Archive for March, 2010

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kuh

March 29, 2010

myspace band of the week

I first discovered kuh through their cover of “Under the Sea” on the Disney Rocks!! compilation.  Seeing as it was one of maybe two tracks that didn’t make me feel homosexual, I decided it might be a good idea to check these guys out.

Surprisingly, they have a ton of songs up on myspace, mostly from their first album KY! Perhaps more of a surprise, they are signed to Captain Haus Recordings, home of GALLOW, polyABC, and other cool shit.  Considering their cover of “Under the Sea” was basically hipster electronica, I was expecting more of the same from this band.  But strangely most of the stuff on their first album is downer indie rock.  In fact, “J.U.N.O.” and “Tokio Nomad” from the catch one’s breath compilation are the only other hints of kuh’s electronic direction.  But overall I’m impressed by both their electronic and indie rocks tracks.  There is, however, one song named “水在月” that doesn’t fit the mold.  This song has a heavy post-rock vibe and I just love it. I expect good things from these guys in the future.

http://www.myspace.com/kuhtronica

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Melon Kinenbi x midori

March 29, 2010

It’s hard being a midori fan.  They don’t have a myspace page, rarely update their website, have their videos taken down on YouTube for copyright infringement the day after they’re uploaded, and in general are IMPOSSIBLE to find in a simple Google search.  So forgive me for being late on this.

When Melon Kinenbi announced their “graduation” from Hello! Project last March, they began releasing several strange singles with indie and punk bands.  Among these were “Don’t Say Goodbye” with Beat Crusaders and “sweet suicide summer story” with midori.  These singles were later collected and released as Melon’s Not Dead in February 2010, Melon Kinembi’s fourth and last album.

Although midori only appears in the first 15 seconds, with blurred out faces no less, their influence here is large.  Their signature bass, discordant piano, and general chaos is all in here.  And I assume that’s just because midori wrote the whole damn thing and Melon Kinembi is just playing karaoke.  Not that I mind former pop idols introducing the masses to good music, I would just like to hear Mariko Goto sing this sometime.

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The Hangovers- Balloon Costume

March 26, 2010

The song title promises balloons and costumes and that’s exactly what The Hangovers deliver in their latest video.  While The Hangovers play in a trendy record store, some guy in a pink cat suit prowls the streets of Tokyo.  I’m not sure why French subtitles are necessary, but at least it’s easy for guys like me to plug into into the translator.  “Balloon Costume” is a fun little pop rock song with just enough “dodododo’s”.  The Hangover’s second album the portable terminus. comes out April 14.

http://www.myspace.com/thehangoversjp

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The Crater

March 23, 2010

myspace band of the week

The Crater is a three-piece rock band from Setagaya.  Shinsuke Kikunaga and Shimose (ex-HiGE) formed the band in 2001, and Kana joined on bass in 2010.

The band’s website says they put out a few EPs, but I can’t find proof anywhere that these releases exist.  However, in the process I discovered a bad-ass looking Osamu Tezuka manga of the same name (ATTN Vertical Inc, I expect this on my bookshelf next year!).  Right now, The Crater has 10 songs up on myspace of varying quality, but I do like most of them.  Choice track: “I Love You”

http://www.myspace.com/thecraterjapan

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 16

March 19, 2010

I’m kind of surprised how hard hit I was by Jun Seba’s death, but I still managed to check out a few new videos for you guys.

Northern19- “Smile For Peace”

Northern19 is back with another feel good punk-rock anthem.  Hits the spot with this warm weather we’ve been having.

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R.I.P. Jun Seba aka Nujabes

March 18, 2010

Long time friend and co-collaborator Shing02 has confirmed Jun Seba aka Nujabes’ death.  There is also an official statement in Japanese on the Hydeout Productions website.  Jun Seba passed away on February 26 after a fatal car accident.  He was 36 years old. Read the rest of this entry ?

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St. Cherry Coke$ Day

March 17, 2010

It’s St. Patrick’s Day so grab a pint of Guinness and your favorite Cherry Coke$ album and head to the nearest pub.  Something about a Japanese band playing Irish music never really made sense, but they quickly replaced Flogging Molly on my playlist.

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USK

March 16, 2010

myspace band of the week

It seems like every Japanese music blog has their favorite chiptune artist.  So today I decided to make USK my bitch.

I first discovered USK a few years ago when I downloaded Pico Pico Disco from 8bitpeoples.  Up to that point, the only other chiptune artist I listened to was YMCK, and let’s just say USK was much more chaotic/danceable. I can’t find his real name, but USK was born in 1984 and began making electro music on his PC in 1999.  In 2005, USK started experimenting with Game Boys and here we are now.  USK’s latest song “I AM A FUCKOKA RAVER” is USK at his best.  Don’t start the rave without him.

http://www.myspace.com/chipdisko Read the rest of this entry ?

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J-Pop Moment: Kira Kira

March 15, 2010

Over the past week, I’ve had a certain J-Pop song stuck in my head.  I couldn’t remember the name, but I remembered it had a cutesy chorus and ultra fast verses.  So I stayed up late last night sorting through my J-Pop collection and finally found it.

I already blew my load over Mizca before so I’ll spare you the sticky details.  “Kira Kira” is Mizca’s Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Bad Spellers are now on Gimme Sound

March 10, 2010

To celebrate the opening of their Gimmie Sound account, The Bad Spellers are giving away their album Keep On Shining and a bunch of demos.  If you act fast, you can still enter their contest to win a free copy of the CD.

The Bad Spellers are a twee-pop duo consisting of Tony and Yasuko (husband and wife).  They formed in 2003 in Tokyo and in the past year have moved shop to Vermont.

http://www.gimmesound.com/thebadspellers/index.cfm

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