Here is one that anime fans will recognize instantly, and that is Yoko Kanno, though she has composed and performed music for movies, television, video games and commercials.. She is what one might call, prolific, for her music cuts across a multitude of different genres. The music ranges from jazz, pop, rock, electronica, and more, while also every once and a while mixing different genres to great effect.
Honestly, there is not much to be said, other than to find her music and listen to it. To start off I will suggest that you listen to anything that was from the anime Cowboy Bebop (should watch that too, if you haven't). While most of the music there is mostly of the jazz genre, it is amazing nonetheless. Two songs that I will suggest from that is "Call Me" and "Gotta Knock a little harder" I think they will give you a good idea of what kind of sound they are going for. Another soundtrack I can recommend is for Escaflowne (either the series or movie, both have amazing music) the song "Escaflowne" is the perfect song to give you an idea of her orchestral music that has a powerful and bombastic delivery. Last suggestion is Ghost in the shell, the music here ranges from slow paced pop pieces, full rock n' roll, and heavy hitting electronica. Two songs that I feel are a must are "I do" and "Velveteen" two songs on opposite sides of the spectrum, but amazing on their own.
One of the great things about her music, is that one genre is not favored over another, the music she composes is created to fit the mood, characters, story, and motivations of what she is working on at that time. If you look at what she is composing for, and what music it creates proves that great care is made to create a mesh of music and subject matter that is something amazing, and improves the experience of whatever she composes for. She has worked with, a number of artists, the most notable being Maaya Sakamoto, who through the years has worked with her on many different projects. So I can say that if you have not heard of her yet, I have a feeling that she will have at least one song that you will enjoy.
「This is not a review, this is just my opinion, no score shall be given.」
This album "Metal resistance" is the new Baby Metal album that released on the first of April (known as Fox Day in the bands' lore), and I think it is quite good. The sound for this release is quite well done, and while the first album was nowhere near being considered bad, I personally feel that they are more confident in who they are as a group, and that comes across in the music. Unlike their debut album, which had a larger amount of songs that seemed to fit outside the Metal that seems to be the main draw of this band. This release only has two songs which I would consider to be a bit on the more mainstream side of the spectrum, those songs being Track #2 Karate, and, track #10 No Rain, No Rainbow. the first track, Karate, being a nice energetic track that feels right up there with any other comparable J-pop band out there today, the second track, No Rain, No Rainbow, being something akin to a power ballad, with the sensual slow singing, and emotional lyrics of such.
While this is definitely more of a metal album than previous, the songs on average are also a bit heavier, on the musical side of things. While I do not think that is a bad thing personally, there are those who do mind, although I feel that the singing that accompanies the music somewhat calms it down overall, which is a dichotomy that I personally appreciate. The energy, and confidence in which these songs are delivered is commendable and the consistency, and power of the singing is amazing for only the second album. Speaking of the singing, it is amazing as usual, Su-Metal shows her vocal range throughout this album, I feel that the best proof of her skill is the last song on the album "The One" which is a tribute to the fans, and it is quite the powerful one at that. She also proves that she can sing quite well in English. Of course some will nitpick and say her pronunciation is off, but that is to be expected, and she can sing in this language better than some people I know can speak it, so that is some skill in and of itself.
While this album is by far one of my favorites recently, I can see how it may be a bit of a stretch for people not already invested in BabyMetal, all I can say is, if you like Japanese Rock, and Pop, and are interested in hearing the two mixed together into something entirely its own, give their debut album a shot, for I think it is the more accessible of the two to start with. However, if you like the sound that they have created, and are interested in more, then Metal Resistance is something that is definitely worth checking out. (especially since you can get it at a normal price due to them having a western release of this album.) In closing, I greatly enjoyed the entirety of this album, and I hope that the sales of it in the west means that their albums will continue to be released outside of Japan, so more people can enjoy the music that they create.
Granted, most of you that are here, likely already know of this band, but for those of you that do not, I am excited to tell you about this next group, one of my favorites in years, BABYMETAL! This is an interesting one for sure, close your eyes,and imagine you are listening to a metal band, with no vocals, then slowly screaming enters into the song, then the lead starts to sing in accompaniment, then there is a bright pop sound that makes its way into the song alongside the metal, screams, and melodic singing. Surprised, you open your eyes, and what is the first thing you see? You see three girls in red, jumping, singing and dancing on stage almost as if you were watching a video of AKIBA 48 rather than a metal band.
