Monday, November 8, 2010

Non Mountains



The Non is a progressive post-rock band from Oklahoma.



Moving Mountains is a New York-based post-rock rock band. Combining emotional vocals with elements of post-rock and emo, the band has often been compared to The Appleseed Cast. I'm sure a lot of people will be put off by the vocals, but I hope hope some will be able to appreciate them for their musicianship and wonderful sound.


What a shitty day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Post-Metalers



Pelican is a post-rock, instrumental, doom, sludge, progressive  post-metal quartet from Chicago. This video is about one man's quest to find Pelican, and sing for them. However, they are very elusive, so instrumental they stay.



Irepress (pronounced ear-press) is a 5-piece self-proclaimed disco metal band from Massachusetts. However hilarious disco metal may sound, I don't think they're it. Similar to Pelican above, Irepress's sound is a very heavy "sludge" type of post-metal. They are an extremely progressive band (they even have a part or two that actually does sound like disco), and their musicianship is very technical.

I hope Pelican managed to get away from that singer this time!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sgt. Mudy


sgt. is an experimental post-rock group from Tokyo. They incorporate a wide variety of genres into their music to give them a distinct sound. What really sets them apart from other groups is their use of violin in a pretty nontraditional manner, I would say, creating uplifting compositions comparable to acts like toe and Anoice.



mudy on the 昨晩 is another experimental post-rock / math rock group that is rather hard to categorize because of the massive variety of genres they incorporate in their songs. This is one of their more straight-forward songs, and that's why I like it. Most of their songs have so much going on, and so many guitar effects being jammed together, that it can be overwhelming. The same goes for sgt., but both bands are nevertheless enjoyable to listen to.

SO EXPERIMENTAL!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Special Pianos



→Pia-no-jaC← is one of the most interesting musical duos I've ever encountered. The first thing you'll notice about these two is the odd instrument that musician Hiro is playing. It's called a cajón, a Peruvian box shaped percussion instrument. The name Pia-no-jaC is actually a combination of the only two instruments they use, Pia-no, and no-jaC (cajón backwards). The piano play is very swift and jazzy, and makes for very energetic music when accompanied with the crisp and minimal sound of the cajón.



Special Others is a jam rock / jazz band from Yokohama, Japan. They blend improvised jazz and post-rock influences to create a modern style of jazz that is popular with younger club scene fans. Their use of vocals is very minimal, so Special Others is mostly an instrumental band. Really fun band to watch and listen to, which is exemplified in this PV.

Almost 100 followers!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clean Of Core

Clean Of Core is an instrumental rock band from Chiba, Japan. 436 listeners on last.fm, that's damn low.





Short post.
Still feel like butt.
Take it easy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Illuminate My Heart, My Darling!

THE SAMUEL JACKSON FIVE -
EASILY MISUNDERSTOOD

The Samuel Jackson Five is a progressive Norwegian band with the cheesiest / funniest name in post-rock. Their brand of slightly jazz and slightly folk influenced music, and their use of a wide variety of instruments and sounds, is really fun to listen to. Each song on Easily Misunderstood gives the listener something different to sink into. From guitar driven rhythms to full string ensembles, slow and easy songs to jumpy and energetic songs, and all while maintaining a high level of musicianship and a sound that is uniquely SJ5.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sleepy In Australia


I've been rather inactive here due to stomach problems and general sickness. Not sick enough to stay off the computer, of course, but enough to drain any motivation to post out of me. It caused me to miss a few of my extremely hard-to-miss once a week classes, which really upset me for some reason. I usually have no qualms or regrets about missing school, but this time around it did a good job heightening my feeling like a worthless piece of shit attitude, which ultimately led to depression. Let's just say that my ability to take it easy has been severely hampered over the past week.

Trying to write something meaningful when I'm like this is stressful. I can hardly string together coherent sentences in my head, let alone in this little post box. I'll reread everything twenty times before trying to write something else, and very few lines survive the backspace button. It takes hours to write what ends up being read in twenty seconds, and it's frustrating. The worst part is that all this amounts to is a really long excuse, which is something I try my best not to give. However, I think writing things out like this can be beneficial and help me get the thoughts straight in my head, so just write this little bit of rambling off as filler.

