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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Three posts in a day...

... I bet you think that's pretty clever, don't you boy?" Name that tune in one. Anyway, enough of my pish. Three posts, one day, what is this madness? Well, even though I'm not in Tokyo at the moment there are still things I can be doing on this blog. Tinterweb is a wonderful thing and I still have access to the recorded music even if I don't have access to the gigs themselves. Fooel is out there reporting from the frontline so I should probably be doing more from the comfort of my front room. No big promises because work is mad and laziness is always there in the background, but I'll see what I can do.

MUCC on Tour


12/7 (Sun) Irving Plaza/ NY
12/10 (Wed) House of Blues/ LA

Ticket information:

New album SHION in stores and itunes on 11/25.

More info:
From JapanFiles:

Hailing from Ibaraki, Japan, world renowned JROCK band, MUCC announces the release of their latest album "Shion" in November and their first headlining U.S. shows for NY and LA this December.

In 1997, Miya (Guitar) formed MUCC with Satochi and Tatsuro (Vocal), while they were high school students. YUKKE (Bass) joined the band in 1999 and at that moment MUCC formed the perfect lineup.

MUCC debuted in Europe back in 2006, and the following year performed at Otakon anime convention in Baltimore. They continued to tour Europe and performed at the JROCK Revolution festival in Los Angeles in 2007.
ROCK/PUNK guru Kevin Lyman brought them into the Rockstar Taste of Chaos tour in 2008, sharing the same stage as Bullet for my Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold.
In October 2008, MUCC was once again invited back to the Rockstar Taste of Chaos International and toured overseas in Europe and Asia, with friends, Atreyu, As I Lay Dying and Story of the Year.

L-Mo in Tokyo

No, it's not a gangsta style Sesame Street character. Rather, it's "upbeat adrenaline fueled anti-folk music" and it kicks arse.

The man's on tour in a global Megalopolis near you in the coming months (see sneakily grabbed screenshot below). There's no excuse, get thy arses out and support.

Message ends.

Streaming Radio on

JAPANFILES. COM - Streaming Radio Update! Thee Out Mods!

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OK, apologies again. Work is mad, and if it wasn't for Fooel this blog would've died. Latest info from JapanFiles below.

This week's Album Spotlight is:
THEE OUT MODS - Rock'n'Roll Pirates

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Silver Elephant 30th Anniversary Festival

After Saturday's exertions at Summersonic, I was shattered as I hauled myself out of bed and shuffled toward Kichijouji early on Sunday afternoon. The Sex Pistols were still ringing in my ears, and my feet and legs ached from all the drunken jumping about. Quite good exercise in retrospect. Stepping Stone was brilliant.

Anyway, Sunday was about heading down to Kichijouji, ostensibly to see Eddy who Graeme and I had seen before. This time I ate a hearty Milano sandwich in the smoking area of a local Doutours coffee shop, and then wandered about lost for a while. I discovered a large and inviting Book Off here, but didn't go in (too dangerous for the wallet).

The event was starting rather early at about 4 pm, and it transpired that the venue, Silver Elephant, was holding a party to celebrate 30 years of existence. And that we would be watching no less than 8 bands. And most importantly, 2,000 yen entrance came with not one but 3 marvelous drinks tickets meaning 3 beers set me back merely an extra 300 yen. Wonderful stuff.

And so I set up camp on the stairs, which is pretty much the darkest corner as you will know if you have ever been there. In fact, the place is pretty small and much of it could be claimed as corner, but still. I shuffled the usual pile of fliers and smoked some of the free cigarettes handed out the previous day by some bastards.

Soon enough Amazon kicked us off in straight-down-the-middle Indie territory. Shades of England's North West abounded and it was all very nice. Amazon, in short, were quite good, and seemed to have a couple of tunes. Actually the song "Thailand" is really nice - you can hear on the MySpace and download from the band's website.

And watch Amazon perform "Thailand" here, in one of my customarily poor-quality videos of the event.