However, when all is said and done, the combination of booming metal sounds, bright pop music sounds, screamo, dance routines, and the vocals from the lead, it all seems to come together quite well. Then there is the band that are dressed in white, with long metal-hair befitting any self-respecting metal head, and contrary to likely ideas saying otherwise, they seem to be a part of the lore, of the group, rather than just the people who play the instruments while the girls perform. I am sorely lacking on knowledge of their band lore, but I do know it exists, and it deals with something to do with Kitsune, specifically Megitune, and there is a well thought out background dealing with that. Feel free to share your BabyMetal Lore in the comments below. (^_^)
BABYMETAL was formed in 2010, the three members are SU-METAL, YUIMETAL, and MOAMETAL. To date, they have released a number of Singles, Live albums, and their full debut album "BABYMETAL" If you want a good idea of their range, I can recommend a few songs to add to your playlist. First I will recommend the song "Megitsune" this song, i feel is a good all around litmus test of their sound,and whether it is something you will like or not. The sound incorporates a number of things, Metal, J-pop, and even a bit of Japanese folk music, (and folk dance, in the video!), so all around a good song to start with. Another song I will recommend is "Line!" because this song is a bit of an 'everything' type, they even include a bit of rap (very short segment). They are releasing their second album Worldwide, on April, 1st, 2016, they will also begin their World Tour at the SSE Arena Wembley, in London a day later. As usual, if you are interested in the band I shall leave all the pertinent information at the bottom.
BABYMETAL Official Site: http://en.babymetal.jp/home/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BABYMETAL.jp
Merchandise Store (UK): http://www.mflstores.com/mfl/babymetal.html/
Merchandise Store(US): http://babymetal.gomerch.com/
This band is one that I discovered back in 2009 and for one reason or another, they dropped off the map for me, whether that is due to my thinking that they disbanded, or life making itself known, it feels as though I shouldn't have, because they are still around. A rock band that started in 1999 in the prefecture of Ibaraki (which is located Northeast of Tokyo). The sound that they make fits quite well within the Alternative, genre with a decent amount of screaming added to a number of their songs. I really like how the vocals work off of one another, especially when the band uses what is called gang-vocals, where the whole band gets involved in the song. The first full length album, released in 2006, titled Never turn on the light to keep myself on, was quickly by their followup album FACT in 2009, which was actually released internationally. This is the album that I was introduced to them by, and to this day, I still find it enjoyable.
The band consists of six members currently, Hironobu "Hiro" Onose as the lead vocals, Kazuki Sakurai on the rhythm guitar, Eiji Matsumoto on the drums and percussion, Tomohiro Takayasu on the bass, Takahiro Onose, on the lead guitar, and on guitar there is Adam Graham who was added to the band in 2012. As stated above, due to the use of gang-vocals, the other band members are used as backup-vocals in a number of their songs. Hironobu-san was not originally the lead singer of the band, that was orignially Tomohiro-san until they added Hironobu-san in 2002.
The last album that the band released up to this point was titled KTHEAT back in 2015, and apparently though not their highest chart, it made it to the top 10 albums at time of release in Japan. Although I may not have heard their most recent music, I still believe that they are deserving of attention, because from word of mouth, up to date fans, from what I have heard have enjoyed what they have been putting out lately. Once again; if you are interested, I will put the pertinent information at the bottom of this article in order for you to see if this band is what you are looking for.
Band webpage[Official]: http://factjapan.com/
Band Twitter[Official]: https://twitter.com/factjapan
Band Facebook[Official]: https://www.facebook.com/factjapanofficial
Band YouTube[Official]: https://www.youtube.com/user/FACTofficialchannel
ヾ(＾-＾)ノ こゆうき「Koyuuki」 ヾ(＾-＾)ノ
Business and Personal interaction Tips
The word used when toasting is Kanpai 「kahn-pie・乾杯・cheers」. When toasting, the glass is never left unfilled. Drinking is an important part of Japanese culture, mainly as a way to relieve the stresses of work life.
Most business related entertaining is done in restaurants or bars after hours, the most common place is either in karaoke 「カラオケ」bars or Hostess bars. It is recommended that businesswomen refrain from attending a Hostess bar.
More important phrases to learn are Itadakimasu「頂きます・Let's eat」which is used at the beginning of a meal, and gochisou sama deshita 「ごちそうさまでした・Thank you for the meal」at the end. It shows that you enjoyed the meal provided, and that you put some thought into the culture you are among.
