When I’m not moonlighting as a music writer, I’m usually moonlighting as a two-bit concert promoter. From my time spent booking shows at the Underground to my two years at the Halloween House, I’ve learned a lot about the national DIY punk scene, seen a lot of incredible bands and made a lot of amazing friends. None of the bands that I have ever booked, however, has got me more excited than Japanther.
I normally try to avoid talking up my own shows, but I’m just too excited about Japanther to keep quiet. The band, a humble two-piece, hails from the oversaturated musical Mecca of Brooklyn. But unlike so many other Brooklyn bands that get lost in shuffle, Japanther stands tall above everyone.
Their music is a modern re-interpretation of the original New York City punk sound with an emphasis on the surf-rock elements. Fans of The Ramones and The Misfits will definitely hear something familiar in Japanther’s music, but their sound isn’t merely some retro throwback. Their music bursts with a modern youthfulness and optimism that is refreshing to hear in punk music.
Their break-through album, Scuffed Up My Huffy fused their modern-NYC punk sound with odd hip-hop samples for a record that defied most punk rock mores and at the same time, helped define the modern DIY punk rock movement.
Their most recent album, Rock ‘N’ Roll Ice Cream, is a step forward for the band. They don’t stray far from home musically, but their melodies are much more pronounced and their hooks are more focused. Their solid records, manic touring schedule and legendary live shows have earned Japanther a massive national fan base. Their optimistic attitude about the future of punk music is also a huge source of their popularity.
The show Saturday night will be their first in the city. Joining them are local freak-rockers Jookabox, Cincinnati party punks Vacation, The Impossible Death Machines from Brooklyn and Bloomington’s Outdoor Velour. In true DIY form, the show will be al