It's not all bad news. For one, I'm feeling better, and I also found out about a nice post-rock band that I hope you'll enjoy. They're called Sleepmakeswaves and they're from Australia (hence the post title). I hope my cryptographic blog titles aren't misleading at all...




I'm going to try and start sharing download links to this stuff too.
Download | 320k

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fuckin' Zombies


"Producing work that is epic in concept, sound, and artistic approach, Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra, the masterminds and multi-instrumentalists behind Zombi, have re-imagined the architecture of progressive rock and dynamic instrumentals -carving a niche in underground music distinctly their own." - Last.fm
In other words, Zombi has taken an extremely creative and awesome approach to Zombie Movie music. These guys are one of a kind. Actually, two of a kind. Bassist Steve Moore somehow handles the bass and synths at the same time.



The Fucking Champs are some sort of rad video game sounding math metal trio that just simply kick ass. They change time signatures like it's nobody's business, abuse those guitar harmonies, and always leave me headbanging. Perfect battle music for shitty MMO grindan', and they're the 2nd most played artist in my library because of it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lonely Robot



Chiaroscuro is a post-rock band from Indiana that I know nothing about, other than the fact that they toured with This Will Destroy You.



cssc is a one man show brought to you by Erik Rodriguez of Chesapeake, Virginia. Armed with only a laptop and a MIDI controller, he creates some great electronic post-rock. He has a bandcamp page, where you can listen to two of his albums for free.




Get your listen on!

8 Strings Wot Wot

Two of my favorite guitarists showcasing their 8-string talent.



The always fashionable Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders playing his song Song of Solomon. My face just melted.




Chris Letchford of Scale The Summit (do I love these guys or what?) playing the song Glacial Planet from their second album Carving Desert Canyons. I hope to some day be as good as either of these guys at guitar.

Jammin.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowly Destroy You

Today I'm highlighting two very slow and lovely post-rock bands, Slow Six and This Will Destroy You.


"Call them post rock, call them chamber music, call them experimental neo-classical. No matter what you choose, understand that broad genre descriptors do little to describe the striking compositions of Brooklyn collective Slow Six." -- Last.fm
When talking about post-rock bands in general, this is how I feel. The "genre" encompasses so many different musical styles and ideas that I often have a hard time placing bands in it. It would be much more descriptive and easier to understand if every thing were labeled "instrumental insert genre here", because as it stands, we're using the post-rock genre for something it wasn't intended for. The post- tag just symbolizes a movement of music in history. From my point of view, it means just using traditional rock instruments for non-rock purposes. Using guitars to create senses of timbre and texture, rather than just riffs and power chords.

Does this mean that bands like Slow Six and Balmorhea aren't post-rock because of their use of non-rock instruments? Are they contemporary classical or ~ambient progressive experimental avant garde~. Or are they -- who gives a shit --? I think the latter is the one that I'm going to go with. I usually just go with whatever labels other people have chosen, just for the sake of convenience and ease of discovery. However you want to interpret the virtual genre naming war that we're going through, don't let it degrade any enjoyment from bands like Slow Six.



And this is This Will Destroy You, and it did. They did... This song did. Anyways, TWDY is crafted with haunting ambiance, and sadly no one on youtube knows how to upload a song with proper quality. There are seriously 5 different versions of this song with their own user-interpreted video on youtube, and they all have awful sound quality. Do you wanna know what the best one is? An AMV for the animated movie Origin: Spirits of the Past. It's actually not a bad AMV (or movie), surprisingly, but the song is truncated to hell, so it's not really worth posting. This song is from their 2006 EP, Young Mountain.

Clever sign-off comment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crappy Cover

In the previous post, I mentioned that I might try to record a cover of that Scale The Summit song. I did the best I could with my headset microphone and 15 watt amp, I think. Rolled my face around in the effects window in Audacity, and tried to get as little fan noise in there as possible, but neither was accomplished very well. I screw up a lot, but this isn't really meant to be super professional or anything, just practicing like normal and recording it.



