Archive for April, 2011

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 44

April 29, 2011

Royal wedding weekend so exciting.

NEW ROTE’KA- “Iraira Everyday”

Call in the clown jester! I first heard of NEW ROTE”KA when Toru Hidaka’s super group TV Murders did a song for their tribute album but never got around to listening to it. I guess they’ve been around a while. Who could hate the clown?

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SHO ~Shokun Hellharmonic Orchestra~

April 27, 2011

myspace band of the week

Slipknot meets classic? Not two words you expect to hear in the same sentence. But the fine folks of Shokun Hellharmic Orchestra (SHO) have  successfully fused metal and hip hop to the world of classical music.

Very little can be found out about SHO online. Who makes up the orchestra? Who is the conductor? Despite the mystery SHO has released two internationally available albums, Overture and Symphony No. 0, filled with metal covers of the classics. Their myspace includes renditions of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Pachelbel, Rachmaninoff, and Mendelssohn. It’s filled with heavy guitars and DJ sampling, but the violins and orchestra still make the pieces classy.

Download SHO MP3s at CD Baby.

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FLOW to appear at Anime Central, Fanimecon

April 22, 2011

Dear Chicagoans. With under a month til convention time, Anime Central has announced FLOW as their musical guest. You may know them from Naruto, Eureka Seven, or Code Geass. They will be supporting the May 10 US release of FLOW ANIME BEST (digital only, boo—grab the CD here). It’s kind of ridiculous they have enough anime themes to fill up an entire album but that’s staying power for you.

Anime Central will take place in Rosemont, IL May 20-22. FLOW will also return to San Jose’s Fanimecon May 27-30.

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Beatful

April 20, 2011

myspace band of the week

Beatful is an electronic rock band that formed in 2008. Vocalist Miyuki joined the band May 2009 after a series of auditions. Their original keyboardist left in August 2009 and was replaced by Akio. Beatful incorporates synthesizers with dance rhythms, “a horror movie with catchy pop rock and roll.”

At this time their myspace only includes live clips. Most of their  songs lean towards the anime side of J-pop but the keyboardist keeps things interesting. Beatful are currently recording their first album. ORGASMLiveNet uploaded a video of their performance of two new songs “Aa Ha Wa” and “Jet” a few days ago. I got to say I’m getting major Tokyo Jihen vibes from this. Miyuki is definitely exuding Shiina Ringo spunk, especially with the new haircut. These songs are a lot of fun and I can’t wait to hear more.

http://www.myspace.com/beatfull

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 43

April 15, 2011

J-Rock J-Rock J-Rock

The Cigavettes- “(Just Need Some Changes, It’s Gonna Be) Alright”

You can tell by the band’s vintage Smiths t-shirts where exactly they get their inspiration. Classic rock for the masses.

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MotherMAN

April 13, 2011

myspace band of the week

MotherMAN is an unsigned band from Tokyo. Before I say anything else I should address the elephant in the room. After the meatspin wars of 2006 I thought my days of shock sites were over. Until I Googled this band’s name. To spare your curiosity, motherman.com shows a video of a dude getting anal and oral from a pair of transvestites. Cocks all over the place.

It’s a shame I have to associate MotherMAN with dick now since  I can see them being the next big mainstream rock band. Most of MotherMAN’s songs are the easy going, maybe ballad kind. The vocals are very pleasant and the guitars dreamy. I wouldn’t quite call it shoegaze but if that’s what they want to call it. They do have an epic post rock vibe in “Peaceland” though. MotherMAN is a good pop rock band comparable to bands like UNCHAIN and the equally bad named Bump of Chicken.

MotherMAN CDs are only available at their shows. If you’d like some free music they have a zip file with two songs on their website.

 

http://www.myspace.com/motherman05

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Stuff To Look Forward To, April 2011

April 12, 2011

Back again with another belated Stuff To Look Forward To. It goes without saying March was a tough month for Japan. There were several releases pushed back to late April/May, mostly from the major labels. Unfortunately I haven’t kept tabs on those so you’re on your own.

