Weekly: In Kyoto (Part One)

Okay -- I have friggin' internet once again! Not any of this crummy dial-up wireless card crap in the country. Good solid LAN lines here. And I'm connecting to the web in a little hotel in Kyoto, to add to my joy. This is a very cool city, and while I've been here twice before, this is the first time I've been able to explore it in any sort of depth.
So -- I'm going to just write about a whole bunch of stuff here ... things I've been wanting to post about, and one thing I just re-discovered.
The Lolita Bras are "going to be this year's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" ... uh ... I dunno about that. They're like a slowcore version of pop -- a power-pop version of shoegaze. Which sounds strange, but they're atmospheric while being angular and power poppy. Listen to Her Own Conversation.
Velella Velella is weird, man ... like loungey trip-hop stuff. Lots of these flutes and warped loops and stuff ... they are also getting hype quite a bit, but I dunno ... well, listen to Do Not Fold/Do Not Bend, Hunter, and The Bread Is Hard As Crackers.
I'm going to have to finish this later. But I will leave you all with Hairsalon. Man was this a surprise. I walked into Jet Set Records, Kyoto, and I found a copy of Hairsalon's CD. I had emailed this guy (he's a 30-year-old musician living in Tokyo) over a year ago, and he had sent me a MD of his stuff and a pretty depressing email -- how no one was too interested in signing him. But now here he is with a CD and a label and all! I'm surprised! It rekindled my interest in that sort of music ... which could be a bad thing. He has this sort of fascination with old TV show music and Walt Disney and bright and colorful things like that. A strange mix of incredibly cheery music. Listen to Sledge And Piggybank.