Archive for July, 2010

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The Suzan

July 28, 2010

myspace band of the week

The Suzan is an all-girl band from Tokyo that caught the ear of Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John.  They managed to convince him to produce their new album via a myspace message and it will soon be released internationally from Fool’s Gold.

Only two tracks from the girls grace their myspace page.  “Home” is a xylophone filled indie pop song that’s blissfully happy.   Astute readers can download the track free here.  “High and Low” has more of a garage rock feel with motown vocals.  Their music can be powerful or as cute as them.

Their album Golden Week For the Poco Poco Beat doesn’t come out until September, but you can buy their new single “Home” now on a  fancy 7″ record.

http://www.myspace.com/thesuzan

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 25

July 23, 2010

Silver anniversary.

white white sisters- “imperfect conflict”

Finally a band that could combine the raw energy of Death From Above and the electronic prowess of Daft Punk.  Loud and beautiful.  Watch out Boom Boom Satellites.

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Sweet Hollywaiians

July 21, 2010

myspace band of the week

The ukulele always makes me happy.  It should come as no surprise that the Sweet Hollywaiians put me in a good mood.

The Sweet Hollywaiians are based in Osaka and were originally street performers that shared a common interest in Hawaiian, swing, ragtime,  and calypso  music from the 20s and 30s.  They formed a string quartet in 2002 to celebrate the long forgotten legends of the time such as Sol Hoopii, King Bennie Nawahi, Roy Smeck and Eddie Lang.  They’ve put out four albums and toured worldwide, wrapping up a Canadian tour this week.

The songs up on myspace are mainly instrumental Hawaiian pieces that range from hula-dance to mai-tai-on-the-beach.   But there are several vocal pieces such as the excellent “Hula Girl.”  The Hollywaiians also team up with Yumi Ishikawa on “U’i Lani” and “Maile Swing,” traditional Hawaiian songs that are just as sweet and melancholic as the originals.   The interplay between the steel guitars, banjos, and ukulele’s are relaxing and more than up to the par to the legends of the past.

If the Hollywaiians made you hula, pick up Ticklin’ The Strings and Hula Girl from CD Baby or their collaborations with Yumi Ishikawa and Tom Marion.  Whether you need some Hawaiian music for a romantic evening or just something to drown your booze, the Sweet Hollywaiians are pleasant listening material.  I guess this will tide me over until I can afford a damn vacation.

http://www.myspace.com/sweethollywaiians

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RiLF

July 14, 2010

myspace band of the week

Ever wonder what happened to that new matryoshka album that was supposed to come out last year?  I did.  And found the post-rock supergroup RiLF.

Calu, the vocalist/creepy looking girl from matryoshka, four members of Anoice, and a couple other people got together earlier this year and dubbed themselves Ricco Label and Friends.  They released era e.p. in April and renamed themselves RiLF later on.  In September, they’ll release their debut album Ferris Wheel on Ricco Label.  One-minute samples of the entire album can be heard on myspace.  RiLF combines the post-rock stylings of Anoice with Calu’s haunting vocals.  Some of the songs are more experimental than others, but all come out out as very relaxing, easy to fall asleep to music.  The violins also add a touch of class to songs like “Mint Tea” and “so sad.”

This is definitely a side project to look out for.  And if you’re still wondering about that matryoshka album, it was announced yesterday that it will be released on world’s end girlfriend’s new label Virgin Babylon Records.

http://www.myspace.com/rilfs

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world’s end girlfriend starts his own label, fills it with awesome

July 13, 2010

In light of fellow post-rockers LITE and toe forming their own record labels, Katsuhiko Maeda (world’s end girlfriend) announced his own label Virgin Babylon Records today.  And what an amazing roster it has.  So far he’s signed mutyumu, about tess, matryoshka, and his brother Ryoma Maeda.  If that’s not a who’s who in amazing Japanese post-rock I don’t know what else is.  About tess will release their new album Winter 2010 and Ryoma Maeda in Spring 2011.

The first release on Virgin Babylon Records will of course be the new world’s end girlfriend album Seven Idiots on September 14.  He describes it as “an irregular pop album, filled with ‘Destroy’ and ‘Construction,’ ‘LOVE’ and ‘Twisted’ of pop music!”  Track listing and album info can be found here.  The first single “Les Enfants du Paradis” can be downloaded for free.   It’s a lot more bouncy than I expected.  And I never thought I’d hear a world’s end girlfriend song start with handclaps.

http://www.virgin-babylon-records.com/

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 24

July 9, 2010

venti y cuatro

UNCHAIN- “Don’t Stop The Music”

“If my life could be like a television show it would be like Glee.  Cause on Glee you can sing and dance and no one will look at you funny.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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Satanicpornocultshop

July 7, 2010

myspace band of the week

When I run across bands with the words “satanic,” “porno,” and “cult” in their names, I tend to think of sacrificial goat slaughter, pig rape, the screams of dying maidens, equivalent exchange, and tofu burgers.  You proved me wrong Satanicporncultshop.

