Archive for December, 2007


End of the year

December 15, 2007

Here’s an interesting milestone of sorts. KIOKU had its 20th performance on Friday and HAPPYFUNSMILE had its 30th performance on Wednesday. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s cool to see such nice round numbers.

Update: I’ve been hanging out with my family in Hawaii and I finally managed to coerce my brother into updating the HAPPYFUNSMILE website. Check out the changes!


KIOKU at IPR, Fri 12/14, 8pm

December 14, 2007

Tonight is the last show in our residency at Issue Project Room. We’ll be performing with Bradford Reed (instrument-maker, film composer, and inventor of the pencilina) and percussionist Ravish Momin. Should be a fun evening!

Friday, 14 December 2007, 8:00 PM
Issue Project Room (map)
232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $10


HAPPYFUNSMILE at Forbidden City, 12/12, 8pm

December 12, 2007

The last HAPPYFUNSMILE gig of the year! The whole entire gang will be there. that means eleven performers for your listening pleasure: Akiko, Kaori, Brian, Rodrigo, Ali, Bill, Glenn, Kossan, Rob, Ryan, and Wynn. We’ll be pulling out Auld Lang Syne, marking the end of our evening (in Japan, it is played at graduation ceremonies and at the end of the business day in department stores) and the end of a very HAPPYFUNSMILE year! So brush up on your Japanese Auld Lang Syne!

Wednesday, December 12, 8:00pm
Forbidden City
212 Avenue A, between 13th and 14th
Admission: Free as always!




December 5, 2007


Kioku’s new album Both Far and Near is fiercely aggressive in its crusade for a powerful, liberated music that takes the great tradition of free jazz and steeps it in Japanese spirituality. Combining Taiko drum (Wynn Yamami), a massive instrument initially used on the battlefield, with saxophone (Ali Sakkal), electronics (Christopher Ariza) and other percussion, the trio immediately gives off a sense of outrageous liberation. Track one, “Pinari”, is an adaptation of a Korean prayer song. The tune’s tribal drumming pokes through long, abrasive saxophone lines while reverberating steel washes over it and electronics sweep the area clear with warped bursts. The group takes on John Coltrane’s “The Drum Thing”, interpreting Elvin Jones with meditative reverence. Percussion and electronics wrap gently around Sakkal’s saxophone before embarking on their own textured, rhythmic venture. “Binalig” features a mesh of gongs, hollow percussive sounds and the muffled chaos of a crowd, resulting in a brilliant track where fantastical rhythm dances with reality and atmosphere moves from frenzied turmoil to moody serenity. At times incredibly tribal, or futuristic, Both Far and Near takes an ancient tradition and infuses it with vast doses of the new.


HAPPYFUNSMILE at the NY Anime Festival, 12/8

December 5, 2007


Come check out all the anime fun, along with HAPPYFUNSMILE, Unicorn Table and Voltaire!

Saturday, December 8, 11am
New York Anime Festival
Jacob Javits Center, 655 W34th street
Admission: $30/day, $55/weekend pass



HAPPYFUNSMILE at the Japanese American Lions Club Banquet

December 5, 2007

Thanks to Riki Ito for introducing us to the Japanese American Lions Club. We had a fun performance with the JALC at Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite chinese restaurant! Also, we were able to reunite with a former singer, Okaru, at the adjacent Japanese-owned club Aruba.





December 5, 2007

Check out the article on happyfunsmile in the New York Seikatsu newspaper and a fan video from Halloween!