Best of 2012: J-Rock Fridays Part I

January 4, 2013

Time to look back at all the great J-Rock videos of 2012. Instead of struggling with a top 10, I decided to pick my 12 favorites from the first half of the year. As expected, poll turnout was abysmal this year so I had to use my own discretion on these (seriously, if you want to see J-Rock Fridays reach 100 I need to see A LOT more participation!).

Bertoia- “Snow Slide”

What do you do when you find a floating door in your room in the middle of the night? Enter a mystical land where all your bandmates have weird forest grass growing on their faces. A little bit Narnia, a little bit Alice in Wonderland, “Snow Slide” is a fantastical video from one of the best female fronted shoegaze bands out there.

Turntable Films- “Misleading Interpretations”

Stabbed in the heart, Yosuke Inoue defies the impossible and gets his zombie butt off the ground and heads toward the concert venue. Many obstacles later, including being hit by a car, he makes it to his band’s show on time. A well choreographed video shot in one take.

Nile Long- “See Your Eyes”

Do you like those trendy Apple commercials where they have random people play fake instruments on their phones and tablets? Nile Long takes it to the next level in “See Your Eyes.”

NRQ- “Bostok”

VIDEOTAPEMUSIC is known for making both music and videos. His video for New Residential Quarter’s “Bostok” combines American Bandstand footage with his flashy editing skills that matches NRQ’s modern dance music meets traditional Asian folk style.

Grapevine- “Rakuen”

“Rakuen” isn’t the kind of song I would’ve typically listened to twice, but there’s something about a line of prisoners up against a wall that kept me watching. I don’t know what they did to deserve this but you bet it ends like all war movies!

ar- “Akasaka Nice Day”

The first of the “dance” videos on this list, “Akasaka Nice Day” is ar’s foray into the world of dance rock. A lot of flashing neon lights and a cute girl dancing, you know it. Unfortunately I never got around around to listening to this album, but this single did grow on me dramatically over the months.

Horaizun Yamashita Takuhaibin- “Kitai”

Another video from VIDEOTAPEMUSIC, a parody of sorts of Genki Sudo’s World Order. Horaizun Yamashita Takuhaibin take the streets with their slow motion dance while the guy with glasses does funny dances and mimes with a bunch of guest stars from the indie scene in that area, some of which I actually recognize!

kataomoi- “sentimenal☆jintooyoo”

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a strong desire to go for a walk? I don’t, but it’s joy to see this girl’s “I love you” dance inbetween frowns.

number0- “Irene”

I had trouble deciding between this and SiMoN’s snowy “Charlotte,” but since number0 actually went to Iceland to shoot this, I went with “Irene.” I could’ve gone with Mono’s “Legend” instead, which was also shot in Iceland and is equally pretty, but they have trouble understanding I don’t want to sit through 10-15 minute songs.

mudy on the 昨晩”PANIC ATTACK”

Whether you’re a fan of horror movies or not, mudy on the sakuban’s poltergeist filled haunted house will have you entertained for three minutes if only to count all the horror tropes.

0.8 Byo no Shogeki.- “Lasagna”

This is 0.8 Byo no Shogeki at their quirkiest. Complete with hip hop, fun in the park and sexy bath time, “Lasagna” will have you aroused and laughing at the same time.

Crossfaith- “Monolith”

Rawrrrrrrrrrrrrr! “Monolith” is easily the most energetic song of the year and is something I like to scream along to when I’m angry, which is a lot lately. The blackness is the hatred in our hearts.


Band Links:

0.8 Byo no Shogeki: web, CD Japan

ar: web, CD Japan

Bertoia: web, bandcamp

Crossfaith: web, CD Japan

Grapevine: web, CD Japan, Play-Asia

Horaizun Yamashita Takuhaibin: web, Jet Set

kataomoi: web, Jet Set

mudy on the sakuban: web, CD Japan

Nile Long: web, CD Japan

NRQ: myspace, CD Japan

number0: web, CD Japan

Turntable Films: web, CD Japan

Check back in two weeks for part 2!

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