Last Night: Asobi Seksu at Hailey's

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Asobi Seksu, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, This Old House
Hailey's Club, Denton
September 27, 2009

Better than: poetry you can understand.

Brooklyn-based and Japanese-inspired indie rock group Asobi Seksu played a few songs for a more-than-silent crowd of sophisticated couples and flannel-wearing men at Hailey's on Sunday night.

But the quiet atmosphere and lack of severe and sweaty head-banging probably had more to do with it being a Sunday night than a lack of musical talent.

The audience's vocal and physical participation was probably, in part, also decreased due to a stunned fascination with leader singer Yuki Chikudate's haunting and high-pitched voice.

Obviously talented and unique, mixing fast-paced beats with techno sounds, tambourines and a soothing voice, Asobi Seksu did have some technical difficulties towards the beginning of its show, though. It's OK to blame the sound technician.

As the band paused for a moment to tamper with its onstage sound equipment, the musical flow of the night was interrupted and an awkward silence ensued until the glitches were taken care of. This doesn't mean the evening wasn't free of random screeches coming from the microphones and speakers, though. Again, it's OK to blame the technician.

The silent-but-mesmerized crowd members forgave and forgot the problems, though, staying glued to their spots, taking in the rhythm and energy of the band. Although small, the audience was diverse, including a dedicated young couple who drove all the way from Louisiana, and a Japanese couple from Dallas who had never heard of the band until they'd searched for new and eclectic music online.

And with sharp body movements, flickering white strobe lights and twinkling blue light bulbs, the band pumped out songs such as "Thursday" and "Strawberries," a song Chikudate sang in Japanese.

The band projected simple but poetic lyrics soothing to the soul. It does have to be said, however, that there must have been more technical difficulties than just the random microphone screeches. The bass and drums were too overbearing.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:

By The Way: Denton locals, This Old House and Matthew and the Arrogant Sea joined Asobi Seksu on Sunday evening. Not my lyrical cup of tea, though; if you like jazzy instrumentals and songs about Elvis Presley, purple balloons and aliens, these may be the bands for you.

Random Note: Asobi Seksu means "casual sex" in Japanese.

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