This month we have new releases from old favorites Doping Panda and The Cherry Coke$ who have finally gotten some attention after their Giant Killing OP. We also have debut albums from myspace band of the week alumni LOST, the loud function, and Usotsuki Barbie. My mini-album pick of the month goes to Shugo Tokumaru’s band Gellers, who have surprisingly gotten little attention outside of our sister blogs. My album pick of the month goes to Vampillia. I got it last week (labels are finally starting to send me stuff!) and have been listening to it non-stop.

4/06 Apartment- Apartopology (CD Japan)
4/06 Kinoko Hotel- Marianne no Kokotsu (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/06 Merengue- Aporia (CD Japan)
4/06 Metron Ongen- Eden (CD Japan)
4/06 NICO Touches The Walls- Passenger (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/06 Plastic Tree- Ammonite (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/06 Usotsuki Barbie- Nininini (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/13 The Cigavettes- The Cigavettes (CD Japan)
4/13 Doping Panda- Yellow Funk (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/13 GEEKS- Babbage (CD Japan)
4/13 LOST- The Monsoon (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/13 Low IQ 01- Master Low Go (CD Japan)
4/13 Salyu x Salyu- s(o)und(d)beams (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/13 STRAIGHTENER- Vandalism/Silly Parade (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/15 Gellers- Guatemala (Jet Set)
4/15 Joseph Nothing Orchestra- Super Earth (Unsupermarket)
4/19 JAWEYE- alpha (CD Japan)
4/19 Vampillia- Rule the World/Deathtiny Land (Amazon)
4/20 The Cherry Coke$- Seven (CD Japan)
4/20 the loud function- world of monochrome (CD Japan)
4/20 Supercar- RE: Supercar 1 (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/27 ANA- Hole (CD Japan)
4/27 Going Under Groud- Inagawa Kun (CD Japan, Play Asia)
4/27 Mo’some Tonebender- Best of Worst (CD Japan, Play-Asia)
4/27 Wagdug Futuristic Unity- Raw (CD Japan)

Also of note, & records just released a benefit comp for the victims of the Tohoku earthquake. Includes Caroline and myspace band of the week alumni 4 Bonjour’s Parties and kuh (ex-Beat Crusaders). 40 tracks for $11.99.

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Virgin Babylon signs Joseph Nothing Orchestra

April 9, 2011

Post-rock super label Virgin Babylon Records will release Joseph Nothing Orchestra’s new album Super Earth on April 15. It took me a month to write that sentence but at least we have a full PV for the title track now. You can even download it for free here. Pre-order now from Virgin Babylon and get a special bonus CD. Aliens and trailers below.

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Sentinels

April 6, 2011

myspace band of the week

Sentinels! No worries, this has nothing to do with giant mutant-hunting robots. Sentinels is an “east meets west, west meets east” band centered in Osaka. UK native Matt Wycliffe Lucas landed in Japan in 2005 where he taught at a language school. He met future keyboardist Lito Cruz his first day and they became fast friends. Two years later Cruz and Wycliffe  had to come up with a song-to-sing-along-to for their students and magic happened. The two booked a rehearsal in Osaka’s red light district and worked on Wycliffe’s material.

Wycliffe met their bassist Maki at school. Somehow she was only student left in class and instead of talking about “business trips” they decided to meet at a coffee house and talk music. Maki was exclusively a guitarist but Wycliffe convinced her to pick up the bass and join his band. Lito met their drummer Atsuko at a subway station. She bumped him and he noticed the drumsticks sticking out of her handbag. Delighted to find a drummer, he invited her to rehearsal.

The three songs on myspace come from their demo CD available from Flake Records. “Telescopic” is a great piano driven song. One thing that is kind of surprising is the Claudio Sanchez quiver in Wycliffe’s vocals, which is even more apparent in “People Are Everywhere.” I’m not accustomed to hearing that quiver in happy music. But that didn’t stop me from singing along “oh oh oh I’m a doctor.” The last song “The Wa and the Wherefore” ends on a more melancholic, leaves changing note. Sentinels is an upbeat band with an international back story. The vocals may turn some people off but there’s definitely some good stuff here.

http://www.myspace.com/sentinelsjapan

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 42

April 1, 2011

Back on schedule. No foolin.’

0.8秒と衝撃。- 町蔵・町子・破壊 (Machizou Machiko Hakai)

0.8Syooogeki had the top voted video of 2010. Let’s see if they can repeat it this year. Eat snow and dig in.

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