Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wahuhohh wahwahuhohh (this song's chorus)

Paraele Stripes - Prototype

Genre: dance rock, electronic pop rock
Song style: Daft Punk meets Owl City

This is a pretty catchy tune that I've been casually listening to on repeat as I do my research. Their other songs have been a little too Owl City for me, but this song is really fun and friendly.

It's nearing the end of the year guys!! This means I can expect to spend 2500-4000 yen a meal on Christmas parties and end-of-the year parties, oh whyyyy. Tonight, lab end of year party, tomorrow Keio Christmas party, Sunday my circle's Christmas party. All all-you-can-drink, blehhhhhh but yay?

Monday, December 13, 2010

I miss my blog

Motormustang - Delusion

Genre: punk, alternative
Song style: makes you want to headbang, mosh around, and dance

I have run out of music. My music library had the longest gap in song additions in five years, and the last new one was a cheesy Korean pop group. During my life in Japan, I have been to concerts here and there but I somehow misguidedly thought that I had tapped out all the good Japanese indie. Well, after a three month break, I return to youtube and realize I don't recognize the bands there anymore, and some of them sound great! When I look at concert schedules, I find myself only knowing single bands here and there. I want my Japanese indie rock life back!!

While I will likely not have the daily updates of the past or pretend to be up-to-date with the industry, I will still post some of the cool music I've found while I've been here. Especially going to concerts, I realize there's a lot of unexposed talent here, much better than the "big guys". In the past three months, I've been going to some shows, meeting some awesome people in the music industry, and sincerely enjoying my life.

Here is the catchy music video from a punk group who I saw in concert two days ago. Very random, but I befriended a girl on the street when I got lost once, and she works with the drummer of this band, so we went to support their show on Saturday. The openers were also amazing, and expect some of them to appear here. The rest of the show was very energetic and exciting - they really had great charisma. The singer looked creepily similar to the My Chemical Romance guy. Overall, great show!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rocking it out tomorrow!

Hi-5 -

Genre: alternative, dance rock
Song style: tough but catchy

Tomorrow gonna go see the White White Sisters at Shibuya, I'm very excited! This band will also be playing - they seem really cool and catchy. They've apparently been around for 10 years now (the members are all in their thirties), and this song is from 2003. However, seems like they're currently unsigned and the most recent album their myspace talks about is from 2006 or so. I wonder what they're up to, being old men like that and not updating their myspace but still touring around. We'll have to see! Seems like a very unknown concert in general (I got in touch with White White Sisters directly to get tickets) so it'll be interesting to see what this sort of show is all about!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's been forever yet again!

Fated Lyeno - Count

Genre: melodic punk
Song style: melancholic but strong guitars

Hey, it's been a while! Here's a random song I found on a Youtube hunt. I haven't even seen the video because I'm at a lab now and wouldn't want people to see a music video running around on my screen - but the song is beautiful. So I've traveled around the world (okay, around East Asia) and back. I had an amazing and strange time, and have gotten much more excited about other cultures, while learning a lot more about how people (including myself) work. Now I've settled into Tokyo and the laboratory that I'm working at. Gonna head home after updating this post.

Going to attend a concert in Shibuya with the "White White Sisters" I posted two posts ago, very excited! I e-mailed them directly for tickets and they e-mailed me back saying they'll be waiting for me ;-). Hope you've all been well and expect finally more constant posts as I waste away at the lab...

Sunday, August 15, 2010


サカナクション - アイデンティティ

Genre: new wave, electronic
Song style: very Japanese electro-indie

If you like サカナクション, you'll like this new song of theirs that came out on August 4 - it's very stereotypical of their style (almost to the point of being a little too much like them). I'm still a big fan of this band though cause they temporarily fill the hole for me where フジファブリック was (the singer died half a year ago) :-(. Speaking of which, it looks like フジファブリック has magically released a new album, which I'll be checking out shortly.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back in action!

White White Sisters - Imperfect Conflict

Genre: electronica, alternative
Song style: catchy, satisfying for both electronica and rock lovers

I'm back in the land of awesome music, shopping, fashion, food, everything - Japan! I've been here for a couple of weeks - starting up my work at Tokyo University, vacationing in Karuizawa, and now I'm back in a hotel in Tokyo for a little bit before I travel off to Osaka, Seoul, and Shanghai. Yesterday my sister and I dropped by a Tower Records and I was so happy to see many of my favorite bands have new songs out, while there are a ton of new bands to discover.

Here's one band that I listened to briefly on a CD demo. I don't know anything about them, but plan on doing some more research. This song is off of their first mini album - "[euphoriaofeuphoria]", which came out on July 7th. My updates will be slow until I stop traveling in September, but keep an eye on the new music I find during my travels!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long time no see! And I'm off--

MiChi & The Telephones - Wonder Woman

Genre: new wave, pop-rock, electronic
Song style: catchy, dancey

Looking at this song, I actually wouldn't mind MiChi replacing The Telephones' vocalist! Seems like she's an indie songstress with a half-British, half-Japanese background. These guys made it briefly on the Oricon charts - congrats to them!

So as you can see, I've been MIA for quite some time. Being back at home got me into a routine that kept me away from Japanese indies - and I also wasn't running across any great gems. While I still have a long list waiting, I still want music to be excited about posting every once in a while! Things will continue to be irregular for a while. I leave for Japan in little over a day (almost exactly 36 hours!) I'm very excited :-) But I'll be moving around a lot for a while, so won't have internet access. But I'll definitely be discovering a lot of great music! So when I reconnect to the internet world, I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I wish to you

Miyavi - 君に願いを

Genre: guitar rock, alternative
Song style: epic and orchestral

I went and saw Miyavi's show yesterday at the 9:30 club with a couple of friends. It was pretty awesome. I didn't do enough of my research ahead of time, but Miyavi was so charismatic, elegant, and his music was much heavier than I expected. The fans were also not as otaku, though a couple of girls walked up to my friends and tried to pick them up in broken Japanese. It was amazing that he pulled off a whole show with only two people behind him, and no opening act. Seems like he's ready to release something new after a couple years of taking time off to begin his life as a father, and he played a never-before-played-song at the show yesterday. Here's one of his oldies, a very epic and nice song that contrasts nicely with the heavier one I posted a while back. Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Gazette