Nothing fantastic, but at least this post has Nono in it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Metal

Gonna take a break from the Japanese post-rock only theme I have going here and talk about some metal \m/.



I apologize for the abysmal audio quality of this video, it hardly does the song justice. Scale The Summit is a progressive instrumental metal band with an average age of 22. This extremely young band got their start at the Los Angeles Musical Institute, where guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier set out to form a band. Letchford plays a custom made 8-string guitar, while LeVrier plays a 7-string, and these guys are mavericks of their instruments.

I've been learning this particular song on guitar now for a few months. It's a real joy to play, especially the tapping riff at the end. Maybe I'll post a cover recording some day (if I can ever make good quality recordings).



Shelter Red is an Oregon born instrumental progressive metal group consisting of just 2 dudes. You'll notice that there isn't a guitarist in the video, because they don't have one. All of the guitar parts were pre-recorded by drummer Stephan Hawkes. I can't help but headbang to this song, the riff at 1:04 just kills it.

I'm rewatching Kamichu!. So good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunlit Dinner



Sunlight Ascending
is a young that band formed in Detroit, Michigan, USA around the beginning of 2007. Their music is a mix of Post-rock, Shoegaze and dreamlike soundscapes. Very ambient and mellow stuff.



Dinner is a little known Japanese post-rock band. This album, and... hearing things, is really neat to listen to due to how creative these guys are with their songwriting. The drum beat in this song, for example, really caught my attention. Bits of jazz and funk can be heard in their music, and the whole album flows really well. Their music is really hard to find, and I even had to upload this song myself so that they could be heard. If you're interested at all, you can get a few albums from here and here.

So few listeners!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Toggle On Some Toddle

Everything Hisako Tabuchi touches becomes diamonds.



toddle is the missing link between Number Girl and Bloodthirsty Butchers. Hisako Tabuchi was the driving force behind both bands. She started playing guitar at 13 and stuck with it, joining Number Girl at 19 and later Bloodthirsty Butchers. However, after Number Girl broke up in 2002, she teamed up with guitarist/vocalist Ai Kobayashi and bassist Noritoshi Ezaki to form toddle. Taking over vocals for the first time in toddle, Tabuchi shows a never-before-seen side of herself; apparently she had been karaoke buddies with Kobayashi before forming the band. They didn't release an album until 2005, however, because in 2003 Tabuchi joined Bloodthirsty Butchers.

toddle brings everything I like about her other bands together into one, and tops it off with her amazing voice. Many comparisons can be drawn between toddle and MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS, not only because of the mature female vocals, but the distinct bass and guitar driven shoegaze sound that they both possess. toddle songs have a brilliant relaxing quality to them, and I think this video captures that nostalgic feeling perfectly. This song is from their Dawn Praise the World album.

Why don't we take it easy a lot, forever?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back To The Post-

Rock.


Ovum. It's Japanese post-rock. It rules.



Russian Circles is one of the most unique post-rock groups out there. Everything they make is so heavy and haunting that I'm tempted to call it post-metal half of the time. I listened to their discography on repeat while reading the manga BLAME, it was incredible.

Rad to the max.

Don't Bump Into Wimps

Two very similar bands on this easy Saturday morning, RADWIMPS, and BUMP OF CHICKEN.


I only just recently started listening to RADWIMPS, but the second I heard Noda Youjirou's vocals, I was reminded of BUMP OF CHICKEN and Suneohair and instantly loved it. You'll notice that guitarist Akira Kuwahara is dressed like, and playing the signature guitar of his idol Angus Young of AC/DC. They have a plethora of cool music videos too.




And of course, there's BUMP OF CHICKEN. Hailing from Sakura, Chiba, Japan, they formed in 1994 and have been making beautiful music ever since. The write some of the most emotionally engaging lyrics of any band I've ever heard. If you haven't heard the song [k] and don't mind tearing up right now, go ahead and give that a listen. I didn't want to use it as the video in this post because it is so damn sad. BOC actually started their musical career playing covers of The Beatles songs. They have a song on their 2004 album Flaming Vein called Arue, which is dedicated to the band's waifu, Rei Ayanami.