Next we were treated to andymori who are very much a Japanese Arctic Monkeys. Now I'm a little circumspect with all this direct comparison stuff, but trust me on this - andymori are a Japanese Arctic Monkeys. Take a listen to "everything is my guitar" here and then tell me it ain't so:

But they were good alright. It was a very energetic performance from the guys, as you can vaguely make out in the video below (I move the camera after about 30 seconds so you can actually see the singer). Also pretty loud so you can't hear it very well! Ha. Serves you right for going to see Coldplay instead ;)

Clearly they have something of an asset in the singer, who gave a cracking effort in the Alex Turner role and was declared kakkoii by the announcer woman afterwards. So I would say this is a band with some kind of chance to become quite big.


The video of Eddy is much better, as I had moved higher up on the stairs for this gig. And happily, Eddy appeared to be much better too compared to last time we saw them. On that occasion, Graeme noted that the three-piece were proficient enough but not necessarily possessing of anything special.

Now converted to a two-piece a la the White Stripes, and with some of the previous widdling cut away, Eddy passed a pretty decent melodic pop-rock act and seem to have crafted a few more memorable tunes. I am slightly biased because I have been listening to some Eddy CDs since the gig and the tunes are really quite nice - that's for the forthcoming CD round-up though (I swear!).

So it was all good stuff by Eddy and I was quite pleased about that, and fantastic folks too for the record.


Now the 706X were a different proposition and they just indie-rocked and shouted. They seemed to me fairly similar to Asian Kung-Fu Generation which is no bad thing as I have a lot of that time for that band.

The 706X:

At which point we had watched 4 bands and generally that is your lot most of the time. But today there were 4 more to go.

Harvey wall banger were the most un-indie band I have been subjected to over the last few weeks. One wouldn't be surprised to see them entertaining the crowd in, say, a large shopping mall or... a wedding party, or something. Power ballads were the object of the exercise and the singer certainly possesses a fine pair of lungs as you will hear on the video clip.

harvey wall banger:

Barubora / ばるぼら looked like they were going to be a reggae or ska band, but they weren't. They just did kind of quirky stuff.


As you can probably tell, by this point I was almost losing the will to live and it is taking so long to write this blog that I am suffering similar effects. I wonder if I might have enjoyed Cutting Orchestra more had they been on first or second, but as it was I think I had stopped paying attention a little, this being the tenth live performance for me in 24 hours. They were the type of indie band who sound like The Fall on a rabbit-hurting mission.

[aside: I've just noticed a guy on the Bulgarian volleyball team called Gaydarski - brilliant]

Cutting Orchestra:

And finally we had Chabo Choppu / チャボ チョップ who were a lot more lively and woke me up a bit. Not that I can be bothered writing too much about them at this time of night, but they were a 4 piece all girl band with big personality singer and tasty guitarist. You'll let me get away with that, won't you readers? Readers? oh...

Chabo Choppu:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Euphoria @ Zher the Zoo, Yoyogi

My Bloody Valentine brought out only two albums.

Two records whose aural impact lies somewhere just past the point of defenestration, in the infinite moment spent assessing the drop onto concrete far below.

In 1988, Isn't Anything came out. I have only just downloaded this album today, curiously inversely-inspired by yesterday's bands. It is, clearly, quite brilliant.

In 1991 came the album Loveless with which I am more familiar. This record is a pure case of cover matches the sound - it's red and blurry and tastes of cherries. And it only sounds like My Bloody Valentine.

Yesterday evening at Zher the Zoo in Yoyogi, I avoided being thrown out of any windows, although my efforts at buying cigarettes from the machine surely annoyed the staff. However the shadow, or perhaps the cherry ghost, of MBV hung large in the air amongst the dry ice and the red strobe lights.

Zher the Zoo

First up Kamiyui came at us with the velvet sledgehammer approach - a wall of noise, conflicting, twisting and burning, vocals drowning an inch under the surface of the murk.

