| Jul 22, 2014

Just what is so wrong about Yoko Ono?

As Yoko Ono prepares to take the stage at Fuji Rock Festival on July 26, a BBC video of her performing the 1969 Plastic Ono Band track “Don’t Worry Kyoko” at this year’s Glastonbury festival has racked up nearly 2 million views, largely from ...

Without a canon, Japanese pop won't blast off

| Jun 24, 2014

Without a canon, Japanese pop won't blast off

Exploring the world of Japanese music can be a baffling experience for those who don’t speak the language. Where do you start if you’re new to the scene? Entry points are fragmented at best, woefully uninformed much of the time and actively damaging at ...

Blonde Redhead gets comfortable with past records

Jun 17, 2014

Blonde Redhead gets comfortable with past records

Formed in 1993 by Japanese singer Kazu Makino and Italian twins Simone and Amedeo Pace, and forged in the noisy underbelly of the New York alternative scene, Blonde Redhead has charted a path that has taken it from screeching underground noise rock to fragile, ...

Macmanaman step up to bat for the live show

May 13, 2014

Macmanaman step up to bat for the live show

“Instrumental post-rock” is probably the worst way to introduce a band, and by this point 90 percent of this article’s readers will have probably fled to the sports section. Many of the most celebrated Japanese instrumental post-rock bands have carved a niche for themselves ...

Finding Japan's hidden punk scenes in their natural environments

Mar 27, 2014

Finding Japan's hidden punk scenes in their natural environments

Finding music in Japan can be a nightmare, and the live-music scene in particular is notoriously difficult to penetrate. Tucked away in the basements and upper floors of anonymous buildings, often in seedy parts of town, where the neighbors will be less likely to ...

Babymetal aren't the latest chapter in the 'wacky Japan' story

Mar 25, 2014

Babymetal aren't the latest chapter in the 'wacky Japan' story

The British are mad, aren’t they? That Kate Bush with her crazy gyrating around a cello in the video for “Babushka,” that daft loon Robbie Williams with his funky skeleton costume, those kerrr-azy Tellytubbies with their wacky dance routines — what is it about ...