Archive for November, 2010


New: J-Rock Explosion’s Store!

November 29, 2010

What better way to celebrate Cyber Monday and the start of the holiday season than introducing J-Rock Explosion’s new 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 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!


J-Rock Fridays Vol. 34

November 26, 2010

Ultra late Black Friday edition!


I’m not sure this is the kind of rock I would listen to if I drank sake, but that trombone is awesome.

website Buy@ CD Japan

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Paunch Wheel

November 24, 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.

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November 18, 2010

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. 

Buy mmm releases at Jet Set Records and

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 33

November 12, 2010

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. Buy @ bandcamp, their website

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Live From Tokyo—West Coast Premiere Tonight

November 12, 2010

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.



November 10, 2010

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.

Supersnazz albums are available at CD Japan. is selling Diode City in CD-R and MP3 format.  Interpunk has it on vinyl.

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Stuff To Look Forward To, November 2010

November 10, 2010

Ah November.  The time of the year when releases begin to trickle down along with my willingness to blog about them.  But there’s still some good stuff coming out

Kimonos- Kimonos

Kimonos is the side project of Leo Imai and the Zazen Boys’ Shutoku Mukai.  The fact that their names rhyme is coincidence.  So far Kimonos have put out two singles.  “Almost Human” has more of a laid back rock sound while “Soundtrack to Murder” is a little out there.  They describe the album as futuristic and nostalgic, a “fitting soundtrack to the manic intensity of Tokyo City.” (myspace)

The Brixton Academy- L.O.T

Spoiler alert!  TBA’s 80s tinged debut album Vivid will probably top my end of the year list.  But it was a bit on the short side so they’ll be releasing this 3-track EP to end the year.  It took a bit of sleuthing to find this as the band still hasn’t “announced” it yet.  Both listings I found list L.O.T. as  a 2-disc release, so I would expect a DVD with a PV or two. (myspace)

noughts and exes- The Start Of Us

Just when I thought I’d never hear this, they posted a bandcamp link on their Facebook last night.  Noughts and exes is a Hong Kong indie-rock band led by Joshua Wong of Whence He Came.  Their sophomore album boasts a new lineup and was produced by Martijn Groeneveld—the same guy who does buddhistson! (myspace)

Detroit Metal City

Amai, Amai, Amai, Amai, ko-i-bi-to. Detroit Metal City is finally available on DVD in the US!  Grab a copy and cuddle up with your sweet sweet lover and a plate of cheese tarts.  DMC is the tale of one Soichi Negishi who longs to create Swedish pop music but spends his nights as the emperor of death metal.  He’s kind of a mental case.  But hilarious!  And yes, that’s Kenichi Matsuyama, the guy that plays L on Death Note.

Buy Kimonos @ CD Japan, Jet Set, Play-Asia

Buy L.O.T. @ CD Japan, Jet Set

Buy The Start Of Us @ bandcamp, their website

Buy Detroit Metal City @, RightStuf

Secondary Excitement

about tess- Song of the Bird: One of the first bands signed to world’s end girlfriend’s label Virgin Babylon and now their second release.  Song of the Bird is a 74-minute track told in four acts that reveals the journey of a bird.  (myspace) Buy @ CD Japan, Unsupermarket

Crystal Lake- Into The Great Beyond: Does this album have great cover art or what?  (myspace) Buy @ Big Cartel, CD Japan

dustbox- Starbow: Thus marks 10 years of punk rock with dustbox.  Both singles so far have bored me but they can pull an album out of their ass by now.  (myspace) Buy @ CD Japan

Fear, And Loathing In Las Vegas- Dance & Scream:  At this point I think I like them more for their name.  They would be a hit with the Hot Topic crowd.  (myspace)

Kaji Hideki and Riddim Saunter- Teens Film: Hey, it’s the guy who sang “Amai Koibito”!  And he recorded an album with Riddim Saunter!  Buy @ CD Japan

Man With A Mission- Welcome To The New World: MWAM won me over with their awesome wolf masks and their occasionally dancey tunes. (myspace) Buy @ CD Japan

Meaning- Brave New World:  The drummer from Ellegarden joined a hardcore band?  And they want to fuck the world? (myspace) Buy @ CD Japan

Perfume- Ne:  It’s a sad state of affairs when Nakata puts more effort in Perfume than his own group.  Buy @ CD Japan, Play-Asia

sleepy.ab- Kakurenbo: New single…enough said? (myspace) Buy @ CD Japan, Play-Asia

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The Return of Lily Chou-Chou

November 8, 2010

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.

The movie is available on DVD now along with the original soundtrack.  Songs from the film below.

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Turntable Films- 10 Days Plus One Sampler

November 5, 2010

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.