Cool facts, yo!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bees and Cows



Husking Bee is a fun punk band. Singer Kazuya Hirabayashi provided the singing voice for the Koyuki Tanaka in BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. Husking Bee is funny to listen to sometimes because they use a lot of engrish.




Cowpers is another Japanese punk band that is largely overshadowed by Number Girl, Bloodthirsty Butchers, Eastern Youth, and the like. I really like Cowpers though, something about their messy distortion and catchy riffs just pleases my ears.



















A glossy orange button for when the morning's siren no longer sounds.

Two Great Music Videos

a flood of circle is a pretty cool j-rock band. They actually don't have too many songs that stick out to me, except for this one. This song is incredibly badass and hilarious, just because of the video.




Supercar is a electronic / alternative band that was around from 1995 - 2005. It wasn't until the latter half of their career that they started experimenting with a more electronic-heavy sound, with their album Futurama. I prefer their music before that album, but it's all good. Supercar is best known for the song Storywriter that they did for the Eureka 7 soundtrack. This PV is so cheesy, and yet so awesome, just like the a flood of circle one.
Caution: There is like 2.5 seconds of NSFW toward the end of this video (3:44-3:47).


Here's the song Storywriter if you need a blast from the past.



Mmm, delicious.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sequencing Static



Sequence Pulse is another great experimental post-rock band from Japan. They like to use electronic drums and other synthesized sounds on top of their tracks, which gives their songs a very mysterious sound.



Sequence Pulse is very similar to this English post-rock group, 65daysofstatic. More sampled drum kits and electronic sounds. This track is off their first album, called The Fall Of Math.

I also fixed my dumb comic. Now with less sleep deprivation and mental handicap~

Running out of words to say ;_;

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gaijin Comics

Back by popular demand!



ヽ(`⌒´メ)ノ Blogger wants to resize my image, so click this. ^

There's Jazz In My Soil.

It grows PIMPIN' plants.



The pimp just sits there and smokes his cigar like a BOSS while his jazzy minions jam out. Soil & "Pimp" Sessions is an energetic Japanese club jazz band, and they're going places. The frantic 6-piece was born out of the Japanese club scene, and became the first unsigned band to perform at the Fuji Rock Festival. I don't know if anyone watched Michiko to Hatchin besides me, but S&PS did the opening theme for that show. Everyone thought it was going to be the next Cowboy Bebop, probably because the opening was bebop jazz. Most everyone was disappointed with the show, but I liked it a lot.

Nobue knows all about pimpin'.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Obligatory Mono Post



What is there to say about Mono? They're the pinnacle of Japanese post-rock as far as I'm concerned. They were one of the first post-rock band that I ever listened to, and it was so radically different from everything I had listened to before that I was simply blown away. Mono is one of those bands that really speaks through their music, and pours every ounce of their emotion into it. Mono are known for their long, quiet, minimalistic songs that can sometimes ramp up into a beautiful echoing wall of sound. One of the most relaxing bands ever.



Balmorhea is an experimental post-rock band from Austin, Texas. Like Mono, they have songs that are very minimal in nature. However, what Balmorhea is known for is their use of more classical instruments, most notably the violin, cello, and upright bass. Pianist Rob Lowe also incorporates a banjo and melodica into a few songs. Balmorhea released their 4th full-length album, Constellations, in February of this year, and began touring Europe with none other than Mono this fall.

How sublime~

Monday, October 4, 2010

Early Morning Ramble

I've barely moved a muscle in the last 6 hours other than my well-trained index finger. I've been sniping blocks of coal, iron, gold, and diamond in that order with my .50cal diamond encrusted mining apparatus. Yeah, I've been playing minecraft, and I'm literally in pain from it, so I figured I'd take a break and write something stupid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reflective Euphoria

Another set of Japanese post-rock bands.



Get the album Fluidity for free at Euphoria's official website!

