Tokyo Jihen

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Tokyo Jihen

A decade ago, it felt like Shiina Ringo could do no wrong. Over the course of three albums, the singer-songwriter moved from Alanis Morissette-style alt. rock to a dazzlingly ambitious brand of avant pop, only to put her solo career on ice and form a new group with her backing band in 2004. Tokyo Jihen sounded rather conventional compared to the unrestrained weirdness of Ringo's final album, Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana, but they've built such a following since then that their leader's return to solo work in 2009 barely elicited a shrug. Maybe that's why Ringo has chosen to call time on the band now: Tokyo Jihen released their final single on February 1, and are playing a series of farewell gigs this month that wind up at the Nippon Budokan. And when they take the stage for their last-ever show on February 29, it won't only be the crowd at Budokan who are watching: the gig is being broadcast live at cinemas nationwide, at a princely ¥3,500 per ticket.

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