There is something here with this band although I sense a bit of subtlety still needs to be found, a little more melody perhaps needs to be coaxed out of proceedings.

Kamiyui website

Texas Pandaa took a different approach, being the slow-burn build-up and ghostly-voice method of shoegazing rock. This band were singing in English, with two female vocalists invoking a Sundays vibe whilst flanking a shoeless and animated lead guitarist. And they were rather good indeed - I would say there is more than a deal of potential in this band as they have written some nice songs and are clearly a marketable proposition.

The devil will be there at night, suggesting they toss "Loveless" to one side and become pop-rock superstars. The bank manager might also think it a good idea. But for now, Texas Pandaa are crafting a beautiful noise and that is the way we like it.

You will note that I chose to video the one where they had the lights turned off for the first half of the song but happily they come on half-way through!

Texas Pandaa website

I stood behind the big pillar that graces one corner of this (very nice) venue for a beer and cigarette and returned to my position at the bar as Silent Three Trees came on. All were wearing hats, and then they proceeded to be absolutely brilliant. And then, having been absolutely brilliant for two songs, the singer says "This is our first gig." Well, my jaw damn near hit the ground. It's not particularly easy to compare them to anyone (and they were the least shoe-gazy of the four), so maybe it's best to let the music do the talking:

Now Euphoria are a band I have been acquainted with through MySpace for a few years, and I keep going back to listen to the majestic "Silent Roar" which you can hear here:

Euphoria MySpace

It has just as visceral effect I think as say, oohhhh, "Feed Me With Your Kiss". Or "Like a Daydream" by Ride who must also be mentioned.

The vocals are kept to a minimum with Euphoria and the focus is on musicianship. In many ways they remind me of the mighty Longview less the vocal melodies. Euphoria do soundscapes, you know? Pictures in sound. I thought they were brilliant.

There is a bit of singing on this one:

A new album "Silence in Everywhere" is out now and the band will tour as follows:

5/9 Rock 'n' Roll Nagoya; 6/9 Club Jungle Osaka; 7/9 Urbanguild Kyoto; 18/9 O-Nest Tokyo; 20/9 Hook Sendai; 21/9 Sandanista Yamagata; 27/9 Colony Sapporo

Euphoria website

I picked up a couple of Cds, the double EP release by Kamiyui and one of Texas Pandaa's albums. I'm panning to review all these CDs at some point soon. But for now, just take a look and tell me if you notice anything:

kawaii desu ne ;)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Will Pieschel

We're lucky enough to have a talented colleague in my new office by the name of Will Pieschel. Will played a 3 hour set at the Dubliner's pub in Shibuya last Wednesday evening, and had a few folks dancing about the terrace in the process.

Quite a feat of performance to keep going for all that time. Highlights for me were Should I Stay or Should I Go, Wonderwall and a storming effort on With or Without You.

So if anyone is looking to book a more than capable performer for the evening, Will's your man. I'm not sure whether he does weddings and bah mitzvas, but we can always ask him eh?

Here's a couple of clips, with Will ably assisted by Clayton and another friend on the horns.

I went to see Euphoria tonight in Yoyogi and saw another clutch of top-notch bands, but the write-up will have to wait until tomorrow as it is getting a bit late.

Until then...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ok City Ok at Turning, Nishi-Ogikubo

It was bloody hot on Sunday afternoon, very humid, and I was shuffling around like a sloth trying to stop myself from breaking into a sweat as I headed for Nishi-Ogikubo and its fabled branch of Mos Burger. Suffice to say it was so hot that I was forced to stop at the end of my street, where there is a McDonalds, in order to cool down and enjoy a lovely quarter-pounder with cheese setto. I never did make it into Mos Burger. Maybe next time.

At Turning, (nice wee place, quite small inside - 4 tables in the middle of the floor and a little bar in the corner), we were treated to five pretty damn good bands. Well, those few of us who stayed to see all five did anyway.

