When: Sat., Sept. 19, 9 p.m. 2015
Japanese two-piece rock ’n’ roll band Mugen Hoso aren’t as avant-garde as legendary countrymen like the Ruins, the Boredoms, or Melt Banana, but they take a similarly fractured approach to their music, leavening classic-rock moves with odd breaks, left turns, dead ends, and frank wackiness. The result is exhilarating, high-spirited bad-assery, displayed most recently on their stupendous 2015 EP North Carolina Shepherd Dog. The title track is a ZZ Top-esque boogie with a deadpan patriotic-sounding sing-along dumped right in the middle. “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” inspired by the Stones song more or less, comes across like the Kingsmen strapped to pogo sticks, with do-do-dos stolen from “Walk on the Wild Side.” A sort of cover of the Bay City Rollers’ “It’s Saturday Night” is built around trashy Cheap Trick guitar licks and multiple false endings. The album as a whole makes you imagine the band racing around the stage in amphetamine-fueled cheer, suffering occasional head trauma without ever ceasing to rawk. Their live performances don’t actually involve bumping into things, but short of that they couldn’t be much more fun. The Ramones’ spirit of cheesy cool—or cool cheese—may be hard to come by on these shores, but it’s alive and rocking in Japan.
Price: $10, $8 in advance