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Listen Back 12-18-10

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Here's the look back at what the staff at Jtor Central have been listening to this week!

We've got prossibly the most diverse collection of music this time around, so make sure to check it all out. What have you been listeneing to lately?

Coming up next time: Our collective look back at our favorite albums of the year! Excite!

Zac Bentz

Wienners
CULT POP JAPAN

Mow Mow Lulu Gyaban
Kuro Nara Kekou Desu


I haven't really been listening to anything new this week since I've been trying to get a bunch of old stuff together for various Best of 2010 lists. Plus there hasn't been much in the way of new releases anyway. But in the interest of sharing, above are a couple peeks into what may or may not be on the short list for Best Japanese Albums of the Second Half of 2010.

Salem
King Night



One non-Japanese album I was finally able to check out was King Night by Salem. I've been hearing about it here and there over and over for a while now. Anyway, I've heard it, and while I do like the general sound, and I think that "Frost" (above) is cool, it's actually a pretty terrible album. So, I've got that off my Bucket List, at least.

Kristina Pino

Kimura Kaela
happiness!!!


Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any of her music videos on YouTube any more; but I really like listening to Kimura Kaela when I'm in a good mood. This song in particular is one of my happy songs, and I was in a really good mood today. Generally, I would say her music is pretty groovy and off-beat as far as J-Pop sort of stuff goes, and I think it's because she isn't 100% Japanese. She's got some foreign influences with her work, so it makes for some interesting music most of the time. The video that I've linked here is probably one of the better performances I could find, and feel free to just cut it once you reach the end of the song (because it carries on with an interview after).

LM.C
"BOYS & GIRLS"


If you've watched Katekyo Hitman Reborn! you've probably heard these guys before. They tend to have really catchy songs, and they definitely fall in the "cute" category when it comes to their lyrics. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Japanese pop stars with funky music videos (except, what Japanese pop stars don't have weird music videos?). In any case, I really like their style, and I like to drive down the street with LM.C blasting on a good day (Which is most days; and yes, I am that person that you see on the road next to you singing to the music making a fool of myself). Guess what I was doing today while driving around on errands? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count. 

Pedro Cortes

Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dog and Akon
"Kush"


Dr. Dre's 2001 was in my CD player all of my freshman year of high school, so hearing a new Dre song from a new Dre album pleases me to no end. It's pretty standard stuff, what with pot talk, but it's entertaining and the beat gets me moving. I can't wait to hear the full Detox album when it drops next year.

Fire Bomber
Totsugeki Love Heart
 

In my on going mech education I recently finished the main story for Macross 7. While I got very sick of "Planet Dance," I loved just about about every other song that got featured in the show. Of them all, "Totsugeki Love Heart" is my favorite, so much so that I can listen to it multiple times in a day and not get tired of it. It's relentlessly upbeat and it brings my spirits up whenever I listen to it.

Ken Hirai
"Pop Star"
 

Ken Hirai still own me.

Jeff Chuang

Yukari Tamura
Citron no Ame
 
 
Yukari Tamura is probably the hottest cutesy-otaku-seiyuu ticket right now, in terms of the particulars of her appeal and the fact that I don't want to mess with her pink-lit, rabid fans. I hear she puts on a good show, at any rate. Citron no Ame is her latest album from this past September, and I still have a billion items on my back log...

The song came out late last year, but "You and Me" shows how low will Eurobeat go. At least it's as catchy as the rest of them, and for someone who is really just known for her strange gap moe and outright cuteness Yukarin does a pretty good job putting together some catchy pieces on the album. And by outright cuteness I mean the kind of cute that makes me stab my eyes out. Click on the videos, you know you wanna.
 
Mike LeChevallier

Gold Panda
Lucky Shiner


Cycling back through many of my favorite albums of the year in order to compile some sort of a cohesive list of the top 20, I find that the records continually missing the cut are more often than not within the electronic genre. Gold Panda's Lucky Shiner is a commendable piece of work, and is quite appropriate for Japanator being that the man behind the moniker, UK producer Derwin Panda, spent a good deal of time living in Japan and thusly studying at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies in London. The Asian and Indian influences come through in his music, each song working its way through a maze-like route while still absorbing the places it once journeyed. Basically wordless, these tracks tell an essentially vivid story of family, friends and remembered landscapes. This is typically an arduous task with verbal skills, let alone programmed sounds.

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