Friday, March 20, 2015

When Puffy Turns 20: Thoughts, Hopes & Fears

Puffy’s twentieth anniversary is coming up next year, which for American bands would be a noteable achievement.  For a Japanese act?  Outstanding, especially since bands in Japan quit at the drop of a hat, cynically repeat quitting  or never gain traction and dissolve.   Examples of this are Judy & Mary, Murasaki and PuppyPet respectively.

Chatter on Ami’s feed has briefly mentioned her and Yumi’s twentieth anniversary as a duo, which got me to thinking:

What do I want from Puffy for their twentieth anniversary?

A live album from the tour.  This would be on the scale of Judy And Mary’s Warp Tour Final, but tack on another ten songs to seal its awesomeness.  So think a double cd, if not a triple.

A bluray or DVD of the tour’s final concert.  Lots of extras with making of, behind the scenes, alternate camera angles, commentary.  Ideally this would be a bonus or mega set with the CD version of the concert.

US Tour dates.  Honestly I think this is incredibly unlikely unless they partner up with Comicon or another act that they can partner with (Shonen Knife would be a fine example).

A new album.  This want fills me with trepidation.  Are we going to get something really good like Sweet Drops or something awful like Himitsuno Gimmy Cat Ufufu Hontouyo?  Much as I think Rolly is talented (his cover of Talalan is really great for example) and creative, what he passes off as music sometimes is not good.   The only thing that gives me hope is Thank You took a while to release and it was quite good, so hopefully Ami and Yumi are striving for perfection and that is why we have seen nothing for the better part of four years.

An ambitious tour.  I am not talking about number of dates alone, I am talking venues.  A few scenarios here for the final tour concert.  Some are probable, good and limited.  The others increasingly unlikely, bad and awesome.  The first scenario is they play Hibiya Yagai Daiongakudo and interest in their concerts is about the same.  The second scenario is Nippon Budokan which could come about if there is good press and interest in Puffy’s Anniversary.  The last scenario is Tokyo Dome, which would probably require Puffy coming back to form and there being tremendous interest in this final tour stop.

The first scenario is premised by previous final tour stops and Hibiya Yagai Daiongakudo (capacity 3100) seems like a venue that they can fill and it’s a good one for filming.  The underlying premise is if it is really business as usual for Puffy, they will continue on as a duo.

The second scenario, Nippon Budokan (capacity 14000) is prefaced by the fact that I think there has to be a lot more interest in Puffy than we see now.  I think sentimentality and celebrating a long and successful career might be enough to push a twentieth anniversary up to this venue.  Having been there, it really is a neat place and Puffy has also played at Nippon Budokan.

My visit to Nippon Budokan 2013. It is a cool venue.
The last scenario is Tokyo Dome.  Ami and Yumi via an interview have stated they’d rather watch a concert there than play one as it is too big.  But I am thinking big here, so bear with me.  The ground swell for a 20th anniversary concert would have to come about from interest in the band coming to or exceeding Puffy-mania levels last seen in their first three albums.  Sadly the only way I can see a concert at Tokyo Dome happening is if Puffy announces their end at the twenty year mark.  I could also see Nippon Budokan playing out in a similar scenario.

Anyways, these final concerts playing out would be three potential wants based on what Puffy wants to do after twenty years.    If Puffy must go, they should do it in style, do it huge and leave a mark.

Ultimately what I want is for Ami and Yumi to be happy, productive and together because they are something special and singualrly or more accurately dually...unique.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Puffy In Studio?

A very interesting picture cam across Ami's Instagram account yesterday.  To sum up, it looks like she is in studio and holding a microphone.  I tried not getting too excited, but the potential of Ami and Yumi doing album work would be welcome news.

From the rough translation though... it is more likely this is a rehearsal for the Billboard Live show.

Sorry for the tease, but team Puffy is not giving me a ton to work with.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Puffy To Play Tropical Lover's Beach Festa

Puffy continues to keep their hand in the game and last week they announced a concert at the Tropical Lovers Beach Festa on June 14th of this year.  The festival is on the island of Ishigaki which is at the tail end of Japan and closer to Taiwan than the main islands.  It looks like a really nice place to visit, but it is way off the beaten path too (which also has a certain charm).  The venue looks to be Ishigaki Fusaki Village which looks like a very pleasant resort.

The festival line up is: Puffy, Special Others Acoustic, Humbert Humbert and Tremolo.

My exposure to the other acts is exactly zero, so I am going to throw out there that Puffy is the headliner.  Assuming I am right, it is nice to see Puffy get a top bill, but by the same token it is at a very small festival on the edge of Japan.  Yet, as one of the readers on the blog has said previously, they are keeping their hand in the game so I'll take it.