2 Mar 2012 – Hi Minna-san and Happy 2012! How’s everything going so far this year? It’s taken me a little longer than I intended to start blogging in 2012. I became extremely absorbed into the internship and neglected Neo Kei, as well as my social life, sleep … However I am currently inbetween work at the moment, so I have more time to keep up-to-date with the latest from Japan. I am also going to work on adding more information such as background on genres, artists and anything else related to Japanese music. In addition I’ll experiement with the different layouts (WordPress keep on e-mailing me about!), so it’d be great to know how you’d like to see Neo Kei layed out.
Keep it lock on Neo Kei ;D
- On 03/03/2012 AKB48 was the big winner at the Japanese Billboard Music Awards, picking up 4 awards for Artist of the Year, Top Pop Artist 2011, Billboard Japan Hot 100 of Year and Billboard Japan Hot 100 Single Sales of the Year, both for Everyday Kachuusha. They also have a documentary DVD out on 20/04/2012 called *deep breath* DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on Shojotachi wa kizutsukinagara, yume wo miru.
- GACKT gave a surprise performance at a graduation ceremony at Tohoku High School Komatsushima Campus in Sendai on 01/03/2012.
- Ikimonogakari took part in Doll Festival (or Girl’s Day) on 03/03/2012 by dressing in traditional Japanese clothing and became a real-life display on stage in front of 500 fans.
- Visual kei band Luzmelt have disbanded after their last oneman concert at SHIBUYA BOXX on 10/02/2012. Goodbye letters from the members are available through the link.
- Visual kei legends Raphael are rumoured to be reuniting, after a countdown appeared on their official website.
- Visual kei band A (Anonymous Confederate Ensemble) have their new single Night Of The Knights on 14/03/2012. Previews of this and the B-side FOOL’S GOLD are on their official website.
- Rock band ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION‘s new single Kakato de ai wo uchinarase on 11/04/2012.
- Aural Vampire mini-album Kerguelen Vortex is now available as a digital download, after it’s Japanese release in late 2011.
- GO FOR IT, BABY -Kioku no sanmyaku- is the new single from B’z, out on 04/04/2012 and is currently part of the Ppsi NEX commericial.
- Female visual kei band exist†trace will have their new album available on 23/05/2012. Virgin will be their first album since signing to their major label.
- Glay member TAKURO will be collaborating with violinist Emiri Miyamoto for her single Hikari. The track will appear on the album renaissance released on 07/03/2012. Part of the album sales will be donated to the Japanese relief fund.
- The next single for model-turned-singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will be CANDY CANDY on 04/04/2012.
- Tomorrow (05/03/2012) L’Arc~en~Ciel will be releasing their new album BUTTERFLY in the UK, with other European releases due by 17/03/2012.
- Having only just celebrated their best of release, LM.C released their single Ah Hah! on 22/02/2012 ahead of their world tour in May. In addition they will have the live DVD ★Rock the PARTY★2012 at NIPPON BUDOKAN, their fifth anniversary concert on 16/05/2012.
- LUNA SEA will be releasing THE ONE － crash to create －, their first single in 12 years on 21/03/2012.
- Another visual kei band, Kra have their single Honne available from 30/05/2012.
- Singer MEG is be releasing an anime cover album entitled MEG Concept Album “LA JAPONAISE” on 25/04/2012, with themes from anime such as Rasario + Vampire and NARUTO. I’m particularly interested in her rendition of Motteke! Sailor fuku from lucky☆star.
- Girl group Perfume will be releasing their songs through iTunes in 50 countries, including their new album JPN on 06/03/2012.
- Newly formed visual kei rockers PLUNKLOCK are part way through their European tour (although no stops in the UK). They also have a mini-album called GradatioN with 5 tracks on 04/04/2012.
- Angura kei band SEX-ANDROID will have their 3,000 limited mini-album Koroshiya Milk-chan will be released on 04/04/2012.
- And more visual kei news. Nokoriga is the latest single to be released by SID on 02/05/2012.
- Japanese/Canadian band The Complaints Department have made their first release Walking Hand in Hand a charity single to raise funds for Tohoku after the earthquake nearly a year ago.
- Japanese court musician Togi Hideki will be making his US debut with his album Togi available from 21/03/2012, and shows in New York Washington DC. Featuring the hichiriki (Shinto flute) and other traditional Japanese instruments, the album will include music from his previous albums and a cover of John Lennon’s Imagine.
- Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- will be making their single Rhapsody of the Darkness available digitally on 25/04/2012.
- Another visual kei band vistlip.will be releasing their currently untitled single on 11/04/2012. In the meantime the members have collaborated with Japanese apparel brand SUPER LOVERS and each made a limited edition fashion items, including a backpack, jump suit and cardigan (very rock ‘n’ roll). They’ll be released in March 2012 and are currently available to pre-order on CDJapan.
- Various Japanese rock bands are set to release covers of the classic album Nevermind, featuring artists such as ONE OK ROCK, LOW IQ 01, ohashiTRIO and SiM on 04/04/2012.
- YUI has a number of DVDs and Blu-rays all available from 28/03/2012. Firstly Cruising 〜HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE〜 on DVD and Blu-ray features her Nippon Budokan performance on 19/01/2012. The others are re-releases onto Blu-ray of her HOTEL HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN tour from last year, and Thank you My teens from 2007.