From KCRW DJ Eric J Lawrence:
Band reunions happen for a variety of reasons: new-found inspiration, nostalgia, boredom, a quick cash-grab, etc.
Some are begged for by fans, with mixed results (Pavement’s live return was a pleasant, if fleeting treat, but I’m willing to wager my first-born that a Smiths’ reunion will never happen, no matter how much money they’re offered).
In general, I find the best ones are those that are the least expected.
Since hearing of the return of Cibo Matto — the food-obsessed, avant-pop duo of Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori — anticipation amongst music fans has quickly been growing. And when you think about it, it sounds like a brilliant and most-welcome idea!
Although fondly remembered for their two dynamic albums and assorted singles back in the late 90s, both members have been very active in other projects in the intervening decade: Honda working with Plastic Ono Band and her husband Nels Cline, and Hatori with Smokey Hormel (with their bossa nova-flavored project, Smokey & Miho) and Gorillaz, as well as on solo albums from both members.
Another reason why this particular reunion inspires good feelings is that it is in part inspired by their desire to help their homeland of Japan in the wake of its recent earthquake disaster. But although their initial performances have been in the context of Japan benefit concerts, they have been so reinvigorated that they will embark on a short tour, with a new album due early next year as well.
Locally, they will perform at the Hollywood Bowl, along with another unexpected, but equally pleasing appearance from Yellow Magic Orchestra (more on them in a future blog post), for the first of this year’s KCRW World Festival series of Bowl concerts.
The Sunday, June 26 show — which I will be hosting — will also feature fellow Japanese artists Buffalo Daughter, DJ Towa Tei, traditional Japanese dance and music exhibitions, and some very special guests.
Reuniting never felt so good!
ERIC J. LAWRENCE
Editor’s Note: Eric J will be participating in the annual Asia in LA event at UCLA. He’ll be on a panel entitled “Crossovers and Hybrids: Asia, LA and Music Today” THIS Saturday, May 21 at 4pm. Find out more and RSVP here.