Venues Of Note


Sakaiki (Yotsuya-Sanchome)

Photo via Sakaiki’s site

Sakaiki is a small old bar tucked away in a quiet neighborhood just a few blocks from a very business-clustered center of Tokyo. In this place, aside from Sakaiki, there’s little of interest. However at the end of the small street, once you go inside, you find a dim-lit cave full of old wood and 100 percent atmosphere. It’s never bright inside, but it’s all unique to its own. There’s no giant PA system for the small performance space (which hosts maybe 30 people max), but the wooden floors provide something intimate and new, inside somewhere very old. The building has seen many years, but it still hosts the most new and inventive forms of art, music, film and dance.

Soup (Ochiai)

In the basement floor under a public bath and lined with concrete walls is Soup, one of the loudest experimental venues in Tokyo. Mika Vanio shredded noise, Mark Fell slapped rubber beats against the walls, Phonophani played a self-built accordion to ocean waves, and Tarab scraped microphones against the walls. It’s commonplace for Soup, where nearly anything is OK. Everything is welcome, at its most primal and dirty.

Ftarri (Suidobashi)

Photo via Ftarri’s site

Newly opened venue by the record label Ftarri, it is only months in existence but already has played host to Chihei Hatakeyama‘s solid blue guitar waves, Asuna’s overwhelming and addicting collection of Casio synths and toys, and through all of that, it opens the door for more music in a part of Tokyo that, while in the center of the city, I had never seen a show in before. Something new comes all the time. It never stops.

Next page: Post-Show Hangs