The night had finally come! KEMURI!!! Japanese ska-punk band Kemuri was arrived stateside, celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, and their first time in San Francisco in 17 years. The anticipation was enough to cause a heart attack as we awaited the Nipponjin’s takeover. San Jose-based Monkey opened the crowd, with Santa Cruz-ish Dan P and The Bricks warming the stage for the long-awaited Kemuri. It was indeed to be a night of moon stomping, floor bouncing, and legs kicking. OH! By the way…Mike Park (founder of Asian Man Records/member of Skankin’ Pickle, Bruce Lee Band, Chinkees, etc) started the night off with DJ Mike Park samplings of many popular AMR tracks (of course).
Monkey just recently released their newest album “Bananarchy” through Asian Man, and has been on the road fervently promoting the new work. It seems as though it was just yesterday that I saw them at Thee Parkside back in February. I can’t say enough good things about these guys. Not only is there an amazing stage presence, but the music lifts you off your seat. Horns, dropping bass, and soulful, resounding vocals create depth and a vibe that you can’t help but move your feet to. If you don’t yet know this group, get your lesson on here.
Dan P. AKA Dan Potthast. AKA the man, the myth, and the legend behind Mu330 (with the help of Jerry and others), is now Dan P & The Bricks – a Santa Cruz-based ska group that includes members of that old band Slow Gherkin. The set was a great prep for Kemuri and showcased Dan, AJ, and company at their finest. It’s always great to look out and see nothing but smiling faces in a crowd.
Kemuri. It’s possible that I may have gotten so overwhelmed with this band that my review of the show may be a bit clouded. This was my first time seeing the famed Japanese septet, but not without desire. The last time Kemuri played in SF I was a struggling 12 year old kid, mail-ordering to AMR, Hopeless, Epitaph and others trying to find something I could believe in. This has been a band that ranks up there with Less Than Jake, Blue Meanies, and others, in terms of THAT formative ska/punk band, Shoot vs. dance – that is always the question. Thankfully, with a healthy crowd, I was able to squeeze both in. The band played some amazing favorites like “Ato-Ichinen”, “New Generation”, and one of my all-time favorites “PMA”. It was one of those shows where my legs were sore the next day from too much dancing! Not only does the band rock the house, but all the members are some of the nicest musicians I have ever met. A real class act. Maintain a “Positive Mental Attitude”. Always and forever.
Thanks to Mike, Fumio, Bottom of the Hill, and everyone who came out to celebrate an absolutely incredible night of ska/punk, horns, smiles, and Japanese Invasion!!!
Have a look at all the photos from the night’s festivities below.
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