Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fujiya & Miyagi--The Empty Bottle, Chicago, Illinois

We hit up the Empty Bottle on Friday to check out British alternative group Fujiya & Miyagi. I'm glad it didn't take them too long to return to Chicago. They were on the smaller stage this summer at Pitchfork and I wanted to see them but couldn't because of a scheduling conflict with Battles. First up was opening act Dirty on Purpose who were pretty much terrible by accident. Such irony.

Behind Schubas, the Empty Bottle might be my favorite venue in Chicago. The location isn't great but everything else is. There's a black cat that guards the door and sells merchandise. Old Style's are only $2 (on Saturday I paid $5 for one on Clark St. during the Cubs game, but hey, at least they.......oh wait...nevermind). Other drinks are relatively cheap, too. The stage is set in the corner at an angle to the crowd. We scouted out a place about 15 feet from the stage that was elevated. This place might be the perfect venue for anyone who is 5'5 or below. And, the sound is really good. I would say it's the best example of a rock club in Chicago.

In Chicago, the "Old Style" sign is usually a pretty good indicator that you're at a decent place.

Rogue Dead Guy is both a beer on the menu and what the Empty Bottle men's room smells like.

Fujiya Miyagi....Fujiya Miyagi.....Fujiya Miyagi.....Fujiya Miyagi......

Fujiya & Miyagi came out and opened with "Ankle Injuries". Any confusion as to the band's name is pretty much cleared up in that song. They named their band after a brand-name record player and Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. Why? Why not. It does make you feel good that even people in England appreciate The Karate Kid doesn't it? Their music is kind of a funky electronica/rock sound. Lots of people dancing, and lots of people doing the less-secure flat-footed stand while bopping their head back and forth.

Immediately after the show this cat headed over to Wrigley Field.

Lead singer David Best was anchoring the band and playing guitar in a sort of fashion that reminded me of Britt Daniel. During "Photocopier" they name-dropped Chicago which the crowd ate up. After playing for a little over an hour, they left the stage, came back for a brief encore and the show was over. They're the type of band that you could enjoy live even if you haven't heard their album or any of their songs. The show was good. The tamales we bought afterward from some guy on the street were not.

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