The Gazette - The Invisible Wall

Genre: metal, visual kei
Song style: a metal-ish ballad

I like the aesthetics of this video, and it's refreshing to hear the heavy guitars. Dunno much about the band though I've been exposed plenty to their guitarist Aoi, who attempted a solo career, and was a big draw for my sister a year ago. They seem pretty solid though and pretty masculine despite the makeup. Not quite in the mood for music at the moment (though gonna go see Miyavi tomorrow!) but thought I should post something since it's been a while.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Foreign look: South Korea

CNBlue - 외톨이야 (I'm a loner)

Genre: pop-rock
Song style: catchy and swingy

My friend showed me this song several times over the last year at school and I really liked it, but it never really penetrated into my music collection. But in the past couple of days I've been looking into Korean pop because of my impending trip to Seoul (which means expected clubbing as well!) and I've rediscovered this great indie band. They originally debuted in Japan, but then came back to their home country of South Korea with this popular debut song. I like the intro of this video too, where you can hear snippeted variations of the song.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot dog!

The Bawdies - Hot Dog

Genre: garage rock
Song style: raspy, oldiesish

While I don't listen much to these guys' music, I'm very impressed with their ability to break away from normal standards of rock music, especially in Japan. Specifically - how does such a hot, young man get such a raspy, throaty voice!? These guys have been really active on the tour circuit recently and have thus been getting a lot of press. Well they definitely deserve it and I wish them the best.

(Yet another day where I post the music I'm not actually listening to - somehow I've gotten really into Korean dance pop in the past couple of days, like Mblaq's "Y").

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crazy crazy band

モーモールルギャバン - 裸族

Genre: experimental new-wave, electronic
Song style: crazy and erratic, sorta like Of Montreal

Here is a pretty new band, fresh off the press, with their first major album out today - "クロなら結構です". They have a very fun, crazy sound, though this song is by far one of their crazier ones. For a more normal electronicky one, check out ユキちゃんの遺伝子. As I'm writing this I just realized - here is yet another Kyoto band! Kyoto has really been active these days.

In other news, Asian Kung Fu Generation's new album "マジックディスク" is out today as well, with songs like 迷子犬と雨のビート. Not quite my cup of tea, but a respectable band, so check them out too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to DSK!

Rumania Montevideo - Still for your Love & 恋するベティー

Genre: alternative
Song style: girl alternative

This post is in honor of my friend, who's celebrating a birthday today! While it's already over by now in Japan, there's still an hour to go here in America. We were talking about songs from our childhoods that inspired our current music tastes, and this song came up. This is a very unique band that sadly had a short life - they were only active for three years (1999 - 2002). It's also pretty amazing to see a female drummer also be the main vocalist! While my friend has moved onto much heavier music (which I promise will be up here soon!), it's nice to reminisce on one's childhood every once in a while. How much has changed since this band was popular - it's been 11 years now. And imagine 11 years from now too, where will we all be...

Happy birthday, my dear friend! :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Grapevine - 指先

Genre: indies
Song Style: a soft ballad

Sorry, had to break the Kyoto streak for just a little bit - though these guys formed in the next-door Osaka. Not going to write much cause things are strange tonight. Some things have come out of the blue. I quickly wanted a song to suit my mood, and this one worked for me. Though the band has been around for a while (since 1993), I know nothing about them. Don't know if I will continue my search on them, but this song is good enough for me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kyoto is not all just cheery smiles

Sadie - Grieving The Dead Soul

Genre: metal, visual kei
Song style: frantic and high-paced with a lot of style-switching

So looking at the past two posts, one would think Kyoto is all about happy beautiful reminiscing upon a landscape. But no, Kyoto is a source of a lot of styles of talent, and here is one example. The vocalist of the band Sadie is from Kyoto (definitely met some guys like this while I was there...) and the other band members are from around the Kansai area as well. I like seeing Japanese bands that are willing to become heavy and edgy like this, it really adds some masculinity to the makeup. I'll be in Japan a month from today!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bring out the electronics

いしわたり淳治 & 砂原良徳 + やくしまるえつこ - 神様のいうとおり

Genre: electronica
Song style: like a female Depeche Mode

Random coincidence of a song! It's been sitting on my list of songs to update probably because it made the Oricon rankings recently so I decided to look into it. It's very chill but I like the electronic vibe a lot. I'm a big Depeche Mode fan, and it really has a similar vibe. The producer for this song is one of my true loves - Ishiwatari Jyunji is the producer of a number of other amazing bands on here, including 9mm Parabellum Bullet, Chatmonchy, and A Flood of Circle. Yoshinori Sunahara is a talented electronic keyboardist, and singer Yakushimaru Etsuko is the vocalist of band Soutaiseiriron (相対性理論). I'll be checking out the three of these rigorously in the next days. Anyways, this song is apparently the theme song of the anime "四畳半神話大系" ("The Tatami Galaxy") about a college student of Kyoto University. Fits perfectly with the last post and my reminiscing of Kansai as I prepare for Kanto. Expect a continuing Kyoto theme (well for at least one more post)!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Being a student in Kyoto

くるり - 京都の大学生

Genre: indie
Song style: acoustic, bluesy rock

An song in honor of the time when I was a university student in Kyoto... feels so long, long ago. This comes from band Quruli, whose members all went to Kyoto's 立命館大学 (Ritsumeikan University). I'm proud to see some Kyoto-ites make it so far in the music industry. Actually, the Kansai area has a lot of successful musicians! This post is also to celebrate Quruli's new compilation album, out "僕の住んでいた街" which came out May 26 (okay so a little bit old news but hey), which this song appears on. Also haven't had enough chill music on this blog for a while. I miss Kyoto, Kansai, and Japan...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No way news

One OK Rock - Liar

Genre: hard rock, post-hardcore
Song style: heavy but young

Okay so my friend posts this on my Facebook wall and I instantly like the vibe. Cool, heavy guitars, pretty catchy. Maybe a litttle predictable but not a style I see often in the Japanese music scene. The singer's Japanese is a bit strange but I guess intentional. Then, I Wikipedia them as I usually do. Relatively new band - 2006, this song is off their new album out 6/9 "Nicheシンドローム", cool. And then whaaaat theee. So apparently the singer is Moriuchi Takahiro, an ex-member of huge pop sensations NEWS and Kanjani8 (kicked out for underage drinking), and a recruit under Japan's hottie manufacturing company Johnny's Entertainment. Wow I didn't know things like this could happen.