Things kicked off very nicely with a band called "Place In The Sun", an indie-pop act with behatted female singer of passionate voice and Snoopy-shirted guitarist of jangly guitar. I was suitably impressed, and they reminded me of The Brilliant Green in a slightly-more-indie kind of way. I'm not sure the catchy tunes are quite in place yet but the band was solid and it was a decent performance.

Find the band here:

And watch them here:

Now during PITS's performance, lots of people turned up. There were parents all over the place and quite a crowd had gathered by the time the next band stepped up to the plate. This lot were H3F and they have fans. Or at least a lot of friends. And they have a rather charismatic portly frontman with a strong singing voice and apparently, a neat line in banter. The singer seemed to be struggling slightly with a sore throat but he managed to keep going, as his band played a few good old fashioned rock 'n' roll numbers. I thought the band were quite similar to Sambomaster in style.

See what you think:

I can't find a website unfortunately so if anyone knows what it is please leave a comment.

Ok City Ok were next up, and facing something of a crisis as the bass player was off sick. On the other hand, there was a new band member in place variously on fiddle, guitar and bass at the end, and some rather energetic drumming went on to make up for the missing bass sounds. I think the guys did a good job despite the circumstances not being ideal, and they kept the attention of the crowd.

We were treated to a few old favourites from the "Made By Elaborate Process" album. The fourth song was a new one, "I'm Not Ashamed" or something like that (sorry I was drunk again), and it sounded not unlike one of U2's rockier numbers to me which is no bad thing.

Here's a clip of Ok City Ok -1 +1 in action, in which you can actually hear the fiddle:

Ok City Ok website:

Then almost everyone went home, leaving about 10 people watching the last two bands. Most odd really but that's the way it seems to work. And they had their moments too.

Nude Caputeano, or ヌードカプティーノ for those of you who prefer your Japanese band names in katakana, were another indie pop-rock act with a female singer. This bunch were more reminiscent of say, Echobelly, or someone. They were a bit more mod with the guys kitted out in white shirts and black ties. They were fairly ordinary. Apart from the ballad they did, which was absolutely astonishingly brilliant. Unfortunately I didn't record that one, but this song was okay:

Nude Caputeano website:

And last up, in front of only a couple of faithful fans, were a 3-piece named "Weaks". A slightly punkier, new-wavish stance from this mob who came on like Wire/Elastica :0) in the early stages and ended up sounding almost a good bit like The Clash. I will give them the benefit of the doubt for that, and the CD I picked up shows evidence of something of a flair for composition.

Weaks website:

Thus ended the music and it was time to get drunk - big thanks to the Ok City Ok camp for hospitality above and beyond the call of duty.

After which it was home on a train to stumble around Kanda eki lost for about half an hour before finding my way home, betwixt a madman swinging wildly his kendo stick and a bicycle policeman in hot pursuit.

And another quarter-pounder with cheese, for good measure ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HIMAWARI on JapanFiles

July 21, 2008 - Ten Years Techno! welcomes HIMAWARI this week.

10 year techno veterans HIMAWARI debut on this week with their two CDs "Mineral" (2001) and "Pomposo" (2005).

Formed in 1998 in New York City (and currently now based in Tokyo), HIMAWARI is Takeshi Ichikawa and Lena. They originally met at a Ryuichi Sakamoto event in the city and quickly realized they shared a similar vision for music making.
While based in NYC, HIMAWARI performed regularly at club events in the metro area, and large-scale loft parties in Brooklyn with as many as 3,000 attendees. HIMA also played such events as the CMJ Music Marathon, and were regulars in the Moby VJ Team MOVEMENT events.

Working closely with long time engineer Kidoh Taki, HIMAWARI completed production on their second album "Pomposo" in 2005, with CD jacket design by Virgilio Santos of Dzark. HIMAWARI's live performances feature cutting edge new digital images and Takeshi Ichikawa's motion graphics.


