[Kumamoto earthquake] ‘by my side’ by yojiro x taka

A lot of things happened in the half year I was away… lost a colleague with no replacement, added workload, and a cancer scare in my family. I didn’t have it in me to blog here given the state I was (and still am) in. But I’ve started writing again, slowly, every day, with pen to paper. I was on my way to Kyushu – … Continue reading [Kumamoto earthquake] ‘by my side’ by yojiro x taka

Want solid JPOP covers? Head down to the Goose house.

The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.
The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.

YouTube is full of amazing musical talents, and the English world has no lack of them, especially those who play cover songs that sometimes – and not rarely – display skills and musical arrangements that far surpass the original.

So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Japanese equivalent? SOLIDEMO tried to do it a few years ago, when they were first signed to avex.

While there’s no doubt that these gentlemen have talent, these covers tended to feel stifled and lacking in individuality – a kind of conformity with eerily matching behaviors and attitudes that reflect a very typical Japanese approach.

Goose house, fortunately, took the risk with a different approach.

Continue reading “Want solid JPOP covers? Head down to the Goose house.”

Kenshi Yonezu 「フローライト」”Fluorite” MV + new album

(Update Oct 11: The YouTube link has been fixed.) My only explanation for a title like “Fluorite” would be a marathon overdose of The Big Bang Theory.  Of course, I’m pretty sure Kenshi Yonezu wasn’t thinking that at all. With a chirpy, happy singalong tune similar to Flowerwall, I’m in no position to criticize the choice of title. According to his official YouTube chanel, Yonezu’s latest album Bremen is … Continue reading Kenshi Yonezu 「フローライト」”Fluorite” MV + new album

[re-release] RADWIMPS 「実況中継」Jikkyou Chuukei

At first I thought RADWIMPS had produced something fresh, but alas, this is from their 2013 album “Xと◯と罪と” (Wrongs and Rights and Crimes and). Hold that disappointment though. This crazy creative MV is quite a piece of work, with psychedelic colors and concepts that could make your brain implode from the visual feast. The MV also now has English subtitles to go along, so you … Continue reading [re-release] RADWIMPS 「実況中継」Jikkyou Chuukei

Japanese boy bands: Seriously, what is happening?

Warning: the following is a rant. If this is not your cup of tea, or you take offense with this, walk away now. Dear talent management agencies behind this five-member boy band and all other similar groups in the market: Who exactly are you trying to target? What image are you trying to sell? Is cute / feminine / borderline BL what you’re going for? It … Continue reading Japanese boy bands: Seriously, what is happening?

ゲスの極み乙女。- Girl at the Height of Rudeness

gesunokiwamiotome
(From left: ChanMARI on keyboard; Hona Ikoka on drums; Kawatani Enon on lead vocals, guitar and synthesizer; and Kyuujitsu Kachou on bass)

It’s quite easy to tell when a band enjoys performing together. There’s an energy and synergy that doesn’t compete and overwhelm, and makes the listener completely at ease.

As strange as their name sounds, the band Gesu no Kiwami Otome (literally Girl at the Height of Rudeness) exudes that air of confidence and assurance outwards as well as among the band. Formed by the frontman of indigo la End, Kawatani Enon was said to form the band with musicians he genuinely enjoyed performing with.

Continue reading “ゲスの極み乙女。- Girl at the Height of Rudeness”

[Coming Soon] EXILE ATSUSHI + AI “Be Brave” Sep 9

When I first embarked on my career as a fresh graduate, EXILE ATSUSHI and AI were one of the few artists I listened to on a regular basis. So it was great when they first got together to sing a duet called “So Special” in 2008. I don’t listen to their music all the time, but when I do, it’s like a soothing balm that … Continue reading [Coming Soon] EXILE ATSUSHI + AI “Be Brave” Sep 9

amazarashi 「スピードと摩擦」Speed & Friction MV

I couldn’t quite grasp the concept of the music video, but that maniac girl used to be me back in junior high (they were stressful times). I might have had more fun if I had a toilet cubicle as cool as this one. Hiromu Akita explained the concept behind the video on the official Youtube channel: A physical installation music video that showcases a contemporary … Continue reading amazarashi 「スピードと摩擦」Speed & Friction MV