Buffalo Daughter in concert tonight. Following along with last night’s stunning presentation of Pizzicato Five at Roskilde, I ran across this concert, part of NHK-FM’s Live Beat radio series, recorded on March 31, 1999.
Although considered by many to be one of the linchpins of the Shubya-Kei movement (with Pizzicato Five), several critics, as well as the band don’t think it’s an exact description of what they’re about. And if you ran a-b comparison between this concert and Pizzicato Five from last night, you’d agree.
Much more experimental and somewhat more low-energy than Pizzicato Five, they are still very much of the “cut-and-paste” style so much associated with Shubya-Kei.
Buffalo Daughter was formed in 1993. The three main members are suGar Yoshinaga (ex-Havana Exotica) on guitar, Yumiko Ohno (ex-Havana Exotica) on bass, and Moog (later changed to MoOog) Yamamoto on turntables and graphic design. The group originally had a drummer, Chica Ogawa, but after his departure they have had no permanent drummer and have hired different people to fill in as needed. In addition, the band is well known for using a number of electronic instruments, such as the TB-303, TR-606, Minimoog, shortwave radio, and other instruments. Although they emerged from Shibuya at about the same time as other Shibuya-kei acts, Yoshinaga does not believe the label accurately describes the band’s music.
And according to their Wikipedia page:
Though less well known than other similar Japanese bands such as Pizzicato Five, Buffalo Daughter is considered to be the linchpin of the so-called “cut-and-paste” rock Shibuya-kei movement from Japan. The band was created in the early 1990s when it was signed to independent Japanese label Cardinal. Seeking wider exposure, they continued under the Beastie Boys‘ now-defunct music label Grand Royal, bringing their discography up to a total of four full-length album releases, an EP, and a handful of remixes. The band’s style, always a variety of different sounds and genres, evolved slowly but surely into a more cohesive and restrained melodic style. In 2002 Buffalo Daughter released their fifth album I in the United States on Los Angeles-based label Emperor Norton Records.
According to band member Ohno, “We call ourselves Buffalo Daughter because our sound is very strong. And the buffalo is strong.” In a 1998 interview, the group explained that “Buffalo” projects a pleasing image of American culture and countryside and at the time of the group’s original formation, all the members were girls, so “Daughter” was appropriate. Also, the sound of the name itself appealed to the group.
In 2009 Buffalo Daughter performed the song “Galactic S-O-U-L” for the Katamari Forever soundtrack.
To continue getting your feet wet with Shubya-Kei, if you aren’t already familiar, here is Buffalo Daughter’s NHK-FM gig from March 31, 1999.