Neo Kei

For fans of Japanese Popular Music. From para para to visual kei and every genre inbetween!

Original image from http://idolminded.com/


AKB48 resume performances at Akihabara Theater

Thankfully AKB48 have resumed their performances at the Akihabara Theater.

It’s great when UK news station report on Japanese artists. But it’s such a shame that it had to be over a vicious attack. If you need a reminder, here’s how the UK newspaper The Independent reported it.

I won’t pretend to understand the details of the Japanese music industry, but it’s very admirable how the idol group hold performances at the theater nearly day. I’m sure this is a big revenue stream for them, and with the number of members in the group it would be important/fair to give each member chances to perform. But how many Anglo-American bands do you know who would perform that much? Performance is a very important foundation for AKB48.

When I started reading Tokyo Girls Update article, I was surprised at the level of increased security to the venue. Not just the increase  in security staff (from 8 to 17 on the first day) but also the addition of elements like metal detectors (well that’s understandable), iron railings and restricting access to the first rows. However that was before I saw images of the Theater and where the girls perform. There are no barriers to begin with and it looks like a metre or two between the stage and the first row. That’s extremely close. I can’t remember ever going to a concert or gig where  I could be that close. If you did manage to navigate the multiple barriers, blocks and raised staging the security guards would have already seen you coming and drop on you like a ton of bricks.

I will be very careful to try and not make any judgments. Their music is very accessible, energetic, upbeat pop. In UK it should be said that pop acts that sound and look like this would be considered just for children. It probably is appreciated by all generations. But in the audience photos there is a very recognisable social demographic, some of these girls are not even yet 20 and can easily attract unwanted attention. If the girls were nervous about going back on that stage as it was I can completely understand. As young women they deserve to not be harassed, be treated with respect and protected to allow to do fulfill their musical dreams

When I do visit Japan, one of the numerous things I will have to do and if I’m in the area is to see one of their performance. They are a dominating force in the industry and one of the most influential and popular idol groups in history!

You can read Tokyo Girls Update’s article on AKB48 resuming performances here.

 

Be Genki

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Neo Kei – 18 Jul 2012

Hi Minna,

How’s it going? More varied slices of news this week, including varied activities from artists and big news from Koda Kumi.

Artist News

  • In the lead up to the release of their Pachinko Game, members from the AKB, SKE, and HKT teams will form the new unit Team Surprise.
  • AKB48 member Kashiwagi Yuki has been appointed as the Satsuma ambassador, promoting her hometown Kagoshima.
  • Chemical Pictures will resume activities with a new mini-album.
  • Since CHEMISTRY has gone on hiatus, Kawabata Kaname will be going solo.
  • GRAPEVINE will celebrate their 15th anniversary with their 1st best of album, and their opening track list suggestions to fan voting.
  • On 18/07/2012 Koda Kumi has given birth to her first child, a baby boy.
  • HiGE member Suto Hisashi has launched his solo project, using the live name Suto Hisashi GATALI ACOUSTIC SET.
  • Tohoshinki have become the best selling international artist in Japan.

Live News

  • After the success of their live broadcast and their limited DVD release, exist†trace will be re-broadcasting their Just Like a Virgin live on 20/07/2012.
  • On 15/07/2012 GLAY members TERU and TAKURO hosted an impromptu live for disaster victims in Minamisanriku, Miyagi.
  • Goto Mariko will host her one-man live ‘299792458 TOUR  in Osaka and Tokyo in November.
  • Miyavi will be streaming his Day 1 “Premium Live” on 21/07/2012 through his YouTube channel.
  • On 17/07/2012 Momoiro Clover Z performed at an all-boys school to motivate the students.

