Versailles get dolled up for visual-kei fest

Oct 23, 2009

Versailles get dolled up for visual-kei fest

With dozens of Japanese bands trying to crack the West over the last 20 years, whoever would have guessed visual-kei would be the first genre to truly succeed? The decadent style of bands such as L’Arc-en-Ciel, Dir En Grey and D’espairsRay has impacted heavily ...

| Oct 18, 2009

Roll up! Roll up!

London, where there are tens of thousands of Japanese people living at any one time, is awash with world cuisine. But most Japanese food available in eateries there would hardly pass muster in its homeland. That is where Hideyuki Uno scores big, because — ...

Oct 16, 2009

Loud Park

Loud Park is Japan’s biggest gathering of heavy-metal maniacs, and a relatively new but much-loved event. Since 2006, the two-day festival has presented the world’s heaviest and hairiest, from Slipknot to Marilyn Manson, and this year sees the return of the festival’s first headliners, ...

Little Boots serves pop a remedy

Oct 2, 2009

Little Boots serves pop a remedy

“I don’t know what it is about my music that appeals to the Japanese,” says Victoria Hesketh, the British pop sensation better known as Little Boots. “A lot of people in England miss the point, and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s just pop music.’ And ...

She 'Orion'

Sep 25, 2009

She "Orion"

In the anime “Macross,” the top chart sensation was Sharon Apple, a cybernetic singer who bewitched a fictional future with her laboratory-engineered music and hologramatic cleavage. Here in real-life Japan, 2009, the defining act is Perfume: three carefully choreographed girls who sing autotune-crippled vocal ...

Tokyo rabbi gives unconditionally

Sep 19, 2009

Tokyo rabbi gives unconditionally

“Whatever we have, we give 100 percent,” says Binyomin Edery, the 33-year-old chief rabbi at Chabad House in Tokyo. “Our bank account is at zero! If we have one, we give two; if we have two, we give four. That’s what we do.” Chabad-Lubavitch ...

Electric Eel Shock stays metal, man

Sep 11, 2009

Electric Eel Shock stays metal, man

‘I am ‘Metal Man,’ ” states Akihito Morimoto matter-of-factly. “I love heavy metal, and I also studied metal materials and die-cast manufacture at university. So all my life is about metal.” At the live shows of his band Electric Eel Shock, it shows. Coming ...

Back from extinction

Sep 11, 2009

Back from extinction

Few rock bands in Japan are as legendary as Unicorn. From their inception in 1986 at the height of Japan’s “band boom,” which saw the balance of chart power shift from idoru (idol) pop to real bands, through to their split in 1993 and ...

Tigarah 'The Funkeira goes BANG!'

Sep 4, 2009

Tigarah "The Funkeira goes BANG!"

When Japanese emcee Tigarah emerged in 2006, she shouldered great expectations. Her gritty Brazilian baile-funk party sound, created together with a Swiss-German producer she met on one of many inspiring trips to Sao Paolo, had her labeled “the Japanese M.I.A.,” and she built up ...