., Kyoto Urbanguild, 3,000 yen (tel. 075-212-1125); June 3, 7 p.m., Matsumoto Hot Lab, 3,300 yen (tel. 0263-39-1677); June 4, 7 p.m., Shibuya O-Nest, Tokyo, 3,300 yen (tel. 03-3462-4420).


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