Release News

  • 25/07/2012 B’z B’z (first English album)
  • 01/08/2012, 24/09/2012 THE MICRO HEAD 4N’SA BEGINNING FROM THE END (first album’s Japanese release, European release through Bishi-Bishi).
  • 08/08/2012 NMB48 – Virginity (single)
  • 08/08/2012 SMAP – GIFT of SMAP (album)
  • 08/08/2012 Ayumi HamasakiA Summer Best (compliation album)
  • 15/08/2012 AKB481830m. (album)
  • 22/08/2012 TOKIO – 17 (first new album in 6 years)
  • 29/08/2012, 11/09/2012 Tackey & Tsubasato-be-titled (single), to-be-titled (album)
  • 29/08/2012 YUKI – Watashi no negai goto (single)
  • 29/08/2012 Kiyokiba Shunsuke – Fighting Man (single)
  • 29/08/2012 GOTCHAROCKAHydrag (first single)
  • 05/09/2012 FLOWBraBlue (single)
  • 05/09/2012 Blitz – Wish World Rainbow (first single)
  • 05/09/2012 Plastic Tree – Shion (single)
  • 12/09/2012 ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATIONLandmark (album)
  • 12/09/2012 SUGIZO – STAIRWAY to The FLOWER OF LIFE (live DVD)
  • 12/09/2012 BUMP OF CHICKENfirefly (single)
  • 19/09/2012 MERRY – MERRY VERY BEST – Shiroi Hitsuji / Kuroi Hitsuji – (best of album)
  • 19/09/2012 Porno Graffitti – KAGEBOUSHI (single)
  • 19/09/2012 BUCK-TICKyumemiru uchuu (first album release through their label Lingua Sounda)
  • 26/09/2012 Girugamesh(to-be-titled) (single)
  • 26/09/2012 BLACK LINELEGNA (single)

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei – 27 June 2012

Hi Minna,

How you doing? Actually this week it seems to be all about the releases. Good sign at least for new music!

Release News

  • 20/06/2012 Dream MORNING MUSUME – Dream MORNING MUSUME. Special LIVE 2012 Nippon Budokan ~ 1st Chapter Closed [Yuusha Touch, Shuugou Seyo]~ (live DVD)
  • 04/07/2012 NoGoDTHE 10TH ATTACK ~LIVE TOUR 2012 THE 10TH GAME -FINAL- (first live DVD)
  • 11/07/2012 Called≠Plan Yozora Lion (single with 3 versions)
  • 25/07/2012 ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION – Soredewa, Mata Ashita (single)
  • 25/07/2012 Watanabe MayuOtona Jelly Beans (single with 4 versions)
  • 25/07/2012 NICO Touches the Walls – Ground of HUMANIA 2012.3.20 IN MAKUHARI (live DVD)
  • 01/08/2012 Kimura KaelaKAELA WEB TOUR 2012 @ Nippon Budokan (live DVD)
  • 15/08/2012 D=OUThigh collar (mini album with 3 versions)
  • 22/08/2012 AYABIEANSWER (first major album)
  • 22/08/2012 POLYSICS – Lucky Star (single with 2 versions)
  • 22/08/012 & 29/08/2012 Buono!(to-be-titled) (mini-album with 2 versions),  CLIPS Vol.2 (PV DVD)
  • 29/08/2012 sakanaction – Yoru no odoroko (single)
  • 05/09/2012 KameleoKensaku Kekka 0 (single)
  • 19/09/2012 SuG – sweeToxic (single with 4 versions)
  • 26/09/2012 Kra – Kakusei distortion (single with 2 versions)

Live News

  • exist†trace will be releasing their Just Like A Virgin live DVD for a limited period.
  • Golden Bomber are asking fans to submit their own dance videos to 女々しくて / Memeshikute for the chance to see them live.
  • MAN WITH A MISSION will play 4 dates for their US tour.
  • On 23/06/2012 MEG hosted her one man live (shouldn’t that be one woman :P) 10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY ‘Arrivee” at Tokyo’s SHIBUYA-AX.
  • Sendai Kamotsu (Nightmare’s alter ego band) and Golden Bomber have been added to the Kishidan Banpaku festival line up.
  • SPYAIR hosted a guerilla live on 26/06/2012, which they called Road to Nippon Budokan.