HIMAWARI Official Website -

Yup, I posted something. Fooel is actually out doing the hard work of going to gigs, listening to albums and writing about them, while I sit on my substantial backside cutting and pasting press releases. It is at least a start. My excuse is that I'm back in dear old Britain which is probably not the best location for someone contributing to a blog called Tokyo Music. We'll work that out later....

Anyway, with Fooel in Tokyo and me in my secret lair it's fair to say that Tokyo Music is back. Hell, I may even try and write a review. Don't go away...

What Do I Know Anyway?

A couple of things are leading me to write this blog entry. Three things actually:

1. I had noted in my live review of Limited Express (Has Gone?) that I wasn't particularly sure of what was going on;

2. Earlier today I cycled through Graeme's previous entries and realised there is quite an amount of stuff there and clearly a good bit of knowledge built up over the years;

3. I'm drinking Chu-hi and listening to PM Dawn (no prizes for guessing where I bought that).

But for all my lack of knowledge of Limited Express (Has Gone?) and myriad cohorts, I do know a little bit about Japanese music and thought I would give a brief overview of the stuff I know about.

When I last lived here, my favourite Japanese album was Asian Kung Fu Generation's 君繋ファイブエム with its wall of sound guitars and the nod to Oasis' Live Forever (yep) on one of the tracks. It was pretty vital stuff to me, and then the follow up album which I picked up on a visit including the suberb "My World" and "Siren" - their finest moment in my opinion and a song that contends for my top ten tracks of all time. I was distracted by pop-punkers Charcoal Filter around this time and owned a compilation album of their best songs, which sounds on the whole a wee bit cheesy now, but still good fun. And these were the days of Dragon Ash's "Harvest" album, and a bit of Grapevine was never far away from the CD player.

I've listened to a fair bit of poppier stuff too. I love Spitz - having heard this brilliant music playing outside a mobile phone shop, and eventually finding out who it was by asking a few people. I now have pretty much a full discography of pure songwriting genius. Almost a Japanese La's perhaps, except ridiculously prolific instead of appallingly wasteful. I own of course a Brilliant Green greatest hits collection, favourite tracks being , oohh, "Goodbye and goodluck", "冷たい花”, "Enemy"... it's a superb collection actually.

I don't want to write too much so I shall just drop a few more names in: Bump of Chicken, Sekaiichi, Cool Joke, Every Little Thing, Rie Fu, Orange Range, Puffy (natch), the mighty Ringo Sheena and Tokyo Jihen, the wonderful Sambomaster, the excoriatingly sublime Tate Takako, and a few others are all on the i-pod nestling betwixt New Order, James Brown and JR Writer.

And of course I have been reading this blog! So I have at least heard of the bands within, have a couple of the albums reviewed (Bloodthirsty Butchers spring to mind) and in most cases listened to their tracks on MySpace. Which is a start eh. I did meet the fantastic Anchorsong in London, where he remains to increasing success it seems.

Next on the gig-going list is the Ok City Ok gig this Sunday. I am particularly looking forward to this as I note from the venue map that there is a branch of Mos Burger nearby and I haven't been there for ages. I'm definitely going to have the onion rings and dip them in the Mos Burger sauce. Further, I have been to see the band before, along with Graeme no less, whence I picked up a copy of the album "Made By Elaborate Process". It's a tidy rocker alright and I'm looking forward to seeing the band again.

And ahead of that I have pencilled in soundscapists Euphoria on 3 August, then perhaps a bit of Eddy on 10 August, and why not add a dash of NaLas on the 17th? Why not indeed.

You know this PM Dawn album is pretty good and we haven't even got to... ah, here we go...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Limited Express (Has Gone?) @ Shibuya O-Nest

Graeme has written at length on the merits of Limited Express (Has Gone?), but I didn't know anything about them before tonight. So for me it was a case of watching new bands afresh, without knowing any of the songs.

I entered Shibuya O-Nest with various preconceptions and also great intentions of taking notes. I thought I would just sit there, listening intently and musing on the quaint bands as a quiet audience looked on. I thought maybe, people would nod their heads a bit. I thought the bands might be okay, but not particularly energetic, with a few nice songs.

