A sizzling slice of punk rock and roll boogie action – Rangsteen / High Life split EP

Hey, this is not a review. I haven’t got the record yet. Yet (although if I’d had more than a couple of 100-yen coins to rub together at Poor Cow the other night, I’d a had). This is the product description from the Base Records website via Rangsteen blog. Enjoy and then buy the rekkid…

rangsteen-high-life

What’s this!?! Yeah, that’s right, it’s a slab of pure Tokyo punk rock badassfuckery smacked onto vinyl by none other than the city’s reigning kings of street rock, Rangsteen and High Life.

Out on the illustrious Stay Free label run by Continue reading

A new wave interview with Radio Shanghai

There was an era in the 2nd half of the 70s and 1st half of the 80s right after punk hit that folks call “post punk” or “new wave.” To put it really basically, a slew of bands took that punk rock energy, creativity and anger, and busted out all kinds of unexpected sounds that flew in the face of what the mainstream media was telling us “punk” was supposed to be. Just when you think this is a bygone era and start getting a little nostalgic, up steps Kyoto’s Radio Shanghai. With their first album coming out on Loft Records, I had a chance to talk with self-appointed frontman Suzu.

This is the intro translated. I thought I couldn’t’a said it better myself, so I left it as-is. But FYI, actually Radio Shanghai isn’t around today, but its ex-members still fly the flag with their current bands Liquid Screen and Boys Order.

(Interview by Umezo Kato)

Radio Shanghai

“We do it our own way”

Suzu: (Looking at the profile written by the label on the record): Hmmm… Okay, I see. I dunno, we’ve never had a profile like this written for us before. Continue reading

Rock tonight – the story of Stairs

Here’s an interview with Tappei (mostly) from Stairs that Nakagami-san gave me from the vaults. It’s from June 2009 and was recorded at an undisclosed Tokyo location that probably has cheap drinks. Here’s Nakagami-san’s intro…

a9eb50d3d5ceb9f0633682a04fb8aef3

It’s never really occurred to me to interview the Stairs because I was in their previous band and I know pretty much everything about them, and I went to high school with the ever-quirky Iizuka. So, what on earth could ask them about? But once we started talking, things started getting interesting. Stairs are starting to amass a pretty big following and they have a 7-inch coming out on Needle Records. In this interview, we mostly talk about the formation and history of the band.

Tappei There was a guy I used to work with, he was a real business type but he had some kind of connection with Kei Ogura*, and he said, “Hey, let’s go play on the street in Shin-Yokohama.” That was back when you didn’t see so many people doing that. Continue reading

Tweezers bring the rock to Osaka

Some bands wax philosophical and go on long speeches expounding the true essence of rock and roll and what it all means in these interviews. The Tweezers don’t, not in this one anyway. This quick interview was done before they went and played Osaka at the end of last year. None of that philosophy crap here, pal. Just talk about rockin’ and partyin’ and havin’ a good time.  

tweezers2

Joe Zip: Please introduce the band.

Fifi: I think we got together around 1994. We were hanging out after a show drinking and the booze brought on the whole “let’s start a band” discussion. We broke up around three years after. Four years ago, we got back together to play a friend’s wedding party and we’ve been playing ever since.  Continue reading

Beat Caravan “Odd Harmony” liner notes

This is the probably the greatest album released in 2015. Well, okay, I guess I wouldn’t know since I generally ignore all music made since 1996. But anyhow, it’s really darn good and the more you listen to it, the better it becomes. Here are the CD liner notes just in case you got the record in non-digital format.

CVti-2gU8AA8z_r

Lady Queen

The album’s opener is probably most straight-up rock’n’roller the band has ever done. It’s got a strong beat and it feels like the band is frolicking through the song, only to be rent asunder by a wild, angular guitar solo, which calls to mind NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson’s old band Wildweeds. It certainly kicks off the album right.

Black Tea Eyes

One of the cool things about Continue reading