The Moist Towelettes

The Moist Towelettes took the stage April 12th at Loop Shibuya and brought the audience into the multi-colored, sweet candy world of Nintendo pop music and choreographed dancing. The adorable singing front-women Emi and Yuko ran through dance moves reminiscent of Pink Lady, an unfathomably popular female duo in Japan during the 1970’s.

Beach Boy-esq harmonies by guitar player Mike and keytar player Dave would often accompany the catchy lyrics of Emi and Yuko. Electronic beats laid the tracks for the candy train to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in the live house. The band had a chemistry that could only be explained by their close relationships off the stage. The whole band could agree that their main influences lie in the genre of music known as Shibuya-kei. Emi’s dream came true when she met Cornelius. Dave’s life was complete when he danced alongside Maki Nomiya of Pizzacato Five. All members of The Moist Towelettes DJ together, and that spirit of eclectic music enthusiasm coated with pop overtones is at the root of most Shibuya-kei music. The Moist Towelettes could be considered the next generation of Shibuya-kei music and living proof that the movement did not die with the 1990’s.

The Moist Towelettes live @ Loop Shibuya 4/12/07 Tokyo

The music of The Moist Towelettes is undeniably pop music, but it has a certain charm to it that is often lost in commercial pop music. During an interview after the show, keytar player Dave said, “People put pop music down for everything that it isn’t, but we try to celebrate what it is. It’s fun!” He went on to explain how ridiculous it is when pop musicians take themselves so seriously. Dave’s philosophy on pop music not only converted guitarist Mike, who was opposed to pop music before joining the band, but it also changed my opinions.

The Moist Towelettes encouraged the otherwise stoic Tokyo audience to mimic their dance moves and sing along with their catchy lyrics. For most live performances in Tokyo, audience participation is uncommon, but The Moist Towelettes got the crowd dancing and singing and made sure that when everyone left the show they thought, “That was fun!” If the catchy pop sounds of The Moist Towelettes doesn’t at least bring a smile to your face, I think you should check for a pulse.





Pop Versus Noise in Tokyo