May 24 2016

MIYAVI – Afraid To Be Cool (MV)


Who’s afraid to be cool? Definitely not MIYAVI! In his latest single “Afraid to be Cool”, the musician gives a friendly, rocking reminder that “you’ve got nothing to lose” with being yourself. It’s quite fitting that right after he sings that line, a guitar solo follows, carrying his message onwards: let your inhibitions go like the solo and dare to be you! Check out the stylish short version of the music video for the newest single, animated by Fantasista Utamaro. Also, look out for his new album scheduled to be out on August 31!

Official website:

May 23 2016

the GazettE – The Wiltern 2016 Live Report


Tuesday, May 3rd – it was the beginning of a great week because at 8 PM that night, the GazettE would be performing for the first time in Los Angeles at The Wiltern. From an early hour, the fans were lining up outside the building and as night fell, a May breeze had them huddled close to their friends. Once inside the building, fans headed straight to either the standing admission area or the merchandise line. An assortment of the GazettE goods were up for sale – T-shirts, zip up hoodie, two different styles of sling over bags, a giant messenger bag, three CD’s, a small and large calendar, and a poster.

In the main stage hall, audience members were greeted with a floor to ceiling backdrop of “the GazettE” written in the white antique-looking font typical of the band. The fans did not have long to admire this since the GazettE promptly started the show at around 8:07 PM. Before the band even stepped out onto the stage, an announcement was made that no pictures or video were allowed during the concert – a stark contrast to the usual Japanese concert in the United States. So when the instrumental “NIHIL” intro song off their “Dogma” album began to play, the fans automatically began clapping in time to the beat instead of pulling their phones out to record the show. Then almost as suddenly as the clapping had started, it stopped, and violent screams erupted from the crowd as the band stepped onto the stage – all in various outfits of black.


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May 21 2016

URBANGARDE’s Yoko Hamasaki reveals Blue Forest jacket and music video


URBANGARDE vocalist Yoko Hamasaki has revealed the jacket image of her new solo album Blue Forest, scheduled for release on June 15.

Bringing a new sound and performance style from her work in the internationally popular “trauma techno-pop” group (URBANGARDE has performed multiple times overseas in Europe and America), Hamasaki shows her mature, sensual side in the music video for “I LIke Chopin”, directed by Eisuke Naito (known for his films LITCHI ☆HIKARI CLUB, PUZZLE).


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May 18 2016

Wagakki Band – Valkyrie – Ikusa Otome (MV)


Wagakki Band’s music video for “Valkyrie – Ikusa Otome” (theme from TV anime Twin Star Exorcists – Sosei no Onmyoji)

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May 18 2016

BAND-MAID gets European CD release from JPU Records


BAND-MAID’s latest album, Brand New MAID, will be the band’s first to get an international CD release and will be available across the UK and Europe courtesy of JPU Records from June 17, 2016. The CD version contains an bonus track as well as extra booklet containing lyric translations in English.

READ: Brand New MAID (CD Review)

Fans can get a copy early and meet the band at MCM London Comic Con, the UK and Europe’s largest pop culture show, taking place May 27-29. BAND-MAID will be performing on the Fringe Stage on Saturday and Sunday of the event, as well as the event’s after party. Additionally, they will be part of a daily panel exploring Japan’s music scene, taking place on the Pop Asia Stage, as well as signing and meeting fans from JPU Records’ booth each day. More than 130,000+ people are estimated to attend and weekend tickets have already sold out.

Brand New MAID
(Europe Release)
1. the non-fiction days
4. Brand-New Road
7. Before Yesterday
8. alone

Plus bonus booklet with lyric translations

May 13 2016

SpecialThanks – SWEET (MV)


SpecialThanks goes heavy on the cartoon filter, but goes light on the rock-n-roll for “SWEET”, forn their new album Heavenly. It’s great to hear vocalist Misaki sing in her native Japanese, and while her delivery is much more relaxed and authentic, “SWEET” has a tempo that’s all too familiar to fans of their earlier work. Misaki’s grown up a lot — it’s time for her to throw harder punches.

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May 13 2016

Wagakki Band announces Deep Impact USA Tour 2016


Wagakki Band has announced a 3-stop USA tour for this July, performing a set of back-to-back shows in California as follow-up to the appearances in NYC and SXSW earlier this year.

Tuesday, July 12 Los Angeles (Club Bahia) 
GA (ADV $25,DOOR $30) VIP $75
open 19:00/start 20:00

Thursday, July 14 San Diego(Hose Of Blues)
GA(ADV $25,DOOR $27.50),VIP $65,The second floor $45
open 18:30/start 19:30

Saturday, July 16 San Francisco (The Fillmore)
GA $25,VIP $75
open 19:00/start 20:00

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May 12 2016

BAND-MAID – Brand New MAID (Review)

Brand New MAID

Review by David Cirone


BAND MAID has made a point in recent interviews of celebrating the contrast (sometimes they call it “the gap”) between their “kawaii” maid personas and their hard-rock sound. Their latest album Brand New MAID, clocking in at an adrenaline-filled 30 minutes, seems designed to push that contrast to its max level.

Compared to last year’s New Beginning, this album is even leaner, even more eager to fight, with songs composed to deliberately position you for a knockout punch. Japanese bands like to play games with English capitalization and punctuation, and when I first saw the title, I considered it a “cute” gimmick, but after diving into a few hours of repeat-fueled listening, I understand the title’s real significance — just like its simple rhythmic structure (“bop-bop-BOOM”), Brand New MAID finds a way in each of these 8 songs to rock, rock, and EXPLODE.

“the non-fiction days” opens the album with fierce energy and a perfect anime-opening structure. (Challenge: close your eyes and imagine your favorite program’s character intros — swear to God, it works.) “the non-fiction days” is Exhibit A in the explosion department, and it’s the first shot in a series of tracks that proves BAND-MAID’s ready to crush any protests that their cute persona disqualifies them from the “real rock” club. Packing the last year with steady touring has made their sound bigger, tougher, deeper. “Look at Me” is a guns-blazing, motorcycle ready shot of classic rock-n-roll, with a stellar, out-of-nowhere guitar solo from Kanami. “ORDER” doubles down with a solid bass solo (yes!) from Misa, and “Brand-New ROAD” comes in right after that with a bridge section devoted to nothing but jamming.

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