Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Shoegazer Sunday: Tokyo Shoegazer’s “Back to My Place”

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

A while back I put up Tokyo Shoegazer’s “Bright.” Here’s “Back to My Place,” another long song, that starts off all ethereal but just after 2:30 in turns back into a soaring, reverb-drenched wall of shoegazer guitar goodness.

Off their debut album 「crystallize」, which is available through iTunes.

Shoegazer Sunday: Lemon Chair’s “Vividness”

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I thought the previous dose of Japan’s Lemon’s Chair worked pretty well, so here they are with “Vividness.” The beginning and end are soft and noodly, but the center is jam-packed with magisterial sludge of rich, gooey Shoegaze goodness.

Shoegazer Sunday: Lily of the Valley’s “IOK-1″

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Here’s another obscure Japanese Shooegaze band, Lily of the Valley, with “IOK-1″ performed live at the Apple store in Shibuya. I think the echoey acoustics of the place actually adds to the song’s charm.

They hail from Sendai, which was the region hardest hit during the earthquake/tsunami. This tune, and some others from them, are available on iTunes.

Who better to throw out the first pitch than a horrifying, vengeful ghost?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Oh Japan, don’t ever change.

But there’s no reason this idea can’t succeed in the U.S. Why not have Freddy Kruger, Leatherface, Jason or Pinhead throw out the first pitch? Granted, this still wouldn’t be enough to get me to watch baseball…

In related news: Hello Kitty Ringu products.

FLCL on Blu-Ray for $18.99

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

We now interrupt this blog for some shameless huxtering: Amazon has the complete 6-episode run of the wonderful and completely insane anime series FLCL on Blu-Ray for $18.99.

This is probably my favorite anime series of all time. It’s weird, funny, and endlessly inventive. You spend 5 episodes thinking “This is great, but it makes absolutely no sense!” And then you watch the sixth episode and go “Wait, it does make sense!” It really rewards re-watching.

It’s about a boy a who has a mysterious woman bump into and then start hitting on him. That is to say, bumps into him with her Vespa at full tilt and starts hitting on his head with her bass guitar. After that, giant robots come out of the resulting bump.

Then it gets weird.

It’s awesome. Trust me.

And if a paying media outlet wants an already completed review of FLCL that Locus Online passed on, please let me know…

Movie Memories of Excessive Vagueness

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Last Saturday I was over at A.T. and Carol’s house watching a Japanese science fiction action film called Returner (imagine every big budget American science fiction film between 1980 and 2000 being jammed into a blender and set to frappe and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the plot elements). It was fine if you didn’t mind the complete lack of originality, but we watched it because I thought it might be the one I saw a clip from a year or two ago. The problem is, while my memory of the clip is fairly clear, I can’t remember sufficient details to find it via a Google search.

In the clip I saw, people were fighting some freaky looking monsters that were obviously some sort of CGI (about the same level of the CGI in Returner, i.e. better than the Skiffy Channel’s cheap monster movies, but not as good as a major U.S. release). I think the monsters were sort of pale and slightly taller than human sized (but not multistory kaiju sized monsters). It was live action, not anime. And they were fighting in some sort of open, brightly lit interior area, like an atrium, or foyer, or perhaps somewhere in a museum. And the monsters weren’t guys in suits and didn’t look anything like the monsters on Ultraman, etc.

This should be enough to find the clip again, but it doesn’t seem to be. Maybe it wasn’t a movie, but part of a TV show. And maybe it wasn’t from Japan, but Hong Kong or South Korea. Or maybe Taiwan. (But not the Philippines. Probably.) And maybe they weren’t monsters, but aliens. Or maybe demons. Beings from another dimension? And I thought I saw it on Fark, but couldn’t find it when I searched there. Maybe it was linked from comments in the thread?

Movies I know it’s not:

  • The Host
  • Funky Forest
  • The live action Hong Kong remake of Wicked City
  • Any ideas? It’s driving me to distraction…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Civic’s “Tensai” and “Guitar”

    Sunday, April 15th, 2012

    This week’s Shoegazer Sunday offering is a Japanese band called Civic. First up is “Tensai”:

    Here’s a live version of “Guitar,” which is a tremendously fun high energy number. Skip the first 1:20 seconds of annoying “walking on stage” intro electronica.

    Like many of my Japanese shoegazer discoveries, Civic records for High Fader Records. Guitar seems to have been reborn there as “Tobacco” up on the High Fader Myspace page, and have another song called “Innocent” on their own MySpace page. They have a very coherent, appealing sound, with the male and female vocalists trading off verses. They’re probably closest to SuperCar among their Japanese shoegaze brethren, but they’re also have a bit of U2, The Beatles, The Byrds, and maybe The Ramones in their sound.

    Since I don’t read Kanji, I couldn’t tell you what the name of this song is:

    I would buy a full length Civic album right now if one were available in the U.S…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Speaker Gain Teardrop’s “Vasumitra”

    Sunday, April 8th, 2012

    More obscure Japanese shoegaze, this time from Speaker Gain Teardrop off their album RENDERING ENCRYPTION (a title that will no doubt bring a smile to Cory Doctrow’s face).

    Here’s both the live and studio versions.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Lemon’s Chair’s “Sonar”

    Sunday, March 18th, 2012

    Here’s a live version of Japanese threesome Lemon’s Chair song “Sonar.” It starts off as some very pleasant noodling, and then more than halfway in transforms into a sonic wall of sound that never quite loses the central groove.

    They also have a nice solid slab of steady-state shoegazer sweetness called “Swallowtail” on iTunes, but there doesn’t seem to be a version of that on YouTube.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Plastic Girl In Closet’s “Love is Fun”

    Sunday, February 12th, 2012

    Like Supercar, Plastic Girl in Closet is another Japanese band treading the boundary between Shoegaze and J-Pop. Also like Supercar, their dress sense seems to come from The Beatles circa 1964.