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 ...

Okamoto's plot new album release before summer

Jan 21, 2011

Okamoto's plot new album release before summer

After being courted by record labels while still in high school in Tokyo, inking a deal with Sony subsidiary Ariola Japan was an easy decision for Okamoto’s. “We signed with Ariola because we thought their logo looked cool,” says vocalist Sho Okamoto. While an ...

Deerhunter / Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Jan 14, 2011

Deerhunter / Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Organized by concert promoter Contrarede, 4AD Evening will unite three of the more prominent acts from the renowned, long-running 4AD imprint’s current roster — Blonde Redhead, Deerhunter and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — for Osaka and Tokyo shows. Although it’s a mouth- watering bill ...