Latest Entries »

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:

http://www.youtube.com/v/QOb0yNGW2k8

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.

http://www.youtube.com/v/9aFj3BnVHGQ

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.

Advertisements

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.

http://www.youtube.com/v/TIjsPFYdkZY

The AMV by Koopsikeva

http://www.youtube.com/v/UjNAJRZgPXM

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!)

http://www.youtube.com/v/_1VS5mgUCRE

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.)

http://www.youtube.com/v/Jw8vUZmeZH4

http://www.youtube.com/v/K9FQzBteI-Y

http://www.youtube.com/v/D67kmFzSh_o

Also known as the TV theme to the Police Drama, Life On Mars

http://www.youtube.com/v/v–IqqusnNQ

Part and parcel to the glam rock look – even if you can’t see glam rock, you can see the makeup used.
(Marylin Manson fans try and claim this as their own claim to fame from their “God of Rock” but personal opinion states that guy even if he has talent, has done nothing but copy and plagarize modern rock from an international stand point. I dont have any resources to state this other than take a good look at early 1990s Visual Kei.)

http://www.youtube.com/v/SlimsLXEkAc

I’m going to note that the personalization of the set; and styles here are much likened to many mid 1990s Rock in Japan. (Mainly hide.)

Interesting how the comments are perceiving the lyrics; something i never thought about…

1 year ago 8 

The line is, “What’s it like to be a loon? ”

double meaning is “What’s it like to be alone” then “I liken it to a balloon”

Meaning floating through the air like a LOON is like floating in the air as a BALLOON but his double meaning is that being alone is, to him, similar to if one were a balloon floating above & away from everything & everyone, separate from normal life & human interaction with others. One of his many MANY double meaning lyrics. He was clever, maybe even (at times)…profound.

Yup, that’s the correct line! I agree with you though, there’s a double-meaning there, as Marc was so fond of doing with many of his lyrics. So many of his songs seem to develop layers of meaning each time you listen – they do for me, anyway. Indeed, a poet who was often times profound. XXXXX

chanteleigh 1 year ago

David Bowie, T-Rex/Marc Bolan, KISS: Where do they fit in the mix?

Glam Rock didn’t die in 1975; however this is only an opinion of one academic student in Asia 201.  I truly honestly beleive that these resources were passed on to a new ERA of “GLAM” close to a decade later. Glam died in the US and UK; Kiss tried to do disco – but  by 1986 X-japan was using upside down methods to making their hair stand up with Aqua Net and hairdryers.

Visual Kei was definatley not something completley fathered by X-Japan, but by several bands at the time.  Many branching the different ideas and styles that were to become such a complex genre with several sub-genres inbetween.

While many beleive on several internet based forums/websites and other formats, that X-japan’s “Psychadelic Violence Crime of Visual Shock” was the beginning of it all, many still argue that Kote Kote Kei came first.  (That’s like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg)

Buck Tick is more your Bowie-esque dark side of the moon cross Pink Floyd with a handsome Atsushi Sakurai (later mixed with industrial project Schwein), with X-Japan being your testosterone laden Bon Jovie on Asahi and Sapporo brew.   Other lesser known bands at the same exact point in time existed, but due to lack of knowledge and reference on them they will be omitted.

In terms of professionally categorizing how Glam Rock influenced, or even 70s rock PERIOD; we have to go back and take a peek at the listed influential bands and even unlisted ones.  While the Biased history of Glam rock states “No you still won’t like Elton John”; i’m going to assume still that i’ve never been able to find his Japanese equivalent either.

Some don’t realize the influence that is put forth between these decades, and how it’ll reach towards other formats or other genres in other areas.  This is where my argument about where we market music, and why do we market others, well we market other genres and other formats to comparatively show our own musical identities. Identities which are defined in a personal way towards how we live our lives (yet not always) and how we feel about things (yet not always).

Take this picture of the commericalism side of the industry

Ebay Inventory from Anime Mate

Banpresto X-japan UFO Catchers

Wild, unearthing products that most parents in a conservative nature would not let their children attach to even if they won it in a claw machine at the arcade. Remember the video I posted earlier in the blog about Celebration?  That conservative parent would’ve burned these, probably along with the people that are burning Qurans in the USA… as offensive as either gesture is, passion and security do not run hand in hand.   Music has a profound effect on how we deal with daily lives, so the fact that the difference remains in such musics from overseas – look at Bollywood Music or even music from Afghanistan.  Every country has a different beat; while at the same time every country still has a load of those cookie cutter bubblegum glittery unoriginal bits.

