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Listen Back 10-15-10

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Are those dudes dressed for a snowstorm in the Caribbean?

Anyway, here's what the staff has been listening to this week. 

Seriously though, what the hell is up with those clothes? I just...Scarves and jackets and tie-dye and no socks?

Zac Bentz

Buck-Tick
RAZZLE DAZZLE


Apparently I get into Buck-Tick on the wrong foot. My first exposure to them was 13Kai wa Gekkou, an album which is probably still one of their darkest and most epic. (I'm sure that's arguable. I mean, they've released a zillion albums over the many many years they've been around.) Anyway, it turns out that they are really more of an upbeat, fun, glammy band. The problem is that they keep on releasing new albums and I keep on hoping that they will be just as dark and moody and epic as 13Kai wa Gekkou and they aren't! So obviously this is a clean-cut case of "it's not you, it's me." I just keep not liking their new stuff, and RAZZLE DAZZLE is no different. I mean come on, "razzle dazzle?" Seriously? And then the music is all sort of stripped down and cheesy keyboard presets and dance oriented and happy sexy junk. Do not want! OK yeah, some of the tracks like "Kuchiduke -SERIAL THRILL KISSER-," (which is a bit different than the video version above) "Gekka Reijin" and "Mugen" have a bit more kick to them that I really like, but ug, I just can't be bothered with the rest. My loss, I guess.

Peter Cerlienco

X Japan
X
 

I've been listening to a lot of X Japan's music lately. The album Blue Blood was the first of X Japan's albums I found and still I love it. This song is one of my favourites from the album but it's impossible for me to choose between X, Week End, Endless Rain and a few others. Their music seems to transition from an 80's metal kind of sound to an 80's glam sound (songs like Joker and Desperate Angel from their third album, Jealousy, that sound like they're influenced by western bands such as KISS, Skid Row and early Guns N' Roses). Don't be discouraged by the mix because it's not usually that great in their early material. I just get annoyed when the guitars aren't loud enough and that's fair right? X Japan's sixth studio album is to be released sometime in 2011 so I'll be picking that up literally as soon as I possibly can.

Josh Tolentino

l-Vokal
Theme of Catherine

I don't actually know the name of this song, or even if it's on any of l-Vokal's existing albums, but I do know that it's the J-Rap song that plays in the second half of the Tokyo Game Show trailer for Catherine, Atlus' pretty awesome-looking new game. A longer loop plays on the game's website.

People who are more knowledgeable about music than I am have told me that J-Rap seems to be stuck in some weird mid-to-late nineties' time warp, where everything sounds like the Beastie Boys. I'm thinking that's just because of how the language works. In the end, I like it because it tends to sound more upbeat most of the time.

Colette Bennett 

Exile
"I Wish For You"

I have been jamming - and when I say jamming, I mean in an embarrassed kind of way where you're really enjoying something but wish you weren't - to Exile's new single "I Wish For You", which is like, terrible and wonderful at the same time. It's the kind of cheesy pop that I absolutely enjoy, but also kind of don't want people to know I enjoy. On the other hand, I'm announcing this on Japanator where hundreds of people will read it, so I guess the cat is ind of out of the bag.

Arashi
"Dear Snow"
 
 
Speaking of cheese, I really love Arashi's new single "Dear Snow" as well, but that's kind of a given cause I love Arashi.
 
Koda Kumi
"Suki de, Suki de"


Oh, you want something to listen to that's not crap, you say? Uh...well, I like Koda Kumi's new song, "Suki de, Suki de". But it's still pretty much pop. I guess at least it's a song by a girl instead of boys that look like girls.
 
That's all I got.

Tim Sheehy

Fuzzy Control
Sunset
 
 
Fuzzy Control is one of those bands I've always wanted to hear more from. Unfortunately, they haven't released a proper album in nearly 2 years. They did release a single at the end of last year, but when an album failed to materialize, I was a little worried. Now that they've finally released this follow-up, I'm hoping another album isn't too far off. It's a laid, mellow track with a PV that features a walk on the beach - you can't really go wrong with that.
 
Mike LeChevallier
 
Blonde Redhead
"Not Getting There"
 
 
My entry this week is mainly for the video as well as my adoration for Kazu Makino and not the song itself, because let's face it, like 90% of Penny Sparkle it's kind of dull. I think it's because I've always been such a fan of Blonde Redhead that their record release this year was so underwhelming for me. Misery is a Butterfly could be considered a modern classic, and I cannot tell you how long 23 remained in my car's stereo. As average as Penny Sparkle is, I really do enjoy the video for "Not Getting There", presumably the album's second single.

The video is kind of an homage to the first music visualization works of the 80s, where the band is sequestered in a blurry, smokey room with minimalistic lighting and not a whole lot of fancy special effects are implemented. It works and it works well, especially with this group on screen, because I have always felt a large amount of sexual tension within their records, videos and live performances. I'm pretty sure Kazu had sex with both of the Pace brothers. She's not a slut in the slightest, she was (is) romantically involved with one of them. Shit, if I was in a band with Kazu Makino, I would find it extremely difficult not to have sex with her. I'm an honest man, and my sexual defense shields are always down within the presence of Japanese women. Regardless if Penny Sparkle moderately fails to hold a candle to Blonde Redhead's previous efforts, the band still manages to produce good fucking music. I think you know what I mean by that.

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