Listen Back 02-05-11


Yes! It's time once again to take a listen back to what's been heating up the ears of the Japanator staff this week.

This week, hot J-boys who move like robots, hot J-girls who sing like robots and who knows, maybe even some actual robots? I don't know! You'll just have to see what lies after the jump!

Colette Bennett

Genki Sudo
Boy Meets Girl

Ok first off, I am madly in love with Genki Sudo thanks to an intro from Zac Bentz who now apparently knows my music taste well enough to recommend specific bands. Yay my life!
Little Heart

My friend and podcast co-host GK Loki over at Gaijinkanpai also recommended Noanowa, a band I was unfamiliar with up to now.
Jeff Chuang
Miku Hatsune

This is the OP to boobalicious TV anime Freezing, actually. The original artist for the song goes by MARiA, but I don't know who she is. All I know is that the Miku cover is more amusing than the original version. It's not to say the original isn't good, it just lacks...a little something. Kind of amusing (and sad at the same time) when my ears are preferring a synth over some real vocal chops. As an aside, the single doesn't come out officially until the end of the month.
Mike LeChevallier
The Go! Team
Rolling Blackouts

I love The Go! Team. They're just one of those bands that make me smile whenever I even think about their music. Their first two records, 2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike and 2007's Proof of Youth are tremendous works of energetic pop that I would recommend to anyone who appreciates creativity within a field than can occasionally be bereft of it. The problem (though it would be a stretch to label it a legitimate one) some critics had with Proof of Youth was that it was essentially retreading a pathway that the first record, a masterpiece, had already extensively explored. My rebuttal to that issue is this: what's wrong with remaking awesome? Absolutely nothing, that's what. The group's third proper full-length release, Rolling Blackouts, basically does what Proof of Youth did with the formula previously constructed by Thunder: improve upon everything while maintaining the core feel of an outfit that really knows what it's doing.

This time around, Go! Team captain Ian Parton drafts some key indie talent to assist with the festival of win. If you've been following Listen Back recently, you know I'm a huge fan of Deerhoof, so discovering the one-of-a-kind vocals of frontwoman Satomi Matsuzaki on "Secretary Song" is a pleasant surprise. I so want Bethany Cosentino to be the mother of my children (Best Coast's material is pretty much impossible to dislike), and her guest spot on "Buy Nothing Day" elevates it to pure bliss; it could easily be a chart-topper if radio stations would only give it the opportunity to shine. Other highlights include the intergalactic playground chant of "Apollo Throwdown" and Dominique Young Unique's magnanimous display of free-flowing prowess on "Voice Yr Choice". There's so much depth on Rolling Blackouts that its re-playability level places it right alongside Go! Team's prior work. Three albums in 7 years may appear a bit meager but the content is what matters. The earth only has one sun, and that's all we need to subsist. Truly, The Go! Team is the sun of their genre. 
Josh Tolentino
Orange Range
Oshare Banchou

Given that most of my music listing tends to happen when connected to something else, usually something visual, it should be no surprise that I stumbled upon this song attached to a Persona 4 MAD. It's pretty rad, and appropriate to Persona 4, since the characters in the game (in Japanese) address the protagonist as "Banchou".
Kristina Pino
My listening this week is all FUNKIST. They have produced the first and third openings for anime Fairy Tail, which is my current favorite running show. The openings really stand out, and it got me YouTube-ing their stuff to hear what else they've put out. "Snow Fairy" is the first song I heard of theirs, as it's the first OP for Fairy Tail. The third opening is called "ft." as I understand it, and I fell in love with that song when I heard it. It's like Japanese meets ska, but it's still so, so very Japanese. If you haven't heard any of their stuff and you like a little punk-like (yet still sometimes groovy) sound to your Japanese music, they're a group you might want to check out. 

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Zac Bentz
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