Clearly I knew nothing. And to be frank, I still don't really know who was who. So I shall have to do some research as I proceed with this review, while watching a bit of golf. Let's face it, I still know nothing, eh. But I'll just try to report straight up what I saw tonight.

Expectations were confounded right from the off, as a hardcore punk band ripped the senses with some aplomb. Several guys danced frantically at the front as the band stormed through a couple of tough-as-nails punk numbers. Black Flag and Bad Brains t-shirts were on display which should give some idea what was going on, and this video shows the crowd action whilst failing completely to record the sound in any audible fashion.

The band are... U. G. Man... and you know, I've always had a soft spot for this kind of thing. This is a bit of a random link but the best I could find on the guys:

I also took my only notes of the evening in the immediate aftermath of this set. I think as a novice reviewer I can get away with the hackneyed trick of repeating my notes verbatim: "Did I actually witness this? Yes. Hardcore." No wonder I didn't take any more - but Henry Rollins can rest assured that his legacy is safe and well, and damaging eardrums in Tokyo.

Everyone then shuffled upstairs to see the next act in the bar area, the interesting ファンタジー仲間/Fuantaji-nakama/"Fantasy mates" {vaguely}. Thus a man in short pink shorts with rather long hair howled into the mic, as next to him a girl did something similar. I couldn't really see them from my vantage point, but they sounded kind of okay in a lo-fi way. I think with this band you had to understand what the guy was singing to really get it... which obviously I couldn't. It seems that the girl, who I couldn't see, was also in one of the later acts... but one cannot be sure about this... (hey, I've had a few beers).

Back down the stairs we paraded for a rather pleasant surprise in the form of PANIC SMILE. What to make of this rumbustuous lot? A funky edge remained throughout, and the lead guitar playing was pretty awesome. I wouldn't have felt short-changed if these guys were headlining, put it that way.

Take a look for yourself:

And heres the website:

And then we were but halfway through. Upstairs everyone stomped again but I couldn't be arsed right away, thus missing about half of a band I think were "Ni Hao!" Once I had struggled up the steps I heard, from behind the same obstacles, some girls singing. One song. And the next song, which was the last one, I heard from the toilet. They sounded pretty good, but I'm afraid I just wasn't really paying attention at this point. A link to the band's website is below - it appears there was more inter-connectedness going on:

I was downstairs pretty sharpish to take up my favourite gig position in the darkest corner. Thus began the set of a duo who I believe, and I'm fairly sure, were "DODDODO" (Is this Dodd Do-Do, or Do Duh Do Do? I prefer the latter).

Now this was a show. Whilst the be-masked turntablist showered us in a sea of beautious breakbeats, our heroine the singer yelled out her numbers quite manically in the style of a frenzied wildcat. I don't think you can ask for much more than that at any gig.

I took a couple of clips, but I'm afraid they don't really do the spectacle justice:

Suffice to say this was all good stuff and it kept the energy levels right up as we headed towards the headline set.

Now Limited Express (Has Gone?)... were... noisy, shouty, jumpy, edgy. Noisy. Shouty. Jumpy. Edgy. And you stand there thinking yes, this is good. What else can you really do? Save nod your head frantically in a bid to keep up.

And they are basically The Fall ha ha. But I was thinking of John Peel during the set, and you know, I don't know if Sir John played this band before his untimely passing, but I'm sure he would have if he could have.

Then at the end, DODDODO appeared again to join the headline act and something of a chaotic collaboration ensued. I think this was the entire point of the evening, although don't quote me on anything, and we witnessed not one but two manic females jumping about and screaming and then it was all over.

I went home and watched the golf.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Honey Mannie

Thought I'd introduce myself first - I'm Fooel, and I'm new here at Tokyo Music. Graeme is presently back in Blighty but I am happily ensconced in Tokyo. I know that Graeme plans to continue writing about music so hopefully he will also be posting in the near future.

