Who the HECK are the Japandroids????

Metro is a tiny concert hall on Clark Street in Chicago that holds special events to a variety of emerging rock bands and various types of musicians. The Metro was first opened up back in 1982. It holds about 1000 people. There’s the main floor and the balcony.

I have been to this place about a half a dozen times. There are some unique memories every time I go. I have seen artists such as Robert Pollard and Neko Case here. On Tuesday June 11th, I went here again with my sister and saw a band called Japandroids. I love the marquee and the Clark Street atmosphere we pass through as we approach the building.

But….Japandroids? Who are they? What is it?

It’s a Canadian rock duo from Vancouver. The group consists of two guys, Brian King (guitar, vocals) and David Prowse (drums, vocals). That’s it! The name Japandroids came from two other fake band name ideas: “Japanese Scream”, suggested David. “Pleasure Droids” , thought Brian. They decided to combine the name. There ya go!


They freakin rock out, plain and simple. Each song of theirs sounds like anthems about life, friends, drinking and freedom. They are fun to sing along to and dance to and even run to. This band makes a lot of sound for just two guys and this album they are promoting, “Celebration Rock” is great, upbeat and rocking. I fell in love with it so much that I dubbed it my album pick of the year 2012. (see an earlier post)

I stumbled upon them in the Spring of 2012 and found myself really getting hooked into their style. They may be the most fun band of the century so far. Screaming guitar hooks will rock your world. Rock on. They make jokes on stage and get the crowd going right away.

It was a hot and sweaty night at the Metro club. We sat upstairs in the small balcony, which is not easy to do. A waitress served us a couple of beers right away and so we were all set. We had to wait in line outside early in order to avoid standing on the floor all night and hurting my neck and back. I’m getting “too old” for that.

While we waited outside getting attacked by bugs and trying to cool off with a cold sprite in my hand, I see a tall guy with a five o clock shadow, curly hair, a white t shirt and skinny jeans walk by and I realize, hey that’s Brian. You know the lead singer/guitar player of Japandroids! That’s cool dude!

So it was a really explosive, sing a long and cheerful night of solid guitar riffs and Jon Bonham-esque drumming patterns that exploded like fireworks all over the stage!!! Although there were some comparisons to Lars Ulrich of Metallica jokes floating around that night too!

I recommend checking these 2 dudes out. If ya like The Replacements, Husker Du or even let’s say Dinosaur Jr. Bob Mould’s guitar styles tend to come to mind. Anyway, the light show, fog machine, the crowd surfers, the hot sweaty environment all made it a night worth rejoicing out loud and embracing life together, especially a brother and sister night out on the town.



Albums That Changed My Life (Revised and Final)


Here’s My Top 30

Tool…….Undertow (a freshman at Marmion named Matt Duve introduced me to the band)
Pink Floyd…….The Division Bell (last studio album….yet a profound moment)
Captain Beefheart…..Troutmask Replica (crazy, insane, genius!)
The Beatles…..Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (peak performance)
Neko Case……Blacklisted (this opened my mind to new sounds)
Smashing Pumpkins…..Siamese Dream (rocked out to this in high school and college)
Pearl Jam…….Ten (same as above)
Guided By Voices……Propeller (Robert Pollard at his finest)
Radiohead…….The Bends (Should have won a Grammy for this one)
John Coltrane……A Love Supreme (greatest jazz album to ever be recorded)
Nine Inch Nails…..The Downward Spiral (Trent Reznor was never better to this day!)
Tom Waits…..The Black Rider (I feel like I am going crazy when I hear this)
Led Zeppelin…….IV (First rock album my dad played for me)
Creedance Clearwater Revival…..Chronicles (all you need to listen to in the car)
Minutemen…..Double Nickels On The Dime (Mike Watt inspired so many artists with his amazing bass)
The Replacements……Let It Be (Minneapolis music rocks)
The Who…..The Who Sell Out (this record was their most original piece of work)
The Rolling Stones…..Let It Bleed (If I had to pick just one, this would be it)
The Flaming Lips…..Clouds Taste Metallic (Wayne and the gang never sounded better and weird….its all about zoo animals)
Jefferson Airplane…..Surrealistic Pillow (Perhaps the quintessential album of the 1960’s)
Metallica…..Kill Em All (I did math homework to this album almost every day in high school)
Beck……Odelay (This should be in everyone’s collection)
Five Year Jacket….Hell For An Empty Heart (I saw Kevin and the gang so many times…to this day I think “Undone” is one of the greatest songs ever written)
Beach Boys….Pet Sounds (Proof that Brian Wilson was probably the greatest composer of our times, he was ahead of the game on this one…and those harmonies….wow!)
Pink Floyd…..Dark Side Of The Moon (listen to it while watching the wizard of oz)
Butthole Surfers…..Locust Abortion Technician (No one has ever recorded an album quite as psychotic as this one)
Syd Barrett…….The Madcap Laughs (Totally weird and awkward but it was pure genius)
Monster Magnet…..Superjudge (The first album I was turned on to in college)
Type O Negative…..October Rust (The greatest album to be associated with the autumn season…and its’s about werewolves too)
And finally…….Mazzy Star…..She Hangs Brightly (Very hypnotic, dark, haunting and soothing)

So many albums… difficult to explain the why’s and the whats. I will say that Pink Floyd had a monumental influence in my life! I will also say that they were pioneers of music. Sight and Sound coming together so brilliantly. I chose those 2 albums because they represent communication breakdown, the need to keep it alive, life, money, social differences, and the wonder & awe of life’s miracles. The rest of the albums I chose all have their unique memories. If you want to know the stories, just ask!