Bore-Anticipation In Tokyo

Yamataka Eye danced like a dervish. Photo by Brian Kushnir.

Let me tell you a story about a recent show by a little band from

Osaka, Japan, called Boredoms.

First, the background. A Boredoms show is

something that comes filled with anticipation. Not the kind of mass-media

driven hype that surrounds a show by say, U2, where they drag the thing around

the country for years and years building up steam until by the time they decide

to roll into your town you go to the show because it is the show of the year,

though in reluctance, because you know exactly what to expect since you have

read countless reviews in all the best magazines, and probably even seen the

made-for-TV movie. At the end it feels like a let down and you go home and

there it is on the local evening news.

Bore-anticipation is the feeling you

get in the days leading up to a Boredoms show. A feeling that you don't know

what you are in for, only that it will be a huge, impressive, one of a kind,

and best of all, fleeting experience. You go to be surprised, and if it works,

you will be moved along some path of spiritual enlightenment. Or perhaps simply

moved. Like those old Pink Floyd shows that they only did in a few cities

around the world, and then packed it up, Boredoms performed their latest show

only three times: once in their native Osaka, once in the industrial city of

Nagoya, and once in Tokyo. And then, it was gone, to live on only in the

memories of those who were there.

Boredoms were scheduled to play one show

two weeks ago (Monday, May 12) at a medium-sized hall in Tokyo called Akasaka

Blitz, and the word was out: this was not a show to be missed. Even the guy who

cuts my hair was talking about it. "You gotta go to the Boredoms show next

week," he said, and with a gleam in his eye, added "they're doing the minimal


As it turned out, he was talking about the minimal...

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