Selected by Dan Grunebaum

mogwai.jpg (17868 bytes)



Less than a year after energizing festival goers at last summer' Fuji Rock extravaganza, latter-day art-rock hopefuls, Scotland's Mogwai, return to Japan with a brand new album, Rock Action. In an increasingly common strategy for bands touring Japan, the album's release date of Apr 23 is being timed to coincide with their Tokyo gig.

Formed by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite and bassist Dominic Aitchison in Glasgow in 1995, Mogwai were soon being salivated over by the ever-breathless British rock press. Early singles, "Summer" and "New Paths to Helicon" saw them being hailed as a welcome antidote to the brutish posturing of Oasis et al, with NME calling them "shamelessly avant-garde," Q terming them "bold and frequently beautiful," and The Wire stating, "Though they're high on punk rock attitude, Glaswegian group Mogwai is a subdued affair, with moments of graceful beauty nestled inside gathering stormclouds."

With former Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare as temporary member, Mogwai released their official debut album, Young Team (Jetset), in 1997. In its extended guitar improvisations and overdubs of a girl saying, "If someone said that Mogwai are the stars I would not object. If the stars had a sound it would sound like this," the album brazenly flaunted their lofty ambitions. But the group also won the respect of their peers, with Stephen Malkmus formerly of Pavement terming them, "the best band of the 21st century," and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth also championing their cause.

After releasing the two-disc remix collection Kicking a Dead Pig and the EP No Education No Future (Fuck the Curfew) in 1998, Mogwai returned in 1999 with their next studio album, Come On Die Young on their new label, Chemikal.

According to Mogwai's website, their forthcoming album, Rock Action is, "by far the most ambitious set of recordings that Mogwai have ever done," and features Gruff from the Super Furry Animals contributing vocals on the song, "dial:revenge."

Mogwai play Akasaka Blitz on Apr 25.
See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana