Song of the Day: “I Am a Tiger” by MOSHIMO

In September, I went to a music festival in the heart of Tokyo called TOKYO CALLING. Over 300(!!!) groups performed over the three-day festival, many with no more than a dozen people in the audience. Here are some songs from my favorite performances I saw there. 

MOSHIMO was one of the bands I went to in order to kill some time. You know, when you go to a festival and there’s an hour between bands you actually want to see, so you stop off by one you’ve maybe vaguely heard of. Moshimo was one of those bands for me. I’d heard a song off of a youtube recommendation, maybe, but that’s about as far as my fandom went. They hadn’t really clicked for me. That changed after seeing them live. As soon as they came on stage, I was hooked. For starters, their sound check song was Shots by LMFAO, and if you can get a crowd of 500 Japanese indie-rock fans screaming “Shots” at 1 pm on a Monday, you’ve already earned a “great live band” designation from me.

The show that followed lived up to the expectations set by the sound check. Moshimo played Loud, high energy rock that effortlessly bounced between heavy and poppy and was a delight to listen to. Their music has an addictive flow to it, and I found myself smiling as they seamlessly jumped from verse to chorus to solo without a breath between. They also showed good humor at technical difficulties, air-guitaring when a guitar had to be replaced due to malfunction. They closed with a pair of bangers that have become regular listens for me whenever I’m in the mood for some up-beat rock.

This song was the second to last they played, and it was probably my favorite performed live. The heavier moments, while lackluster in the studio version, hit harder during the live performance, and they added moments of audience participation that were charming and added to the experience. The title of this song, 吾輩は虎である(I am a tiger) is a play on the title of a famous book by Natsume Soseki, one of the best regarded Japanese authors of all time, called 吾輩は猫である(I am a cat). Despite its literary origins, the song is actually fairly mundane and silly. Here, I’ll translate the first bit to illustrate this:

吾輩は虎である I am a tiger
鋭い牙もある with sharp fangs
かわいい猫ガール but I’m not some kind of
そうなんじゃないけど cute cat girl

Still, it’s a fun little song, especially if you can get over the shrillness of the singer’s voice. I’m glad I decided to attend this performance, because it really warmed me up to the band.

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