I don't know too much about Euphoria, but I do know that they make beautiful music. Most of their songs are very quiet and peaceful, but with their third album Silence In Everywhere, and their newest album Fluidity they've tweaked their sound a bit. They're starting to go in a more guitar driven, swifter paced blend of math rock and post-rock, and I couldn't be happier about it. The band was formed in 2001 when the three of them were in their third year of high school, but they've all been close friends since elementary school. It must be nice having two best bros to make amazing music with. Euphoria is mostly instrumental, but guitarist/programmer Hiro Morikawa does pull the mic up and sing in a few songs. If you like this song at all, and want to see them recording it in the studio, check out this video. They run through a few different songs, and it's really neat to watch.

 


One of my favorite discoveries recently was this band, Mirror. This video is really QUALITY too, but they don't have much for songs up on youtube. They don't have a lot of views either, and neither does Euphoria, which I think is a crime. Anyways, Mirror reminds me a lot of toe with their clean, dueling guitar work and acute drumming. Their sound is a bit more rock n' roll at times though, in my opinion. They also play with a few time signature changes in some songs, which gives them an interesting sound. Their first album, On, Then, In, is chock-full of cool guitar riff after cool guitar riff... from both guitarists. It's like they have 20 songs worth of material snipped together perfectly into 10 songs.

Oh, now I'm hungry for more~


Make Friends With These Enemies



I mentioned before that the bands Mouse On The Keys and toe are on a small label (called Machu Picchu). Well, the only other band on that label is Enemies. The extremely cool part about it is that these guys are originally from Ireland. When their first EP, called Alpha Waves, made its way to Japan, the indie label quickly picked it up. The band flew over to Japan to support the release of the record, and played four sold out shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. The great thing about being an instrumental group is that there is no language barrier to overcome with your fanbase; you can speak to a much larger group of people.

Enemies combines the poly-rhythmic tapping / time signature swapping madness of math rock, with the soothing sounds of instrumental post-rock. They've mastered the art of what I like to call "interesting repetition". Enemies have songs to relax to, song to dance to, and songs to lazily shuffle around your small room to (my favorite). And they're not afraid to stomp on that distortion pedal and give us something heavy to listen to either! They're an extremely versatile band, as far as I'm concerned.



First of all, what an amazing band name. God Is An Astronaut? How can you not love it? Anyways, GIAA are the absolute kings of ambiance, the post-rock gurus, the space-rock generals, the insert genre I just made up guardians! The reason I'm posting GIAA is because of a tiny connection they have to Enemies; they're Irish as well. No cool story about Japan jump-starting their career, they're just Irish. GIAA crafts these incredible ambient walls of sound that are accompanied by swift and technical drumming. Their songs can literally give you goosebumps, and I speak from experience.

Maybe god is a Buster Machine. That'd be cooler.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fermenting School Food... Masses Of It.

Rock n' Roll and pretty dresses.



I LOVE MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS!

I didn't think this was possible, but MOTFD just keeps getting better and better as time goes on. I fell in love with their first self titled CD, then in more love with World Is Yours. And now, they've done it again with their August release, ゼロコンマ、色とりどりの世界. MOTFD is a 3-piece shoegaze/post-rock/indie group hailing from Kobe, Japan. Everything about these guys (or girls I should say) is just great. The lovely vocals, the bass-driven energy, the super creative song writing, awesome use of effects pedals, the MASSIVE sound they have for being such a small group, everything. Yup, there isn't one thing I dislike about MOTFD. They used to be an all-girl group before former drummer Reiko Gotoh left the band, and they have yet to list any new drummer as an official member. According to the band, the name Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs doesn't have any particular meaning, they just thought it sounded cool. I agree.




You may recognize the next band, School Food Punishment, from the song "Futuristic Imagination" that they did for the ending theme of the 2009 anime Eden of the East. Not a band that many would consider looking into past that one song, but it's definitely worth it. Something about guitarist and lead singer Yumi Uchimura's vocals really connects with me. To me, the maturity in her voice counter-balances the electronic poppy-ness of their songs. Their drummer, Osamu Hidai, is surprisingly excellent as well, not to mention the fiend on the keys, Masayuki Hasuo. They have some really cool jazzy songs throughout the Amp-Reflection album, and those two on drums and keys can really sell it. All in all a very neat band with a great sound!


