Friday, October 14, 2011

Cibo Matto: Reunited And It Tastes So Good

Putting the mmmmm in matto. Photo by Valentine.

After a 10-year hiatus, NYC’s delicious downtown duo Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda take Japan Society’s stage for the first time ever as the iconic band Cibo Matto on October 20.

"Japan Society has long been an important bridge between Japanese culture and the American audience,” the twosome told us. “We are very excited to play here".

Their style has been described as sharp, whimsical, and irreverent, with lyrics that buoy a vibrant spectrum of sounds influenced by hip-hop, trip-hop, jazz, rock, pop and African and Brazilian beats.

We are known as the band that sings about food,” Honda told MTV’s “House of Style” in the mid-90s . In fact, the phrase cibo matto is Italian for “crazy food” or “food madness”. The pudding proof of their moniker is in a smorgasbord of songs, from the sweetly smooth grooves of “Sugar Water” and tug-and-pull funk of “Beef Jerky”, to the avant spice of “Sci-Fi Wasabi” and the wack-a-doodle-doo-wop of “I Know My Chick”.

In addition to classics their set will be peppered with new, never-before-heard songs from their forthcoming reunion album, which NPR teased when the band began their tour this summer. An exciting roster of guest stars at the Japan Society concert includes Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Yuko Araki, bassist Jesse Murphy, instrumentalist Doug Wieselman and vocalist Jared Geller.

Opening for the band, silky-voiced J-pop sensation Yu Sakai marks his international debut. The Tokyo native keyboardist/singer-songwriter broke out in 2009 and won iTunes’ 2010 Best J-Pop Album of the year award with his debut album, Only Yu. His music is a blend of R&B beats, jazz-fused J-Pop melodies, self-mixed instrumentation and multi-layered vocals.

In what has been called a one-night-only music mashup of downtown New York and modish Shibuya, the concert is Cibo Matto’s first headlining NYC show since their highly acclaimed, sold-out Bowery Ballroom set in July and is the band’s only currently scheduled East Coast show.

CIBO MATTO and YU SAKAI: J-Music Ride takes place Thursday, October 20 at 8:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm, and there is a cash bar open before and after the show, and during intermission. Tickets are $25/$20 Japan Society members and may be purchased by calling the Japan Society box office at 212-715-1258, visiting, or in person at the Japan Society box office.

--Shannon Jowett

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