And what better way to while away a Wednesday evening than by reviewing one of the latest releases on Japan Files? Not many I can think of.

Having downloaded Honey Mannie's six-track mini album from the site I made a conscious decision to find out no more about them until I'd listened to the album a few times and jotted down my thoughts.

"Supernatural" and "Lovely Disco Queen" open proceedings and things certainly start as they mean to go on. Electronic patter and playskool keyboards underly a cutesy-voiced delivery. I found myself picturing a Harajuku version of Bill and Ben. It's cute, it's about cute, and "Lovely Disco Queen" receives a bonus point for including the word "Meltdown".

The third track has passed me by at each listen, I'm afraid, although things pick up on "Magazine", a nicely-paced head-nodder which prompted some not inconsiderable sofa dancing including an attempt at the Peter Crouch robot dance.

On "Sister" the singer approaches matters in the nonchalant manner of a French chanteuse, and one can almost imagine the vocal being recorded while she leans out the kitchen window smoking a cigarette. Which would be quite a feat, but that's what it sounds like to me.

Throughout the tracks begin with more than a whiff of New Order before inevitably a blanket of cuteness is heaved over proceedings (imagine your gyuu-don being smothered in whipped cream just as you go to take your first bite). But not on the final track, and for me the highlight of this album, "Bitter". Here Hello Kitty takes a sepia-toned monochrome ride down the Mekong Delta in search of Colonel Kurtz, but finds something much more scary amongst the undergrowth - a seething, unforgiving Japanese woman. She will undoubtedly cut your balls off (you bastard).

And so with that decent surprise at the end I'd say it all works out well enough for what it is over six tracks. So if you fancy a bit of cutesy electronic pop music with a hint of lemon, then you could do worse than Honey Mannie. Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Japan Files 2.0 2.0 debuts with new features and new… Noodles!

March 04, 2008 - Celebrating over three years as the largest website devoted to Japanese MP3s, premieres a new design and special features today, just in time for its newest band - Noodles! continues to build its catalog of over 200 bands with new artists/labels added every month. J-Music fans from around the world can find the newest rock, pop, punk, techno, and alternative music, plus exclusive digital releases of music you could previously find only in Japan, like the newest tracks from BESPA KUMAMERO and ketchup mania.

This month, is happy to announce the addition of veteran Japanese girl-rock trio Noodles just in time for their upcoming USA tour with the Pillows (see band links below for tour dates). Noodles has toured America several times, including two back-to-back appearances at SXSW. Fans can now download their latest albums "Metropolis" and "Cover me Shakespeare" at for only 99 cents a track. is dedicated to bringing Japanese artists together with music lovers from around the globe. Sales from music at directly support the artists, so the fans really do make a difference. In addition, sponsors several band tours a year at anime conventions and live houses. Upcoming events in 2008 include: Swinging Popsicle (Mexico); ketchup mania (Japan Nite tour and Sakura-Con); tokyo pinsalocks (Anime Boston/Knitting Factory New York); and Budo Grape (A-Kon).

"Top 10 Websites for Japanese Music." – SeekJapan

"The top publisher of Japanese music in the U.S. - an amazing resource." – play Magazine

New features now available on 2.0:

Full albums are always $9.90 or less, no matter how many tracks are on the album.

Customers can choose to download their purchases in one complete zip file (albums and single tracks).

Staff picks every month are discounted 50% or more to help music fans find undiscovered gems among our large library of great indie bands.

Japanese entertainment industry guests also get in on the action and choose their favorites from our catalog. The Guest Picks feature a special introduction and a discount price. Our March 2008 guest is Dennis A. Amith (KNDY) of the respected, long-running Japanese and Asian entertainment website J!-ENT (

Discuss favorite artists, discover new bands, share info on tours and events. This is open to fans of all styles of Japanese music, and not limited to the bands sold on our retail site.