Do not openly display money when possible. In Japan it is rare to see cash handed off in public. The best way to give cash to someone whether in public or private is in an envelope.
Take special care in handling business cards 「名刺・meishi」that are given to you. Make sure to not write on the card, also it is preferred for you to have a specific place for it that is not either your pocket or wallet. This is thought of as defacing the card and considered disrespectful. Make sure to memorize the name and title of the person on the card, and close examination of the card is considered a show of respect.
Introductions use the persons' last name with the suffix of san, which translates to Mr. or Ms. in your language. The traditional way of identifying a person is by their family name rather than their given name. It is bad form, especially for an important or first meeting to request the call you by your given name. It not shows lack of cultural foreknowledge it could bring possibly what could be wrong or embarrassing about your family name if they are traditional enough. Also, if you are unsure on the pronunciation of a name, ask for assistance.
ヾ(＾-＾)ノ こゆうきあいはら ヽ(^。^)丿
OK, here is one of the biggest bands in recent history (to me at least). This rock band is definitely something special, and you can tell with the energy that they deliver their music.
I have to say that even though they have been around since 2005 I didn't find out about them until I started playing Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin (Yakuza: Ishin) early last year. The song used as the intro song was Clock Strikes, and usually I am not swayed by intro songs in games (Japanese or otherwise).
However, there was something unique about this band, and I needed to delve deeper into the music that I heard. (I loved the song so much I would loop the intro scene for the main menu of the game rather than play the game for the first hour ^_^) Once I started down the rabbit hole, I was stuck, and I can say I was happy to be there, the musical flow, and energy is contagious, and enjoyable. I haven't (personally) been able to find an American band that I can just enjoy and get lost in the sensations that the sounds and energy the give off create.
The band itself consists of four members (originally 5, but the other guitarist left the band in 2009) . The band itself consists of Taka (vocals), Toru (guitar), Ryota (Bass), and Tomoya (drums). I can not recommend this band enough, and if you are interested in hearing some songs to whet your appitite, I would say all of them, but to get you started I would say at the least, "Clock Strikes", "Mighty Long Fall", and "Deeper Deeper". Though a good slower, lower energy example would be "Cry Out". And if all that properly whets your appetite for this band here are where you can find info, and more below. I have recently also found out, they have signed with Warner Brothers Record Label, and will be releasing their first album in the west, titled "35XXv" sometime in September, so look forward to it ^_^.
Official Band Page: http://www.oneokrock.com/
Twitter (Band): https://twitter.com/oneokrock_japan
Instagram (Band): https://instagram.com/oneokrockofficial/
Instagram (Taka): https://instagram.com/10969taka/
Instagram (Toru): https://instagram.com/toru_10969/
Instagram (Ryota): https://instagram.com/ryota_0809/
Instagram (Tomoya): https://instagram.com/tomo_10969/
Business and Personal interaction Tips
Remember the Japanese phrase "The nail that sticks up gets hit with the hammer" when considering your attire, especially in business situations
Try and avoid the "OK" sign in Japan, for it means money
For ease of coming and going, try and find a comfortable pair of shoes that are easy to remove, as you will do so often, slip-on shoes are highly recommended
whether for business, or with friends, do not pour your own drink, allow someone else to do it for you
If you take someone out, insist upon paying. They will refuse your offer, but insist, also they will prefer that you choose a western style restaurant when you entertain them
It is perfectly acceptable to slurp your noodles, it demonstrates that you enjoy your food, otherwise people think that you are not enjoying your meal
It is important to understand that Japanese people do no like to use the word no. If you ask a question, it is possible to get yes as an answer, while clearly meaning no. You need to pay attention to how they say it, and how they physically react to the question asked.
The customary greeting in Japan is the bow. However some may greet you with a handshake, usually a weak one, but that is not an indication of character, more of being unused to doing it.
ヾ(＾-＾)ノ こゆうきあいはら ヽ(^。^)丿
I have recently discovered this band, and I enjoy their sound and their energy quite thoroughly. I believe they can be considered Rock (maybe Metal?), with a bit of a pop inspired flavoring due to the high energy and delivery of the music as a whole. Band-Maid came together in July of 2013. The members include, Miku on guitar and vocals,Saiki on lead vocals, Kanami on guitar, Akane on drums, and Misa on Base.
