Asobi Seksu, 6.1.06, Joe's Pub
by Charlotte Deaver
Asobi Seksu surprised the hell out of me at their record-release party for their second CD, Citrus, at Joe's Pub. Lead singer Yuki Chikudate sings her ass off, but in a way I wasn't expecting. On many songs she sounds very much like an Asian pop singer (she is, in fact, Japanese-American, and the band is Brooklyn-based), but at a deeper listening of the record and at Thursday's live performance I heard vocal registers and textures other than the high, girly, airy and swooping voices typical of many asian female pop singers.
When Yuki throws her head around (her long black hair flying into the lights) and rocks her slight, lean frame against her keyboard, you know you're in the presence of one poised and forceful performer. And along with those striking vocals, the band plays loud, hard, driving, yet also potentially intricate rock and roll. Their performance was spot-on, clean and very loud (I had never heard really loud, raucous music at Joe's Pub before!), and the band has a new fan in me. I also love their name, Asobi Seksu, which is made up of two Japanese words: asobi = fun, or playful, and seksu = sex, i.e. the act. Yes. Playful sex. Sounds great. And indeed they do.
I still have no camera, and I couldn't find any pictures on the web of the band's performance that night, but you can see photos and stream the new CD at their website and at My Space.
Listen to the single:Thursday (mp3).
Read reviews of the CD at OneLouder, Crackers United, and Stereoactivenyc.