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Jonder's Japanese Rock series, part 4

(Scott)-Forgive me for taking a day off from posting on Thursday? I'll still hit well over EIGHTY posts in the
merry merry month of May, so I can at least get one day's indulgence, can't I? And of course, I couldn't get anywhere NEAR that number without my wonderful team of contributors, you know the list by now, but I have some guest submissions to lead off the Memorial Day weekend, perhaps a thing or two of my own (I've got one I'm DYING to put up if I can find the CD, just heard it on IPOD today and forgot how fab it was)....

Anyway, let us begin with part 4/4 of Jonder's fantastic japanese rock series.......just FYI, the very FIRST album I posted on this blog (SO long ago) was "Thee Michelle Gun Elephant".....so, here is Jonder, telling you about part IV of his latest submission.....MANY thanks to him for these (Links in Comments section)

Thee Michelle Gun Elephant's name came from a mishearing of the Damned's album title Machine Gun Etiquette (just as Radio Birdman misheard "radio burning up above" -- a Chuck Berry lyric quoted by the Stooges).   

TMGE were Tokyo college kids who started playing in 1991, influenced by punk and garage rock. The great Futoshi Abe (who died in 2009) combined classic Detroit axemen (Ron Asheton, James Williamson, Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith) with influences from surf, spy films, Link Wray, and the Pirates' Mick Green (who made a single with TMGE).  

TMGE vocalist Yusuke Chiba has an incredible raw-throated sound, and sings in a word salad of Japanese and English.   TMGE drummer Kazuyuki Kuhara later played reggae and ska, and Chiba now sings for rock balladeers the Midnight Bankrobbers.

2000's Gear Blues was their breakthrough to a US audience hungry for more Japanese punk/garage bands like Guitar Wolf.  TMGE's attitude was always more serious than Guitar Wolf, despite the elephantine name and song titles like "Satanic Boom Boom Head",  Here are Gear Blues and my favorite, the ominous Rodeo Tandem Beat Specter.  I added a top-notch cover version of "Soda Pressing" by British punks The Boys.  

TMGE broke up in 2003.  Check out the manic brilliance of "God Jazz Time" from their final concert, beautifully filmed for the DVD Burning Motors Go Last Heaven.  They were definitely "big in Japan":  youtu.be/2a67-mvGTQo


   GEAR BLUES-01 West Cabaret Drive/02 Smokin Billy/03 Satanic Boom Boom Head/04 Dog Way/05 Free
    Devil Jam/06 Killer Beach/07 Brian Down/08 Hotel Bronco/09 Give the Gallon/10 G.W.D/11 Ash/12 Soul
    Wrap/13 Boiled Oil/14 Danny Go/15 Jenny

    RODEO TANDEM BEAT SPECTER-01 Citroen No Koduku (The Loneliness of the Citroen/02 Alligator
    Night/03  Abakarta Sekai (The World Exposed)/04 God Jazz Time/05  Baby Stardust/06 Rita/07

    Mona Lisa /08 Beat Specter Buchanon/09 Turkey/10 Break Hazureta Orenu Shinzu (My Heart With it's Brakes     Broken Loose)/11 Margaret/12 Bird Land Cindy/13 Beat Specter Garcia/14 The Redhead Kelly

I have much more TMGE , if anyone's interested.   And I'd love to hear more Japanese bands:  share 'em if you got 'em!

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