The best upcoming gigs in Tokyo
Trashcan Sinatras & Sunny Day Service
A former Sinatra covers band, Scottish outfit Trashcan Sinatras are still cracking on – 26 years after their classic debut album Cake. Having long since matured into an easy-listening alt rock act, their melodies can be both epic and intimate, as the crowd sure found out at last year's Fuji Rock. This Shibuya gig will see them joined by dreamy '90s indie pop outfit Sunny Day Service, who are getting back together – for one night only – under the leadership of original frontman Keiichi Sokabe.
How Low feat. Deformer
Pioneering Dutch jungle and breakcore producer Mike Redman's Deformer project may not have released any new music in quite some time, but this '90s cult act remains worth catching live – if only for the horror-influenced visuals usually accompanying their performance. Redman now brings his show to Shinjuku's Duusraa for this small-scale party that ought to make for competent weekend entertainment.
Explosions in the Sky
If you dyed your hair purple, wore a white belt with black skinny jeans and fell in love for the first time sometime between 2001 and 2008, then chances are you've got powerful emotional associations with Austin-based post-rock outfit Explosions in the Sky. The band, who also penned the soundtrack for Friday Night Lights (the movie, though many of the songs also made it onto the show), really come into their own live with intricate, starry soundscapes and light shows that build slowly in intensity to a pulse-quickening effect – as the White Stage crowd sure found out at Fuji Rock 2016.
Buffalo Daughter guitarist Sugar Yoshinaga, Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete and innovative jazz drummer Mark Guiliana are Halo Orbit, who play futuristic and unpredictable but always very funky beat-rock. Getting together for their first Japan tour this winter, the trio will be showing off new album Halo Orbit to Tokyoites at Unit in late February.
Glaswegian alt-rock heartthrobs Teenage Fanclub have amassed many a fan over the 25-plus years since their debut in 1990. Their tenth album, Here, was released in September 2016 and proved that guitar riffs and melodic vibes still mix. It's been a good seven years since they last played in Japan, so fans won't want to miss out on this one.
Legendary, mysterious art-rock pranksters the Residents hit Tokyo for the first time in 32 years – and just over four decades after they ostensibly embarked on their wildly experimental ride somewhere deep in Louisiana. The mask-wearing, Mute-signed and really rather bonkers outfit, who have made anonymity and the mixing of fact and fiction a trademark, are rumoured to be working on a new album – perhaps a few sneak peeks are in store when they land at Blue Note for three days of gigs in March?