(First, a bit of admin: we’ve had some service interruption on Friday and it’s an ongoing issue, hopefully I’ll have time to resolve it this week.)
JAM PROJECT is coming to the United States of America.
I don’t really care for 90s arena rock music, but the essence of their burning soul is undeniably attractive. I own a few of their CDs but rarely will these albums make the trip to the mp3 player/cd changer/etc simply because it’s not easy listening.
Otakon purposefully tries to reel in different sorts of performers every year because I think they value the diversity that’s within the kind of “visual culture” context that Otakon works within. JAM Project, personally, embodies the heart and soul of a particular subculture of this visual culture nonsense that has been long neglected. Are there any other band that embodies the concept “anime” + “music” in greater perfection? It’s a little ironic but understandably so, that cons will invite pop rock artists and jrockers to perform, because they are just straight-up performers with little agendas otherwise. JAM Project, on the other hand, is much more purposeful, even if they are also just performers not unlike any other at the core.
JAM Project historically is a “supergroup” of ???. ??? as in a lot of people will have some problems make sense of them. Ichiro Mizuki is the original leader of the team, who sort of retired (part-time member status?) not too long ago during a lull of the group’s activity. And interestingly enough, JAM Project’s membership includes an international individual who’s known for his works in Brazil, Ricardo Cruz. The other folks currently a part of JAM Project rocks out anime-style. So you have a few old guys, a few young(er) folks, and a guy from Brazil as an associate. And they rock out and jump around like nuts! Okay…
Still, and again, ultimately JAM Project is true to its namesake–it’s about Japanese Animation songs. If you don’t know the shows they sing for you wouldn’t know who they are. The careers of the men and women of JAM Project is the precise marriage of the two (well, and also tokusatsu). What does it mean as a musician when the works you produce are just half of an interactive relationship? Is it really surprising that hot-blooded arena rock becomes the primary means of expression for them? It’s both why they’re so powerful as performers but also eternally relegated to a very niche audience. They are not a group or performers that we can easily pigeonhole into some kind of categorically familiar thing. JAM Project is its own, unique thing.
Personally, what makes JAM Project interesting is its international perspective. Of course for oversea fans their perception will vary depending how much old school pop anime they’ve swallowed, or if they happened to be a Masami Okui fan or something, but this world tour folds well into the recent effort for the anime industry to export and explore their cultural “cool” globally. Will Americans be too “cool” to receive them? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, it’s time to get prepared:
1. SKILL karaoke. Simply because it’s pretty awesome the first and second time I’ve done it, I should do this again. For it to be possible, I have to recruit a few helpers to scream along with me. Post or email (click on my name at the bottom of this post) if interested ;).
2. Get in shape. I’m going to jump around a lot. Well, if KOTOKO threw a show at the 1st Mariner Arena that’d be a good way to practice…