Ride those good vibes!

1st, 2nd, 3nd.

Ok, just one more before I enter the sleepy netherworld.





This guy must have a japanese instrumental post-rock fetish or something...

Maybe so! But, that doesn't retract any awesomeness from 3nd. Quite similar to te, but different in ways that definitely make them stand out as a band. 3nd just has a plethora of cool ass riffs that never seem to stop, and that I never seem to get tired of. The first song, Walts For Lilly, is by far my favorite song of theirs, but I've also included the song SSK, since they've done a pretty sweet PV for it (and because of DAT FLYING V).

I swear I'll try and mix up the content here soon, so it's not just the same type of music over and over!

Take it easy neat NEETs~

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Could Write A Book With Our Song Titles

!



That's right, té! Excuse me while I get my fists out of the air. Té could literally power cities with that kind of energy. Except the power would constantly go back out when they go all ambient and stuff, but then the power would shortly be back on again! They're known for their simple, easy to understand song names like this one called "言葉を用いて奏でる者は才能に在らず、ただの記憶に『過』ぎぬ". Yeah, no problem. They're said to put on some of the most thrilling live performances of any post-rock band, but I'll probably never know! The coolest thing about té is that their drummer uses a tiny 4 or 5 piece drum kit. He's not encased in symbols or 20 different toms, so you get the full view of his violent-yet-calculated flailing.



You can't talk about post-rock bands with ridiculously long song names without at least mentioning Red Sparowes. They're not Japanese, so you'll have to deal with that. The full title of this song is "The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like a Mighty Storm, Suddenly and Furiously Blinding Our Senses". TL;DR. Red Sparowes is quite fantastic music, though. They're known for their use of a pedal steel guitar, an instrument most commonly used in country. It's kind of odd I suppose, but it ends up sounding really neat.

On a side note, I've decided to start taking walks with my dog every morning, just so I have some form of exercise. I'm not exactly "in shape", and neither is my dog, surprisingly, so we took it slow today. All in all it was a pleasant walk, and now my legs ache.

Pump up the volume!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

About A Book

Well, 3 books; it's a trilogy. The Hunger Games is a science-fiction novel written by Suzanne Collins. My brother got this book for Christmas last year, and I proceeded to steal it from him and read it myself, because that's what brothers do. It didn't take long before I was reading a chapter a night, then three chapters a night... Due to exponential growth, I finished reading it in three days, despite saying "I'm gonna pace myself with this one" not 48 hours earlier. Needless to say, I greatly enjoyed
the book.

Youthful Discontent



The screaming dissatisfaction of the Japanese youth is echoed in my favorite Japanese punk band, Eastern Youth. For over 20 years now, Eastern Youth has been crafting punk rock songs with their unique brand of poetic energy. They have surprisingly complex songs for only being a 3-piece, and my favorite part is that bassist Tomokazu Ninomiya often uses a fretless bass. Punk bands often have a lot of emphasis on super fast, loud bass playing, but the fretless bass really gives Eastern Youth a unique sound. Singer/guitarist Hisashi Yoshino's lyrics are very poetic in nature, as you may be able to gather from this song, and he's almost as snazzy of a dresser as he is a guitar player. I don't think he's changed his glasses in the 20 years they've been around. Or grown any hair for that matter. He really is a character, but a lovable character. Eastern Youth are truly legends of our time.

Grats Kaguyahime on 100 hours of sleeplessness!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Avenge The Universe With Bullets!

The double feature for today is about two very different bands: 9mm Parabellum Bullet, and Avenger In Sci-fi.



I know a lot of people may have already heard of 9mmPB, but I can't help but post them. Such a badass, versatile post-hardcore band, and I use "post-hardcore" lightly, because these guys can shred. They can turn something lame like a beach rock song, into something fist-pumpingly awesome. I fucking love these guys, and so does Japan, because they put on an amazing show every single time. If they ever tour within range of me, I will drive my shitty car until it runs out of gas, and then walk the rest of the way.



