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Review: TM Network at Tokyo International Forum

by Ena Okamoto

Just as the year drew to a close, so too did J-pop trio TM Network’s touring schedule at the Tokyo International Forum’s Hall A. The Quit 30 tour was the group’s second tour of the year and began in October. It was timed to coincide with the release of “Quit ...

After big year, streaming tipped for new markets

Dec 12, 2014

After big year, streaming tipped for new markets

by Shaun Tandon

Streaming has rapidly transformed pop music’s landscape but even more dramatic changes could be in store as companies eye the vast, barely touched markets of the developing world. Spotify and its rivals were among the biggest music headlines in 2014 as streaming services quickly ...

Dec 9, 2014

Gay singers test country music's appeal

by Shaun Tandon

Church, pickup trucks and dive bars — the imagery of classic country songs evokes “traditional” small-town American life. Now a rising number of openly gay crooners are testing just how inclusive that vision can be. Two prominent singers came out of the closet within ...

Sam Smith, Beyonce, Pharrell top Grammy nominations

Dec 8, 2014

Sam Smith, Beyonce, Pharrell top Grammy nominations

by Shaun Tandon

Newcomer Sam Smith joined Beyonce and Pharrell Williams on Friday to lead in nominations for the Grammy Awards, with the music industry’s annual picks weighted toward R&B-influenced artists. Smith — the British blue-eyed soul singer who emerged in force this year with “Stay With ...

John Legend and K-pop stars rock Mnet Asian Music Awards

Dec 5, 2014

John Legend and K-pop stars rock Mnet Asian Music Awards

Thousands of screaming fans were treated to sexy dance acts and performances by stars including John Legend in Hong Kong on Thursday at one of the biggest events on the K-pop calendar. US singer Legend was awarded the “International Favourite Artist” award and performed ...

Taking vocal software beyond Miku

Dec 2, 2014

Taking vocal software beyond Miku

by Patrick ST. Michel

Tokyo-based electronic musician mus.hiba has worked with a handful of vocalists during his short stint as a producer. However, many of them haven’t been human. His go-to voice belongs to Sekka Yufu, who boasts a light delivery that fits with mus.hiba‘s slowly unwinding swirl ...

Shizuoka set for a rock fest with local flare

Dec 2, 2014

Shizuoka set for a rock fest with local flare

by Thomas Hall

A raucous bassist shouting at the top of his lungs, a guitarist who models himself on AC/DC’s Angus Young and a drummer dressed in nothing but a fundoshi (loincloth) — meet The Wemmer. The Shizuoka-based band is typical of the energy of punk, hard ...

Flipping through rock's baby pictures

Dec 2, 2014

Flipping through rock's baby pictures

by Dexter Thomas

In the mid-1960s, a young Mike Nogami picked up a camera and started taking pictures of things around him — dogs, his neighborhood, friends playing guitar. Some of those friends were in a band called Happy End, the group that Haruomi Hosono played bass ...