Sheena Ringo

Jul 3, 2009

Sheena Ringo

Following Sheena Ringo can be a frustrating business. Her third album, 2003′s “Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana” (“Lime, Semen, Chestnut Blossoms”), ranks as one of the most wildly ambitious pop records of the past decade, which made it all the more confounding when she ...

TsuShiMaMiRe 'A, Umi da'

Jun 26, 2009

TsuShiMaMiRe "A, Umi da"

“You’re pretty stinky, aren’t you? Well, I’m gonna love you anyway,” sings TsuShiMaMiRe’s guitarist/vocalist Mari on “Mike Smell Kunkun.” It takes a brief moment to realize that she’s talking to her microphone, not some hygienically challenged boyfriend. “A, Umi da” (“Oh, It’s the Sea”) ...

Brahman

May 29, 2009

Brahman

You might expect a band named after the Sanskrit term for “absolute reality” to be a bit, well, pretentious. But if their moniker is evocative of patchouli, long beards and even longer guitar solos, Brahman’s music remains firmly grounded. The Tokyo-based quartet specialize in ...

Mass of the Fermenting Dregs 'World is Yours'

Jan 30, 2009

Mass of the Fermenting Dregs "World is Yours"

The release of Mass of the Fermenting Dregs’ self-titled debut this time last year marked them out as a band to watch. The Kobe-based three-piece (known to fans as Masudore) betrayed a rare knack for melding pop sensibilities with the aural assault of the ...

The Fireman 'Electric Arguments'

Dec 12, 2008

The Fireman "Electric Arguments"

Nearly four decades after ending his songwriting partnership with John Lennon, Paul McCartney still hasn’t tired of insisting that he was the more experimental of the two. Just last month, he announced that he was hoping to finally release “Carnival of Light,” the “lost” ...

Zazen Boys

Nov 14, 2008

Zazen Boys

At 35, Shutoku Mukai is practically the elder statesman of Japanese indie rock. The guitarist and singer, whose nerdy demeanor suggests an off-duty salaryman rather than a rock star, has been behind some of the most abrasive and inventive music to make a dent ...

Club tricks and treats for Halloween

Oct 31, 2008

Club tricks and treats for Halloween

With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, there’s a countrywide wealth of ghoulish fun on offer over the weekend — and even less excuse not to indulge in some serious sartorial inelegance and hit the town. Of course, some people don’t need Halloween ...