Monthly Archives: August 2015

Game Music Revue: Famicom Music

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Famicom Music 

  • Credited Composer: Nintendo Sound Team (Koji Kondo, Hirokazu Tanaka, Yukio Kaneoka, Akito Nakatsuka)
  • Released May 25, 1986
  • Label: G.M.O./Alfa Records
  • VGMdb Information Page

This was the first compilation release that G.M.O records put out after the original Video Game Music, and way to start the show with the showstopper guys. Continue reading

Nostalgia as a Genre: New Wave Revivals and Midlife Crises

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The frontman is sporting tight jeans and a New York Mets tank top. His clean cut appearance is accentuated by his musclebound arms and square jawline. He looks like he was the star player on his high school football team, but oozes a boyish charm: if he was the football team captain, he wasn’t the asshole jock type. He sings lyrics pining for a love lost and a simpler time as a soaring keyboard riff plays behind him. He guides the audience into clapping with their hands over their heads. He then screams the city’s name and his bandmate rushes out the stage to deliver an absolutely epic saxophone solo that would make the dude from Lost Boys a very happy man.

It’s a song and a scene straight out of an 80s movie, a moment that feels like it should’ve been lived by Molly Ringwald. But this happened last week, in 2015, at the Summer Sonic music festival in Tokyo. It blew me away, and I’m still trying to figure out why. I think it may be that my midlife crisis is affecting my musical tastes.

I don’t know how to feel about that. Continue reading

Vinyl Review: The Adventures Of Kohsuke Kindaichii

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It’s Saturday, which means I’m in HMV minding my own business looking for new wave records.

I got a routine going when I’m not working.

Anyways, so I’m in HMV, browsing the alt rock section when I start to hear some strange 70s mid-tempo disco/funk. It’s cool. I’m grooving to it. Then traditional Japanese instruments start to kick in over it. I’m hearing what sounds like a biwa and a koto mixed in with some radical wah-wah guitar and a groovy bassline. I’m digging it hard.

I decide to buy the record right when the slide whistle and flute kick in.

I’m pretty happy with this purchase. Continue reading

Scrunged: Days Of The New

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Scrunge (second-rate rip-off grunge) is a largely forgotten genre, and every few weeks I’m going to examine a scrunge act or two and see if they deserve a second chance. Today’s band: Days Of The New.

I feel safe in saying Days Of The New is the last “scrunge” band. In fact, with their first album coming out in 1997, the case could be made that the group isn’t scrunge at all, and are in fact post-grunge like Creed or Fuel, whose albums also came out around the same time.

But to me Days Of The New is a scrunge band simply because they were trying so damn hard be a grunge band. I don’t think you can say that about Creed or any of the countless forgettable bands that came after them. They were never attempting the realness or rawness of grunge. They just took the broadest and most radio-friendly aspects of the genre and slapped 50 coats of polish and sheen on it. It’s a cliche to say it, but the post-grunge bands come off as being in it for the money more than anything else.

And while you can say a lot about Days Of The New (and trust me…I’m about to) overly commercial sure as hell isn’t one of them. No one goes out to make predominately acoustic depressing rock ballads under the assumption that it’s going to lead to top 40 success. It just kind of worked out that way, for a thankfully brief period of time. Continue reading

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