Visitors to the website can find artist interviews, links, and videos on the same page as the MP3 samples. Over the coming months, more links and videos will be added to every available artist, but fans can start exploring these features right away with artists like BESPA KUMAMERO, advantage Lucy, ketchup mania, and Electric Eel Shock.


LINKS MP3 store - MySpace - on (full album previews) -

Noodles - Official website (English/Japanese) -
Noodles MySpace -


noodles - "Grease" [PV]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Swinging Popsicle go South of the Border

February 13, 2008 - Japanese pop pioneers Swinging Popsicle have been invited as the first-ever musical guest for the 32nd Convencion de Juegos de Mesa y Comics in Monterrey, Mexico. The event will be held March 7-9, 2008, at Monterrey's Cintermex Center, hosting thousands of Mexican fans of Japanese entertainment.

Swinging Popsicle was requested by the event's coordinators based on their 10-year history and their status as one of's all-time best-selling artists. The band is currently nominated for Best Japanese Pop Band by Shojo Beat magazine.

Swinging Popsicle has appeared previously at Fanime Con (San Jose, CA) and Anime Mid Atlantic (Richmond, VA). In February 2008 they played a special concert in Seoul, Korea for their Korean partner-label, Pastel Music.

Swinging Popsicle appears at Convencion de Juegos de Mesa y Comics by special arrangement with and Entretenimiento Creativo.

Swinging Popsicle links!
MP3s -
MySpace -

Event website (Spanish) -

Thursday, February 07, 2008

tokyo pinsalocks in NYC

February 5, 2008 - Japanese electronic rockers tokyo pinsalocks announced their New York City debut this week. Just days after their USA premiere at Anime Boston, fans of the all-girl trio can see them at a special performance at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan with special guests Sakura Madams and DJs Mar Galo and Hayden Honey.

tokyo pinsalocks will perform songs from their hit CD "Plutonium 07" and their upcoming release "Planet Rita." The band is currently nominated for Best All-Girl Band in the Shojo Beat magazine Japanese Music Awards.

tokyo pinsalocks
w/ Sakura Madams
Knitting Factory - New York
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Doors open 7:30
Admission: $10

Presented by and Karaterice

tokyo pinsalocks links!
MP3s -
MySpace -

Monday, January 21, 2008

New BESPA KUMAMERO album on JapanFiles

Still haven't done the Leopard thing, so here's another post for your delectation:

January 20, 2008 - Cyber-punk hit-makers BESPA KUMAMERO have released their new CD "Romantic Waves" on The indie-Japanese music website is the only place outside of Japan where fans can purchase the new tracks.

BESPA KUMAMERO is currently nominated as "Best Rising Star" in the 2008 Shojo Beat Music Awards, highlighting the best in contemporary Japanese music. Fans can vote for the band at Shojo Beat's website:

The new 14-track CD "Romantic Waves" contains 8 all new remastered versions of the 6 tracks from their previous UK Tour Limited EP.

BESPA KUMAMERO will make their USA debut at Anime Matsuri in Houston, TX, in March of 2008.


MP3s -
MySpace -
Official Site -

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's been a while

I foolishly updated my website design software not realising that the new version I installed only works on Leopard. I do have a copy of Leopard but I haven't got round to installing it yet. That means that for now I have to go back to using this blog. Given the relative lack of updates on the Tokyo Guide site, that probably isn't a huge problem. Anyway, news of a historic live show in Tokyo (as ever, it's been cut and pasted):

Jimmy Binks and The Shakehorns, Live in Kichijoji

With crucial Shakehorn Sam Berry leaving for Spain in March, this could be the last gig for Jimmy Binks and the Shakehorns. The venue is Kichijoji's Mandala, a beautifully intimate venue which has hosted the likes of Beadroads, Osa and Killing Floor. We will kick off the show at 7pm. Doors are open from 6. Come before 7, innit.

Unfortunately, again there is a 2000yen door charge, but again there are 4 bands playing. Hopefully it will be as an eclectic bunch as last time.

This is our last and hopefully biggest gig to date. We hope a lot of you can make it.