Fuji Rock 2004


Total Performance Hours: 65
Total Number of Artists: 183 (!) + one Smiths tribute band
Average Number of Performances Per Hour: 2.82
Number of Stages: 7
Number of me: 1
My ability to be in more than one place, simultaneously: 0
Number of times that affected me grievously: 3
Number of Performances Attended: 31
First-Time Shows: 22
Repeat Shows: 7
Threepeat Shows: 1
Fourpeat Shows: 1
% Attended Out of Total: 16.9%
Approx. Price Per Band Seen/Heard: ¥2069 ($18.67)
Approx. Length of ‘Music Time’ Per Day:
Friday – 11 hours
Saturday – 11 hours
Sunday – 11 hours

So this is now seven (EDIT: eleven!) days past-due and counting. Reason one for the delay is eight consecutive days of post-concert work. A draining affair from which I am only now emerged. Reason two is because I am anal, and have delusions that this information will be of importance to me in at least a trivial fashion at some future date. And so I want the report to be comprehensive. But composing a comprehensive report on 29 (EDIT: 31!) shows comprising ~33 hours of total listening time is a daunting prospect, and one that grows ever more daunting as the days slide by in a mix of active procrastination, oversleeping in consequence, and the third half of my life that is composed of the work which funds all the more interesting bits, and consists wholly of an eight-hour-a-day, all-out assault on my ability to commmunicate fluently and with anything even remotely resembling elegance using the English language. As a self-diagnosed ‘type-B’ my subconscious impulse to mimic is rapidly turning me into a purveyor of the goofy, stilted, preposition-and-relative-clause-free English dialect known as ‘Engrish’. Damnable given my desire to actually create something using little more than this language, and exceptionally difficult to prevent, as the conversion occurs under just the sort of hideous conditions (forced social interaction where I am obligated, eight times per day, to ensure my charges are continually waist-deep in the soundstream that is conversation, with bubbly moments; cool, relaxing stretches; and periods of brackish, stagnant tedium – except that for these it’s flop-sweat that’s produced and not perspiration of a more solar genesis…although there’s plenty of that around here too, we’ve had three days over 100ºF so far this summer) where I am least able to monitor and check this self-destructive impulse. But the eager reader cares not, and only wants to hear about the music, so now you have paid your penance, and here…at last, is your reward.


British Sea Power (UK)
These are the ‘deepest tracks’ of the weekend, and so sadly also the least remembered. The musician-occupied bandmembers wore (fake?) leafy branches on their heads, and the vocally-occupied one did a variety of cartwheels and handstands. They commented on the festival being the most beautful location they’d ever played (probably true, it was certainly the most beautiful outdoor environment I’d ever watched them, or any other band play), and that music festivals in England are not nearly so aesthetic. They also played what I remember to be plaintive pop-indie-rock that I’d like to hear again but didn’t get me out of my (hungover and crawling towards ‘normal’ on four-hours sleep) seat.

Acid-Jazz or Modern Jazz or Progressive Jazz or who knows…but the lead singer/keyboardist was quite genki and very entertaining on stage. He was full-on in his body-language and had a sinuous, buster keaton-esque always-just-on-the-verge-of-toppling movement that was the perfecto accompaniment to his (also very entertaining) jazz-rock fusion. I’d like to hear them again, but I’d even more prefer seeing him again live…if you get the option then I’d check it out. Sadly though, I was torn from this show early to catch…

The Killers (USA)
I believe they said they are from Las Vegas, NV, and they played a pretty straightforward, but still dynamite set. They are in the new-new-wave (or is it new-new-new-wave? Probably, I had to look it up in the first place just to make sure that’s the right label for music that sounds like The Cure…so I am the wrong one to ask) vein, but I am a fan of the bands in this particular revival, so I was happy to listen through the set. They keep the reverbed organ touches light, which is so right because it just keeps you begging for more…

The Blind Boys of Alabama (USA)
Non-sequitir concert of the weekend I imagine. These fellows aren’t exactly in the reinvention business, so they provided classic takes on classic songs. I guess it’s authentic Southern Gospel Soul™, I always thought they were a bit of a gimmick band but they staged a perfectly pleasant concert. And the lead (blind) boy even did some crowd work at the end to a great version of Amazing Grace. If memory serves they did Motherless Child, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Amazing Grace, Give a Man a Home, Jesus Gonna Be Here, and the incredible Run On For A Long Time (if that title is producing an intense tickle, think late 1999 early 2000, when radio, tv, and film converged upon an inflection point represented by a small, bald, ascetic living somewhere in Manhattan, drinking a sh*tload of tea and making electronic music…an avocation which ultimately made him fantastically wealthy and able to devote a fair amount of time to blogging about politics, music, and scrabble…if that’s not helping, go to track 11 on the album ‘Play’ by Moby, and then go read some poetry, life is more fun if you can occasionally reach beyond the literal) – all those tracks are from their ‘Spirit Of The Century’ album, which I would very much like to add to my collection.

Haven (UK)
erk…I don’t really remember these guys at all, but they were viewed. I think they might have actually made the comments I attributed to British Sea Power…versimillitudious brit-bands sending me to do internet research…damn you! More plaintive indie…pretty good actually but nothing took them beyond that for me. But plaintive indie’s my “thing”…so if plaintive indie’s your thing too, then check ‘em out.

About Jonah

personal|professional musings ...of potential (obscure) scientific interest: sporadic first-person account of dreams either entering low-earth orbit or heading Mach7.3 into bridge pylon... i will do my bestbest to keep it interesting ;o> cheers!

2 thoughts on “Fuji Rock 2004

  1. yay! Wicked good wrap-up. Glad to hear you had such a fun time. And SO JEALOUS that you met Stuart from B&S. I would have scream-asked him to sing “A Summer Wasting” or “Electronic Renassiance” but hey, at least you remember ONE of their tracks. ;o) Boston B&S fans are the best uber-dorks on the planet…especially since NONE of them would stand up during the concert. God forbid you startle the band by having a good time.

    I’m happy you had fun poopeye!!!!

  2. Dude! Awesome!!!!!! Some of that stuff sounded like it was worth all the rest of it. I don’t know how you keep the energy level up at stuff like that. It must be something you eat. But that sounds awesome! I just want to say that Ball & Biscuit and The Big Three Killed My Baby are my favorite White Stripes songs, so I’m glad they kicked at the show. I also want to tell you I know what you mean about playing an album three times in a row after buying it, I did that with Neutral Milk Hotel’s Aeroplane Over the Sea, except it was more like five times in a row (and I think I did that with Modest Mouse’s most recent one, Good News for People Who Like Bad News).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.