NYC fans of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu share 'zest for life'

Mar 11, 2014

NYC fans of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu share 'zest for life'

Two hours before the doors even opened, the line outside New York’s Best Buy Theater snaked around several streets in the middle of Times Square. Fans lined up early for pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s second-ever New York concert, the finale to her recent ...

AKB48 'Tsugi no Ashiato'

Feb 18, 2014

AKB48 "Tsugi no Ashiato"

No Japanese music group has been more interesting these past two years than AKB48, but “interesting” doesn’t always mean “good.” Several of the 89-members-and-growing outfit’s most notable moments have been ugly (the Minami Minegishi head-shaving scandal tops that list), but the idol group has ...

Miii 'Everything Happens To You'

Feb 18, 2014

Miii "Everything Happens To You"

After bubbling under the surface for the last couple of years, EDM looks like it will finally get the push it needs this year to become trendy in Japan. Standing for “electronic dance music” — vague advertiser-talk referring to a loud, often bass-heavy, type ...

Mitsume play the indie game, but are winning the mainstream

Feb 11, 2014

Mitsume play the indie game, but are winning the mainstream

Mitsume subscribes to an easy-to-get-behind ethos regularly found in indie-rock communities: “Since our first album, we’ve been under nobody’s control but our own,” says lead vocalist Moto Kawabe. “We prefer to do whatever we can ourselves.” Accordingly, the Tokyo-based quartet has released all its ...

Kobe's tofubeats moves from blogs to the big time

Jan 21, 2014

Kobe's tofubeats moves from blogs to the big time

Like many kids growing up in the 1990s, Yusuke Kawai’s initial brush with the World Wide Web happened in elementary school. “My first Internet experience was using my father’s PC, with Windows 95, when I was in the fourth grade. I can’t even remember ...

Jan 21, 2014

Ventla, i-fls and the road out of the Web

Tokyo bedroom producer Ventla has one goal and one goal only. “Ventla is in the process of releasing 100 digital albums for free over the coming years,” he declares on his website. So far, the relatively anonymous music maker has achieved a quarter of ...

Girls' Generation 'Love & Peace'

Jan 14, 2014

Girls' Generation "Love & Peace"

K-pop’s golden days in Japan are over. The time when Korean groups could top the Oricon charts and (more importantly) monopolize media coverage is now a memory, in part due to an oversaturation of new acts. K-pop remains a strong niche market, though, even ...

Metoronori 'Veil'

Jan 14, 2014

Metoronori "Veil"

Time will tell whether “Veil” sounds good come warmer months, but right now it’s the perfect album for winter. Tokyo artist Metoronori’s third full-length album appeared online in the middle of last week, when the wind blew especially cold. With the heat cranked up ...

Don't let the holidays leave you homesick this year

| Dec 22, 2013

Don't let the holidays leave you homesick this year

Homesickness is a particular concern for foreign residents in December, when the holiday season starts to conjure up images of family dinners and drinking parties with old friends. For new arrivals, it's further complicated by the simultaneous challenge of adjusting to a different culture.