Archive for September, 2010


Puffy x Smuffy
I wanted to include the humor in JPop as well – SMAP being one of the few weirdest things i’ve seen.  Also in this post you will see “Shingo Mama no Oha Rock” – Something that is educational yet very emotionally disturbing on so many levels (yet safe for kids! and i’m not joking!)

Shingo Katori in recent years has also become a fairly well respected actor; being in NHK’s 43rd Taiga Drama “NHK! SHINSENGUMI” as ISAMI KONDOU.

I’ve seen this several times; it’s adorably cute but yet very scaring – don’t say i didnt warn you; a buff masculine guy in pretty pink polka dots is kinda disturbing.  Can’t say he doesn’t have entertainment value in his talent; otherwise he wouldnt still have a job!


Additions To the "Fray"

Well; i noticed i left this seriously open ended last night without some proof on what JPOP is – as this project isn’t exactly an ending factor as of September 21st.  So with the conclusion that Japanese ROCK isn’t imitative by averaging out what i know and what i’ve researched, i’ve decided to do a few quick reviews and examples of Japanese Pop outside of what i’ve shown in previous posts.

I will note that these are things i picked up on Sept 20th 2010, from Youtube – and have no research to back up my reviews on these.  They are pure “opinion” and i can assure you, that from this end of the foray – that I have never heard most of these bands before today.

(However; i will reference where i’ve received these and note that in the final bibliography!)

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The comparison of Marc Bolan and Hideto Matsumoto in requirement to the essay topic

A  post tailing the end of my notes for an essay i’m not sure i have enough mental energy to write! ONWARD JROCK SOLI- I mean Researchers.  (Yes, researchers… that’s a real professional term there Jill, lol – tell em’ all you’re just researching!)  My knowledge personally of T-REX and Marc Bolan is only that through realization that hide did NOT make the song 20th century boy, and that it was over 20 years old and I had no clue about my music, and that i should bite my tounge until the day i realize what exactly i’m talking about.

Well Mr Feld; here’s to you for influencing Hideto Matsumoto – even if some people think i’m totally blatantly wrong and insane.  That’s what research is! (Or at least thats what my excuse is). Between the fashion of the vinyl green snake looking outfits – and the same suit like outifts that Marc Bolan graced in an earlier referenced video, and the similarities in some of hide’s earlier work; there’s some sort of influence surley?

In thinking about that; i’m starting to change my mind – indeed, what actually is influence, because hide never really showed “influence” from anything per se.  That cyberpunk spider had his own style, pink punk red crawling on the backs of every spider with guitar (>_> “INSIDE THE PERVERT MOUND” type quote there!). Ok fandom aside; i’m seirously reconsidering that whole comparison issue.

It’s an open ended anomaly – how do you classify influence, and keywords and compartments on things that are defying the common knowledge of western music?  While there is direct classification of influence from KISS; in interviews etc – how can you go about classifying the truth when the guy isn’t here to ask?

And in today’s world would you go up to Ozzy Osbourne and ask him if he was influenced by the beatles?

Examples of Japanese Rock and Bands within the “Visual Kei” Sphere in question to The Glam Influence

Ok this is a pure media post – or mostly pure media, i’ll be posting examples of bands in question to the Glam Rock, Metal and Alternative Scenes that many books i’ve looked through and read through have explained. After each one i’ll make a quick explanation of what i mean, and so on and so forth.

(Aka: I’m getting extreeeeeeme exhaustion from working on this almost non stop over the weekend. It’s a student thing, only my lecturers would understand – We all make sure we do these at the last minute so the day they’re do we’re groggily walking in to turn it in and because of that we’re so slow that we have snail like reflexes… and only get it in 10 seconds before the time’s up.)

Onward Jrock Researchers! TO THE MEDIA!

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Before i expound largley onto the fandom section of the subject; i want to show the public versions of hide’s funeral and report.  It’s imperitave that i show this, as one of my sources on Hideto Matsumoto was indeed an article in AsiaWeek about his passing.  (And no, i am not referencing five hide plushies just to prove my own fandom :P)


X-Japan members performing “FOREVER LOVE” at hide’s funeral.

