15 albums and EPs, nearly 8 hours of Noodles, reupped again on June 17, 2015, by reader request, here.
[Originally published on April 13, 2012.] I'm in an incredibly good mood this evening. Not only did I finish three ridiculously complicated projects this week at work, but I got the final confirmation (date, time and location) of a reading I'll be giving one week from tonight in Washington, D.C., with one of my all-time favorite poets, p. inman.
Although it's the first reading I've given in a year (and you can listen to that previous reading, here, if you scroll down to April 23, 2011), I'm frankly more excited about getting to hear and watch inman than I am about reading any of my own stuff. Inman may not be the most famous poet associated with the Language Writing movement that came into prominence in the 1970s & 80s, but he is certainly the most radical. And, as far as I'm concerned, the finest. He is the Melt Banana of poets. Check out, for instance, this comic I drew in 2009 using his words (and Sugiura Shigeru's images):
Which brings me to tonight's musical offering. As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Japanese pop and rock (including, yes, Melt Banana). Most of what's on my computer, and thus on my iPhone, is J-pop and J-rock that I either found while on vacation in the archipelago, or downloaded from one of the many Japan-focused music blogs I've been scouring over the last several years.
Without question, my favorite still-active J-rock band would have to be the all-female trio, Noodles. Formed in 1991 in Yokohama, Noodles has clearly drawn the bulk of its inspiration from American bands of the same period, especially post-punk and grunge acts like Nirvana and the Breeders. But they are, IM (not so) HO, more satisfying than either.
Blasphemy? Perhaps. But consider this: Whereas Nirvana collapsed after only a few albums with Cobain's suicide and the Breeders never managed to put together that many more albums, despite none of its members actually having died, Noodles, like the Energizer Bunny before them, keep on going and going ... and going. And, inexplicably, getting better and better ...
No matter what sort of mood I'm in--from "Pretty Okay" to "Utterly Defeated"--it doesn't take more than two or three Noodles tracks to push me up to "Ecstatic," or, at the very least, "Hey! Wow!" I love, love, love, love, love this band, with its Stolen From College Rock Radio hooks and structures and its macaronic lyrics and its obsessively alt-rock-referential titles ("Slits," "New Wave," "Velvet Underground," "Runaways," "Splash," "Lemon Grass Foo Foo").
810 MBs is, admittedly, an almost egregious commitment to ask of you. But, then, ask yourself: Has the Bodega Pop proprietor ever steered you seriously wrong, yet? If you have any love for J-Rock, if the 90s were over far too early for your liking ... give this one a try. You won't regret it.