Coffee & Singing Girl

maki furukawa
This is just a short post, but it's special (aww).
I've said it before, but I'll remind you all again, anyway: I am not especially interested in J-Pop, and I don't know much about it. But recently, there have been a lot of Japanese bands and musicians that have been wearing away at my conviction that pop over here is just sort of ... crappy. If you're into hyper-active space-age pop, then Capsule or Perfume is your band. If you're into Japanese indie -- or something like it -- then maybe Supercar or Nirgilis is the group for you. I still prefer my Western bands to these guys, but I like to see that headway is being made.
That being said ... Maki Furukawa is my new favorite pop singer. She's energetic, fresh, and not too cute as are many singers here. The bizarrely titled "Coffee & Singing Girl!!!" is climbing up the singles chart, and I see her debut album (out next month) going somewhere. (Hey -- Broadcast even did one of the remixes featured on her single). Hopefully. Alright -- check it out!
Maki Furukawa - Coffee & Singing Girl!!!

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Tut Tut (Or "It Looks Like Rain")

naked on the vague
I would like for all of you to know that my post writing has become "legitimized." I use one sheet of paper per post, and scribble various notes and such on it. Once the paper becomes full, I write a post. Okay -- so it's not the most linear way of thinking, and it causes my posts to not be incredibly cohesive, but knowing that paper is associated with this blog makes me feel like it's "real" (which it still isn't).
What an interesting band the 586 is. What is this? The Monochrome Set mixed with the B52s, plus glossy, almost Arcade Fire sounding production qualities? I like the narrative style of their songwriting. It seems very frantic and excited, but the band never lets that run away with them.
It's true, the Redcoats Are Coming! This band, too, is ridiculously cool and unique. Truly haunting music ... but haunting because of instrumentation and chord progressions and minor keys (no body-pierced Norweigen Satanists here). Apparently, the band uses "two guitars, a baritone guitar, keyboard, eerie sound effects and drum machines," which sounds cool to me, even though I don't know what the hell a baritone guitar is. Check out their MySpace page.
You want some crazy, whacked-out, freaky-ass crass guitar and ... Farfisa (?) punk? Look no further ... is for you. I need not say more.
the Redcoats Are Coming! - Deep In the Rough
the Redcoats Are Coming! - Fits And Starts
the Redcoats Are Coming! - Crown Heights
the Redcoats Are Coming! - Ring the Bell

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**Pin Pon**

crystal castles
I've got a warped image of Brazil, and really all of South America, for that matter. I imagine non-stop siestas and Mardi Gras-type parades; slightly overweight belly dancers; that sort of thing. Yes, this is most definitely not accurate, as I'm sure/know that most Brazilians lead normal lives, even if their lifestyles are different than ours here in America.
Regardless, I can't shake the perception in my mind. So Bonde do Role, a Brazilian band, is reassuring to me; since this band exists, not all Brazilians are dancing in the streets 24/7. Bonde do Role's music is funky, jagged, dance music on the punk side of the musical spectrum. But there are tons of Latin elements added in to their stuff, and the song "Melo do Tabaco" in particular sounds like something from M.I.A.'s book.
Crystal Castles is my favorite Canadian band of the moment. They're spacey and wild and upset about something and make me excited. I feel bad sitting down when I hear this stuff ...
Crystal Castles - Air WAr
Crystal Castles - xxzxczx me
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Me Oh My

Many bands here, so keep with me ...
Post-Punk New Wave from Sweden, Marble. This is a surprisingly strong and confident band. Like Debbie Harry, Marble's vocalist isn't the best vocalist I've heard, but she's sure of herself, and that's a great thing.
Moving over to Finland, we find TV-Resistori, a band which ought to be grouped with the likes of Stereolab and Broadcast. Space Pop with a 60s edge (and lyrics I will never understand). Unlike Stereolab, however, this band has a thing for simple kids songs. That makes me feel nostalgic and melancholy. Check out their MySpace page for many samples.
The More Assured will only get better with time. The London-based band plays really simple jangle pop that would make anyone cheery. If they get a proper producer or work out a few kinks in their songwriting, I feel confident that they'll be yet another victim to the NME's over-hype. Check out their MySpace page for some other tracks!
And just since everyone's talking about it, listen to Goat Dance's "Sizzle" here, too! (Parody of DFA? This track is awesome).
the More Assured - All In Your Head
the More Assured - These Golden Rules
Marble - BAM
Marble - Johnny Johnny
Goat Dance - Sizzle

