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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Across the Pacific Pedal Boards

posted by on November 29 at 12:55 PM

wig2.JPGPedal boards are the place where effects are mounted, linked up, and hooked up. Musicians achieve their unique sound by mixing and matching certain pedals. For guitar players and bass players, the pedal board is their lab. They stomp, dial, and modify their way to the sound they want. Its like fighter jets out at sea. The pedal board is the aircraft carrier where they land.

Here are two aircraft carrier sized pedal boards from the Tokyo band, Avengers in Sci-Fi. Two pedal boards. Thirty six pedals. The pedal boards were actual doors they had unhinged:

Tokyo has an epidemic of sound. Speakers are everywhere. 14,000 people per square mile. I was recently there to play shows and took some notes here. Video too:

More pictures after jump:

We got to play with a two-piece band from Osaka called Oak. They are instrumental drums-and-bass. The bassist tweaks and glitches layers of delay from a mixer onstage. Their sound is scenic and frenzied (dnb Mogwai), with the songs connected by moments of aquatic stasis. Messing with the drums live is something not enough people do. I think they had a mic placed behind the drummer to grab his drums. Can you say feedback problems? But they had none. They are masters. I know nothing.


The drummer in Oak is Naoki Hirai. He and bassist Kaoru-san play in another Japanese band called Boom Boom Satellites.










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Agata from Melt Banana calls these sort of Japanese pedal-board guys "pedal junkies". I envision 5"x3" holes in their chests where they mainline the latest hot pedal, somewhat along the lines of "Tetsuo, the Iron Man"

Posted by Ross | November 29, 2007 2:18 PM

Hey Ross. Gear junkies. Yes. Input directly to the brain. Matrix like. I wish Oak had some music online. I can't seem to find any. They are so good. Big love for Oak, I have.

Posted by trent moorman | November 29, 2007 2:30 PM

Please tell me you got that wig.

Posted by Daisy | November 29, 2007 3:16 PM

Trent - great story & pics & vid & wig. Complete piece, man. It makes me want to go over there. I don't know about the octopus though. Oak sounds f+ing cool. You brought a disc home, right?

Posted by Troy | November 29, 2007 3:33 PM

great shit trent...looks like it was mad fucking cool. you are a golden god

Posted by dan | November 29, 2007 3:36 PM

Ambassador Trent. I have been trying to get my drums to sound Quadrophenia for years.

I went to Scarecrow the other day. I thought that was Kurt. A ha.

Posted by Spence | November 29, 2007 3:53 PM

I want Oak's mixer. Love the spread, Trent. What was the octopus like? You ate that whole thing? With that tube sticking out of the top?

Posted by Anna | November 29, 2007 4:12 PM

Yeah, those pedalboards are flat out ri-cock-ulous.

The jawa-hop small world song in the vid is THE BEST.

Don't hate the octopus. That's probably tofu. They do amazing things over there with tofu.

Posted by Bleez | November 29, 2007 4:29 PM

The octopus was real. I kept thinking 'esophagus', which made it taste animally. Then esophagus made me think sarcophagus. I've had octopus on sushi which is fine, I guess. But the 'here's your octopus on a plate, the entire octopus', makes it less appetizing.

Yes, I have an Oak cd. Been listening heavily. There's gotta be some Oak to get online.

Posted by trent moorman | November 29, 2007 5:48 PM

super power. great post, that's the coolest wig i've ever seen.

Posted by rice crispy treat | November 29, 2007 5:49 PM

damn i was just thinking of you -

we're moving forward on an atlanta picture with
deerhunter and the black lips.

here's a blurb from pitchfork.

Glad you had fun in Tokyo - a trip like that makes me
envious in the right way - wish I could have been along for the ride - and I guess we were.

Posted by Bill Cody | November 29, 2007 6:09 PM

Thanks for taking me to Tokyo, You could do a lot for world humor. Music journalism at it's best Maybe the USA should make you our ambassador. Kudos to the "Stranger" for your blog and great article on Wed. You should have used more of the great shots! Tante

Posted by Tante | November 30, 2007 7:42 AM

Trent - Great job with all this. Really liked it. Kurt at Scarecrow, unexpected. Somehow I knew he was there all along.

Posted by Karen S. | November 30, 2007 2:03 PM

Hi! I can't post messagte here...

Posted by Haittersinign | December 12, 2007 7:47 AM

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