SPAAAAAACEEEE I'M TRIPPIN BALLSSSSS
That's how you'll feel when listening to / watching a video by this electro-shoegaze-j-rock band. It's an almost hilarious sound, but so god damn catchy at the same time. This is actually one of their milder videos, but I love this song.

NO SPACE MONSTERS PLEASE

In Japan, Mouse Traps You! (With Awesome Music)

Black business suits and lightning fast hands.

Music Video:


Live:


Do you like pianos? Well good, because that's pretty much all Mouse On The Keys has for you. Plus some drums. Does that sound kinda lame? Well, it's not. In fact, it's some of the most awesome music I've ever heard. Mouse On The Keys is a jazz/post-rock trio consisting of some keyboards and a very very good drummer. They carry enough energy in their songs to make you sweat, but can break into some ambient moments that can give chills. They do incorporate some horns and other instruments into their songs from time to time as well. The band is on a small label that was created by none other than toe, which I posted previously.

These are some classy mice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Bury What's Below

Literally.



Miaou is lovely in all forms and functions.

I should have written a little more here.  In my opinion, Miaou is a pretty standard instrumental post-rock band. There's nothing very complex or different about them. However, when they come together and write music, there's just something about it that enters your brain and takes you somewhere else. I'm not saying that they don't spend a lot of time on their music, in fact quite the opposite. I think they spend an ample amount of time trying to create beauty within simplicity. Trying to make something that sounds simple, and yet beautiful enough to keep the listener's attention.. well, that's an incredible talent, and Miaou has it. You can draw some parallels between Miaou and other post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky, but I think Miaou does everything they do, except better. What I like the most about Miaou is their use of synths in some of their songs. The song Hello World, for example, takes what at first sounds like some sort of techno synth melody, and turns it into an brilliantly mellow song.

They're the cat's Miaou.

heh heh heh

Stare Any Harder And I'll Turn To Stone

Ok, so these are shitty lyrics that I might use to write a shitty song with.

Fuck.

Go on into the bright night
Hanging stars and streetlights
Surround in the moon light
Carry on

And I know you what you feel
Sensations bring you pain
Sensations that aren't real

And I know you what you need
An escape from the nightmares
The hate, the lies and greed
So I'll carry you

A calm, lonely shade
And my heart beats so loud
But signs and roads don't care
It wont disturb their crowd

Go on into the bright night
Hanging stars and streetlights
Surround in the moon light
Carry on

And I know you what you need
An escape from the fighting
I can see your battered knees
So I'll carry you

On into the bright night
Dormant lamps and porch lights
Surround in the moon light
Carry on


Heavy Ogres

Today's double feature includes two not very similar bands, but two of my absolute favorites nonetheless: LITE, and OGRE YOU ASSHOLE.



LITE is another instrumental math/post-rock band, similar to the rega band I posted earlier. The difference between the two is that LITE gets much heavier into the post-rock and ambient side of thigs, which makes them really unique. They've also taken a step in a slightly different direction with their recent album Illuminate, incorporating a myriad of percussion instruments and synths into their songs. Everything to love about LITE is still there, the power dual guitar combo is still the main drive of their sound. Their songs communicate so well for a band with no singer, especially in this song.




No one does it quite like this indie post-punk quartet OGRE YOU ASSHOLE. Yes, their name is OGRE YOU ASSHOLE, referring to Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. The funny thing is, no one in the band had even heard of the movie when they decided to make it their name. The story is that the drummer, Arata Nishi, a big fan of Modest Mouse, happened upon a drunk Eric Judy (bassist of Modest Mouse) after a show earlier that night. Nishi asked the drunken bass player to please give Nishi's band a name. Judy replied "I can't", and then just wrote "OGRE YOU ASSHOLE" on Nishi's arm. Pretty awesome way to get a name, and you can definitely hear the Modest Mouse influence in their music. The quirky but poppy guitar riffs and awkward vocals make OYA really fun to listen to, and give them a distinct sound.

