Archive for August, 2011

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Miila and the Geeks

August 31, 2011

myspace band of the week

One of the more exciting up and coming bands I haven’t featured on this column yet is Miila and the Geeks. Miila was originally the solo project of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Moe Wadaka, who is also a member of Twee Grrrls Club and the duo Love and Hates with HNC’s Yuppa. The project was expanded to a band in 2007 with the addition of drummer Kaoru Ajima and Ryota Komori on screaming sax. Their first 7″ EP 6 Songs was released in December 2010 and sold out in a few days as did their second EP 3 Songs earlier this summer. Their debut album New Age was released by Niw! Records last week.

Miila and the Geeks is associated with the “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s. They list PJ Harvey, Bikini Kill and Kim Gordon among their influences. “Want,” “Cigarette & Water” and “Super Hero” are simple, yet aggressive punk songs punctuated by some crazy awesome saxophone. The sax is back in “Trouble,” which isn’t as fast but is still catchy with it’s one-line lyric.

New Age is available from Jet Set Records.

http://www.myspace.com/miilamiilamiila

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U900 releases Michael Jackson album

August 29, 2011

The ukelele has been making a comeback (I’ve seen that Jake Shimabukuro bloke on late night at least twice this month). U900, a ukelele duo known for their cute animated videos, released their new album Ukelele Michael last week. The album features eight ukelele covers of the King of Pop and three music videos.  Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” is below. Black bunny plays the ukelele with Michael’s glove!

You can order Ukelele Michael from CD Japan or Play-Asia.

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Wolfgang McCartney

August 24, 2011

myspace band of the week

Wolfgang McCartney is a Hiroshima based duo comprised of brothers Eiji and Kazuki Suehiro. They formed under the name London in 2004 and changed their name to Wolfgang McCartney in February 2010. The Beatles and The Monkees, who they cover regularly on their YouTube channel, are a major influence on their music. Wolfgang McCartney has self-released two albums and several singles.

Their new single “I Don’t Care” is the most rocking song on their myspace. The rest of their songs seem to be more pop based with a lot of synthesized instruments. I don’t much care for “Magic Tree,” which sounds like it was recorded at the Renaissance Faire. “Bye Bye Rain” and “Chance Again” manage to be decent pop songs if a little off key.

Download Wolfgang McCartney songs Amazon and iTunes.

http://www.myspace.com/wolfgangmccartney

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 52

August 19, 2011

Two year anniversary!

6eyes- “Radio”

There’s a lot of saxophone on the radio these days, it only makes sense for 6eyes to sax up their new single. Plus there’s a lot of cool things in this video, like a crossdressing drummer and a disgruntled office worker who grows dreadlocks overnight.

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Nekocats

August 17, 2011

myspace band of the week

Nekocats is a female fronted pop rock band from Tokyo. Guitarist Seigo Minegishi put the band together in the summer of 2010. Vocalist Erina Kawamoto was the first to join followed by Ernesto Salinas, a Puerto Rican drummer. Katsutoshi Tsunoda is their new bassist. The band’s name comes from Erina’s love for cats. They didn’t know whether to choose an English or Japanese name so they just wrote it both ways (“neko” is Japanese for cat).

GeeDes records released Nekocats’ first single She Loves You (no relation to The Beatles) in June. “She Loves You” is a fun pop song with a catchy chorus. It’s b-side “Utsusemi” isn’t up on myspace but they have a few more demo tracks up there. “Stray Cat” has the same amount of energy but has more of a bluesy feel. Meanwhile 鼓動 and 世界go for the cute factor.

Download She Loves You at Amazon or CD Baby. Physical copy is available from CD Japan.

http://www.myspace.com/nekocats

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J-Rock for Christ!

August 14, 2011

So I was watching music videos on JCTV (Jesus Christ Television, seriously) in the wee hours of the morning and saw this sweet collaboration between Christian rapper Manafest and Koie from Crossfaith. Looks like “No Plan B” was released back in 2010 on Manafest’s album The Chase, proof that JCTV needs to find new material. Does anyone know of any Christian J-Rock bands? I’ve listened to J-Rock long enough to know they must exist…

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Stuff To Look Forward To, August 2011

August 13, 2011

And the summer ends with a bang with some high profile releases by Dir en grey and another Straightener album. But I’m most excited for Miila and the Geeks’ debut album, followed closely by sgt. and Ogre You Asshole. Stateside we get a simultaneous release of Dir en grey’s new album, a Peelander-Z greatest hits compilation and the DVD release of the Live From Tokyo documentary.

8/02 Dir en grey- Dum Spiro Spero US (Amazon, Omega Order)

8/03 6EYES- Flush (CD Japan)

8/03 COUNTLOST- Mirror (CD Japan)

8/03 CRAZY HiTMAN- Riddim Jamboree (CD Japan) Read the rest of this entry ?

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ANYO

August 10, 2011

myspace band of the week

ANYO (あんよ- “footsie”) is a female fronted post rock/shoegaze band from Osaka. The band consists of 4ho (vocals), Yamashita (guitar), Teppei (bass) and Tama (drums). They have released two EPs, O in 2008 and iro in 2010. Musically they have been compared to bands like downy or Mogwai.

“A to Z,” 水鏡 and  白い夜 come from their second EP iro. “A to Z” and 水鏡 are massive tracks that get a little shoegazey in the middle but are still ferocious. Meanwhile  白い夜 is quieter and focuses on 4ho’s vocals. 声from their first EP starts out slow but builds into something as powerful as “A to Z.”

http://www.myspace.com/anyospace

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Peelander-Z’s Super Dx Hitz out today!

August 9, 2011

Just a reminder, Peelander-Z’s greatest hits album Super DX Hitz comes out today via Chicken Ranch Records. It includes 28 happee songs, some of which are rerecorded, and a karaoke DVD with 5 music videos. Below are the karaoke videos for the DX versions of “S.T.E.A.K.” and “Mad Tiger.” The sax in “S.T.E.A.K.” sounds amazing! Buy it now on Amazon.

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 51

August 5, 2011

Not going to Lollapalooza this weekend edition.

Miila and the Geeks- “Superhero”

Miila and the Geeks filmed an impromptu video while in Austin for SXSW this year. Looks like they didn’t bother to edit the video or inform their neighbor but screaming sax saves the day again. “Superhero” was originally released on their sold out 6 Songs EP last year, but you can catch it again on their debut album New Age later this month.

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