Yamataka Eye has been leading the Japanese band the Boredoms for almost twenty years. His work as a front man, manipulator of light bulbs, and vocalist (singer would not be the right word) places him in a tradition that includes the jazz bandleader Sun Ra and the reggae producer Lee Perry. Like them, Eye (pronounced “I”) is a Dadaist ham: he flirts with lunacy and embraces comedy while undertaking strenuous musical explorations. The Boredoms—which now consist of Eye and three drummers—have never sold more than thirty thousand copies of an album, but they have a deserved reputation as a dogged and inspired cult band. Beck has cited the Boredoms as an influence, and the American underground noise-rock community—currently enjoying a minor renaissance—reveres the band. When Jeffrey Deitch, the gallery owner, heard the Boredoms play at the Bowery Ballroom last summer, he was so impressed that he invited the band to mount an installation in his gallery, Deitch Projects. (The event will take place next year.)
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