The randomly named Satanicpornocultshop formed in 1997 and have released many albums on their label NuNuLaxNulan and others.  They started off as a breakcore/hip hop unit and then proceeded to throw everything else in the mix.  Listening to their material on myspace is enough to give you whiplash.  “Feed me w) your kiss” lives up to the breakcore label, with nice boy-girl vocals leading up to a chaotic chorus of failing machines, with movie quotes and Hawaiian music filling out the background halfway in.  “Summer Quest” and “Tnnoji Zoo” have some of the same breakcore elements but nothing else here is really loud or abrasive.

I wasn’t expecting shibuya-kei from this band, but they gave us the very pretty “Suicidal Empire.”  “Asakichi” and “Closer, club mix” have the same pop elements, but with a dance beat.  Then we have “Beast Must Die, autumn” that could’ve been on the Memoirs of Geisha soundtrack.  But my favorite of the bunch is easily “Pinky,” one of their ridiculously cute covers of Missy Elliot’s “Get Your Freak On.”

So far Satanicpornocultshop released Arkhaiomelisidonophunikheratos through The Genepool and Catholic Sunspot Apron on their own label this year.  Which is a lot.  If you’re looking for original music take your porno to the cultshop.

http://www.myspace.com/satanicpornocultshop

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Stuff To Look Forward To, July 2010

July 7, 2010

Whenever I try to start a new column I procrastinate like mad.  So here’s Stuff To Look Forward To one week late.  Stuff I want to listen to in July.

Mizca- ♡UFUFU♡

This is not Masami Mitsuoka’s first album, she released one album and four singles under her real name.  But that was a failed project so she became the electro-pop princess Mizca.  Mizca’s debut album contains all of her singles, including the erotic “Robotics.”  The first press edition from CD Japan comes with a trading card and a a piece of paper with her lipstick smear.  That’s worth forty dollars.

Turntable Films- 2steps 7″

Turntable Films is finally coming to vinyl.  This was supposed to come out in May but has been repeatedly pushed back.  The 7″ contains “2steps” and “Welcome To Me” from their latest mini-album Parables of Fe-fum and a remix from Handsomeboy Techninque.  It’s quite catchy, listen/pre-order here. (myspace)

gutevolk- Sun Chandelier

The shoegaze gods have smiled on us.  First a new Luminous Orange album in June and now new gutevolk.  How blessed are we. I need more pretty music to get me through the day.  This would be her first album since tiny people singing over the rainbow in 2007.  Make sure to download the free album sampler at Rallye Label. (myspace)

LITE- Illuminate

I’m not used to post-rock bands putting out mini-albums.  But hopefully the shorter time frame won’t let their creativity spread too thin. It was recorded by John McEntire at the famous Soma Studios in Chicago.  “Image Game” was a lot of fun and you can already get it at HearJapan if you want.  (myspace)

Various Artists- Let’s Talk About Origins-A Tribute To LAGWAGON-

Back in the day I used to be able to count on at least one great pop-punk album each summer.  Those days are gone.  So now I’m going to put in a little faith in the  Japanese tribute album of Lagwagon featuring bands such as dustbox, Sorry For A Frog, and locofrank.  The samples have as much Engrish as expected, but it’s all in fun right.

High Speed Boyz- are u docono Softpunk!?

I used to think of these guys as the new, more consistent, Back-On until their new single for that movie with the skull masks.  It was a little more epic than I expected.  Maybe they have a future as a legitimate rock band instead of a trendy dance band.  In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how the softpunk’s debut album turns out.

Sandy Beach Surf Coaster- Private Beach

So I forgot about this before I wrote about Lagwagon.  Their E.P.s were a lot of fun and there’s no doubt in my mind their debut album won’t be.  One of the things I loved about their previous releases where the random cover songs they’d throw on.  This time we get Oasis and The Beach Boys and original songs of course. (myspace)

Paraele Stripes- feyz

The duo Paraele Stripes released their first album Phirst Tense in 2007.  It sounded a lot like Owl City.  Although that was a few years before “Fireflies” hit mall radio.  The samples for this upcoming mini-album lean more towards electronic dance party, thankfully.  (myspace)

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Stuff I don’t feel like writing about: Read the rest of this entry ?