Archive for April, 2010

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 19

April 30, 2010

Do-do-do-dododo-do-dodo-dododo-do.

Yonrinsha- “Is It All Downhill”

Get your glowsticks and rock downhill with the Yonrinsha boys.

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HNC

April 27, 2010

myspace band of the week

Not really a band, but it kind of used to be.  HNC is the solo project of Yuppa of Hazel Nuts Chocolate.  Or you can say it’s the rebirth of Hazel Nuts Chocolate seeing as she didn’t bother changing her myspace URL or much else.

Hazel Nuts Chocolate formed in 2000 and was a major player in the shibuya-kei scene.  Yuppa was the founding member and both Hazel Nuts Chocolate albums featured different co-members/collaborators.  But she originally intended it to be a solo project so she officially renamed the group to HNC and released her first real solo album Cult in 2009.  HNC is more M.I.A.-like with cute, nonsense vocals and electronic beats whereas Hazel Nuts Chocolate was going for the cute French-pop theme that the contemode artists were going for at the time.

None of the songs from Yuppa’s Hazel Nuts Chocolate days remain on her myspace.  Instead we have songs from Cult, a few remixes, and a couple of unreleased songs.  The songs from Cult highlight the direction Yuppa is going in with HNC.  “Kitten Breaks,” which conveniently has cat sound effects in-between vocals, is easily the most danceable.  The calypso beat makes for a great entry on a summer drive mixtape.  The rest of the songs range from cute–“Girl Things”–to edgy dub step–“Arabian Nights.” And then we have the hilariously bizarre “Witches Party” (Go to human-hunt! Eat them from the hair to the bone!!!).  The remixes are mostly okay.  The only one I’ve listened to more than once is “HNC-TBA’s Dancing in the Blue Mosque RMX” which is a remix of The Brixton Academy’s “So Shy.”  It gives the song a creepy Arab beat that doesn’t trump the original but is interesting.  HNC may not be putting out the most original music, but it’s cute, and infinitely more listenable than Yuppa’s other project Love and Hates.

http://www.myspace.com/hazelnutschocolate

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Live Action BECK trailer

April 24, 2010

The second trailer for the live action adaption of the manga BECK has been released.  From the looks of it, the movie will cover from the first chapter up to the Grateful Sound story arc, which is kind of a lot of material.  The actors look like their characters for the most part.  Chiba has an afro so I’m happy.  The movie looks pretty amazing so far.  Still, I would’ve liked to hear some of the original music from the film in this trailer and not the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

BECK opens September 4 in Japan.  You can find more information on the official website.

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deep frame

April 19, 2010

myspace band of the week

There are few songs in the Japanese language that move me to tears and “Lontano” by deep frame is one of them. This song makes me want to curl up in a ball and die.  Seriously.  There’s something about that melancholic piano, slow building violin, and of course Syuri’s beautiful voice that just gets to me.  Full song below:

Thankfully not all the songs on their myspace are depressing.  In fact, they’re somewhat cheerful.  “Color of wind” has a lot of cool flute action going on, while the other two clips from their new album are more calm and peaceful.  More clips from 日々のはざま can be found here.  The songs from their mini album fateful meeting, which came out far too long ago, are more of the same.  Some are more reflective piano driven songs, and others would work fine as an ending theme to your favorite anime.  In some ways deep frame reminds me a lot of Spangle call Lilli line.  And then there’s songs like “Lontano” and “透徹の朝” that would sit happily on a new mutyumu album with some added in pig grunts.  It’s a weird mixture, but I like it.

Deep frame consists of Syuri on vocals and Hideaki takahash on everything else.  Their debut album 日々のまざま comes out April 22 and includes seven tracks and a bonus DVD with four music videos.  Hopefully they’ll wind up on YouTube someday.  In the meantime, you can watch the digest version below.

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 18

April 16, 2010

Welcome back.  I have a feeling that it doesn’t matter whether or not I comment on these videos or not, but I did.  But I left a couple for you to do.  Hey, I even brought the poll back!  We’ll see how that goes.

oono yuuki- + –

Time to start dragging my favorites to the top of the list.  This is, dare I say, epic.

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Dropping like world

April 13, 2010

myspace band of the week

Let’s be honest, the only reason I clicked on this band was that awesome tophat.  It reminds me of a certain Dir en grey photo, but thankfully they’re no visual kei band.

Dropping like world formed in Nagano in 2007.  They sound like your typical garage band, influenced by grunge and other alternative music.  These songs are mostly of demo quality but definitely show some promise.  “Bleed” and “d.l.w.” have some tight riffs while songs like “The Backbone,” “vision of despair,” and “Leukemia”  head into post-hardcore territory.  With a little bit of work I’m sure they’ll be signed soon.  Choice track: “The Backbone”

http://www.myspace.com/dlw3594

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anyuu-rizumu is an artist

April 11, 2010

It’s rare to see a musical artist excel in the art world, but anyuu-rizumu’s paintings are a sight to behold.  At first it reminded me of some of the Bloodthirsty Butchers album covers.  The art is abstract with a lot of reds, browns, and blues.  Every piece depicts a little girl or monster.  The music follows suite with somewhat creepy, often atmospheric soundscapes.  It may not sound as polished as the big name Tokyo acts, but fits the art well.

Below are a few pieces of his artwork, skillfully hotlinked from his myspace profile.  Tons more can be seen here.

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arcana arcade

April 6, 2010

myspace band of the week

I’m always on the lookout for good J-folk bands and arcana arcade fits the bill just fine.  The band consists of Seiji Suga, Satoko Moriyasu, and a dozen other support members on saxophone, flute, trumpet, etc.  They are influenced by 60s and 70s psychedelic and folk rock and hope to revive the “old but good” feeling.

The first three songs on myspace come from their upcoming album And Jersey.  The first song has a positive folk rock feeling and a lot of flute, while the second is on the sadder side of folk but exposes Satoko Moriyasu as a great vocalist.  “30/30” definitely has more of a hillbilly feel, but I’m loving the variety here.  “Starmine” is an older song that feels more shoegazey than folk.

If you enjoy bands like Turntable Films and 4  Bonjour’s Parties you’ll dig this band.  Arcana arcade is currently finishing their debut album, which they describe as “a curry well stewed with some citrus fruits, coffee, miso and bean jam.”  Honestly, who doesn‘t want to listen to that?

http://www.myspace.com/arcanaarcade

Download a free mp3 at bandcamp.

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 17

April 2, 2010

It’s Good Friday.  Praise the Lord for J-rock.

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new Kamomekamome album in June

April 1, 2010

yep yep yep yep yep

Here’s something you never thought you’d see, Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald duking it out in a hardcore skramz band.  But where’s the Hamburglar?  The King? Kid Vid?  Unfortunately, this clip doesn’t zoom in enough on the other band members, so who knows.

KAMOMEKAMOME’s third album Happy Rebirthday to You comes out June 2.  Listen to more clips on myspace. Read the rest of this entry ?