Japanese rock and roll is a little off my radar, but over the last year I’ve discovered a handful of songs by bands like Shonen Knife and Pizzicato Five that I like. And I saw Kill Bill so I’m familiar with the’s. Using that as a J-rock-research launch pad, I perused some Spotify playlists and online articles and came up with today’s selection of cool Japanese rock music.

“Twiggy Twiggy” — Pizzicato Five
“Koi No Kisetsu” — Pinky & Killers
“Killer Man” — Registrators
“Top Of The World” — Shonen Knife
“Woo Hoo” — The’s
“The Barracuda” — The’s
“UFO Romantics” — Guitar Wolf
“Dressed In Black” — Teengenerate
“Voice Of Youth” — The Discocks
“Pogo And Work” — The Discocks
“小さな恋のうた” — MONGOL800
“ロマンチスト” — The Stalin
“リンダ リンダ” — The Blue Hearts
“人にやさしく(デジタル・リマスター・バージョン)” — The Blue Hearts
“終わらない歌”  — The Blue Hearts
“Spoon” — Cibo Matto*
“MV” — Tricot*
“Hybrid Rainbow” — The Pillows*
“P.S. I Love U” — Gackt** by request

Fade-In Part 2

“Cuttooth” — Radiohead
“Live In Dreams” — Wild Nothing*
“Hand In Glove” — The Smiths*
“Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” — The Smiths*
“Floating In & Out” — The Snake The Cross The Crown*
“What Do I Get?” — Buzzcocks
“Star Sign” — Teenage Fanclub
“That Birthday Present” — The Twilight Sad
“Time To Live” — Ariel Pink*
“Waterloo” — ABBA*
“Turn To Stone” — Electric Light Orchestra*
“Head Held High” – The Velvet Underground*

* by request


Today I’m playing songs that start by fading in — an underutilized production technique. Many songs end with a fade-out, the fade-in is less common. As far as I can tell, the Beatles were the first band to attempt this on “Eight Days A Week,” which has an admittedly quick fade-in. Blink and you’ll miss it, or whatever the equivalent of blinking for your ears would be. At the other end of the spectrum, “Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans” fades in over the course of a full minute. With Sigur Rós, I struggled to discern the fine line between a fade-in and a crescendo. Many of their songs are dynamic.

“Eight Days A Week” — The Beatles
“Black Star” — Radiohead
“Deeper Into Movies” — Yo La Tengo
“You Are The Everything” — R.E.M.
“Porcelain Of The Vast Oceans” — Smashing Pumpkins
“New Slang” — The Shins
“Sleep The Clock Around” — Belle & Sebastian
“Dirty Boots” — Sonic Youth
“Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space” — Spiritualized
“Beach Comber” — Real Estate
“Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása” — Sigur Rós
“Path Of Least Resistance” — Wesafari*
“Devolution” — High On Fire*

* by request

Sacred Cows

Today I had my friend Billy Detroit* in the studio to share his reactions to classic artists and songs. Billy claims to be well-versed in rock history, but given his affinity for Dave Matthews Band and Nickelback, his tastes might run counter to those of your average hipster. Let’s hear what the gaps in his musical knowledge yield.


“Queen Bitch” — David Bowie
“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” — The Beatles
“Bad Moon Rising” — Creedence Clearwater Revival
“I Walk The Line” — Johnny Cash
“Teen Age Riot” — Sonic Youth
“In The Airplane Over The Sea” — Neutral Milk Hotel
“Billie Jean” — Michael Jackson
“American Girl” — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Psycho Killer” — The Talking Heads
“God Only Knows” — The Beach Boys

Random Playlist

“Paintings Of Famous Satanists” — Freeway Park
“Sunspace Quasar (For Miles)” — Great Unwashed Luminaries
“Last Dance” — The Mekons
“Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” — The Ramones
“One Chord Wonders” — The Adverts
“Jenny Ondioline” — Stereo Lab
“Birthday” — The Sugarcubes
“The Limit To Your Love” — Feist
“This Time Tomorrow” — The Kinks
“Lies” — Low
“Sing Swan Song” — Can


In putting together today’s playlist, I struggled with categorizing the concept of a duet. Technically, nearly every Beatles song is a duet because both John and Paul sing harmonies, but they are members of the same band, so to me it feels more like the product of a single artistic entity. Nevertheless, two of the songs included on this playlist are simply by bands—Sonny & Cher, and the Moldy Peaches. But the nature of the songs, with female and male voices singing back and forth to one another, makes them seem “duet-y” enough to qualify. The rest are collaborations.

“Go” — The Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse
“This Mess We’re In” — PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke
“E-Bow The Letter” — R.E.M. and Patti Smith
“Jorge Regula” — The Moldy Peaches
“In Spite Of Ourselves” — John Prine and Iris Dement
“Please Read The Letter” — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” — Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
“I Got You Babe” — Sonny & Cher
“Under Pressure” — David Bowie and Queen
“Walk This Way” — Aerosmith and Run DMC

‘Ball Of Wax (Long Songs)’/ Female-Fronted Bands

Today I’m doing a split theme. I’m delving into the latest iteration of Ball of Wax, Seattle’s audio quarterly for independent music put out by Levi Fuller. The theme for this latest volume (No. 51) is Long Songs. Most tracks here are over 10 minutes in length, and some are over 20. I contributed a track to this collection and want to listen to the other music. However, it’s a bit daunting to dip my toe into a project this immense. So I’m going to play just the first two tracks off this album today to get a taste of what’s in store.

After that I’m going to play a bunch of music from bands that are fronted by females. Most of my favorite new music has been created by women, I’ve noticed. Girl power.

“Belzinbox” — autOaudiO
“Slow Waves” — Whetzel
“Do It Again” — Lady Wray
“Cut Your Bangs” — Girlpool
“High-Lo” — Broken Water
“Magazine” — Rondelles
“Lance Jr.” — Courtney Barnett
“Had Ten Dollaz” — Cherry Glazerr
“Live And Die” — Genevieve Bellemare
“Rock The Reaper” — Bat Fangs
“Wait In The Car” — The Breeders
“I’m Done” — The Julie Ruin
“…Familiar Place” — Lucy Dacus
“Baybee” — Jay Som
“Everybody Wants To Love You” — Japanese Breakfast