Freaky tribal gathering

Mar 3, 2006

Freaky tribal gathering

They are playing like schoolgirls, bouncing a balloon-shaped teddy-bear off each other and gaily dancing about in front of the Kiddy Ferris Wheel (admission 100 yen) for the lone press camera. If Japanese folk duo Nika Soup and Saya Source look giddily excited, it ...

On and off the charts

Dec 30, 2005

On and off the charts

Cast an eye over those charts that list the top-selling Japanese pop albums of the year and three musical trends come out on top: There were loose-limbed hip-hop party grooves aplenty (Def Tech and Ketsumeishi); American-influenced punk pop (Ellegarden, Ken Yokoyama and scores of ...

Have music, will travel

Dec 2, 2005

Have music, will travel

Shugo Tokumaru is one of those unfairly talented types who seem to be able to turn their hand to anything. He wrote, played and sang every note on his two albums of “bedroom music” and produced them both too. The 25-year-old also finds time ...

Keeping up with the Norah Joneses

Sep 16, 2005

Keeping up with the Norah Joneses

She may only be 16 years old, but Massachusetts native Sonya Kitchell talks with the assurance of a musician twice her age. It’s a couple of days after Kitchell played a live showcase to a largely music-industry crowd in a tiny Shibuya jazz bar, ...

Rallying round home-grown sounds

Aug 21, 2005

Rallying round home-grown sounds

It’s the final day of this year’s Rock in Japan festival, which took place Aug. 5-7. Holding court in the HMV DJ booth is entertainer Yoshiaki Umegaki. He’s a late fortysomething transvestite sporting a tall blue wig and playing with his plastic breasts under ...