japanese pop

Sure, like in any other segment of popular culture, Japan puts out its fair share of disposable music. But it also fosters some truly amazing talent that takes familiar sounds and twists them all about into wonderful sonic concoctions.

My goal is to highlight some of the outstanding bands that exist in Japan now - some immensely popular, others rather obscure - and to hopefully hear from you about others that I haven't been fortunate enough to find yet.

 

Ajico

Kenichi Asai and UA make mysterious, magical music that's suitable for adoration.

 


 

Barnabys

A female rock trio of [Mezzo] fame, all fast and furious with anti-kawaii tendencies.

 


 

Blankey Jet City

Kenichi Asai and crew make a super-duper white-hot rock explosion, sonic liberation.

 


 

Boredoms

If you have ears, Eye will kill them, bury them, then raise them from the dead ringing joy.

 


 

The Brilliant Green

Tomoko has friends who make masterful pop-rock, and they're pleased to meet you.

 


 

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayu sells stadiums full of theatrical ballads and glammy remixes, with beautiful talent.

 


 

Hysteric Blue

It's a little bit poppy, a little bit rock 'n roll, with albums transcending troublesome members.

 


 

Jude

Kenichi Asai abandons himself in rock, and draws forth perfection, shining sultry sounds.

 


 

Judy and Mary

Yuki sings up stars, backed by the best band that once was, and always will be precious.

 


 

Kaela Kimura

Kaela shines bright, like pop rocks and lemonade under the spotlight, and sings like a blue bird in a rain cloud.

 


 

Mean Machine

A five woman powerhouse, with Yuki, Chara and a whole mess of wonderful, one time only perfection.

 


 

Melt-Banana

Yako and crew use their maximalist ultra burst blender sonical skills for punk perfection.

 


 

Molice

Rinko and crew channel the Pixies and other tunesmiths, much to my pleasure.

 


 

Number Girl

A former fearsome foursome with Pixies tendencies, prepare to be blown away like tin foil.

 


 

Tamio Okuda

The undisputed master of Beatles-influenced folk garage rock, too cool for Rock And Roll High School.

 


 

Omoide Hatoba

Seiichi Yamamoto jumps out of the Boredoms with amps-overhead brilliance.

 


 

OOIOO

Yoshimi leads us all to quirky atmospheric heaven, Boredoms chunky-style, with satiating sounds.

 


 

PINE*am

Tsugumi, Taeca and Chizuko break out the keyboards and make stars circle the moon.

 


 

Polysics

80's video games take on human form and Devo hats, and explode post-concert.

 


 

Puffy

Ami and Yumi run away from home, straight to Tamio Okuda and super-stardom.

 


 

Salyu

Lily Chou-Chou becomes a real live woman, to the continuing delight of everyone.

 


 

Sentimental Bus

Natsu and Akinori drive a school bus hot rod, all crashing keyboards and hair, and the kids are alright.

 


 

Sheena Ringo

If the sun and moon had a daughter, it would be a singing apple that makes the trees bloom.

 


 

Sherbets

Kenichi and his runaway-train guitar lead another band to winning ruin, Qumico style.

 


 

Tomoe Shinohara

It is absolutely impossible to find a cuter singer-actress phenomenon with such skills.

 


 

Thmlues

Of all the pop-rock foursomes with unpronouncable names, this is the best and most accomplished.

 


 

Titan Go King's

Pinky, Yonyon and Lintsu are well-coordinated punk-pop idols for the rest of us.

 


 

Tokyo Incidents

Sheena Ringo and her rock-jazz-punk music buddies cause Tokyo Jihen, and the people scatter to find dance partners.

 


 

Tommy Heavenly6

Tomoko Kawase is a pure pop Jekyll and Hyde, like marshmallows meeting melted dark chocolate. Predominately fluffy, yet with a bitter bite.

 


 

Triceratops

These guys, they make lemonade for the roll-rock, sweet and sour with ample coolness.

 


 

Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re

Mari, Yayoi and Mizue rule funk-punk-pop with hard yet delicate fists, the better to plafully pound with.

 


 

Hikaru Utada

Once Hikki, now Utada, with millions of pop hits sold and savored all over the world

 


 

Yuki

Her voice fells Segway scooters in paroxysms of joy, her beauty stands them back up.

 


music

artists

6.1.2009

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