Patrick St. Michel

Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.

For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The quirky sounds of indie music find a voice in Boys Age

May 8, 2015

The quirky sounds of indie music find a voice in Boys Age

Around 50 people are watching Kaznary Mutow of the band Boys Age thrash his guitar on a Friday night at Shimokitazawa club Three. He’s in the middle of a 10-minute-plus psychedelic freakout, locked into an intense slow-burning session with drummer Takamasa Kobayashi.It’s a bit ...

Natsume Mito gets a few choice cuts for a song about her hair

Apr 24, 2015

Natsume Mito gets a few choice cuts for a song about her hair

Sometimes all it takes to jump-start a music career is one viral video. Japanese acts such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Babymetal attracted attention domestically and abroad thanks to memorable clips uploaded to YouTube, earning millions of views in the process.Natsume Mito, a Nara ...

The Taco Bell is ringing, but will Tokyo come to the party?

Apr 24, 2015

The Taco Bell is ringing, but will Tokyo come to the party?

It’s 8 a.m. on an overcast Tuesday and a line of people are queuing along a cramped street in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka area.“You’ve been here since 5 a.m.?!,” Shivram Vaideeswaran says while speaking to two people near the head of the line. These fast-food devotees ...

Southern All Stars 'Budou'

/ | Apr 17, 2015

Southern All Stars "Budou"

Southern All Stars “Budou” (Victor / Taishita)Southern All Stars don’t need to try. Japan’s music media and industry decided the rock quartet was historically important long ago. A 2003 poll by retailer HMV named them the most influential Japanese group ever, and plenty of ...

Tenkiame 'So Sad About Us'

/ | Apr 17, 2015

Tenkiame "So Sad About Us"

Tenkiame “So Sad About Us” (Independent)Tokyo’s Azusa Suga is a busy man. For the past four years he has been managing online label Canata Records, recorded woozy electronic pop under the name Shortcake Collage Tape and played in indie-pop band For Tracy Hyde, which ...