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Patrick St. Michel
Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.
For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Aug 8, 2022
Fuji Rock's musical acts look to make a bigger splash with livestreams
As streaming becomes the norm for festivals wanting to draw a broader audience, artists are shaping their live performances with the YouTube audience and social media reactions in mind.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 6, 2022
Fuji Rock offers escapism once again
The summer music festival's 2022 edition marks a return to an event resembling 'normal.'
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 5, 2022
Backstage at Fuji Rock with Night Tempo
Electronic artist Night Tempo boasted a busy schedule with a live performance, a Showa pop DJ set and celebrity guests as one of Japanu2019s marquee music events returned to form.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / Japan Pulse
Jul 30, 2022
Myaku-Myaku's unnerving cuteness wins over netizens
After organizers for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka revealed the name and final globulous form of its mascot, social media users quickly embraced Myaku-Myaku's strangeness in all its glory.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 28, 2022
Fuji Rock Festival eyes a return to form
Overseas acts are back on the lineup but local artists will make the most of those sultry nights at one of Japanu2019s marquee summer music festivals.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Jul 28, 2022
'Sailor-Moon'-inspired group SG5 shows how anime can lift up J-pop
As the music industry opens up to digital realities, the Sailor-Scout-themed pop group and other nascent acts are utilizing anime's popularity to leapfrog into greater consciousness.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 15, 2022
Kamasami Kong gives voice to city pop's resurgence on 'FM Station 8090'
The radio DJ and personality brings his distinct narration style to the soundtrack of Japan's bubble era.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 7, 2022
Tokyo rock quartet Hazy Sour Cherry's strange adventure
The band breaks out of its comfort zone on "Strange World," a playful set of indie-pop songs inspired in part by the sense of exploration in Western media such as "Stranger Things."
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Jul 4, 2022
YouTube escapism offers a glimpse of Japan's luxurious life
From luxury apartments to swanky ski lodges, real estate agent Alex Shapiro showcases the country's most lavish real estate on his YouTube channel, Tokyo Portfolio.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 2, 2022
'Softly': Tatsuro Yamashita looks to the future with timeless optimism
Two Tatsuro Yamashitas exist in 2022. Thereu2019s the patron saint of city pop and a musical symbol for all things bubble-era Japan, and then thereu2019s the 69-year-old pop tinkerer still exploring his craft on u201cSoftly.u201d
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Japan Pulse
Jun 25, 2022
Baseball dance craze has the internet asking again, 'What does the fox say?'
What started out as a fun segment between innings at Nippon Ham Fighters' games now has athletes, fans and netizens busting a move to Ylvisu2019 chart-topping 2013 hit u201cThe Fox."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 24, 2022
Sakanaction, tofubeats and Tohji reimagine the album format in 2022
Six months into 2022, artists are putting listeners more in control of how they experience new releases.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / Japan Pulse
Jun 11, 2022
YouTuber PewDiePie's 'honeymoon phase' brings positive vibes to Japan content
The YouTuber's relocation heralds a shift toward content focused on newcomers enthusiastically exploring the country and living out their dreams after years of pandemic restrictions.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Jun 5, 2022
Harry and the house that Hosono built
None other than global pop star Harry Styles takes inspiration from one of Japan's most-talented musicians. The question is, will the West follow?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 2, 2022
Japan's music festivals are prepping for a summer comeback
Music acts are coming in from overseas and a hobbled festival scene is hoping to have its best year since the pandemic began.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 27, 2022
Lyricist Takashi Matsumoto on Happy End, writing for pop and helping change the course of Japanese music history
Happy Endu2019s decision in 1970 to play American-inspired yet sing in Japanese proved to be a watershed moment for pop music here.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 20, 2022
Vicke Blanka opens up about shifting musical influences and life as a 'Supervillain'
It is often said that great art comes from tragedy and struggle. Musician Vicke Blanka knows this all too well, and his latest track "Changes" is the result.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 22, 2022
Anna Takeuchi discovers the power of positive pop
While many musicians embraced the glum stagnation of the COVID years, Anna Takeuchi chose to take those lemons and make lemonade with her new album, 'Tickets.'
Japan Times
CULTURE / TV & Streaming
Apr 12, 2022
Surprise Netflix hit 'Old Enough!' proves Japanese TV is good enough for overseas
Local favorite u2018Old Enough!u2019 has found renewed success on the streaming service, charming audiences abroad and revealing the strength of Japanese comfort content.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Apr 10, 2022
Kamiwaza trio takes aim at YouTube fame
The channel's pivot from trick shots to elaborate Nerf toy battles hits the mark with online audiences.

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