Yoshiki Hayashi speaking on Live Television.

WITHOUT YOU (Played at a recent HIDE MEMORIAL concert in Japan.)

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Of rock music from japan in recent years.

Ok – I’m going to keep it fairly short on this one would an “IBID” or “See recent posts” do for this?

If not let me summarize it –  Opinions vary, and when you are doing musical research and you are unsure of classifications or even how to put something in a box; things can become very hard.  Mind you, that my academic and personal opinion stands on the fact that if you need to put music in a box to categorize it, then don’t.  David Bowie isn’t classified as glam rock anymore;  I don’t beleive there is ever such a thing as a category for music.  Rock is just another term, another box to place these things in.

Can you classify something like this:

Gackt is considered Pop, yet his music is crossing genres and multi cultural boundaries by each and every album he creates.  From songs like Vanilla which are a cookie cutter Pop aspect, to Lust for Blood; a vampire esque song filled with emotion. (Mind you, we have yet to prove if Gackt is or isn’t a vampire.  It was only recently he officially released his real age.)

In pages 127-143 in Refashioning Pop Music in Asia, Carolyn S Stevens delves into the motive in a Japanese Rock Video; the aesthetic of pushing boundaries.  Alfee being the respective band, and a load of Christian Rock Imagery being the subject of debate. This is something Gackt’s previous band Malice Mizer was largely into doing, but in a more Classical Gothic, Lacuna Coil meets Nightwish sort of way.

(However, that was larger in appearance in the Klaha Era of Beast of Blood, Gensou Rakuen and other titles; Gackt was around during the late Memoire (post-Tetsu) and Voyage, Mervilles L’espace Era.)

For reference here is the “Love Never Dies” PV mentioned in the Section of the book previously stated above.

This only further proves it is MUCH harder to classify music when you’re unsure of what the music is in the first place (I’ve never personally heard of Alfee until now.).  So in reference to earlier statements about how X-japan was wrongly classified as DEATH METAL, i will again complain they are still not speed metal, nor really metal at all.

Maybe a mix of Japanese Visual Kei will show the western world, you can’t really box Visual Kei into anything but “VISUAL KEI” – Even after they’ve gone mainstream.

A mention is never a mention for music without the oblivious ANIME MUSIC VIDEO.  Mostly made by fans, these are … ok let’s just say i have just as much fun as the next person doing these.  But i’m not including mine, as this isn’t a promotional blog is it :D.

Included in this is Koopsikeva’s SKITTLES AMV, Using Heartsdales CandyPop (original video will be in the post too) – and The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.  A collection of low and high quality AMV’s can be found on the collective of AnimeMusicVideos.Org a popular collective site that has been around since the late 90s.  (I personally was able to meet the original creator in 2004 at Anime Detour, along with Chris Herbert and Monica Rial.)

While a lot of Japanese Rap and Hip Hop is VERY “COPYCAT” and “COOKIE CUTTER” – I find CandyPop one of the few Heartsdales singles that i can keep on repeat and just think of happy things.

The AMV by Koopsikeva

The PV of CandyPop by Heartsdales feat. Soul’d Out.

Again; these won’t be mentioned in the final essay – mainly because the lack of quality references is seriously starting to peeve me to the max.

Not that it’s completley unoriginal – because there’s always something in music that’s original (I’m giving Japanese Rap an inch of hope, so far i’m not getting anywhere in this!)

References to her Entry in Wikipedia:

  1. ^ Hime, Japanese Female Rapper videos – JapanSugoi – Everything Cool about Japan
  2. ^ Condry, Ian. Hip-hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization. North Carolina, United States: Duke University Press. pp. 177–180. ISBN 0822338920.
  3. ^ Condry, Ian. Hip-hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization. North Carolina, United States: Duke University Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0822338920.
  4. ^ Condry, Ian. Hip Hop Japan. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
  5. ^ YouTube – HIME , Female Japanese Rapper , DJ Honda Records

I’m not including her in the final essay – as Japanese Rap is only an Example, and i dont have personal knowledge enough to know where to start at this rate.

(And if i continue the research after the essay is finished, then by all means my sources will multiply.)