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 ...

Honey Sac 'Allege'

Aug 21, 2009

Honey Sac "Allege"

Sac are a hard sell. On the one hand, the band of five girls from Osaka make anime-ready guitar music that has been shaped and moulded into the most commercial of packages. And yet . . . there’s something curious about them. For one ...

Jeff Mills

Aug 21, 2009

Jeff Mills

As a critic, it’s easy to bemoan a festival that invites a similar lineup of acts year on year, as does Yokohama’s annual leftfield electronica romp Wire. But critics don’t usually buy tickets to festivals (free passes are one of the perks of the ...