Sure, like in any other segment of popular culture, Japan puts out its fair share of disposable music. But it also fosters some truly amazing talent that takes familiar sounds and twists them all about into wonderful sonic concoctions.
My goal is to highlight some of the outstanding bands that exist in Japan now - some immensely popular, others rather obscure - and to hopefully hear from you about others that I haven't been fortunate enough to find yet.
Kenichi Asai and UA make mysterious, magical music that's suitable for adoration.
A female rock trio of [Mezzo] fame, all fast and furious with anti-kawaii tendencies.
Kenichi Asai and crew make a super-duper white-hot rock explosion, sonic liberation.
If you have ears, Eye will kill them, bury them, then raise them from the dead ringing joy.
Tomoko has friends who make masterful pop-rock, and they're pleased to meet you.
Ayu sells stadiums full of theatrical ballads and glammy remixes, with beautiful talent.
It's a little bit poppy, a little bit rock 'n roll, with albums transcending troublesome members.
Kenichi Asai abandons himself in rock, and draws forth perfection, shining sultry sounds.
Yuki sings up stars, backed by the best band that once was, and always will be precious.
Kaela shines bright, like pop rocks and lemonade under the spotlight, and sings like a blue bird in a rain cloud.
A five woman powerhouse, with Yuki, Chara and a whole mess of wonderful, one time only perfection.
Yako and crew use their maximalist ultra burst blender sonical skills for punk perfection.
Rinko and crew channel the Pixies and other tunesmiths, much to my pleasure.
A former fearsome foursome with Pixies tendencies, prepare to be blown away like tin foil.
The undisputed master of Beatles-influenced folk garage rock, too cool for Rock And Roll High School.
Seiichi Yamamoto jumps out of the Boredoms with amps-overhead brilliance.
Yoshimi leads us all to quirky atmospheric heaven, Boredoms chunky-style, with satiating sounds.
Tsugumi, Taeca and Chizuko break out the keyboards and make stars circle the moon.
80's video games take on human form and Devo hats, and explode post-concert.
Ami and Yumi run away from home, straight to Tamio Okuda and super-stardom.
Lily Chou-Chou becomes a real live woman, to the continuing delight of everyone.
Natsu and Akinori drive a school bus hot rod, all crashing keyboards and hair, and the kids are alright.
If the sun and moon had a daughter, it would be a singing apple that makes the trees bloom.
Kenichi and his runaway-train guitar lead another band to winning ruin, Qumico style.
It is absolutely impossible to find a cuter singer-actress phenomenon with such skills.
Of all the pop-rock foursomes with unpronouncable names, this is the best and most accomplished.
Pinky, Yonyon and Lintsu are well-coordinated punk-pop idols for the rest of us.
Sheena Ringo and her rock-jazz-punk music buddies cause Tokyo Jihen, and the people scatter to find dance partners.
Tomoko Kawase is a pure pop Jekyll and Hyde, like marshmallows meeting melted dark chocolate. Predominately fluffy, yet with a bitter bite.
These guys, they make lemonade for the roll-rock, sweet and sour with ample coolness.
Mari, Yayoi and Mizue rule funk-punk-pop with hard yet delicate fists, the better to plafully pound with.
Once Hikki, now Utada, with millions of pop hits sold and savored all over the world
Her voice fells Segway scooters in paroxysms of joy, her beauty stands them back up.
po box 11501