Shawn's RSS feed

Shawn Despres

Shawn Despres has been contributing to the Japan Times’ music page since 2005, and he has a passion for writing about the independent music scene in East Asia. He spent several years living in Yokohama and currently resides in Seoul.

For Shawn Despres's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

To Uhnellys, anything more than two is a crowd

Jun 14, 2012

To Uhnellys, anything more than two is a crowd

Uhnellys' Naoki Kaneko (who goes by the stage name "Kim") says journalists often ask him the same question in interviews: "Do you ever plan on adding more members?" "I've got a set answer I use now," laughs Kim. "I say that if we decide to ...

Zoobombs 'The Sweet Passion'

/ Jun 7, 2012

Zoobombs "The Sweet Passion"

Although their 2009 "Nightfriend of Zoobombs" album featured a dozen of Zoobombs' "greatest hits" completely rearranged and rerecorded, "The Sweet Passion" is the quartet's first proper studio full-length since 2006's "B*B*B." The Tokyo rock stalwarts recorded "The Sweet Passion" in Oakland, California, with producer ...

Andymori 'Hikari'

/ May 17, 2012

Andymori "Hikari"

Tokyo rock trio Andymori formed in the fall of 2007. The following summer — before the group had released any music — it earned an invite to perform at the Fuji Rock Festival. In 2009, Andymori issued its eponymous debut and appeared at Summer ...


/ May 10, 2012


Tokyo-based duo group_inou are one of those acts that seems like a perfect fit for the Fuji Rock Festival, which is held annually in Naeba, Niigata Prefecture. This summer will mark the band's third time at the event. The act first showcased its hip-hop/electronica hybrid ...

/ May 3, 2012

Avengers in Sci-Fi "Disc 4 The Seasons"

Avengers in Sci-Fi have graced the stages of large-scale local festivals such as Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic and Rock in Japan. The band have also performed at Texas' South by Southwest (SXSW) festival as part of the Japan Nite lineup, and earlier this year ...

The Cigavettes 'We Rolled Again'

/ Apr 12, 2012

The Cigavettes "We Rolled Again"

The Cigavettes have opened for the likes of British rock act 22-20s and Asian Kung-Fu Generation's Masafumi Goto and have appeared at Osaka's Minami Wheel festival. Originally from Fukuoka, two years ago the quintet decided to make Tokyo their home base. "We Rolled Again" ...

Moja 'Super Ultra Gold 79'

/ Mar 8, 2012

Moja "Super Ultra Gold 79"

Since its 2006 formation, Tokyo two-piece Moja has strived to make its mark globally by showcasing a bass-and-drums-driven brand of rock 'n' roll at music festivals and club gigs in the United States, Canada, England, Italy and Hong Kong. The band's 2009 eponymous debut ...

TsuShiMaMiRe 'Shocking'

/ Feb 16, 2012

TsuShiMaMiRe "Shocking"

Now a dozen years into their career, female rockers TsuShiMaMiRe have established a considerable international cult following. Since 2004, the Tokyo trio have completed several American tours, playing in excess of 150 gigs there. One of their higher profile stateside stints was a string ...

Tenniscoats 'Papa's Ear'

/ Jan 5, 2012

Tenniscoats "Papa's Ear"

Tokyo's Tenniscoats have certainly kept busy over the last nine months. In April, the indie-pop duo of multi-instrumentalists Takashi Ueno and Saya (who goes by only her first name) released their "Tokinouta" disc and in October they issued "Enjoy Your Life," a collaborative effort ...