Archive for October, 2006

Bandwagon – What Went Wrong!!

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

bandwagon, japanese indie, japan, rock, what went wrong!!, the eternal allergy maxi single

Artist: Bandwagon
Song: What Went Wrong!!
From album: The Eternal Allergy
Genre: Guitarmony Rock
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

Here’s some almost feelgoody upbeatish rockiness. I’m going to use it to say bubye to summer even though it may not be particularly appropriate.

It is now cold in the DC area, to say nothing of the rest of the world.

José González – Slow Moves

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

jose gonzalez, sweden, argentinian, veneer, slow moves, acoustic, singer-songwriter, indie

Artist: José González
Song: Slow Moves
From album: Veneer
Genre: Slow-burning acoustic fire.
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

This song is laced with golden fire, hidden in ember-woven nets that drag the sky. It’s a song, an album, to be listened to in the wake of a hurricane, electricity just a memory and a frontier dark and silence on every side. It should be listened to by indirect candlelight and given your full attention in order that you should not miss its subtle moods.

You can trust me, I’ve been there.

Time-lapse Mural

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Japanese graffiti, mural, time lapse, artwork, Japan, urban culture

It has been a while since I have posted any art, so here we go. This is a time lapse video of the various incarnations of a cooperative mural by several extremely talented artists. They build on each other’s creations and constantly re-design and evolve the piece until it changes form completely and they start over. It covers a whole week in under 6 minutes. Very cool.


Downy – ? (Delta)

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006


Artist: Downy Song: ? (Delta) Album: ?? 4th (Mudai)

Here’s the video that first introduced me to downy. It came like manna from heaven at a time when I was at a dead end in my exploration of Japanese music.

The Japanese music industry has a whole lot in common with the American music industry; in fact, it’s probably a glimpse of the American Industry’s near future state: A behemoth of advertising, mass production, formulaic repetition, and blatant revenue creation. Years ago I used to hear it rumored that the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync etc. were creations of record companies, more or less genetically designed to make the most money from the least effort by pandering to a demographic with sparse discernment and extremely liquid assets. Well, often the Japanese industry doesn’t even pretend to hide it, and no one seems to mind.

Take Johhny’s, for instance. It’s more or less a boy band factory. It scouts members based on personal magnetism and charm, and then puts them through boy-band-bootcamp to learn how to dance, and hopefully at least marginally, to sing. Johhny’s does this successfully over and over and over, people keep buying the records, and they end up #1 on the charts. Also, basically each member in one of these groups is guaranteed a starring role in at least one tv drama, product endorsement deals, and various variety/gameshow appearances, and in fact, most groups actually get their very own TV show.

Not that any of this is intrinsically bad, it just gets old after a while. One can, perhaps, only take so much of the same sound, same routine. Thank goodness for downy, my first taste of life after so long having wandered in the aural wasteland.

Listen, listen again, then let go and really hear.

Chicken Rice – Laodao

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

  taiwanese indie, rockabilly, psychobilly, punk, rock, chinese, china, chicken rice, lucky 7

Artist: Chicken Rice
From album: Lucky 7
Genre: Taiwanabilly
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

Chicken Rice is a Chinese band that sounds very much like a Google searchbot’s nightmare, as well as a sort of happy house mix-platter of rockapsychobilly with a side of punky jam-laced blues.

The whole song is a bizarro 50’s steam engine ride. The verse chugs uphill steady and building, leaning back and looking ahead to the peak of the mountain when the chorus will plunge over the edge in bursts of steam and whistle blast. Heads and arms exit windows, plowing thick fog and rushing wind, carried along on this crazy one-way night-train to party town.