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  • Asobi Seksu Announce US 2009 Spring Tour

    Asobi Seksu Announce US 2009 Spring Tour
    Release Debut Single “Familiar Light” From Upcoming Latest And Greatest LP
    Hush Out Feb 17th On Polyvinyl Records

    asobi seksu

     European & US 2009 Dates

    Feb 08 Southampton, UK @ The Talking Heads
    Feb 09 London, UK @ Islington Academy (NME Awards w/Howling Bells)
    Feb 10 Manchester, UK @ Roadhouse
    Feb 11 Dublin, IE @ Crawdaddy
    Feb 13 Belfast, UK @ Speakeasy
    Feb 14 Glasgow, UK @ ABC2
    Feb 15 Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny
    Feb 16 Leeds, UK @ Faversham
    Feb 18 Birmingham, UK @ Barfly (Dragon)
    Feb 19 London, UK @ ICA
    Feb 20 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
    Feb 21 Paris, FR @ Fleche d’Or
    Feb 22 Brussels, BE @ Rotonde
    Feb 24 Muenster, DE @ Gleiss 22
    Feb 25 Berlin, DE @ Magnet
    Mar 02 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
    Mar 03 Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo
    Mar 04 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
    Mar 05 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
    Mar 06 Bloomington, IL @ Illinois Wesleyan U.-Young
    Mar 07 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
    Mar 10 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
    Mar 11 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
    Mar 13 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
    Mar 14 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubador
    Mar 15 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
    Mar 19 Austin, TX @ SXSW
    Mar 20 Austin, TX @ SXSW
    Mar 21 Austin, TX @ SXSW
    Mar 22 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
    Mar 23 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
    Mar 24 Memphis, TN @ Young Avenue Deli
    Mar 25 Atlanta, GA @ Eyedrum
    Mar 26 Chapel HIll, NC @ Local 506
    Mar 28 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
    Mar 29 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
    Apr 02 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

    While Asobi Seksu’s creative core explored music at an early age (lead vocalist/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate got standing ovations at child prodigy recitals when she was just 8; guitarist/vocalist James Hanna bounced between sludgy hardcore and Mogwai-schooled post-rock in his teens), their potential ‘career’ wasn’t put into perspective until a stint at the Manhattan School of Music. And by put into perspective, we mean finding out what they didn’t want to do.

    “It was good to have something musical to do all day, since most of my bands were like, ‘Yeah, maybe we’ll practice on Saturday or something,'” explains Hanna. “Playing someone else’s music all the time seemed robotic after a while, though.”

    “It was a miracle I graduated at all,” adds Yuki. “I love playing the piano, but three hours of it—breaking it down, measure by measure, note by note—makes my mind go numb.”

    Soon after escaping the joyless world of sheet music and classical composition, Hanna began tackling dreamy-but-disorienting soundscapes for the first time. He quickly shifted his focus from singing to starry-eyed chords, however, with Yuki falling into the frontwoman position without missing a beat. The problem was trying to be an actual band, as in a fully functioning quartet that tours and records together. Asobi Seksu 1.0 lasted between 2004’s self-titled, learn-as-we-go-along debut and the spring of 2005. Hanna and Chikudate gave it a go with another bassist and drummer for their critically-acclaimed breakthrough, 2006’s Citrus LP, but it didn’t take long to realize that lineup was doomed as well.

    Which leads us to the frustration that fueled the making of Hush, the group’s third LP and Polyvinyl debut. As Hanna admits, Asobi Seksu “was starting to get somewhere” post-Citrus, but they couldn’t ride a cresting wave of hype after a debilitating cycle of touring and personnel changes.

    “Hush was written while we felt destroyed,” explains Hanna, quite simply. Which is funny, because the entire record has a phoenix rising vibe to it—a clear sense of shimmering, dew-draped riffs and spiral staircase melodies that are occasionally blurred by bits of guitar violence and sputtering drums (see the firework finale climax of “Me & Mary” and the liftoff portions of “Sing Tomorrows Praise” and “Glacially”).

    “We knew we didn’t want to do 7,000 reverb guitars this time,” says Hanna, “So we stripped the sound down and built it back up from there.”

    Another thing Asobi Seksu’s avoided is sheer shoegaze-pop revivalism. While they listen to a lot of into-the-ether music—hence their tickets to both of My Bloody Valentine’s reunion gigs—Hanna and Chikudate are too obsessed with the expansive possibilities of sound to explore one well-treaded path.

    “Every shoegaze song is the same rhythmically,” says Hanna, explaining that he’d be terribly bored if he followed that template.

    “Their parts don’t propel into other parts,” adds Chikudate. “Us, we meander a little more, so it’s not just one big wall of noise.”

    Wall of noise? “Layers,” for one, is downright gorgeous, suggesting an afternoon spent in a gently-shaken snow globe. And then there are the clusters of ambient Eno effects that close Hush’s Technicolor curtain. That’s what happens when you learn how to use space and dynamics to your advantage, skirting what some might refer to as “Kevin Shields syndrome.”

    “I’ve realized that while something might sound awesome in my head,” explains Hanna, “Adding 50 layers to it might make it sound like shit because you lose a lot of the details. Some parts have only one guitar this time.

    He pauses and adds with a smile, “We agonized over that guitar, though.”

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