Just curious about Glenn's interest in Japanese music  vF
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5 August 05 from Ryuto 4
Melt Banana is one of my favorite Japanese bands.  

Japanese experimental noise and hardcore punk are big in the underground worldwide and they have their place in Japanese culture in the same plane as zen as the opposite extreme. The band members themselves would conform to Japanese stereotypes: shy, quiet and polite people.  

Their best albums are 'Scratch or Stitch' and 'Speak Squeak Creak'... since 'Charlie' and especially 'Teeny Shiny'they lean towards "indie noise pop".  

Their music is not improvised or chaotic, it's highly structured especially from the point of view of rhythm and texture (I have to say I generally dislike improvised music, like free jazz, which I find self pleasing).  

Not for everyone but unraveling their language and learning to appreciate it is one of the joys of listening to Melt Banana.  

Seeing them live has always been a cathartic experience for me.  

best regards
31 May 05 from Scott Parkerson 3
I saw Melt-Banana open for Mr Bungle (circa Disco Volante, 1995). As I recall, the lead singer is a tiny lady whose size was completely out of proportion with the amount of force she is able to push through her screaming, shredding vocal cords.  

Thanks to the Internet, I can go and find samples and confirm if my memory is correct.  


Yeah, although the new stuff is more melodic than I remember.
30 May 05 from glenn mcdonald 2
Well, I told the story of how I got from Puffy into other things in 364. The frustration of not being able to read (or even reproduce without comprehending) Japanese writing pushed me further into taking language classes. And from there it's been somewhat self-reinforcing.  

Garnet Crow is probably the current band for whom my feelings are strongest, with Supercar close behind. Quantity-wise, I have 19 albums by Feel So Bad in my iTunes library and haven't felt even vaguely tempted to rotate any of them out. I like almost everything by Glay and Siam Shade and Number Girl. Beyond that there are a dozen or so Japanese bands I'm actively following, or wish they were still operating so I could: Aikawa Nanase, Amano Tsukiko, brilliant green, BUMP OF CHICKEN, Dir en grey, Do As Infinity, Every Little Thing, Fake?, globe, Hajime Chitose, pillows, Shingyoji Eri, Spitz, T.M.Revolution, Yaida Hitomi, Zeppet Store.  

This week I'm listening to a compilation of old Melt-Banana singles, which B described as sounding like Michael Jackson being strangled.
29 May 05 from marina 1
There are a lot of articles on Japanese pop music in TWAS. So I was wondering...How did Glenn become interested in it? He's not an anime fan, which would explain a lot if he would. He surely likes to try new things, and has listened to much music, but why Japanese? What makes this music so special for him? I mean, it must be something special, to deserve so much attention from him.
Don't get me wrong, I love Japanese music, including some acts he has talked about. I'm half Japanese and lived in Japan for some months. And that's the reason why I discouvered his site, when I was looking for information on a Japanese band. What I like about his view of Japanese music, is that he likes it but he's not obsessed like those fans. I doubt they would aprove his comparisson of Ayumi and Utada with Britney and Christina...
Maybe he has already written about it. If I'm not wrong, his first album was Puffy's, which has been released in America. They seem to be one of his favourites. Which bands or artists are your favourites, Glenn?
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