Now it's time to jam.

Rega! Rega! Rega!



It's time to get your groove on with one of today's Japanese bands: Rega!

These guys are so incredibly fun to listen to. Rega is an instrumental progressive math/post-rock group that carves their sound out of stone. Everything is so precise and calculated, but it doesn't drag the sound down at all, because there is a multitude of sound influence bursting from their songs. Everything from groove rock to techno can be heard in their music, and you'll bob your head to it regardless. This video is really neat too. I wish I could get a Rega iPhone ap... Or an iPhone for that matter.

Groovin magic.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bloodthirsty Girls and Number Butchers

These two bands are two of the most highly revered bands ever to come out of Japan, and no conversation about Japanese music should be without them! Call them punk, or post-punk, alt rock, indie, or whatever you wish, but I prefer to call Number Girl and Bloodthirsty Butchers simply "AWESOME".



First up is Number Girl - 透明少女.
  
I love this song and video to death; everything about it is perfect to me. The video, the lyrics, the guitar driven energy, and of course Shutoku Mukai's lovable voice. Number Girl draws their influence from bands like The Ramones, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and Husker Du. Their songwriting throughout their album School Girl Distortional Addict, which includes this song, is insanely good. If any aspect of Number Girl were less than perfect, they would just be another punk band in the sea of never-ending punk bands. They do what they do, and they do it well, and that's what makes them shine.



And now on to Bloodthirsty Butchers - Jack Nicolson.

Please forgive the sound quality on this video. It's a little rough, but this is by far their best video (and it being animated gives me a reason to group these two songs together in one post). Just from the opening guitar riff, you can feel the desperation in this song.  You may not be able to understand the vocals (like me), but you really get a sense of the story they are trying to tell. The first time I heard the vocals, I was reminded of the American punk band The Bouncing Souls. While much more upbeat than BB, they have a few songs that just ooze with the same level of depression and desperation that BB does, and the tones of their respective vocals are really similar in my opinion. Bloodthirsty Butchers is another band that excels in songwriting, exemplified really well in this song, and also in their album Kocorono. This song makes me feel like a badass.

Let's dance.

Get Your Toes Wet



I need some sort of daily activity, or just something to write about, so I think I'm going to post and review some of my favorite Japanese music groups. Today I'll just say a few words about my favorite of them all, toe.

Toe is one of those bands that can catch people off guard with just how different they are, while being the same as everyone else at the same time. Drums, drums, drums. Yes, toe's drummer Kashikura Takashi is one of the most talented and fun to listen to drummers in the post-rock genre. Their songs tend to invoke a sense of nostalgia and relaxation, but the dynamics of their song structures give you so much to listen to. Being an instrumental 4-piece, they face the challenge of overcoming your boredom, and they do it phenomenally.

This particular song, C, you'll hear the brilliance of Kashikura Takashi come rolling out with an interesting set tom clicks. I think it's one of the coolest sounding drum beats I've ever heard. From there on it's clean guitars and good vibes. They have an almost jam-band element to them, in that they never really repeat a bar, especially on drums, and they improvise quite a lot. This song was filmed for their first DVD entitled RGB, and it is a joy to watch if you enjoy this sort of music.

Please listen warmly, and enjoy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gaijin 4koma

That's right.
Brought to you by MSPaint.
And my hand.

New Songaroo

Might as well try out this embedded song player from tindeck. It's still in its beta stages apparently, so it might be a disaster. Or my song could be a disaster.


Many disasters may occur, simultaneously.

  

The Musicness

So, as an avid procrastinator and all around lazy guy, I spend my time doing a whole lot of nothing. However, during a few shining moments of motivation, I enjoy playing guitar and writing crude MIDI songs using tabbing programs. They're rough on the ears for many, but it doesn't bother me. I'm not looking to make a career out of plugging in numbers, I just want to pass the time.

Listen if you want.


Natsume on Tindeck

The artist name "M.M.M.M" means Midi Metal Making Man. Stupid, I know, but it makes my songs seem more appetizing.