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Japan acts rock on at this year's SXSW

Mar 18, 2014

Japan acts rock on at this year's SXSW

by Patrick ST. Michel

After somersaulting through a shallow puddle, the lead singer of Osaka’s Vampillia stared intently at a nearby taco truck. As his band plowed through a noisy, violin-assisted song on the third afternoon of the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference And Festival, he scaled ...

Hiroto Kudo 'Omoid'

Mar 18, 2014

Hiroto Kudo "Omoid"

by Russell Thomas

The musical subgenre glitch reflects our modern relationship to digital sounds, something Hiroto Kudo has picked up on for his new EP, “Omoid.” Glitch is often associated with early video-game music, implying a paradoxical nostalgia for a bygone age — the embryonic beginnings of ...

Babymetal 'Babymetal'

Mar 18, 2014

Babymetal "Babymetal"

by Patrick ST. Michel

It’s not surprising that Babymetal has gone viral. The trio, bringing the seemingly disparate worlds of idol pop and heavy metal together, is a visually striking project perfect for the “weird Japan” fans on the Internet. What’s surprising, however, is seeing Babymetal’s eponymous debut ...

Ueno Park to welcome springtime with a song

Mar 13, 2014

Ueno Park to welcome springtime with a song

by Chiho Iuchi

The cherry trees of Ueno Park are inspirational in full bloom. Come early spring and Tokyoites head to the area early to snag spots beneath the pink blossoms, which inspire romance, revelry and perhaps more than a few visionary ideas. More than a decade ...

Owarikara takes its fans to the edge with 'Saihate Songs'

Mar 4, 2014

Owarikara takes its fans to the edge with 'Saihate Songs'

by Ryotaro Aoki

The band name Owarikara loosely translates into English as “starting from the end.” However, singer and guitarist Hyouri Takahashi gives a much more specific interpretation. “The suffix ‘-kara‘ (from) and the word ‘owari‘ (end) are both part of the name,” he says. “It’s about ...