This is where I mention “Morning Musume.” (As my lecturer in Japa132 constantly jokes; that this is what my essay is all about, how much i supposedly adore Morning Musume.  A joke that started largely because a younger classmate of mine enjoys their music.) largely talented young individuals but are slated into a popular “Idol” or cookie cutter format.

I’m going to apologize that i should’ve done the essay first and then this second – but i find it so much more amazing to get through every point this way than the usual way.  Especially since, this is a subject i am quite interested and passionate about.  I would like to note that maybe someday i could write more on this.  There was so much information and i needed to reference it all because it’s all relevant! (This is where i am estatically grinning and admitting as tedious as essays are, i’ve actually done my homework for once!)

But the Morning Musume bit wasn’t meant as an offensive additive, I personally just do not like their music – but they are considered as a possible “kawaii” type genre.

An example:

http://www.youtube.com/v/0aKBuEt-xj4

Back to the influence of 70s glam, i’ll add some more referential videos to prove my point in a moment – yet the thing i should remind people is that even in an essay research can be based on opinion as well as fact.  Because some of these artists are either of a foreign nature, or some even have passed away; you can’t always get the truth or fact on influence.   As Rock was actually something that was influenced and born out of Jazz, Folk and Blues.  As a lot of music has inspired itself from either Classical or Traditionalist nation based music – you can always perceive where the roots came from.

With the notation that music grew from something else; and adapted itself into something new – I can safely say that’s how much of Japanese Popular music begins to form.  Some of it is largely again; similar and unoriginal, with similar styles and beats that mix from all over the world.  Rock is just as mainstream as the next thing, and when you look at US based rock – a lot of people will always say “Rock is Dead”.

Miyavi disagreed with this theory in his track from the 2005 Miyavizm album aptly named “Rock N’ Roll is Not Dead”; an answer to previous single “Pop is Dead” from his 2002 single of the same name.  Flamboyant colors, and outlandish statements that connect to a real world idea of what things are; compared to most “Metal” which glamorizes a gothic nature (to some satanic.) and an unreal world for their audiences to lose themselves within.

So with Marc Bolan recreating Tyrannosaurus Rex into T-Rex, and David Bowie never straying from his experimental style is there a way to connect the dots per se?

Officially it’s reading between the lines, and connecting style and sound with the comparison in research.  A previous quotation from Hayley Ayto stated that she seemed to hear Metallica influentially inside the Blue Blood album of X-japan.  This again rings that research can only sometimes come from opinion, without the literal answer from the artist themselves.  As music being an international thing, one can only surmise that many similarities exist within many countries and many bands.

Jimi Hendrix was largely along side Jim Morrison considered the forefathers of Rock, with Marc Bolan and David Bowie riding the Glam wave.  Kiss was their own genre in my opinion, there’s nothing you can do to explain Gene Simmons in death defying platform heels and lipstick.  X-Japan offiically, and same with Hideto Matsumoto notifies the public and audiences that influences in their music were because of Kiss.

That’s your connection.

(I’m a bit over the mark on this question, i’ll be more considerate about  how i write the other ones out, i missed a few turns and went off subject on this one.)

The next few posts will be more media based- to show examples (Which is basically to break up the longer posts)

Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977), was an English singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work with T. Rex. His music, as well as his highly original sense of style and extraordinary stage presence helped create the glam rock era, making him one of the most recognizable stars in British rock music.

James MarshallJimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix, November 27, 1942[1] – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is often considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music by other musicians and commentators in the industry,[2][3][4] and one of the most important and influential musicians of his era across a range of genres

James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, lyricist, poet, and amateur filmmaker. He was best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors and is widely considered to be one of the most charismatic frontmen in rock music history.[1] He was also the author of several books of poetry[1] and the director of a documentary and short film. Although Morrison was known for his baritone vocals, many fans, scholars, and journalists have discussed his theatrical stage persona, his self-destructiveness, and his work as a poet.[2] He was ranked number 47 onRolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time

David Bowie (pronounced /ˈboʊ.iː/ BOH-ee;[1] born David Robert Jones, 8 January 1947) is an English rock musician, who has also worked as an actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for five decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s, and is known for his distinctive voice and the intellectual depth of his work.

Kiss, usually stylized as KISS, is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973.[1] Easily identified by its members’ face paint and flamboyant stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics. Kiss has had 24 gold albums to date in the USA.[2]The band has sold more than 19 million albums in the United States (according to RIAA certifications),[3] and their worldwide sales exceeded 100 million albums.[4]

These quotes are for informational purposes only; as the actual BOOK sources were not in front of me for referential value – These are cited in the articles relevant to their artist titles, with references from various places.  My sources which in fair comparison could reproduce similar deductions about these people.