Edit: I made a mistake. While he was a member of NEWS (but not Kanjani8), he was not the one kicked out, he just quit. My bad!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stone Cold Reason

Nothing's Carved in Stone - Cold Reason

Genre: hard rock, alternative
Song style: a bit like a heavier Incubus

I really like this first impression of Nothing's Carved in Stone's new album (out yesterday, 6/9) "Sands of Time". At some points, the song can sound a little too much like early-2000s American alternative rock (Hoobastank, Incubus, Nickelback, etc). Also admittedly, Japanese music turns me off a bit when it has so much English. It's not so bad in this song, but with other bands, often the pronunciation makes lyrics incomprehensible and sound muttled, while you also wonder if the singer knows what they're saying. I'd like bands to make their own unique sound (or at least culturally relevant sound) rather than form themselves off of the American entertainment industry. I'm not saying this in reference to Nothing's Carved in Stone - just as an overall rant. I feel like this band does do a fairly good job of bilingualism and I'm very excited to hear how this new album sounds!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Concert: Miyavi

Guitar-rocker Miyavi is making his way around America as a part of his Neo Tokyo Samurai Black World Tour. Though his image may be visual-kei, his sound is very bluesy-rock, and I encourage anyone to go see! I'll try to catch him on an East Coast date. Here's the tour schedule, and you can see links to buy tickets at his site here.

2010/6/10 San Diego, House of Blues
2010/6/12 Los Angeles, Club Nokia Live
2010/6/13 Anaheim,The Grove of Anaheim
2010/6/15 San Francisco,The Fillmore
2010/6/17 Vancouver,Commodore Ballroom
2010/6/18 Seattle,Showbox
2010/6/19 Portland,Roseland Theater
2010/6/23 Chicago,House of Blues
2010/6 /24 Toronto ,Sound Academy
2010/6/25 Boston,Harpers Ferry
2010/6/27 N.Y.,The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
2010/6/29 Washington,9:30 Club
2010/7/01 Atlanta,Masquerade
2010/7/03 Dallas,House of Blues
2010/7/04 Houston,House of Blues

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finally back

椿屋四重奏 - いばらのみち

Genre: jazz rock, alternative
Song style: powerful and catchy - jumps right into it

I had been worried about these guys! They had been laying low since their last album release about a year ago and I was getting worried if they were continuing their activities. But lo and behold, here is their new single, "いばらのみち", apparently out on May 26th, which manages to retain their catchy and unique sound. I have yet to find another band like this - I really value them for sticking with their cool, jazzy vibe. In other news, not only are they back, but I'm also back - at home, and now forever done with my college years and the four years I spent in that town up north. Summer vacation, here I come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Birthday

The Birthday - あの娘のスーツケース

Genre: Garage rock
Song style: very garage / bluesy rock

I'm sorry, I just can't help it - the vocalist of this band is so sexy. He and his bandmates here mainly come from other bands - Thee Michelle Gun Elephant and Rosso. Though I'm not one for their usual style, every once in a while their songs can hit the spot, and the masculinity they exhude is irresistible.

In other news, I checked out the Apogee album "Fantastic" and it's a win! It probably won't make my top ten list of bands or albums, but it's very respectable and can stand several repeats throughout the day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I think I found it

Apogee - 夜間飛行

Genre: electronic, new wave
Song style: melancholic and wispy

I think I found a new band to try out as a new favorite! This band has such cheery electronic tunes but behind lurks creepiness and surrealism. All their videos are as skilled as this one at playing off the uncanny. And their melodies are really passionate and can grab you - though a litttttle bit on the predictable side. I'll try out their album today at the gym and see if they are able to grab my heart.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Lunkhead - World is Mine

Genre: alternative, indies
Song style: heavy, fast-paced, but melancholic

Yet another Youtube discovery I really like! I've never heard of these guys... but they've released a lot of full albums under the mainstream label so maybe I've just overlooked them? Also yet again another band where I'm wary of their other songs, but I like this particular one. It's very easy to please me musically, just a very specific song style like this one will get me.

I'm starting to wonder what this blog is for. Is it for me, is it for other people, and to what point do I keep sustaining it or call it the end? I still have several months of music on my list and it's constantly growing. But as I discover music through this journey, I find I only like a small handful of what I find. For example, I've recently checked out the albums from A Flood of Circle, FLiP, Avengers in Sci-Fi, Syrup16g, Salyu, Scoobie Do, and Baseball Bear. While I like the songs I posted for each of these groups, there were only a couple of songs I really liked any further - specifically, songs from FLiP, Salyu, and maybe some Syrup16g. I'm ready to find a band to really wow me and get me obsessed. 凛として時雨 had my heart for a little bit but I want to find something fresh. Or would I have already found it if it existed?

Monday, May 31, 2010

We are here

Brahman & Ego-Wrappin' - We are Here

Genre: alternative
Song style: Brahman's heaviness + Ego Wrappin's jazziness

Wow it's great to see a collaboration like this, and it made it onto the top 30 Oricon charts! This totally came out of nowhere as there is very little information about Ego Wrappin's current events on their wikipedia article. The music video concept works really well for the mix of the two sounds too. This song is exactly how my life feels like right now - weekends working crazy ~16 hour days as a bartender, and then weekdays freely enjoying life and doing research here and there. This is a part of a newly released single, "Sure Shot", which came out the 19th. I look forward to seeing if the other songs are collaborations as well!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

This was the hottest spring of the year

Princess Princess - 世界でいちばん熱い夏

Genre: pop-rock
Song style: 100% 80's female electro-pop

So this music isn't exactly "rock", "indies", or exactly my style but these girls are so cute!! There's something I just admire about them - a bunch of girls in the 80s in Japan standing up to stereotypes of what a band should be and going on to make tons of number one hits. They've inspired many of the female artists of today. I just saw a movie now where their popular song Diamonds appears in karaoke and I couldn't ignore it. These girls were active from 1983 - 1996. Cheers to days where we can just enjoy being silly princesses haha. Speaking of which, I'm starting cake decoration classes next week!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The lost puppy and the beat of the rain

Asian Kung-Fu Generation - 迷子犬と雨のビート

Genre: alternative
Song style: slow and whimsical.

