Saturday, September 22, 2007


J-Cope's J-Rock

Today's Guardian reviews Teardrop Explodes frontman Julian Cope's new book Japrocksampler:

The music discussed in Japrocksampler has made almost no impact outside Japan, partly owing to the barrier of an undecodably alien writing system. Cope himself is not a Japanese speaker, but his omnivorous LP collecting and his friendship with some of Japan's current rockers make him a credible candidate to write this book.... Other books on the subject are not on offer. Alan Cummings, the most knowledgeable (and bilingual) British scholar of Japanese alternative music, writes articles for the Wire but has not yet written a stand-alone text. Japanese Independent Music, issued in 1998 by Sonore (a French publisher ) is out of print... Japrocksampler is a flawed but welcome reminder that there are musical worlds beyond our ken.

As you might guess from my Slate piece raving about J-rock earlier this year -- and lamenting how little known it is in the US -- I've already put in an order for this one. Like Cope, I don't know any Japanese, and it hardly matters.... it's just great music.

Don't believe me? Listen to this 30-second mp3 clip of "Daily News" by the band Lostage.

Or just watch a whole video for their song "Television City":

... Or watch Mo'some Tonebender's "Rockin' Luuula":

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