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Archive for August, 2010
myspace band of the week
“Why are they called Quattro though they are 5?” The video for “Magic J” never answers the question, but I went ahead and listened to some more Quattro.
Quattro is a four or five-piece (their myspace lists four members at this point) indie band from Tokyo. They’ve put out two albums and an EP on LilBallet. Their latest album Where Is The Coconuts? …Ha? came out earlier this year and it’s a lot of fun. Samples of all eleven songs are up on myspace.
Their sound can best be described by observing what’s on their album cover: five dudes standing under palm trees. Some of the songs have a Brit pop flair, such as the excellent single “Time, Time, Time” while others such as “Question #7” and “For All We Done” are straight up country. The kind of album you play as you spread out on your hammock and enjoy an ice cold Popsicle.
Their English isn’t perfect. Their grammatical disaster of an album title should be proof of that. But the charm is still there. And if Takeshi Iwamoto works on it a LilBit I’m sure they’ll find success overseas.
August is here. And there’s more Japanese albums I can’t afford. If you’re in Chicago this weekend X-Japan will be at Lollapalooza. I don’t have $300 to burn just to stand around in the sun but whatever makes you happy.
Beat Crusaders- Situation
If you haven’t already heard, the Beat Crusaders are breaking up. Why do you have to leave me? “Situation” is their final single. Apparently, it will only be released as a DVD video. The listing says it’s Region 2, which defeats the point of me buying it, but thanks for one last song.
Nature Living- Anonymous
Back in the day, Nature Living was the screamo band to listen to from Japan. And then their popularity fell along with Purevolume’s before they even released their album. But I bought it. And liked it. This is their second full-length (third if you count After All). I doubt they’ll make it easy and put it on Interpunk again for us but I will find you. (myspace)
the telephones- We Love Telephones
Yes, we do. Second major label album from the band and they’re just as crazy as ever. I was starting to worry after that collaboration with MiChi. But the singles have been good, especially “Kiss Me, Love Me, Kiss Me,” which was a pleasant diversion from their normal chaos. They’ll bring the disco if you give them your love and voice. (myspace)
Mass of the Fermenting Dregs- Zero Comma, Irotoridori No Sekai
Now this is a major label debut we should be worried about. When they released the video for the title track a couple of weeks ago it was clear that they changed their sound to something more bubbly. I don’t mind the direction they’re going in. It’s kind of fun. (myspace)
The Predators- This World
The Predators are back with a new mini-album. This was the supergroup comprised of Sawao Yamanaka (the pillows), Jiro (GLAY), and Shinpai Nakayama (STRAIGHTENER). Well, Shinpai left and Hirotaka Takahashi (ELLEGARDEN) stepped in on drums. If you’re a fan of the pillows, they kind of sound the same, so go get it. (myspace)
Scott Murphy- Guilty Pleasure 4
Damn you Scott Murphy. You just got back together with ALLiSTER and you’re already doing more solo stuff. As always, the fourth in this series will cover a bunch of J-Pop songs, like Utada Hikaru’s “Flavor of Life.” And hey, there’s even a Carpenters and The Slants cover. And to be fair, the new ALLiSTER album kind of sucks.
Masafumi Isobe- Do we know? (single)
I was made to hit in America
Sometimes we can buy Japanese CDs at cheap American prices. Good Charamel is going a little crazy this month by releasing the newest albums from Shonen Knife, Molice, LAZYgunsBRISKY, and TsuShiMaMiRe on August 31. Selected songs from each band and DJ Sashimi will be on a compilation called I Love J-Rock released the same day. That’s a lot of stuff!
Here’s a clip of toe performing “Reflection Eternal” at Kaikoo Popwave Festival 2010 a few weeks after Nujabes’ death was announced. In true post-rock fashion, toe removed all the vocals and threw in some Spanish guitar without taking away the emotional impact of the song. Rest in peace.