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Miss you Mary - 15 years.
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chemistry set
chemistry set
20 posts

Re: Miss you Mary - 15 years.


This whole record is great, but also this:

I was fortunate enough one night to see Stereolab in Fukuoka, Japan. Based on the size and saturation of the venue, I would guess there were maybe 800 people in the audience. About one third were non-Japanese.

Being from the US I am habituated to people who typically communicate and emote without much subtlety or nuance. Japanese culture is rife with both. It seemed to me that the non-Japanese in the crowd were very spirited (perhaps also fortified with spirits) and boisterous almost to the point of being outright obnoxious at times. Their energy, a bit reminiscent of a college frat party, seemed somewhat misplaced at a Stereolab show. On the other hand, maybe I'm just a curmudgeon.

The groop, for their part, were churning through their repertoire with vigor. I can't find the set list online, but my impression years later is that they were leaning heavily on the staples which I ascribe to the fact that I don't think they'd toured in that part of Japan previously. The performance was very enjoyable.

In contrast, the Japanese part of the audience was very subdued and even evinced a bit of boredom. I had the impression that their applause was soft between songs, and they were definitely quieter than the non-Japanese despite their superiority in numbers. They seemed befuddled those few times that Laetitia and Mary spoke to the crowd, which was of course in English.

All of this gave the show a very weird vibe.

However, after the encore, Mary said "arigato" at which point the Japanese in the crowd positively erupted. Finally completely lit, their sense of enjoyment and appreciation was fully palpable.

Anyway, the reason this narrative, with its trite cultural observations, sort of cemented in my head and I'm writing about it now is that as the show took place in March 2002, this would be that last time I saw Mary as part of the groop. For me, Stereolab without Mary never even approached Stereolab with Mary.

Dec 12, 2017, 16:21