When the reunited '90s band Cibo Matto heads to the Hollywood Bowl on June 26th, bloggers and writers will embrace the opportunity to indulge in shitty food puns. With songs like "Sugar Water," "Birthday Cake," and "Know Your Chicken," the band's set-list always resembled the menu of a surrealist buffet, so you can't really blame them. Of course, back in their heyday, that didn't stop principals Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori from gamely pushing back every time music journalists labelled them as food fetishists or a cutesy cultural phenomenon. In a 1996 Los Angeles Times profile, Honda essentially told those folks to put a sock in it:
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"The songs aren't all about food. There's no song about, like, how Brussels sprouts are structured, you know? But I think that food is a great metaphor, because everybody eats. Everybody knows the feeling when you're hungry for five hours and you have some kind of junk food and it tastes so amazing. It's a common experience."
Nonetheless, in "Artichoke," when Hatori sings, "my heart is like an artichoke/I eat petals myself one by one/until I feel enough/until I lose to laugh," you have to wonder if it isn't only some kind of metaphor, but also quite real. Especially since she goes on to croon about lemon squeezes, it is safe to say they probably know their way around both metaphors and artichokes.
Whatever your stance on either, try to catch the band at the Hollywood Bowl. For the LA Philharmonic's Big in Japan concert set for Sunday, June 26th, Cibo Matto will be joined by Buffalo Daughter, the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra, and drummers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles. Come early for sake, karate demonstrations, and origami tutorials on the Museum Patio. (Or bring your own picnic.)
LA Philharmonic Presents: Big in Japan @ Hollywood Bowl (2301 N. Highland Ave.): Show at 7 p.m.; sake and so forth beginning at 4:30 p.m.