This new single, "迷子犬と雨のビート" from Asian Kung-Fu Generation came out on May 26th and presents a different sound from the one I was used to with AKFG! They've toned down a little, and possibly grown up. While I can't stay I'm a big fan of this style, it'll be interesting to see what their new album is like, which is coming out in June. This band played a huge role in globalizing Japanese rock music, with its pretty large American and European fan base. Expect a revisit to their past in the next several weeks to juxtapose their change of style!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A Flood of Circle - 博士の異常な愛情

Genre: hard rock, grunge, punk
Song style: catchy scratchy rock

I don't know much about this band but I've seen some of the music videos off their DVD special - (the pair of this song and the song Ghost) - and they sound pretty awesome and exciting. There's not enough heavy bands like this in Japan! Dunno what's up with the random table tennis videos though. These songs come off their album "Paradox Parade", which was released last year. I feel the craziness they talk about in the song - I've graduated but strangely been warped back to freshman year because of my summer job. Living a strange life as a semi-adult. And getting excited for Japan!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm not dead!

Just posting quickly to say I'm not dead - I've just been very busy with my graduation and moving around. But don't worry, there's still a ton of exciting music waiting to meet you soon - expect regular updates again tomorrow! :-) If you're really itching for some music, here's the Oricon charts for this week (always a fun watch):

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gothic pink

Tommy Heavenly6 - Gothic Pink

Genre: hard rock, pop-rock
Song style: gothness and cuteness combined

This song comes out of one of Tomoko Kawase's many musical projects. She began as the vocalist for the band The Beautiful Green, but also began to pursue a solo career - first as pop artist Tommy February6, but then diverging into the second, more "rock and roll" character of Tommy Heavenly6. I like the mix of her cuteness but also the slightly hard edge to the music.

On a random other note, I'm finally graduating college in the next couple of days! I should be excited and nostalgic, but instead I feel antsy and a little negative. I hope the next days and my last weeks here come to a good, fulfilling close.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Andymori post I mentioned

Andymori - City Lights

Genre: indie
Song style: chill alternative, almost folksy

I've heard this band's name so many times but never followed up because they always seemed a bit too much on the soft side for me. But here they are - and I find this video really entrancing! It adds flavor to the song too. This seems like the perfect song for a beautiful day like today, just chilling out in the grass with the breeze softly blowing around. This band seems very fun, I'm sure they'll put on a good show.

Concert: Andymori, mothercoat, and more

Andymori, mothercoat, owarikara, グーミ, and Kulu Kulu Garden are performing from May 22 - 29 at various locations in Canada, starting with Vancouver and then making their way over to Toronto. This tour is a part of Next Music from Tokyo!, a tour organized by a truly impressive person over at a Japan indie forum I frequent. I probably won't be able to make these shows, but I'm sure it will be amazing! Expect an andymori video immediately following.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


FLiP - ライラ

Genre: hard rock, alternative
Song style: a new kind of girls' rock

I randomly saw these gals during some Youtube browsing, and wow I'm impressed! Despite the plethora of female artists on this blog, I have a strong bias for male vocalists, especially in the genre of heavier rock music. But these girls from Okinawa do an amazing job of pulling it off, and give an interesting masculine yet feminine melodic vibe. I look forward to looking into more of their music. They released an album back in February that I'll try and get a hold of.
On random other notes, travel has come back into my life! This is my last day back at home before returning to school for graduation and some part-time work. And two days ago I bought tickets for a trip to Shanghai (with the World Expo) and Korea! I'm excited but a little nervous about what this year will have in store for me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Concert: The Pillows and more

The Pillows, Noodles, Pop Chocolat, and Monokuro are playing two shows in California on May 21 and 23rd. For May 21, it's Slim's in San Francisco, and for May 23, it's The Glass House in Pomona. I don't really know these bands, but the Pillows are LEGENDARY, so anyone over in the West Coast should definitely try to catch them! I'll also try and upload some of their tunes so you can get a feel for them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The Yoshida Brothers - Rising

Genre: shamisen rock
Song style: cool traditionalness turned edgy

I love this concept, seeing these guys in hakamas rocking out on the shamisen with a rock crew backing them up. These guys are pretty big names in Japan, and I'm thinking America too because of their novelty. Not much to say about them other than they released an album last year called Prism. I saw some relative of theirs perform at the Toyota showcase in Odaiba wayyy back when. Perhaps another brother dun dun dun. Today was a very traditional day for me - had some delicious yudofu, and an ikura and uni donburi, so here's some "traditional" music to celebrate it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The avengers!

Avengers in Sci-fi - Homosapiens Experience

Genre: new-wave, electronica
Song style: straightforward sorta astro-alternative

I got my hands on two albums today - Avengers in Sci-fi's "Science Rock", which features this song, and Syrup16g's "Hell-see", which features ex-人間 (posted previously). I have to say I love Syrup16g's album!! A very nice melancholic feel that suited the mood and my searches in the attic for items for this weekend. Avengers in Sci-fi's album was good as background music for my cooking, but I found it pretty stereotypical. One of those bands that really goes by a theme (in this case, robots, outer space, technology), but no deeper introspection. But sometimes you need some of one, and sometimes you need some of the other! I'll keep looking into these guys in the future. This song sort of reminds me of Orange Range, but more "indie".

Also, on a random note, I didn't realize this blog would manage to last so long! When I started out, I had about 2 months of material, but I somehow still have 2 months of material - which means enough to last me until I leave this country. Who would have thought the industry would be so vast.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New release roll

Out of all of the new releases that have come out today, I pick the following as my favorite...

Prague - Distort

Genre: pop-rock
Song style: Slow but dancey pop-rock

This song gives me a very different impression of Prague versus their previous single I covered (Light Infection). They seem more grown-up here and sound quite a bit like サカナクション. Just so you know, I believe the jittering in the beginning of the video is intentional.

Along with this single CD of "Distort", there are also singles from:

Vamps - Devil Side (covered yesterday)
Screw - "Cursed Hurricane" - a very stereotypical softish visual-kei type song. I think they can do better.
Flow - "Calling" - way too stereotypical and poppy a tune, so hard to put on this blog. But I remember getting a better impression of Flow elsewhere, so they may go up on here another time.