The major idea behind the band is the Maid aesthetic that permeates the band and the musical themes. I am not as musically inclined to say in exact detail how their sound is and other technical aspects such as that, but I can say that I haven't found many bands recently where I so thoroughly enjoy them. They currently have (as far as I have found) one full album (Maid In Japan) and one Single release (Matador of love and Passion).
With a recent check of CdJapan.co.jp I found out that they will be releasing an Album this November, though I have not been able to currently find a place to purchase their earlier work outside of Japan, and Amazon has a listing for their single, at just under $300.00. If you are interested in learning more about the band here are a few links to give you an idea of what their sound and energy are like, and see if it is what you are into. *Update* After a bit of searching through sites, I have still been unable to find their original Album, or singe (for a reasonable price at least) If you have any info to share on that front, please leave it in the comments, thank you.
Official Website: http://bandmaid.tokyo/ (English version) http://bandmaid.tokyo/?lang=en
Band Twitter Accounts: Band-Maid Official:@ Bandmaid
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bandmaid
Official YouTube Channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJToUvYrmkmTCR-bluEaQfA?&ab_channel=BANDMAID
Business Etiquette and Personal Interaction tips
A smile is something that has multiple meanings in Japanese culture, such as joy, or displeasure. Make sure to practice caution with your facial expressions in certain situations so as not to give off the wrong idea.
Professional women it is suggested to wear low heeled shoes in order to avoid towering over men
In a business setting, casual dress is never acceptable in Japan
"Sumimasen"「Excuse me」is very useful to add to your vocabulary, also the phrase "Kekko desu"「I've had enough」
When at a restaurant in Japan, it is not required to tip.
If you are invited to a social event in Japan, it is not important to be punctual, it is actually preferred to arrive "fashionably late" to the party.
Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Japan, they do not touch in public, it is considered highly inappropriate to touch someone of the opposite sex in public.
A business card is called a meishi in Japanese. The proper way to give and receive the meishi in Japan is with both hands, with a slight bow. It should be printed in your home language on one side, and Japanese on the other. Present the card with your native language side up.
In a business situation, business cannot begin until you exchange your meishi.
ヽ(=^･ω･^=)丿 こゆうきあいはら ヽ(^◇^*)/
こんにちは みんな！ 「Hello Everyone!」 Discovered this band in the last six months, and find their sound quite addicting to binge listen to. Suppose the sound musically can be somewhat similar to maybe a mix between ONE OK ROCK, and Asian King-Fu Generation, also the energy of the songs seem to fluctuate between these two bands as well. However, that is not to say that they do not have their own sound which thankfully not the case, an it is appreciated. The band was formed in 2006, but only recently hit the mainstream Japanese music scene last year. The music flows nicely and works well as its own entity but it is together with the lyrics and the vocal delivery that makes the music stand out.
The band consists of four members, Kawaguchi Daiki・川口 大喜 on the drums、Matsumoto Masaru・松本 大 as the vocalist & the guitar、Oya Shintaro・大屋 真太郎 on guitar、and Nakahara Takehito 中原 健仁 to round it out on the bass. The band started in high school back in 2006, the drummer, Oya left the band in 2011, so for a while they were a 3 piece band. In 2012 they came to the decision to name themselves Lamp in Terren using the Latin word for Earth, and the band coined the term "Light of the world". They signed with A Sketch label in Japan in 2015, Oya returned to the band in October of that year, and since the release of their album under the new label have been doing quite well for themselves especially with the song "Void".
Songs that will give you a good idea of the kind of music they play are twofold; 緑閃光・Ryokusenkō 「Green Flash」, which is a slower, more somber affair, but the delivery of the music and lyrics make is something you will want to put on repeat. The other song is キャラバン・Kyaraban 「Caravan」which has a much more energetic delivery musically, lyrically, and vocally, but you can still tell that the same amount of energy went into both songs. Here is to hoping that they stay around for a while yet, because I feel that the music they make can only get better with time. Like usual, if you are interested in finding out more about them, or listening to their music, I will leave all pertinent links at the bottom.
Official Band Website: www.lampinterren.com/
Official Band Twitter: twitter.com/lampinterren?lang=en
Official Band Instagram: www.instagram.com/lampinterren/?hl=en
Band Youtube Playlist: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1239V3xkY4&list=RDd1239V3xkY4&ab_channel=A-SketchMUSICLABEL
(ﾉﾟ▽ﾟ)ﾉ こゆうきあいはら ヽ(^。^)丿