Singer-songwriter Nozuka's 'train' picks up speed

Jun 4, 2010

Singer-songwriter Nozuka's 'train' picks up speed

In the fall of 2007 and 2008, the Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA) hosted Asian Trade Missions in Tokyo to cement stronger footholds in Japan for Canuck music companies and acts. Still in his teens, Toronto singer- songwriter Justin Nozuka was flown over ...

The Bawdies: 'There's No Turning Back'

May 7, 2010

The Bawdies: "There's No Turning Back"

In the middle of The Bawdies’ “There’s No Turning Back,” is “Sad Song,” a lament of lost love that comes dangerously close to being a Matchbox 20-styled ballad better suited for a breakup scene in some cheesy romance flick than a rock ‘n’ roll ...

Inspector Cluzo mix rock, blues, funk — no bass

Apr 23, 2010

Inspector Cluzo mix rock, blues, funk — no bass

Last year, French rock group The Inspector Cluzo played 185 concerts in 23 countries. Despite linguistic and cultural differences between the guitar-and-drums duo and their audiences, they had little difficulty spreading their basic message: “F-ck the bass player.” A belief shared by both guitarist ...

Kaikoo Popwave Festival '10

Apr 9, 2010

Kaikoo Popwave Festival '10

Eagerly anticipating the upcoming outdoor music festival season? Spread over the course of two days and boasting nearly 70 acts on four open-air stages, the Kaikoo Popwave Festival should easily tide you over until the summer months arrive. Named after the 2005 “Kaikoo” DVD ...

Punkspring

Apr 2, 2010

Punkspring

The fifth Punkspring music festival takes place at the beginning of April. Usually held alongside its urban music cousin Springroove, this year only Punkspring has been scheduled and, in an interesting twist, despite selling out its last three editions in Tokyo, tickets prices for ...

Japanese bands go big in Texas at SXSW festival

Mar 26, 2010

Japanese bands go big in Texas at SXSW festival

AUSTIN, Texas — ‘We want to conquer the world,” says Okamoto’s vocalist Shou Okamoto after their well-received gig at the 24th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference. Sharing a similar mentality as these young Tokyo rockers, some 1,800 major label and ...

Mudy on the Sakuban 'Pavilion'

Mar 19, 2010

Mudy on the Sakuban "Pavilion"

Mudy on the Sakuban turned out an awesome showcase of their energetic instrumental rock during their 2008 appearance on Fuji Rock’s newcomer stage, Rookie A Go-Go. And while that year’s “Voi” EP was a good disc, it paled in comparison to how powerful the ...

Moools 'Weather Sketch Modified'

Mar 5, 2010

Moools "Weather Sketch Modified"

Much has been made of the strong ties Tokyo’s Moools have forged with U.S. indie imprint K Records. And while the relationship has helped the underground rock trio tour overseas and earn slots supporting the seminal label’s visiting bands and other acclaimed U.S. acts ...

Kinoco Hotel 'Marianne No Yuutsu'

Feb 12, 2010

Kinoco Hotel "Marianne No Yuutsu"

With their first album proper, “Marianne No Yuutsu,” Tokyo’s Kinoco Hotel join the continuously growing legion of entertaining Japanese revivalist pop acts. Showcasing a similar fashion sense as Sendai throwback band The Captains, the attractive all-gal 1960s Group Sounds-inspired quartet sport matching short “Sgt. ...

Math rockers Toe take it slow

Jan 29, 2010

Math rockers Toe take it slow

Toe have their own record label, Machupicchu Industrias. It’s not so much to flaunt a punklike DIY ethic, they’re basically just slow. Based out of Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, the instrumental math-rock (a genre characterized by angular rhythms and complex time signatures) quartet created ...