Le Poisson Rouge
February 17, 2009
Written by Austin Rodrigues
Photo Courtesy of
Fujiya & Miyagi
I be dancing? This was the question I kept asking
myself throughout Fujiya & Miyagi's entire set
at Le Poisson Rouge last night. A recipe created
with the band's low energy mixed with a dubious
crowd and a lumpy play list, baked the show so it
never reached its full potential.
This was my first time seeing Fujiya & Miyagi
live, having only heard a handful of songs on their
page previously. I was outside smoking before the
show, where I caught a snippet of conversation between
the lead singer (David Best, aka Miyagi) and a fellow
concert-goer. He said something to the effect of
"Well, this is New York, so it means more when
you play here. You really want to make sure you
put up a good set." That being said, if that
show was the most they could give, they should really
work on their live stuff.
There was nothing wrong with the show, per se. Having
listened to their songs a couple times before hearing
them live, I was really excited when they played
a song I knew. Their beats are groovy, their flow
is fun and their songs are sexy, but their show
was just "pleasant." In New York, that's
One definite plus to F&M, is that they have
sort of an uncanny ability to fuse a bunch of things
into one and pull it off. The drums feel like straight
up rock and roll, the bass feels like a James Brown
groove, the lead guitar reminded me of Michael J.
Fox in the last scene of Back to the Future,
and the synths, beats and programming sound like
an electronic indie band. The vocals are
really only there to serve the music. The lyrics
range from "look inside your encyclopedia"
to "toe bone connected to the ankle bone connected
to the shin bone". While the lyrics may not
be the most profound, the whispery tone in which
they're sung leads to the overall sensuality of
There were a couple of moments that Best and Steve
Lewis (Fujiya), the band's beats man, shared with
each other - a back and forth dance kind of thing
that was really cool. It made me want to get into
it more, and started to answer my question...that
Yes, maybe I should be dancing. But these moments
were few and far between.
My favorite song of the night was "Cassettesingle."
The studio version doesn't sound as funky, but the
live performance really had the crowd feeling good.
This was the only song that changed the expression
on the sound guy's face. I think I even saw him
bop his head a little.
The next song "Pterodactyls" kept the
build up going. The main lyrics to this one were
"Oh" and "Ah", and the closing
lyrics were "inch by inch". This one made
me wish the hot twins from the opening act (School
of Seven Bells) were around to dance with me.
A couple songs later, they started to lose it. People
got bored and the crowd started thinning. Okay...so...maybe
I shouldn't be dancing and I should be exiting instead?
My overall assessment is that I like Fujiya &
Miyagi. They remind me of Royksopp,
and I could see their music ending up in the next
Geico ad campaign. With a little more energy, maybe
they could pump up a crowd like Hot
Chip could, and I'd know I should be dancing.
So my assignment was to write
on Fujiya & Miyagi, but it must be said that
the opening act, School
of Seven Bells, was fu*king awesome! Their sound
totally filled the venue with a real unique style.
If you get a chance check them out. Especially if
you are a heterosexual male or a homosexual woman.
Twins! Gorgeous gorgeous twins.