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 ...

Ringo Deathstarr

Apr 22, 2011

Ringo Deathstarr

Mashing together Ringo Starr and the Death Star from “Star Wars” to create their name, noise-pop group Ringo Deathstarr were one the “buzz” bands at last month’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. With 2,000 acts performing over the ...

Meet a smoking new rock band

Apr 15, 2011

Meet a smoking new rock band

Formed in Fukuoka in 2005, The Cigavettes knew it would only be a matter of time before they relocated to Japan’s capital. After years of discussing it, the melodic rockers finally packed up their instruments, along with their Beatles- and Rolling Stones-inspired catalogue of ...

The world awakens to Japan's 'brutal orchestra'

Apr 8, 2011

The world awakens to Japan's 'brutal orchestra'

Creating a wonderfully bizarre avant-garde hybrid of classical music, heavy rock and punk, Osaka’s 11-member-strong Vampillia have been described by their record label as “a hardcore version of Arcade Fire.” While the Japanese self-dubbed “brutal orchestra” sound vastly different from the lauded Grammy-winning Canadian ...

Mar 23, 2011

Japan to the fore at SXSW despite disaster at home

AUSTIN, Texas — Minutes after arriving in downtown Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival, I ran into a Japanese friend from Tokyo. While we were catching up, an American woman passing by overheard him mention Japan and instantly ...

Uhnellys 'To Too Two'

Feb 25, 2011

Uhnellys "To Too Two"

Dubbed by some as a more sonically adventurous Japanese version of the White Stripes, Tokyo malefemale duo Uhnellys have gigged in Europe and Australia, and participated in last autumn’s Next Music from Tokyo Canadian tour with Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, Susquatch and Sgt. ...

Best Coast / Wavves

Feb 18, 2011

Best Coast / Wavves

Early in his career, Wavves’ Nathan Williams earned almost as much attention for his erratic behavior as he did for his lo-fi, noisy pop and punk songs. In 2009, the guitarist for the California trio infamously had an onstage meltdown during a performance at ...

Akihiro Namba

Feb 11, 2011

Akihiro Namba

Last year’s Fuji Rock was the place to be for fans of 1990s punk act Hi-Standard. The event boasted separate sets from former guitarist Ken Yokoyama and bassist Akihiro Namba. If ex-drummer Akira Tsuneoka had been on the bill, Naeba very well could have ...

Mogwai

Jan 21, 2011

Mogwai

Since making their first live appearances in Japan in 1999, Mogwai have returned to tour the country a dozen times. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that the Scottish postrock quintet played only two gigs last year, and one of them was in ...