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Japanese Game Show's strangest element isn't zaniness, but unexpected, mathematic indie rock

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Japanese Game Show with Glister and Kite Flying Robot
10 p.m. Tuesday
Hi-Lo Club
1221 N.W. 50th
www.myspace.com/hiloclub
843-1722
$4

Japanese game shows are beloved throughout the world for their hodgepodge of violence, color, noise, embarrassment, confusing objectives and the overpowering sense of craziness that combining it all entails.

Naturally, the term could be used as a band name " especially appropriate for a wild, performance art-based outfit in the vein of The Flaming Lips or Of Montreal " but it had probably been avoided for the confusion that would ensue.

"We are neither Japanese ... nor a game show," said Eric Price, Japanese Game Show drummer. "A lot of times, we'll get people who don't even know that we are a band."

 But at least the trio is loud, fun and quirky enough to fulfill the promise its namesake guarantees " right?

"When people do figure out we are a band, some people think that we'll be more of a 'joke band,'" Price said. "We don't take ourselves too seriously or anything, but that's not exactly what we are."

Yep. Instead of absurd lyrics, blaring horns and general nonsense, Japanese Game Show favors the somber tones of Menomena, the calculated guitar constructions of acts like Foals, and the slightest echoes of Wolf Parade-esque anthemic melodies.

In all, this is pretty serious stuff. But maybe, it just comes with the scenery the group is accustomed to: Wichita, Kan., a surprising home base for a band called Japanese Game Show, which plays mathematical indie rock. Oklahoma's flat, wheat-laden northern neighbor isn't exactly known for a bustling music scene, but Price said the musicians make do and have a surprisingly fun time doing so.

"It's not quite as happening as other places, but it's still more happening than others," he said. "It's a pretty diverse music scene with a lot of people doing stuff for the right reasons. It's just a little limited."

However, Price said the low cost of living and the city's small, but fierce music community has allowed the members to do what they love. Even so, the trio wanted to hit the road and test the more-promising waters of the Midwest and West Coast. Japanese Game Show is playing four gigs throughout Oklahoma, along with shows throughout the west on its way to the coast.

In a not-so over-the-top manner, Japanese Game Show lives up to its namesake when it performs live.

"We are just three guys trying to play the music that we like to play," Price said. "No crazy stage antics " just a band that likes to have a good time." "Joshua Boydston

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