There are fans and then there are superfans. Steven Tanaka clearly belongs to the latter category.
The Toronto anaesthesiologist doesn’t like Japanese underground music. He loves it. That’s why every year, Tanaka puts together a lineup of acts from Tokyo and sends them on tour across Canada. He does so singlehandedly, pouring upwards of $40,000 into the project.
As it says on the Next Music From Tokyo website: “On top of paying for the tour, he has to design posters, write press releases, contact media, do interviews, secure instruments/backline, book venues, and go through the painful ordeal of obtaining work permits for the bands. Then on the tour, he must be the host, emcee, DJ, translator, roadie, and occasionally the doorperson.”
That, friends, is a labour of love.
Reward Tanaka for all his hard work by showing up at the Biltmore next Wednesday (June 17). And don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Mothercoat, PENs+, Atlantis Airport, Otori, or Owarikara. After all, that’s sort of the point of the whole exercise. Tanaka thinks you should hear them, and he’s willing to put in a lot of work to give you the opportunity. And that is the very definition of a superfan.