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:

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.

Some of the year's best music was free

Dec 17, 2013

Some of the year's best music was free

Variety wasn’t something the Oricon Charts delivered much over the course of 2013. With few exceptions, the biggest sellers were the same as they ever were — Johnny’s boy bands such as Arashi, Kanjani 8 and Kis-My-FT2; AKB48 and their affiliated projects; and a ...

The Charles in Charlie Brown

Nov 20, 2013

The Charles in Charlie Brown

The advertising surrounding “Ever and Never: The Art of Peanuts” focuses on the cutest character from the classic American comic strip. So much so, promotions for this exhibition at the Mori Arts Center Gallery has been dubbed the “Snoopy Exhibit,” a title that also ...