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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011

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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80


Asagiri Jam

Special to The Japan Times

While Fuji Rock's attendance may have dropped this summer, Asagiri Jam — its laidback, low-key younger sister — is close to selling out its 12,000 weekend passes.

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In past years, Asagiri Jam's two-stage lineup was revealed only days before the concert. But this fall, promoter Smash unveiled the 25-act bill nearly three weeks in advance of the Oct. 8-9 festival.

Arrive early at the picturesque site near Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture as Saitama's Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro open the Rainbow Stage with their fantastic instrumental funk and soul grooves. Crowned by XLR8R Magazine as "2009 king of bass music" while barely out of his teens, UK dubstep producer Joker will get folks moving at the DJ Field Moon Shine with cuts from his first full-length, "The Vision" (out Oct. 19). Also armed with new material, instrumental hip-hop mastermind DJ Shadow will close out Saturday. His fourth long-player, "The Less You Know, the Better'" drops Oct. 12, and initial reviews are claiming it is much better than 2006's "The Outsider," which bodes well for fans at Asagiri Jam.

Sunday at the festival always begins with an on-stage announcer leading early risers through a series of elementary school stretches. Being limber will come in handy later in the day for the huge dance party that will erupt during Nigeria's Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's afternoon slot. The son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti and company's high-energy performance will undoubtedly be one of Asagiri Jam's highlights.

Along with camping gear and warm clothes (it will get cold at night), make sure to bring some extra yen too. Like Fuji Rock, Asagiri Jam will be collecting funds for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The first 2,500 people to make donations will receive a limited-edition Asagiri Jam bumper sticker. Those who donate ¥100 at the reception area in campsite B will also get a complementary carton of Asagiri milk — good fuel for those Sunday morning exercises.

Asagiri Jam takes place Oct. 8 and 9 at Asagiri Arena in Shizuoka Pref. Two-day tickets cost ¥13,800. For more information, visit www.smash-jpn.com/asagiri.

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