I'm sure many more artists have new releases, but it's so hard to keep track! So perhaps expect a stream of new songs coming after today too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Devil Side

Vamps - Devil Side

Genre: hard rock
Song style: stereotypical late 90's-esque hard rock

I sometimes feel like Hyde is trying too hard to become an American. The lyrics, the music, and the video are all too 90s American hard rock. But then again, out of anyone in the music industry, maybe Hyde is the one who can do it. This is the new single from his project Vamps, entitled "Devil Side", which comes out in eight minutes (though I guess it's already far into tomorrow in Japan). On the same day, a 2009 tour DVD is also coming out for this group. I find the flow between American and Japanese culture very interesting. Should the two keep separate? What sort of balance is perfect? I've met Japanese people who've integrated perfectly into American society, but others who have a false image that they have. Similarly, there are so many Americans who seem creepy and awkward in Japan and others that seem to fit right in. I hope I am the latter.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Piano interlude

batapy - 9mm Parabellum Bullet medley

Genre: rockin' piano!
Song style: a piano medley of post-hardcore band 9mm Parabellum Bullet's work

And now, for a brief piano interlude before the flood of new releases coming on May 12! I've really admired this youtuber for a while. He(?) makes amazing piano covers of 9mm Parabellum Bullet and other artists such as Muse and People in the Box. He's become so popular that he's starting to play some concerts in Japan. He really manages to keep the soul of the songs and make them sound very "rock" despite using the piano as the conveyor. Even if you don't like 9mm, you may enjoy this music and the talent behind it. If you're curious, the three songs in this medley are: Heart-Shaped Gear, 次の駅まで, and Punishment, three of my favorite songs from the band. I know you're probably sick of all the 9mm posts... don't worry this will (probably) be the last til a next release. But please check out batapy's amazing channel!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The Back Horn - 戦う君よ

Genre: hard rock, punk
Song: pretty heavy and militaristic

I can't believe I missed this! I got blindsighted by my fav 9mm's release on the 21st and managed to completely miss this new single from my second favs the Back Horn, "戦う君よ" that came out April 21st. It's not attached to any album thus far. Gotta say it sounds like their other stuff - nothing really new or unique, just "safe". But still fun to rock out to. And shoutout to all the great mothers out there who have helped their kids rock on in this world (hint: it's mother's day). Including to my own mom, who has always supported my endeavors and my love of rock music. :-) We had a wonderful day today, just the two of us, eating ice cream and walking around the mall.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Champagne - For Freedom

Genre: punk, emo
Song style: higher pitched, lighter punk but catchy

I'm really curious as to these guys' background. The singer's English is good enough (though not perfect) to have studied in the States and the drummer has a USD shirt on. They've released their first indies album this year with the awesome title, "Where's my Potato?". I wonder what happens to bands like these. Not many punk bands like this make it into the limelight. Are they aiming for a Japanese audience or an American one? Hard to say, but I find this song unique and exciting.

PS - happy b-day to my sister! For her freedom from school.

Top 100 Japanese Artists

HMV's Top 100 Japanese Artists

I've been going over my music to decide what will make a good compilation for a special event. In thinking through all of the artists I've encountered in the past couple of months, I've remembered this interesting list that I found on a bunch of Wikipedia articles about artists (great source right?)

It's the HMV list of top 100 Japanese (pop) artists. Don't trust the pop label, because I was surprised at the wide range of rock artists who also made it on here. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to post the list on here and then see how much this blog eventually covers one day.

1. Southern All Stars - popish rock group I may cover some day.51. Misia
2. YMO52. Minako Yoshida
3. Yumi Matsutoya53. Namie Amuro
4. Happy End54. Taeko Onuki
5. Hibari Misora55. Akina Nakamori
6. Tatsuro Yamashita56. Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi
7. Momoe Yamaguchi57. Alice
8. Yosui Inoue58. L'Arc~en~Ciel - Hyde's group, may have to cover them someday
9. Eiichi Otaki59. Shogo Hamada
10. Seiko Matsuda60. Tatsuya Ishii
11. Ryuichi Sakamoto61. Unicorn - planning on putting these guys up
12. Keisuke Kuwata62. Chage & Aska
13. Motoharu Sano63. Dragon Ash - these guys may go up
14. Eikichi Yazawa64. Hi-standard
15. Flippers Guitar65. Glay - pretty famous dude
16. RC Succession66. Masayoshi Yamazaki
17. Kenji Sawada67. Akiko Wada
18. Kyu Sakamoto68. Moon Riders
19. Blue Hearts69. Smap
20. Miyuki Nakajima70. Tomoyasu Hotei
21. Tetsuya Komuro71. Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
22. Boowy72. Lisa Ono
23. Yutaka Ozaki73. Blankey Jet City
24. Hikaru Utada74. quruli
25. Tamio Okuda75. Roosters
26. Mariya Takeuchi76. Kyosuke Himuro
27. Mr Children77. Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
28. Kazumasa Oda78. Denki Groove
29. Spitz79. Kenji Ozawa
30. B'z80. Yuzo Kayama
31. Pizzicato Five - totally putting them up!81. Yellow Monkey
32. Off Course82. Jacks
33. Murahachibu83. Fishmans
34. Pink Lady84. Noriyuki Makihara
35. Tulip85. Ken Hirai
36. Ringo Shiina86. Yonin Bayashi
37. Toshinobu Kubota87. Rip Slyme
38. Char88. Princess Princess
39. Godiego - these guys will go up!89. Original Love
40. X Japan - may go up, wayy famous90. Luna Sea - may go up
41. Yujiro Ishihara91. Mute Beat
42. Ayumi Hamasaki92. Alfee
43. Cornelius93. Hiroshi Fujiwara
44. Haruomi Hosono94. Sadistic Mika Band
45. Dreams Come True95. Mondo Grosso
46. Takuro Yoshida96. Judy And Mary
47. Anzenchitai97. Zeebra
48. Checkers98. Crazy Ken Band
49. Candies99. Ua
50. Yasuyuki Okamura100. Begin

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It is almost the witching hour

Malice Mizer - Beast of Blood

Genre: visual kei, metal elements
Song style: really "goth" - heavy guitars + harpsichord + hissing and singing vocals