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Catch It (Part Two)

While Franz Ferdinand looked to more angular post-punk rockers like the Fire Engines for inspiration, Bricolage looks to Orange Juice and Aztec Camera; the Postcard Records bands. And man they capture that sound perfectly. I will put all of my chips on this group ... they're going places. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Orange Juice do the original version of "Footsteps"? See? They are that good. I've been waiting for this band.
Total change in pace ... I Love UFO is a French psychedelic band. Yeah, exactly ... where did this come from!? I must say I like their stuff quite a bit. It's more angst-ridden than psychedelic rock is usually.
The Somatics are what would happen if Broadcast became a psychedelic band. That wurlitzer!? That clean, yet fluffy and compelling guitar!? They've got it all. Not too shabby ...
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Catch It (Part One)

the flying squad
It seems we've come to a fork in the road. Too many bands are playing genuinely interesting (although not always unique) music. And the styles are too varied! I sort of wish that I could answer the question, "What sort of music do you like?" with a concrete answer. "I only listen to death metal," for example. Instead I stumble over an explanation of what "indie" is, only realizing halfway through the response that I don't really carry, and neither does the listener.
Things need to be pared down!
(I say that, but I actually want more. Disregard).
The Oxfam Glamour Models are the bastard child of Mark E. Smith and the Cramps. Or something like that. They're dirty and grimey, and the singer's voice sounds like a warped recording of David Bowie's voice. Truly messed up.
The Flying Squad is Tim Sweeney. Tim Sweeney is the half of the DFA that doesn't seem to do much. He's German, so maybe that's why he was added. For show. Well, the dude's really into disco, and his project, the Flying Squad, sounds like disco straight up. I'm surprised at how ... old this stuff sounds!
Wait for Part Two!
the Flying Squad - Trip 1
the Oxfam Glamour Models - Kick Out the Grams
the Oxfam Glamour Models - PostModern Stars
the Oxfam Glamour Models - Loves Your Scum
the Oxfam Glamour Models - White Noise Radio

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Defaced "White Unicorn [Defaced]"

I am, by no means, a Wolfmother fan (although I do love their Aussie record label, Modular Records) ... I guess I just don't dig that 70s psych rock sound. But that aside, this video of their song, "White Unicorn" is really, really cool. It's been **defaced** which makes it oh-so-special. Truly, it is cool.
While I'm posting, why not also give you all "Pockets," the new Four Tet song that will be featured on Kieren Hebden's DJ Kicks compilation.
And lastly, I'll point you all in the direction of Meneguar, a band that takes a Unicorns approach to writing Yeah Yeah Yeahs indie/punk tunes. Really great stuff.
Meneguar - Bury A Flower
Meneguar - House Of Cats
Meneguar - 1000 Actors (Demo)
Meneguar - The Temp
Four Tet - Pockets

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Germany Won

I've gotten seriously into soccer this year, and have seen every game so far, I believe (which can be pretty difficult from Japan, as the earliest of the daily broadcasted games comes on at 10 at night).
I think Germany is a very strong team, but seems too quick -- which is a strange thing to say in the soccer world. They seem to overshoot everything -- passes, shots, throws ... they're too energetic.
But my post has nothing to do with soccer ... on to topic two.
We all have musical biases. I for one cannot tell the difference between any Japanese singer I've ever heard. They all have high voices, and they all sound like annoying kids. This is men I'm talking about here. I'm used to hearing lower Japanese speaking voices, so to hear these little screeches is disheartening: they've got potential, I'd like to think.
I think of Germany as the land of techno and dance music. Because of that, I can't really accept other styles of music from the country. But I recently came across this fantastic record label, Sinnbus, which is sort of like the German response to Darla here in the States.
While not all of the label's bands are from Germany, they've all got a uniting energy to them. Kinn may be my new favorite minimalist/sound structure group. Very delicate, but obviously rather thought out and provoking.
Alarm Man is a four-piece from Gothenburg, and boy are they crazy. Their wacked-out post-rock pieces all 100% climax. Really cool stuff there ...
Alarm Man - Sweden Sweden
Kinn - Lunte
Kinn - Pike
Kinn - Seetang
Kinn - Ungezeichnetes

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Mix It Up M.A.N.D.Y.

