Flower Travellin’ Band & Japrock: An Appreciation

So you don’t need to hear me say this again (because I’m sure it gets tedious) but I’ve been insanely busy. The new issue. The book. The 15th anniversary coming up. On top of it, my bestest buddy Garth came to town for the weekend and I was schlepping him around and Atlanta was lucky to get all the runoff from Gonerfest this last week (I got to see Tyvek, Psychedelic Horseshit, Eat Skull, Black Time and Vivian Girls in the course of 3 days!).

But I’ve been plowing through a stack of unwatched DVDs (I just finished the HBO series about John Adams which I strongly recommend for fellow history nerds) and a mountain of books as well.

One book that has more than kept me consumed here and there is Japrocksampler by Julian Cope. As many will remember, his book Krautrocksampler is an indispensible and enthusiastic study on music from Germany from the 60’s through the 70’s. Mr. Cope’s newest book is more of the same. However, whereas before I had a pretty solid knowledge of Can, Neu!, Faust and the lesser known K-rock bands like Witthüser & Westrupp and the Cosmic Jokers, from page 1 in Japrocksampler, I felt like I was being schooled in an as of yet discovered permutation of psych/noise rock that has eluded me. That is, until now….

The band that has stood out in the book has to be the Flower Travellin’ Band. You can read an in depth story here. What has always enamored me about Japanese rock is their ability to take an artform from the west and put it through a blender and bring it out the other end more extreme than anybody else. Give this video a listen. I think you’ll dig it. Rumor has it that they’ve reunited this year. Anybody got news on this?

As with with Julian Cope’s other books, I couldn’t reccommend this book more strongly. And while I’m at it, does anybody have a spare copy of Krautrocksampler? I  gave Jerry Fuchs my copy about 8 years ago. Stupid. Stupid Stupid.