I have to say this was one of my first conscious exposures to Japanese rock music (and possibly a stereotypical one). In 2001 for my first time in Japan (I was like 14 years old!) I ran across a magazine ad with these guys and I thought they looked pretty awesome... so I looked into their music and liked what I heard! Combinations of heavy discordant guitars and melodic singing really draws me in. This group is now defunct (sadly happened the same year I discovered them), but it used to have the now-uber-famous Gackt as its lead vocalist. Here, the band is headed by their last singer, Klaha (I wonder what happened to him?) It also has the famous crossdresser Mana pretending to play the violin, who frequently models for goth fashion magazines. I was never really a goth person but can understand why people might like the effect or the music. But don't be fooled into thinking this is all Japanese rock has to offer! It's just an interesting extra facet that we don't too frequently see in America these days (though even saying that, these guys are pretty old news now).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goodbye again

Toe - グッドバイ

Genre: instrumental, math rock
Song style: very chill and contemplative, one of their few vocal songs

There are so many songs out there entitled goodbye. In Japanese there are so many ways to say it - バイバイ,グッドバイ, じゃあね,また今度,さようなら,... I guess any language has a lot. I wonder how many times the average person says goodbye in a day? I must have made a record. Goodbye DS, goodbye KL, goodbye AL, goodbye exams, goodbye professors, goodbye trees, goodbye dining hall, goodbye dorm, goodbye college. I'll be back in a couple weeks but it won't be the same since everyone else will be missing. This group toe makes a lot of wispy, contemplative songs for a breezy summer day. Most of it's instrumental - for example, this is the only song with vocals off their mini-album "New Sentimentality". They're classified as "math rock" because of their complex beats but is so different from the other math rock stuff I've heard cause that stuff is usually very heavy. Cheers to our stop-motion lives.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goodbye nostalgia

Base Ball Bear - Sayonara Nostalgia

Genre: indie, alternative
Song style: normal catchy indie

Goodbye nostalgia, goodbye college! Today I am studying intensely for my last final ever, being held tomorrow. It's a time to refresh for everyone. Over in Japan, it's the longest holiday of the year - Golden Week - and over here, students busily working away like me are wrapping up their work and their finals. I wonder if I will come out of this last semester unscathed. This is one of the first indie singles from the band Base Ball Bear, from back in 2003. They've since gained in popularity and are now releasing "major" albums, but I still like this single a lot. I remember hearing it as my friends were over chilling, doing work or something, and it came up on a friend's playlist. The band is a little bit off from what I usually like (a little too soft or cookie-cutter) but this song is nice. Don't know what's up with the video though!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nothing's Carved in Stone

Nothing's Carved in Stone - Isolation

Genre: punk, alternative
Song style: powerful, post-hardcorish punk

I love the complex guitars layered onto the simple ones at the beginning, and the interlude near the end is great. The chorus is a little bland for me, but I think any punk lover should enjoy a band like this. Nothing's Carved in Stone was formed in 2009 as a project coming out from Ellegarden's guitarist. Overall, a catchy, solid track, though I don't know much about the band.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tranny palindrome

中村中 - 事勿れ主義

Genre: jazz rock, pop-rock
Song style: powerful jazzy rock, sorta 90s ish

It's great when artists have a palindromic name (though only for reading, not for saying). I've had such a wonderful past week and have fulfilled much of my desires. Today went to a May Day festival and yesterday did some square dancing. :-) Anyways! Guess the big secret of Nakamura Ataru (this artist). She was born male! Yes indeed, here's a powerful female tranny singer - wow. Could you have been able to tell? It's a catchy video too, let's all not get knocked down by the people around us, etc etc. I discovered this song randomly while watching TV a year ago or so. Her other songs apparently tend to be either jazzy like this, or more like enka ballads. So I'm not sure if you would enjoy her other works, but this song is at least good for a playlist or two.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Scoobie doobie do

Scoobie Do - Mighty Swing

Genre: garage rock, funk
Song style: a normal alternativey garage rock song

This video is really cute and lends such an upbeat tone to the song. It's somewhat close to how I'm feeling - upbeat and chill (though not too hungry for hot dogs). I got an album of these guys from a friend yesterday, and will soon check them out. I'm getting to the other side of the hill and the end is in sight. While sometimes it seems sad that each meeting with someone is a farewell, I know the people I really want to meet again will reappear in my life some day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oldies: The Blue Hearts

The Blue Hearts - Linda Linda

Genre: punk
Song style: sloppy but energetic hard 80s punk

This is one of those classic Japanese rock songs (and bands!) that everyone should know. I would call them the Japanese "The Ramones". This guy has such passion and energy when he rocks out to this song - I love it. Though the band is defunct now, you'll hear these songs everywhere - the first time I heard it was playing a taiko drumming game at an arcade center (I'm not a geek okay!!) This song was released almost exactly 23 years ago (imagine, just barely older than me haha). Where will we all be in 23 years? I'm feeling so sentimental as my final days as a student here draw to a close. But at the same time I am stressed about getting everything done in time and in a satisfying way.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maybe I should just make post titles artist names. Damijaw.

Damijaw - 無力な自分が許せない

Genre: alternative, hard rock
Song style: really reminds me of mid-90s hard rock groups, like Stone Temple Pilots

This song is both very predictable but also has some merits to it. I find the song catchy, and an admirable first step of breaking out with a new group. This comes from Kazuyuki Matsumoto, bassist of Japanese visual-kei group "Janne Da Arc". He's here with his newly-made band of 2010 "Damijaw," with a heavier sound than his origins. I find his look very interesting (it takes guts or one majorly screwed up life to get such serious tattoos in Japanese society) and it's interesting to see a "hidden vocal talent" within the bassist of the group. I don't follow Janne Da Arc at all so don't know how much of a fan following this guy has, but it seems like the band has been out with a fairly humble start so far.

Just gotta say but oh my, widescreen youtube videos are wide, eww looks yucky. But so much work to go back and make every video not widescreen... And it gives the "whole experience," right?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Southern Comfort

Syrup16g - ex.人間

Genre: indie, alternative
Song style: vocal-based, low instrumentals, Radiohead-like

This song perfectly fits my mood, I love the guitars here and how they build up. I don't know the band well but they have been suggested to me based on my other favorites. Too bad they split up in 2008. This music video is cute too. But I'm feeling the mood for the song, after a rather bizarre and incomprehensible weekend.

