get moist!

01Oct09

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Wednesday night I headed to The Tranzac to catch Japanese/Canadian hybrid The Moist Towelettes play an adorable and sincere set of j-pop that was so bubblegum sweet it practically gave me a tooth ache. After an hour and a half of choreographed dance numbers, costume changes and catchy songs that sound like they belong on Sesame Street, you could say I was smitten with this campy but CUTE group.

Toronto camp rockers, The Sweat, opened for the Moist Towelettes, playing to a room mostly full of friends and family. Think back-to-basics classic rock, ridden with rugged guitar riffs and crudely funny lyrics. The sunglasses-sporting four-piece didn’t take itself so seriously. In fact, it seemed like they were all in on a joke, as the drummer laughed as the lead singer growled out lyrics like “Toaster dick.”

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I didn’t think the evening could possibly get more kitschy, until I saw Dave from The Moist Towelettes set up his KEYTAR.

The four piece’s history is quite the musical love story. Japanese girls (Emi and Yuko) meet Canadian boys (Dave and Mike), form a band in Tokyo, and play unashamedly sweet and seriously catchy pop music.

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Clad in matching plaid outfits with fuzzy bracelets and plastic swords, Emi and Yuko were cute. As the stage was set (and strewn with pastel pink balloons), the girls handed out colourful lollipops to seated audience members. By the time Emi and Yuko grabbed their microphones, fittingly decorated with pink fur, I felt more like I was at a slumber party then a show.

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Between shouts of “Get Moist!” and synchronized dance moves, the girls waved, giggled and grinned. Their unabashed enthusiasm was as infectious as their music… which would be borderline absurd, if it wasn’t so charming and catchy. Think Sesame Street meets the Beach Boys meets Nintendo. Plus lyrics sung in Japanese and English that will make you go “awww.”

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Only Emi and Yuko could make the band’s mantra “ “Konya mo issho ni, utatte, odotte, get moist!” which translates to “Tonight, all together, let’s sing, dance, and get moist!” seem darling and not borderline inappropriate. Other highlights included an energetic rendition of “Rock N Roll Boyfriend” with synchronized air guitars to boot and the catchy Spice Girls-inspired “Girl Revolution.”

I picked up their latest (and first) LP, aptly titled “Get Moist!” on my way out. The cd itself is bright pink with illustrations by one of the band’s own. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever listen to this music again. So, why did I buy a cd? Let’s blame that one on the sugar rush. I just couldn’t say no to the bizarre, adorable sweetness that is The Moist Towelettes.

Catch the Moist Towelettes spread their, er, moistness to our French-speaking neighbour as they play Pop Montreal next.

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