Sub Pop's second coming

Jan 26, 2005

Sub Pop's second coming

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Seattle and its music scene became the center of the pop culture universe. Sub Pop, the small label founded by sometime journalist Bruce Pavitt and nurtured with his partner Jonathan Poneman was its primary documenter. Soon that ...

Bang a gong for . . .

Dec 22, 2004

Bang a gong for . . .

The ’60s Live! Award: Tie between Art Garfunkel and David Crosby, both of whom were busted for marijuana possession. The Alice Cooper “Know your fan base” Award: Kid Rock, for performing as part of last summer’s Republican National Convention and telling 2,000 young Republicans, ...

Dec 12, 2004

The Stars

In the spectrum of Japanese psychedelia, The Stars occupy a poppy middle ground: They are neither as noisy (nor mystical) as Acid Mothers’ Temple or Ghost, nor do they opt for the atmospheric faux folksiness of Maher Shala Has Baz or The Tennis Coats. ...

Nov 7, 2004

Brooks cuts through a lot of red tape

Andrew Brooks has the confident aplomb of a producer and musician with two highly lauded records. His first album, a house-inflected dance record titled “You, Me & Us,” brought him jobs remixing songs of Outkast and Scissor Sisters. His second album, released on Soundslike, ...

Boys be ambitious

Sep 29, 2004

Boys be ambitious

Journalists approach Shutoku Mukai warily. As the leading personality of cult group Number Girl, Mukai cultivated an aura of negative charisma. Onstage, he was all contorted painful energy, round geeky glasses slipping down his nose as he spat out lyrics and drew harsh, ranting ...

Sep 29, 2004

The little indie labels that could

In the old days, a band might self-release a record or two. Their hope, however, was to catch the ear of some major-label A&R director and land a coveted contract with Sony, Toshiba EMI or one of Japan’s other music behemoths. Shotoku Mukai has ...

Fluid beauty

Aug 11, 2004

Fluid beauty

UA is not your average pop star. She arrives at an interview in the western Tokyo suburb that is her home on her bike. In a cut-off T-shirt and long, billowing peasant skirt, she looks like a hipster mama, and after the interview in ...

Jul 21, 2004

Strange bedfellows

Strange segues: Yes, festivals give audiences an opportunity to sample everything from classic hits to upcoming trends. And yes, an eccentric juxtaposition of bands can reveal unexpected musical relationships or introduce you to new music. But somethings just don’t belong together like this downright ...

Yasuaki Shimizu

Jul 11, 2004

Yasuaki Shimizu

While most ambient music evokes a place or an ambience figuratively, (Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports” was, after all, not composed for a departure lounge), Yasuaki Shimizu’s latest musical challenge was to create music that worked on both a literal and metaphoric level. His ...

Graham Fitkin's 'Kaplan,' Max Richter's 'Blue Notebooks'

Jun 20, 2004

Graham Fitkin's "Kaplan," Max Richter's "Blue Notebooks"

The border between popular and new classical music has long been blurred. Glass, Stockhausen and Reich lurk in the background of much electronica and avant-rock, while many contemporary composers owe a debt to ambient or even punk. The upcoming performances of Graham Fitkin and ...