In a couple of hours, I'm gonna go see an American show - The Fall of Troy (their last tour) and Envy on the Coast. I used to like Fall of Troy's old stuff but the new stuff is gross. But luckily, upon hearing the new Envy on the Coast album, I've fallen in love and it's been hard to concentrate on Japanese music: my favorite song of the moment (skip the movie dialogue).

Friday, April 23, 2010

The new yes

Salyu - 新しいYES

Genre: indie, pianoy
Song style: beautiful, soft, and artsy

I was enraptured by this song when I heard it on an Oricon countdown a week ago. It comes off of her month-old album "Maiden Voyage" as the first single. She's just one of those women who seems so powerful and embedded in their artsy folksiness. She has been called the "Japanese Bjork" and her vocals remind me a bit of Ego' Wrappin. I don't know her other work, but I'll look into it someday when I feel contemplative and ready to be whisked away.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Somewhat old news but...

JinnyOops! - (clip from) HO!コミュニケーション

Genre: punk, ska
Song style: some serious female energy!!

So I know I saw this Osakan band about a month ago, but yesterday my friend just sent me the sample CD he got from the Boston Japan Nite show. I ended up only getting through half of the 9mm Parabellum Bullet album (liking it so far) but had a good time reminiscing with the sampler. And I realized, I really like JinnyOops!'s music. They're very talented and have such charisma that defies normal ideals of Japanese cuteness. Unfortunately this is only a clip of their awesome song HO!コミュニケーション but if you want to hear a full track, here's a fan-made music video. I really see this band going places. They released their first mini-album in February and hopefully will strike it big. They're also so friendly and sweet, especially the vocalist! I hope she enjoyed her time in America.

Note: I realize this combo of youtube and blogger has been cutting off the side of a lot of clips since youtube went widescreen. I'm looking into a solution!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Release: 9mm Parabellum Bullet!!!!

9mm Parabellum Bullet - The Revolutionary

Genre: post-hardcore, heavy punk
Song style: fast-paced heavy guitars, melodic melancholic singing

Today comes my most-anticipated album of the year - 9mm Parabellum Bullet's "Revolutionary". This band's beautifully sad and powerful music has served as the background to my life for the past two years. I have laughed, cried, sang, danced, and fell in and out of love to this band. This video is the new single off of the album, sharing a similar title. This band is amazing for their complex guitar, bass, drum parts and melodic vocals to contrast the heavy instrumentals. Their style is distinctly Japanese, with Japanese and idiosyncratic melodies, and all of their lyrics in Japanese except for one sentence in one song. They copy no one. With that in mind, they have become so popular that I fear mainstreaming in their new album - so I have downloaded it, but am a bit afraid to listen to it. My heart is beating quickly to think of how this new album could change my life (or sadly fail to). Listening to this new single has been enough for me today. Now I will use the remainder to dance around the album - listening to previous and related songs. My favorite ever is their song Interceptor off of their early EP Gjallorhorn. It was nostalgic even the first time I heard it.

New releases EVERYWHERE again

Monobright - 英雄ノヴァ

Genre: new wave, alternative, nerd rock
Song style: no-frills, simple melody alternative rock that drills through

I'm not very into this new single by Monobright that comes out today, "英雄ノヴァ". The song is very mediocre, normal alternative and Monobright has done much catchier, unique stuff. But the video itself is really interesting! Where did they find all this bizarre footage, and how did they get it all to be timed in sync with the song?

斉藤和義 (Kazuyoshi Saitou) is also releasing his new single "ずっと好きだった" today but I find it so average and poppy (and the clip online is only a short segment), that it's not even worth embedding in this blog. But there is one new release I'm really excited about, which I will blog about later in the evening (hopefully before midnight)!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Does it matter?

Does - バクチダンサー

Genre: indie, alternative rock
Song style: catchy, nostalgic, a little new-wavey

It's almost like the apocalypse - millions of bands are coming out with new releases tomorrow! So I thought I'd get a head start. This band made it onto the Oricon charts, and the single album for this song "バクチダンサー" will be released tomorrow. From what I can tell, this band is straightforward normal alternative most of the time, but this song caught my eye. The video is so reminiscent of the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army! (Plagiarism?) And I really like this singer's manly voice. Mine may become manly too, I feel an itching in the throat that I haven't felt in ages... (meaning a cold).

Monday, April 19, 2010

More halfie attack!

Alma - 鼓動

Genre: electronic, pop-rock
Song style: a lightly hoppy electronic pop song

I randomly found these guys on Youtube about a year ago and thought they seemed cute, fun, and light-hearted. It wasn't until much later that I realized this half-Japanese half-Spanish vocalist was the brother of famous actor Yuu Shirota (this vocalist named is Jun Shirota). I'm on a halfie roll this week, with first Olivia and now this guy. The video seems a little strange and almost like a cultural commentary. What's with Jun swinging a stick at this poor Japanese guitarist? And we always see them standing next to each other, displaying the obvious height difference between the two. Life as a halfie can be complicated. Some people look white, some people look half, some people look Asian. Instinctively, one would feel like Jun is very different from his bandmates, while Olivia's belonging varies based on her hair color. I look white so I get a lot of surprise from both Americans and Japanese people. Unfortunately I suppose it's good to be "white" in this age of still present discrimination, etc, but it's sad that I can't ever be one of my own Japanese kind. Many halfies are entering the Japanese entertainment industry now. It will be interesting to study their difference in treatment, maybe I should do some actual sociological research on it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Flying high

The Mad Capsule Markets - Fly High

Genre: noise rock, experimental, metal, punk, eletronic
Song style: metal guitars + electronic backing + punk vocals

What a memorable band. Someone long ago introduced them to me, and now they are both gone. And soon I will be gone from here, as I have just turned in my senior project, phew. This band has gained international recognition for their unique style that combines elements of electronic music, punk, and metal. Unfortunately they're on long-term hiatus since 2006, and it is difficult to say if we will ever hear from them again. Their music videos are always very creepy or bizarre (this one is just trippy) and their sound is fairly constant across tunes. I'm in the mood for something cathartic like this where you can just let out your craziness.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I can't

