Midori grow up, but kids still love 'em

Jun 11, 2010

Midori grow up, but kids still love 'em

Parents beware: Hardcore jazz-punk three-piece Midori are back, and this time they’re after your children. “There’s loads of them in the band — more than in Midori — and they’re just screaming and screaming!” says keyboardist Hajime Kato. Nineteen months after our last interview, ...

Soutaiseiriron: 'Synchroniciteen'

May 14, 2010

Soutaiseiriron: "Synchroniciteen"

In a world of information overload,in which we know what the members of our favorite bands had for breakfast thanks to an endless and unwelcome barrage of mundane information on Twitter, Facebook and a million fetid blogs, thank golly for Soutaiseiriron. The Tokyo four-piece’s ...

Vamps bite into British rock roots

May 14, 2010

Vamps bite into British rock roots

“L’Arc-en-Ciel is all about the musicianship. But Vamps are obsessed with rock music, and that’s basically our watchword: ‘rock.’ “ Japanese megastar Hyde is weighing up the differences between his two bands. L’Arc-en-Ciel, the multimillion-selling extrovert outfit with whom he rose to fame as ...

| Apr 28, 2010

Learning how to arrange a date in Japanese

Whether it’s a romantic engagement or dinner with friends or colleagues, making an appointment (約束, yakusoku) is a vital part of everyday language in Japan as much as anywhere else. The grammar involved isn’t too taxing, though the vocabulary extends as far as your ...

9mm Parabellum Bullet: 'Revolutionary'

Apr 23, 2010

9mm Parabellum Bullet: "Revolutionary"

Mixing emo and hardcore punk styles with a distinctly Japanese rock sound, 9mm Parabellum Bullet have carved themselves quite a niche. The Yokohama four-piece are pretty much fixtures on the major festival circuit, thanks to both their mainstream appeal (their last album charted at ...

I Am Robot And Proud

Apr 9, 2010

I Am Robot And Proud

Shaw-Han Liem may be proud, but he is not in fact a robot. Or if he is, he’s a robot in disguise; more Bishop from Aliens than R2-D2. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Liem is a one-man outfit who since 2001 has crafted chilled ...

Lights, camera, Sakanaction!

Apr 2, 2010

Lights, camera, Sakanaction!

“I hope foreign listeners can persevere with Japanese music,” laughs bespectacled musician Ichiro Yamaguchi. “Sure, there’s a lot of crap music here, but there’s a lot of good stuff, too. Intelligent music is in the minority now, but I believe it will become mainstream ...

Tokyo Jihen 'Sports'

Feb 19, 2010

Tokyo Jihen "Sports"

Given that she writes the majority of the songs in both projects and works with many of the same musicians, it’s bizarre that Shiina Ringo’s finest moments come not in her solo work but with her band Tokyo Jihen. Last year’s long-anticipated solo release ...

| Feb 17, 2010

Keep your fūtō out of your mouth at the post office

A fun part of living thousands of miles from family and friends is sending packages home — that is, so long as you know the requisite jargon to communicate at the yūbin kyoku (郵便局, post office). Nihon Yusei Kousha (日本郵政公社, Japan Post) became mineika ...