No sign of a summer break for The Hiatus

Jul 28, 2011

No sign of a summer break for The Hiatus

As the guitarist and vocalist of Japanese pop-punk band Ellegarden, Takeshi Hosomi toured throughout the country, played in the United States and South Korea, and even opened for Foo Fighters. When Ellegarden announced in 2008 that they were taking an indefinite break from making ...

Orchestrating a ska paradise for the summer

| Jul 22, 2011

Orchestrating a ska paradise for the summer

It’s a standard response for bands to say they are surprised by their longevity and accomplishments, but Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Japan’s best-known ska act, are unlikely to be overly humble. “When we first came together I knew this band would last for a ...

Watusi Zombie 'N×A×R×A'

Jul 21, 2011

Watusi Zombie "N×A×R×A"

Nara-bred rock ‘n’ roll trio Watusi Zombie have played at Fuji Rock and toured in the United States. Their gigs are highly charged, chaotic affairs. Vocalist/guitarist Jugem Tanimura has been known to incoherently scream lyrics into a microphone decorated with a Buddha mask, and ...

Shonen Knife 'Osaka Ramones'

Jul 14, 2011

Shonen Knife "Osaka Ramones"

Shonen Knife, Japan’s best-known alternative-rock band, are celebrating their 30th birthday. In honor of this occasion, the influential Osaka trio have a number of anniversary releases planned, the first being “Osaka Ramones,” a tribute disc to the iconic American punk group the Ramones. The ...

Lite 'For All the Innocence'

Jun 30, 2011

Lite "For All the Innocence"

One of Japan’s top instrumental rock acts, Tokyo’s Lite have performed at festivals such as Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic, and gigged throughout Asia, Europe and North America. They’ve also toured with such U.S. indie-music luminaries as Mike Watt and Lou Barlow, and have ...

Cinema Staff 'Cinema Staff'

Jun 9, 2011

Cinema Staff "Cinema Staff"

Now based in Tokyo, Gifu Prefecture-bred Cinema Staff played at the 2009 editions of both the Summer Sonic and Rock in Japan festivals. Formed in 2003, the indie-rock quartet issued three EPs prior to the release of their eponymous full-length debut. Throughout the album, ...

Festival season kicks into gear with Taico Club

Jun 2, 2011

Festival season kicks into gear with Taico Club

This weekend’s Taico Club in Nagano Prefecture will be the first of four summer-festival appearances for Tokyo synth-pop/postpunk act Kimonos. Formed only last year, the duo of Leo Imai and Zazen Boys’ Shutoku Mukai will also play at Fuji Rock (July 30), World Happiness ...

Boris 'Heavy Rocks'/'Attention Please'

May 26, 2011

Boris "Heavy Rocks"/"Attention Please"

Being a Boris completist is a daunting task. One of the country’s most prolific underground acts, this year the Tokyo three-piece have already issued their “New Album” full-length and “Klatter,” a vinyl-only collaboration with Japanese noise-artist Merzbow. They are back again with their two ...

8otto lively up themselves again

May 19, 2011

8otto lively up themselves again

Osaka’s 8otto have a new album, a new label and a new mindset. The garage-rock/postpunk quartet’s first three albums (2006′s “We Do Viberation,” 2007′s “Real” and 2008′s “Hyper, Hyp8r, Hyper”) came out through BMG Japan (and are now housed on Sony subsidiary Ariola Japan ...

The Cherry Coke$

May 12, 2011

The Cherry Coke$

Fuji Rock 2005 was a very memorable weekend for Celtic-punk-inspired act The Cherry Coke$. The Tokyo septet were invited to the popular summer outing to showcase cuts from their 2004 “Beer My Friends” debut on the festival’s Rookie A Go-Go stage. While there, they ...