Olivia - できない

Genre: pop-rock
Song style: somewhat heavyish pop-rock

The name Olivia has been one of the strongest presences in my entire life. I'm glad to see the name has manifested itself as this half-American half-Japanese singer Olivia Lufkin. I received a collection of this gal's stuff from one of my closest friends a couple of years ago. Though some of it sounded predictable and some sounded amateur, something about it is endearing and catchy. I am also happy to see halfies succeed in the industry! This girl has gained popularity through her songs in the film Nana, though she is still mostly under the radar. So here's a post of girl-power - thanks to the Olivia in my life, and to the friend who gave me this other Olivia. I want to be done with the other gender. This friend and I will be going out tonight and hopefully fulfilling what we've been looking for.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No Mistakes Today

Riddle - Mistake

Genre: punk, post-hardcore
Song style: upbeat, heavy guitars but melodic singing

I really dig the intro of this song. Guitars and then bam - "do you remember that bad day, do you remember the first time..." (hope I'm hearing the English correctly hehe). Unfortunately the chorus gets stereotypical for me, but overall a nice piece. This band has been around since 2003 but has laid under the radar. They're currently on tour, and this song "Mistake" is their latest music video, released January of this year. I am going to plow through this weekend of too many fun things + too many final papers just as these guys plow through this so unbelievably catchy intro. Help me, I need a band to return me to the rock world away from Fergie...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The Telephones - Kiss Me, Love Me, Kiss Me

Genre: new wave, indie, dance
Song style: chill and really simple

Not quite my favorite song but it is off of The Telephone's new mini-album "Oh My Telephones!!!" out today! The Telephones have very fun, light-hearted music and so far every album of theirs has had a song featuring the word "disco" (including songs like Love&DISCO, Urban Disco, Monkey Discooooooooo, and ABC Disco). How many discos can you have, and were these guys even alive during the 70s!? Regardless it shows they're fun at heart and are ready to party! I've known about these guys for about a year now but their music hasn't been compelling enough for me to actually pursue it. But I appreciate the hole it fills in Japanese indie, for danceable meaningless indie tunes (sort of reminiscent of MGMT)? It's a DISCO!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Love Addict

VAMPS - Love Addict

Genre: hard rock, alternative
Song style: 90's-esque hard rock

This band is a fail-safe if you're in the mood for very straightforward alternative rock (like a heavier Bon Jovi even). It's headed by Hyde of L'arc-en-ciel and also features Oblivion Dust guitarist Kaz. Because of these two dudes' fame, the band has gotten plenty of press, though I'm unsure if the music itself is succeeding. They also completed a US tour at the beginning of the year. It was fun going to see them play in Baltimore - but also horrifying to be trapped in the Baltimore Greyhound bus station around midnight, our ears ringing and creepy homeless men talking to us innocent youngins dressed in our rockin'-out gear. This band released a DVD celebrating their US tour on March 17, and have a lot of new releases coming up for the beginning of the summer. Though they're not one of my favorite bands (not quite unique enough for me), I still have a healthy respect for them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I wanna dance, I wanna dance in the light

Orange Range - おしゃれ番長

Genre: electronic, pop-rock
Song style: silly and fun

So, secretly the video I actually want to post is Imma be Rocking that Body by the Black Eyed Peas because I think the mash-up is so amazing and I love the dancing robots in the video. I've downloaded their cd and it is my current playlist. So to get out of that urge, I have decided to present to you guys a similarly mainstreamish (sorry for the indies fail) electronic group - Orange Range. Most Japanese people have probably heard of them, and this was their newest (2009) fairly popular single. Even though they're popular, I find them really catchy and enjoy their album musiQ in the car every so often. Sometimes it's nice when a band doesn't take itself too seriously (contrasted with the previous post). So let's enjoy one brief reprieve from the deep, contemplation of indie music and instead dance the night away!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Light Infection

Prague - Light Infection

Genre: pop-rock
Song style: light with a lot of vocal movement

This song feels so close but not quite there. Almost catchy and fun, but the singer goes all over the place, which sometimes ends up in him missing the note he's looking for. But I'm interested to see if this band ends up going the indie route or the mainstream route. They started just at the end of last year (September 2009), and will be releasing their third single CD "Distort" on May 12 (and I believe the song is out - though no music video has hit the youtube waves). I wish the best of luck to these guys.

By the way, I saw Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School, and they were amazing! Very charismatic and they put on a great show that even translated well to an American audience. I didn't end up watching Uzuhi or Spirit + Noise, but I saw Uzuhi at their merch booth.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Concert: Sakura matsuri part 2

情熱マリーとしゃぼん玉ハイスクール (Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School) - モーレツ!!調教ママ

Genre: ska, jazzy rock
Song style: a catchy song of a woman being tough

Turns out this band (what a crazy long name) will be playing at the Sakura Matsuri tomorrow in Washington DC! I like their song a lot better than Uzuhi's, gotta say. I could see them being really exciting and charismatic. I'll be there tomorrow. I hope the event is fun and not "fake Japanese".

Also anther band, Spirit + Noise will be performing tomorrow. They're a shamisen rock group (mainly instrumental). I'm not totally sure how I feel about them so I'll cover them after the show if they end up being good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Concert: Uzuhi


Genre: punk
Song style: a pianoy alternative song. Not wonderful hehe.

I walked outside this morning and saw the beautiful scenes of petals drifting down from trees all around me. These weren't the cherry blossoms I was used to in Kyoto, but from today I will be going to Washington DC to see some and relive my memories. While I'm there, there will be a "Sakura Matsuri," or Cherry Blossom Festival, featuring many Japanese cultural activities. I'm very excited, I've never been to it before... let's hope it's not fakey! At this Matsuri, this band "Uzuhi" will be performing. The members are all Japanese but formed their band in New York. They're really a very "local" band, and they still seem amateur to me. Not really my style (in particular, check out their really bizarre not so wonderful single. But I'll still be there to check them out. They'll be playing Saturday, April 10 at the Sakura Matsuri in Washington DC.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New release: King Brothers

King Brothers - XXXXX

Genre: hard rock, garage rock
Song style: a heavier version of 60's British rock

This band is releasing their first new album in six years "The First Rays of the New Rising Sun" today! Great for a week where we're finally seeing the first rays of spring. I don't know much about them, but I like the sound I hear from this first song. They really have a good charisma. They are very internationally-minded, touring in the US occasionally, but haven't received much recognition, especially because of their long hiatus. I look forward to checking out their new album.