What better way to celebrate Cyber Monday and the start of the holiday season than introducing J-Rock Explosion’s new Amazon.com store? J-Rock Exposion’s J-Rock Store has hundreds of CD, MP3, vinyl, and DVD releases with more being added everyday! Each purchase is handled through Amazon.com and a very small percentage of each order comes back to me. Treat yourself to some quality releases so I can buy presents for my family! I’ll start you off with 3 free MP3s good until the end of the day. Feel free to leave feedback and buy stuff!
Archive for November, 2010
myspace band of the week
Paunch Wheel (パウンチホイール) is a band of friends who met in their high school chorus club in 2000. A fan of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and long names, they originally called themselves All About My Paunch and Bucket Wheel Excavator. Thankfully they shortened it. They’ve released three mini-albums leading up to their debut album ダウンロードは下の in 2009.
Their songs on myspace are of the smooth rock variety, similar to Acidman. Their single “ロミオ＆ジュリエット (Romeo & Juliet)” is the most upbeat and might have found itself as an anime theme on another label. But I guess Paunch Wheel’s J-Pop will have to stay at the live houses a little while longer. Their mini-album Real is the only thing available on CD Japan.
myspace band of the week
mmm (memymo!) is the solo project of mmm from Maria Hato and friends. Her first album パヌー (Panu) was released late 2009/early 2010 (whichever makes it eligible for my year-end list) on kiti label. She also helped out on labelmate oono yuuki’s Stars In Video Game and released a CD-R in July.
“マジカル・オムニブス号 (Magical Omnibus)” was the first single off Panu and was made into an exuberant one-take PV. It’s easily the happiest song on the album and you’re a horrible person if that video doesn’t make you smile. The rest of the songs are much more of a subdued folk affair, or as she says “all my songs tend to be saddy but I actually am very happy.”
“外人さん (Foreigner)” and “ゲロ吐く時の歌 (Song of vomit puke)” are strange to say the least but showcase mmm’s vocal range. “There there” is a beautiful song, sung entirely in English, that should put mmm on the shortlist of best female singer-songwriters in Japan.
So after last week’s Halloween excursion (which had a low turnout—last time I’m doing anything special), I had a surplus of videos. Maybe they’ll spill into next week, cause I’m tired.
noughts and exes- “The Start Of Us”
Noughts and exes adapt a childhood art-class assignment for the title-track of their sophomore album. It’s somewhat unsettling but strangely fits this beautiful track. Let’s hope Pepsi doesn’t get wind of this.
I don’t like posting about events I have no way of attending, but I’ll make an exception for Live From Tokyo. In 2008 filmmaker Lewis Rapkin and his crew traveled the backstreets of Tokyo to highlight some of the most innovative musicians of the scene. The film includes interviews and performances from artists such as Shugo Tokumaru, Uhnellys, and Tenniscoats.
Live From Tokyo will be shown at the Viz Cinema theatre in San Francisco at 7:15PM. Following the film, there will be a Q & A with the filmmakers and LIVE webcasts from Kirihito, Sajjanu, Yudaya Jazz, and Onnacodomo in Tokyo. Ticket and location info can be found here. If you can’t make it you can watch tons of raw concert footage on the documentary’s YouTube page. I’ll be slowly going through them and post my favorites the next time substantial news (DVD release?) of the film is announced.
myspace band of the week
Garage band Supersnazz has been rocking Japan almost as long as Shonen Knife. They formed in 1990 as an all-girls band with the original lineup of Spike, Tomoko, Skinnie Minnie, and Kanako. They caught the ears of American label Sup Pop Records early on who released their first album Superstupid in 1993. Skinnie Minnie left the band a year later. They released their second album Devil Youth Blues in 1997 after extensive touring in the US and Japan and released three more albums between 1998-2001. Their all-girl lineup was broken in 1997. As of now, Tomoko and Spike are the only original members left, with Greg and Marky the new guy members.
And then the buzz died down once the chick-band image was broken. But they continued to release albums and tour extensively in the past decade. Their myspace contains songs from their 2008 album Get Down. It’s full of Ramones-esque tunes such as the shout out loud “Let’s Go” and the feel good “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind.” Supersnazz never stopped making rockin’ tunes even though the music industry forgot about them.
Fans of the Tarantino-approved cult classic All About Lily Chou-Chou can return to the ether next month. Lily Chou-Chou will release a brand new single on December 8 and perform live in Tokyo on the 15th. Salyu, who kind of became a big J-pop star in the 9 years since the film was released, will return on vocals along with composer Takeshi Kobayashi and Yukio Nagoshi. Keep checking their website for any future news on the project. I know I’d like to hear a new album.
Second Royal uploaded a sampler of Turntable Films’ new mini-album 10days Plus One on YouTube. To my dismay it has much more in common with the soft country sound of their self-titled debut than Parables of Fe-Fum. But at least it has that cool flute again on “Collection of You,” which you can listen to in full on myspace. They even rerecorded my favorite track off their self-titled, “Here In My Heart.” The mini-album was released on November 3 but you’re not going to get it unless you go to their release tour.