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June 14, 2009


The guys in Sakerock are oddballs indeed. Then again, few instrumental bands led by a trombonist make it anywhere, so why not play to your strengths?

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King of Show

One of the few pop genres that has been almost totally unrepresented at Fuji Rock over the years is "visual-kei," that brand of pop metal peculiar to Japan that tends to favor androgynous style over anything having to do with music. So the inclusion of the popular 90s band Kinniku Shojotai (literally, "Muscle Girl Belt")--or Show King as they are commonly referred to by their fans--in the White Stage roster on Saturday might be met with puzzled expressions. But one has to take into consideration leader Kenji Otsuki's role in Japanese pop culture, which, despite that odd facial tattoo and the hair, is fairly didactic.

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Old timeyguitar techno with System 7

I’ve written earlier how the 60’s era psychedelic band, Gong, was an early precursor to the techno scene. Those hanging around after Gong's Friday show at the Orange Court will see what I mean when Gong guitarist Steve Hillage hooks up with girlfriend Miquette Giraudy for a guitar-techno show called System 7. Click the vid for their show at Glastonbury two years ago.

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Introducing Ebony Bones


Her costumes take their cue from a box of crayons, and with a crazy backing band that is part Brazilian samba and London street carnival, Ebony Thomas (nee Ebony Bones) has been getting lots of attention this summer.

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June 13, 2009

"But I'm Not Tired Yet"


For those not completely knackered after 3.5 days of FRF fun, the details for the “Gan-Ban Night Special FRF ’09 After Party in Tokyo” (man, that’s a mouthful) have been announced.

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Trying to Keep Things G-Rated

Sorry ladies (and gents?).

Vocalist Paul Smith has taken extra precautions to ensure there will be no wardrobe malfunctions during Maximo Park’s Red Marquee peformance on July 26.

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ROVO's Inexplicable Drumming

Most famous for ex-Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto and having two drummers, Rovo is instrumental experimental progressive/post rock.

I became interested in the group first through the cut "Horses", released in 1999 on the album Imago, their only record released in the U.S. Anyone interested in the outer reaches of the possibilities of trap-set drumming will find this one endlessly fascinating. These rhythms are nothing anyone else would be likely to imagine on their own. The track above, Spica, is a similar concept, but you gotta go listen to this snippet of Horses to get the full effect yourself. Heck, pay the 99 cents to buy the track. I never tire of it. It's almost like the two drummers are phasing each other, like a Steve Reich composition.

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June 12, 2009

Pop Anonymous


Few musicians can claim a career trajectory like UA, Japan's favorite anti-diva.

Links, Vids and more info after the jump.

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Rookie Info


Sounds, profiles, web sites and MySpace info for all 15 acts for the this year's Rookie A Go-Go stage have been uploaded here.

In other news, there are apparently more than 24 hours in a Japanese day...

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Heavy Petting


Fujirock vets, Brahman have gone through a variety of phases over their 15 years, but one thing you can expect at their Green Stage performance this year will be mobs of groupies. Will their hard-core punk transform into acoustic ballads?

Vids and more info after the jump.

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