You are currently browsing posts tagged with Awesome Japanese Bands
Asian Kung-Fu Generation has been around for over a decade, and we’re a little late to the party (having just discovered them this year). But oh well, better late than never!
AKFG is a Japanese outfit that has, since the late nineties, pulled together their beloved alternarock/power punk/indie influences for an earnest, energy-charged, brightly commercial blend of rockage. In the States, that bio would make a band Jimmy Eat World or Weezer. But the Japanese version is somehow more novel than that–a little less intentionally aloof, perhaps. And this is why the original songs, for whatever formulas they boast, do not suffer for their earnest. Rather, they seem kind of straightforward and sturdy, yet kinda sleek–like a well-fitted puffer vest from Patagonia. This is also why AKFG can cover an Oasis song and not lose all their street cred.
But why settle for cover songs? Enjoy the video for last year’s new single, “Shinseiki No Love Song”–which has less power chords than former hits and stands out from the pack. When you’re done, find out what we fell in love with by watching my favorite track from ’05, “Blue Train.”
Look at these adorable ladies:
Aren’t they sweet? They’re Nisenenmondai (which apparently means “Year 2000 Problem,” remember that?), a veteran Japanese trio that has been playing a sick blend of lo-fi/wall-of-sound/punk/noise/distortion rock for a decade. The music is, all at once: cerebral, playful, aggressive, daunting, methodical, modern, mathematical, organic impulsive, deliberate, visceral and new. Hunh.
In short, Nissenmondai sounds (IMHO) like this:
Filed under: Adorable, Asian Ladies Rock, Awesome Japanese Bands, Denim Art, Distortion Rock, Don't Be Fooled By That Cute Facade, Hokusai, Hybrids, Japanese Bands, Ladies Who Rock, Lo-Fi Sounds, Nisennenmondai, Pleasant Cacophony, Pretty Ladies, Punk, Veterans, Year 200 Problem
I’ll be honest. For about three weeks, when not busy playing Beatles Rock Band*, I’ve been dusting off old and also sorta-oldish punk albums, to give them a good spin–providing a soundtrack for the month’s chaos and all of my nervous holiday energy.
“Punk” coming out of my speakers can mean a lot of things–sometimes the herky jerk of Bad Brains or Black Flag, sometimes a fun romp with the Ramones, Fugazi if I’m feeling fresh, Stooges if I’m not. And… okay. I’ve also been indulging my Orange County roots with bad 90′s power punk that will go unnamed to preserve my innocence.
What I’d not even thought to entertain, at least until this week, were all of the fun Japanese punk bands that I meant to fall in love with twenty years ago but didn’t because I was in elementary school without an Internet connection. Take, for example, The Predators, who I’m listening to right now (via MySpace recommendation by Japanese alt-veterans, The Pillows).
Filed under: Awesome Japanese Bands, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Chaos, Fugazi, Japan, Japanese Bands, Memory Lane, Nostalgia, Nostalgiasian, Orange County, Punk Rock, Punk's Not Dead, Punks, Soundtracks, The Clash, The Holidays, The Predators, The Ramones, The Stooges
Buffalo Daughter, at the music game since before your 16-year-old was born, is recording a new album!
For those who know BD well, this is fantastic news–you should know that they’re about to rock their last 2009 live show in Tokyo, and have been whispering about a new full-length since September.
For those who have not yet discovered the joys of Buffalo Daughter, this is a fab opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the gleeful dynamics of this Japanese, female-fronted, electro-collage band. Think of it as brilliant samples and atypical juxtapositions, à la Cornelius. And perfect, pretty pop-icity, like Norway’s Annie. Ooh! With the Japanese fun flare of Cibo Matto. All in all: wacky, wacky stuff that you will undoubtedly love by instinct.
But back to the important stuff: NEW BUFFALO DAUGHTER ALBUM NEXT YEAR! Let’s organize a listening party!
You may have seen this music video (“Hibi no Neiro,” or “Tone of Everyday”) from the Japanese band Sour already. If so, we’re guessing you want to watch it again. If not, we’re sure you’ll want to watch it again and again.
The cast of the video are fans from around the world who participated in its making via webcam.
Even though they formed well before “my time” in 1986, The Boredoms–an insane noise band from Japan–were a benchmark in my rock development. I recall the moment the opening riffs of Soul Discharge poured through the mini-hi-fi speakers of my high school stereo: ugly, beautiful, messy, abrasive, confusing, yet altogether brilliant. I had no idea that something so intense could come from four people that looked like me (well… sorta like me, but way the hell cooler). From that moment on they were a staple in my audio life, during fired-up moments of solitude on my bed or as the wake-up call during my 3am-6am college radio show. I will be honest, they always made very little sense to me, and I loved them for it.
The Boredoms dropped off a bit at the turn of the millennium–maybe they were, ahem, bored? Maybe they refused to be a part of the shit pile that has defined the music of the oughts. Whatever the case, they’ve slowly emerged, once again, to wake and fire us up as needed. If you didn’t catch them (often referred to of late as V∞redoms) on their most recent ’08 U.S. tour, just keep your eyes and ears peeled for them to make the rounds again.
For more tuneage, pictures of hot chick bangs, and fookin’ awesome dudes, go here.
Thanks, Dave, for bringing ‘em back to me!
Meet Polysics, Japan’s answer to Devo. This new wave pop outfit is fast and furious, and lead singer Hiroyuki Hayashi is a mad man. Check out their half-animated, half-seizure-inducing video “Electric Surfin’ Go Go”:
Want more Polysics? GOOD NEWS. They’re playing for the next month in a city near you as part of the MySpace Music Tour, their biggest ever in the U.S. In terms of energy and spirit, there’s apparently no other show like it.