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?