ok city ok

ok city ok


Leading the crusade against spontaneous human combustion and alien abduction. Multiple 2.5-minute blasts of indie-rock perfection, with English lyrics and a bit of gibberish.


“Holy Joe’s was hotter than hell. The small room at the top of what seemed like an endless series of stairwells was filled with an enthusiastic crowd, with much love being exchanged between OK’s mercurial frontman, Kay Grace, and the NXNE devotees.” (SoundProof Magazine, Toronto)

No one was more surprised than ok city ok when the band made their international debut in front of a packed Holy Joe’s in Toronto during the 2007 North By Northeast Music Conference (NXNE). The Tokyo indie outfit crossed the Pacific for the first time in June after being invited to perform at NXNE, and despite a lack of record company or management support, word of mouth sufficed to fill the room with curious music fans. The crowd quickly became converts with ok city ok’s “surprising, hilarious, open and free” (www.download.com) songs, prompting Toronto's Mondo Magazine Online to rave "the band's presence was really something to be seen . . . I immensely enjoyed their performance." Soundproof Magazine added “definitely worth seeing, and likely capable of great things.” A post-show run on the band’s CDs (Made By Elaborate Process, available online at www.cdbaby.com and iTunes) and shiny new T-shirts convinced ok city ok that they have a potential new home in Toronto.

The band followed that show with a short tour through New York City, St. Louis, Austin, and Dallas, making a bilingual appearance on Austin’s Red River Rocks show on Music Entertainment TV and winning plaudits from the Dallas Observer (“sharply weird pop songs”) and NYC’s Rock of Japan blog (“Is it J-rock? …wry observations on life and relationships, as if a folk poet had been unevenly wrapped up into an alternative pop/rock assemblage”).

Family obligations and health problems restricted ok city ok's activities to a handful of shows in Japan over the next 12 months, forcing them to turn down invitations to festivals in the US and UK. After regrouping and working up a number of new songs, the band made the trip to Toronto for NXNE 2008, prompting NOW Magazine to say "Japan's ok city ok return to the festival with a sophomore album in tow and plans to distribute it in North America. If this collection of distortion-fuelled spiky pop is any indicator, it's a well-laid plan."

[an abstract]
“Love songs” that fail to mention dread and surveillance are plainly deficient and hardly worthy of the name. ok city ok’s self-released Made By Elaborate Process conducts a musical tour of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), saving listeners the trouble of hauling out their household copy when they feel like a browse through the stew of personality disorders that characterizes the modern human relationship.

The ok city ok team recognizes the need for a user-friendly interface when bringing the Japanese public up to date on thorny societal issues in English. Using Pavement, Todd Rundgren, and Beck as jumping-off points, the songs on Made By Elaborate Process usher the listener into a secret clubhouse cobbled together from scavenged beams of majestic pop, post-modern funk pastiche, and angular guitar rock.

Listening to Made By Elaborate Process is like wandering through a used bookstore, where the first-edition canon-dwellers and the undiscovered gems are shelved cheek-to-jowl with smudged screeds on alien abductions, atlases of unknown continents and exhaustively reasoned, obsessively footnoted pamphlets proving beyond a doubt’s shadow the connection between [something eminently reasonable] and [something absolutely deranged].



Written By: ok city ok

don't know my own strength
I excel at self-offense
I'm remorseless and cruel but I can't hold a candle to you
you never look back on your destructive path
you know that every chance encounter is a potential bloodbath
you lovingly smash your way into icy Lake Michigan
longshoremen, jealous boyfriends step aside
my heart leapt at the sight of your blood-red cummerbund
you won't apologize for what you did to the minister's thumbs
the reception was ruined, feelings were bruised
the best man still can't tie his own shoes
and as the casualties steadily mounted I was there floating on thin air

ferocious, baby
ferocious, awright
people wonder how you sleep
you sleep eleven hours a night
on a pile of lawyers
who sing you lullabies that say:

under my Vincent Price poster I stared into a dream
chanting closer concentrating on a scream
you make my hair stand on end
I want to be your friend
'cause with an ordinary wooden pencil you exceed
Torquemada's wildest dreams

I wanna be your lawyer

Written By: ok city ok

If the lights go out at night and you're surrounded by blinking cartoon eyes, and they don't blink at once and you get found out, you'll think you need a friend.

But what can friends do for you?

I wanna be your lawyer

Spy satellites that know just what you thought, they know what you're up to, they see straight into your heart, they hear you when you fart.
You really ought to take my card

I wanna be your lawyer
I'll take the stains right off you
I wanna be your lawyer

Place my hand on your trembling shoulder
Cover your head with my sportcoat and hold your handcuffed hand
and stand with you in hell

So if you ever find yourself in trouble (God forbid)
you'll need a number to call
I know the awfulness you're capable of
but they'll never find a soul to pin it on


Written By: ok city ok

got to get up -- got to get myself up
and out of this fortune-cookie life
smile-eyed -- mouthful of daggers
then I can shut down the counting robot,
eat all your flowers stems and all!
the windows open, the gas shut off,
wallpaper calm on the wall
you will: a) find no g-forces there;
b) lose your inhibitions;
c) stop counting each breath
got to get up -- got to check the stove again
eardrums -- magnifying lens
dental floss -- teeth ground to powder
hardened me hollowed-out me
eat clay -- shit pottery
bright-eyed -- magnesium
you will: a) find your decoder ring;
b) lose your inhibitions;
c) find breathing out;
d) find time you'd lost;
e) finally sleep;
f) lose your inhibitions
then a box is drawn around solutions
sheep put to bed
a numberless house, a silent pond
a keychain of silent keys


made by elaborate process (12-track album, 2007) available via iTunes, CD Baby, et al.
baby got religion (5-track EP, 2006)

Set List

Typically one original set of 30 minutes to an hour.