TO say the least, I'm very impressed with Get Physical's latest compilation, Get Physical Vol. 2. I really enjoy Get Physical's M.A.N.D.Y. for their seemingly unlimited knowledge of popular music. They know about ... everything! So it's perfect, I think, that M.A.N.D.Y. was chosen to compile and mix both of Get Physical's comps. They perfectly mix all the label's artists into one long-playing record that seems like more of a solo work than a collection of 23 tracks.
One of my favorite tracks from the compilation is Jona's "Yellowstone." Jona is a Belgium techno-focused producer. But techno is a dated term these days ... while he does make dance music, he adds a quirky and fun element to all of his tracks. "Yellowstone" in particular conjures up childhood memories ... sing-along tunes and such. I've listened to this track too many times ... now, it is your turn.
Jona - Yellowstone

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Eastern Developments And ...

Eastern Developments is G. Scott Herren's record label. There are a lot of cool bands signed to the label, but I especially like Reminder and Icy Demons (a new signing). Reminder is an electronica artist. His stuff is very calming, diverse in influences, and very bass heavy. I guess it makes sense that Prefuse 73 would sign him to his label.
Icy Demons used to be signed to Cloud Records, but has switched labels for their upcoming LP, Tears Of A Clone. Wierd name. They've developed their sound more, reminding me of some sort of lo-fi Broken Social Scene. Very ambitious sound, but tied up in a tight little indie-rock package.

And lastly, the Velvet Teen is back with an EP to promote their forthcoming album, Cum Laude. From the looks of this EP, I'd assume that the record is going to be pretty good! Looking forward to hearing more of their unique swooning, orchestral, yet edgy indie rock.
Icy Demons - Bunny's
Reminder - Now I Disappear
the Velvet Teen - False Profits (Cute Version)
the Velvet Teen - GymzKid

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I'm Not Going Anywhere

My last post may have been a tad misleading. I am, by no means, discontinuing my blog! I have once again moved houses, here in Japan, and that limits my internet connectivity. The house I live in now technically has no internet. But the guy next door has wifi. You get the idea ... I'm glad I have a connection, but I'm not too happy about the frequent dropouts.
The dropouts prevent me from uploading anything bigger than like, a single file to the net. So from now on until I get back to America, I will only be posting individual tracks.
But I'd like to keep that mixtape feel. Hey -- for those of you with a slow connection, you should see this as a blessing! And for all of you ... now you'll be able to download all the individual tracks, as opposed to a select few!
Mikkel Metal is a spooky Copenhagen-based techno-dub producer. For years, he has been sporadically releasing 12" singles, an album here and there, and generally staying in the dark (spooky!)
Victimizer is his latest full-length offering, and it's certainly his most consistent. It sounds like an album, rather than a bunch of uh ... well, singles.
Johnossi is a very non-typical Stockholm-based band. When you think Scandinavia, you think pop or electronica or something light. Or else you think death metal, I guess. Well, Johnossi is, for the most part, not like either of those categorizations. They're a pissed off garage band. And I like them.
Mikkel Metal - Align
Johnossi - Risky Business
Johnossi - Man Must Dance

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Radio BiBaBiDi Hiatus

the eraser
I hate to say this, but Radio BiBaBiDi will be going on a hiatus until ... I return to the U.S.
I'm moving again tomorrow, and while I'll have internet, it will be the wi-fi that leaks into my room from someone else's house. Unless some miracle happens, I don't think I'll be able to stay connected for more than like, 10 minutes. Therefore, no more big file uploads.
Bummer? I dunno. I only get a handful of visitors every day. Oh, I try ... I try to get more readers. I redesign, I post frequent mixes ... I even post hard-to-find tracks and leaks.
As a last attempt here to get more readers, I'm posting a track from Thom Yorke's dolo debut, The Eraser. Probably won't work. I'm in deinal.
So ... cheers to Radio BiBaBiDi. Hopefully it will be back.
Thom York - Analyse

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