Archive for October, 2009

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 6: Halloween Edition

October 30, 2009

Greetings, and welcome to the special Halloween edition of J-Rock Fridays. Some of the videos here are fun, with a little bit of spook, and others are downright disturbing.  Watch at your own risk!

world’s end girlfriend- “We are the massacre”

WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT In the anime Yu Yu Hakusho, former spirit detective Sensui was shown a never ending videotape detailing all the crimes and wars of humanity.  I’m pretty sure these clips were taken from that video.  Nothing but 6 minutes of archival footage of murder, stabbing, strangling, throat slitting, jumping out windows, jumping off buildings, and just plain death.  World’s end girlfriends’s music was creepy enough but this video just put him over the edge.  At least it’s in black and white. (myspace)

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FREAKYFROG

October 26, 2009

Ever wonder what happened to the original members of BEAT CRUSADERS?  Umu went on to form FREAKYFROG with ex-members of Rude Bones, SCAFULL KING, and other ska bands.  Their debut album will come out on November 4.

Listening to the video clip below, it’s hard to distinguish umu and Toru Hidaka’s vocals on the indie BEAT CRUSADERS recordings now.  It makes me wonder if umu did more than backing vocals on those recordings.  The clip for “Grasshopper’s Symphony” on myspace sounds very much like a classic BEAT CRUSADERS’ song.  Regardless I have no doubt that this will be one of the better pop punk albums of the year.

http://www.myspace.com/freakyfrogfreakyfrog

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noughts & exes is back

October 24, 2009

It’s hard being an overseas fan of HK indie music.  Bands can break up and reform and we’d be none the wiser.  Such is the case with noughts & exes.  Shortly after the release of their debut album (released last year by Omerta Group), Joshua and Gideon were the only band members left.  But earlier this year they reformed with a random white dude and two attractive women.  I learned all of this on Facebook in the last hour.

Joshua and Gideon decided to rebuild the band from the ground up and focus on a more intimate and natural sound.  The new line-up consists of Kerrie-Ann on vocals and glockenspiel, Marianne on cello, and Alex on drums.  The band is currently writing new songs and is set to play the Clockenflap festival. Below is a new song from the band:

http://www.myspace.com/noughtsandexes

http://www.facebook.com/noughtsandexesmusic

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 5

October 16, 2009

Welcome back to the second part of October release madness.  The last column was actually the most viewed J-Rock Fridays column so far (but still no comments).  I will probably continue featuring upcoming releases in future columns, but try not to be so obvious about it.  While I’m here, I would like to thank indiesmusic.com for being an excellent source for upcoming release information and music videos.

The Mirraz- “check it out!check it out!check it out!check it out!”

This is a rather low-budget video, likely made by the band themselves, parodying the local news.  It probably wouldn’t work if the song wasn’t so catchy.  They remind me of a punker version of BACK-ON.  The second album Necessary Evil came out this week and it’s a lot of fun.

http://www.myspace.com/themirraz

riddim saunter- “Sweet & Still”

Anyone remember when this band had crazy synthesizers and punk rock choruses? Yeah, they’re way mellow now.  They decided flutes and violins better fit their style.  This is a rather pleasant, chill song and a humorous video.  I love how the lead singer runs around town with a “FUCK YEAH” t-shirt.  Their third album Days Lead comes out next week.

http://www.myspace.com/riddimsaunter

serial TV drama- “Space Opera”

With the liberal use of the word “Oi!” and epic guitar solos, serial TV drama is bound to be the next act to climb out of the indie scene.  Another good band from UK.PROJECT, who gave us BIGMAMA, the telephones, Karen, Vola & The Oriental Machine, and Ogre You Asshole.

http://www.myspace.com/serialtvdrama

the pillows- “Your Order”

I wasn’t a fan of the first single off Ooparts “Ameagari ni mita Maboroshi,” but “Your Order” fit the bill.  This is another stop-motion animated PV from the band.  Some pretty abstract stuff here, but a fun video.

http://www.myspace.com/thepillows

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Random J-Rock Updates #11

October 7, 2009

Eleven is my favorite number.

-Asobi Seksu’s new video for “Transparence” can be seen here.  An exclusive MP3 from their new album Rewolf can be downloaded here.

-If you read J-Rock Fridays Vol. 4, the new albums by sgt., Skybeaver, and Bossfist are on HearJapan.

-ELLEGARDEN side project Nothing’s Carved In Stone will be putting out a new single and live DVD in December.

Wow Rock will be putting out Art Cube’s The Complete Best on December 3 before Japan.

-Housekeeping: If you scroll to the left, I added a new link section named “Japanese Labels.”  These are Japanese record labels that I enjoy.  More will be added in time.  Right now, my favorite J-record label is Theory&Practice.

-Nadehiko from texas pandaa is working on the soundtrack for his friend’s indie film.  Listen to the first track “Our Big Crossing” here.

Eastern Youth has an exclusive download for “Konomama Aki He” here.

Luminous Orange will be putting out a best of album on November 4.  It will be available for international order on their webstore.

EN-X is back in the studio after losing two members.

-Part 1 of FACT’s Coming To America documentary is available on Shockhound.

Far East Movement discovered Flattop Grill.  I’ve been there.  I wasn’t as impressed.

-Another new album vlog from The Slants.

MYSPACE BAND OF THE WEEK

バードレイクス (birdlakes)

Hailing from Chiba, birdlakes formed in 2006.  The band has released one mini-album and two singles since then.  For fans of Sparta Locals and Ogre You Asshole.

http://www.myspace.com/birdlakes

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 4

October 2, 2009

Welcome to part 1 of the J-Rock Friday’s salvo to October releases.  This was originally meant to cover the first two weeks of the month, but as it turns out, October 7 is an amazing day for Japanese music.  So much so that the videos this week is double what I normally post every column.  And I couldn’t even find videos for some of the other releases I was interested in.  So I put my five favorite videos on top and the rest after the jump.

LITE- “The Sun Sank”

LITE is one of the first bands to pop up when discussing Japanese post-rock, after Mono.  In an effort to diversify themselves, LITE decided to discofy their latest single.  I actually like this song a lot, the synthesizers are noticeable but pleasant without getting in the way of their post-rock styling.  This single is part of their Turns Red EP, the first release on their new record label I Want The Moon.  Not many post-rock bands incorporate synthesizer well, lets hope LITE is the first.  http://www.myspace.com/liteband

Skybeaver- “For A Long Time”

Skybeaver is a fun power-pop band.  This PV includes the band’s humorous portrayal of a fashion metal band.  The song is also damn catchy.  Their second album is due out October 7.  http://www.myspace.com/skybeaver

Supe- “Let Bodies Scream”

Holy Metallica!  Did those guys just rock out on a moving trailer bed?  That’s so hardcore.  Their new mini-album The Black will come out on October 7.  http://www.myspace.com/supe

New Strike Zipper- “Promise”

New Strike Zipper is an all-girl punk band that made their debut on a Blink-182 Tribute compilation.  “Promise” is taken from their second mini-album All Is Lost due out today.  This new song sounds harder than their older material, almost like Bleach 03 without the dead animal screeching.  http://www.myspace.com/newstrikezipper

sgt.- “銀河の車窓から (live)”

Sgt.’s new mini-album Capital of Gravity is actually my most anticipated of the month.  But due to the lack of an official PV, I had to scoot them to the end of the list.  Instead I found a live performance of “銀河の車窓から” from their first mini-album Perception of Causality. The new mini-album will include a remix of this song.  http://www.myspace.com/sgtofficial

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