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Pyeongchang's pop takes home gold

| Feb 15, 2018

Pyeongchang's pop takes home gold

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Politics hovered over the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The pageantry came against a backdrop of geopolitical intrigue, featuring the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Yo Jong, who was on hand to watch a unified Korean ...

AmPm masters the Spotify game

Feb 14, 2018

AmPm masters the Spotify game

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The central pair behind electronic project AmPm didn't have high expectations when they flew to Jakarta last August for Spotify On Stage, a live event organized by the market-leading music streaming service. "We were the first act up, and I think most of the audience ...

Review: Roth Bart Baron and Bonobos at La Mama

Feb 14, 2018

Review: Roth Bart Baron and Bonobos at La Mama

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Roth Bart Baron proved to be a tough act to follow when the band played La Mama in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Feb. 4. The five-member group straddled the line between control and chaos, knowing when to hold back and when to let loose, to ...

Yasuaki Shimizu's artful jingles

Feb 13, 2018

Yasuaki Shimizu's artful jingles

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An effective commercial jingle wedges itself into your brain. There's the incessant repetition of Meow Mix, the harmony of McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" or the youthful chorus of "Biiiku, biku, biku, Bic Camera." Thirty years ago, though, Belgian record label Crammed Discs released an album ...

Falsettos offers an alternative to 'macho rock'

Jan 30, 2018

Falsettos offers an alternative to 'macho rock'

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If you're playing in a group in Japan and your members all happen to be female, sooner or later you're going to get slapped with the "girls' band" tag. The term has been used willy-nilly to describe everything from the manufactured guitar-pop of late-'80s ...

London is the place to be for Luby Sparks

Jan 23, 2018

London is the place to be for Luby Sparks

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Some bands have all the luck. While many of their peers will probably be toiling on the live circuit for years before gaining any recognition beyond their immediate circle of friends, the college kids of Luby Sparks are already going places. Thanks to a combination ...

Three's never a crowd for Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Jan 16, 2018

Three's never a crowd for Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

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British sibling trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are discussing why their fourth album "Superscope" is their most upbeat yet. "I think you just get bored of moaning all the time, don't you?" says Daisy, 29. "Going on about love and 'poor old me,' that ...

Pushing for a more diverse dancefloor

Jan 9, 2018

Pushing for a more diverse dancefloor

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When the acclaimed end-of-year techno party Future Terror announced its full lineup of DJs in December, there was a notable omission among the 19 names: There were no women. This wasn't the first time Tokyo's clubbers have been presented with an all-male roster. The new ...

Namie Amuro saves 'Kohaku' ... for now

| Dec 28, 2017

Namie Amuro saves 'Kohaku' ... for now

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The weekly Shukan Bunshun released a survey in early November highlighting the acts its readers wanted to see perform on NHK's yearend "Kohaku Uta Gassen" music program. They chose Namie Amuro as the artist they wanted to see the most, likely because she announced ...