“Japan Bashing” volumes 1-3
Just a quick note that the terrific Friendsound blog has posted the three 7-inch singles released by Public Bath back in the early 90s, Japan Bashing Volumes 1-3. These were the introduction, for many, to bands like UFO or Die, Omoide Hatoba, Hanadensha, Subvert Blaze, and so on. David Hopkins, who ran Public Bath with his then-wife Betsy, was instrumental in helping get some of the indie bands there recognized by U.S. listeners. Living in Osaka, David was particularly in touch with the Kansai underground and the Alchemy Records label in particular. He introduced me to Alchemy head honcho Jojo during a trip to San Francisco with Sekiri, around 1991 or so (when I interviewed Sekiri and Jojo for File 13 magazine). During my first trip to Japan the following year on tour with Torture Chorus, David was very helpful to us. He and Betsy really were key to the big groundwell in the 90s that brought over so many great bands to the U.S.
Check out the posting of these singles here. Volume 1 is sort of the Boredoms axis, with tracks from them, UFO or Die, Omoide Hatoba, and Hanadensha. It’s perhaps the chaotic-psych material. Volume 2 is the old-school stoner rock volume, with Subvert Blaze (“Butterfly” is a kickass song, no doubt about it) and Playmate. Neither of those bands made much of an impression here, but the drummer from Subvert Blaze went on to be a major player in the Osaka scene and drum teacher to many young players. Volume 3 is the noise single, with Hojokaidan, Solmania, Masonna, and Hanatarash (a bit of an oddity since Hanatarash were done by 1991 when this came out).