And finally;

  • HearJapan, the Japanese music digital download store will close on 30/06/2012 after 5 years. So with one less outlet, make sure you support your legal distributors of Japanese music.

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei News – 4 July 2012

Hi Minna-san,

Happy 4th July for any American readers or fans of the big U.S of A! Lots of more unsual news with info from award ceremony and artist-themed food …

Artist News

  • Line Up Changes – Tomoka Wakabayashi will be graduating from SKE48, drummer Korey will be leaving Signal, Shoken is leaving Romancrew and Paradeis will be disbanding. On the plus side Velbet have new guitarists.
  • Bassist of baroque, Bansaku, has been listed as an offical missing person, has he hasn’t been seen since 24/06/2012. I hope he’s found safe and sound soon.
  • D are expanding their fanclub to international members.
  • Kiryuuin Shou, vocalist of Golden Bomber, will release solo material in the autumn. He’ll also have a solo live, Hitori Yogari 2, on 08/07/2012, and will be shared via YouTube on 14/07/2012 (broadcasted in London at 12:00).
  • Japanese convenience store FamilyMart has created a meat bun in the style of Hatsune Miku. Can you see the ressemblance?
  • Mika Nakashima will be releasing the theme song for the Japanese release of the next Resident Evil film.
  • Johnny’s Entertainment group NYC are now the campaign characters for SEGA’s indoor amusement park Joypolis.
  • Utada Hikaru has twetted about writing a new song…about coriander.

Release News

  • abingdon boys school will be making their first release in 2 and half years with the single WE aRE on 05/09/2012.
  • The next single from Aqua Timez will be Tsubomi, out on 22/08/2012.
  • GILLE major debut album I AM GILLE, out on 18/07/2012, will feature covers from a variety of artists, including AKB48, GReeeeN, Bruno Mars, Kimura Kaela, Adele and LMFAO.
  • The theme song for anime Total Eclipse will be Koda Kumi‘s track Go to the top.
  • Justice from MATENROU OPERA will be getting it’s European album release through Gan-Shin Records on 06/07/2012.
  • SMAP‘s 48th single, Moment, will be TBS’s London Olympics theme song.
  • ZAZEN BOYS will make their first release in 4 years with the album Stories.
  • ZUCK will release their first album Iden Algorithm, produced by Janne Da Arc’s kiyo, on 18/07/2012.

Live News

  • Alice Nine will be hosting 2 sets of lives this winter. Under the concert series Court of “9” #3, BLACK PERIOD will be exclusively for fan club members, whilst WHITE PERIOD will be open for non fan club members.
  • Even though they split in August 2010, all 5 members of Ayabie reunited for one live on 29/06/2012, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the live house Takadanobaba AREA in Tokyo.
  • GReeeeN held their first fan event at NHK Shibuya Hall, whilst maintaining their private identities using virtual live technology.
  • The MTV Japan Video Music Awards were held in Chiba on 23/06/2012. My favourite winners include Namie Amuro (Best Female Video for Love Story & Best Collaboration for make it happen), EXILE (Video of the Year for Rising Sun), KREVA (Best Hip Hop Video for Kijun), and hosts Perfume (Best Dance Video & Best Choreography for Laser Beam).
  • NEWS will host their first nationwide tour in 3 and half years, starting in 14/08/2012.

Be Genki (^o^)y

Hi,

Everyone had a good week? Things have been rather stressful this week, so this may have to be another case of news now with more to follow [up-to-date 06/07/2012]. Thanks to the person who took part in my first poll, hope more people will want to vote now.

Check out all the good new releases, line-ups and live news.

Artist News

  • Vocaloid Hatsune Miku will release two best-of albums Hatsune Miku 5th Birthday Best ~memories~ and Hatsune Miku 5th Birthday Best ~impacts~ on 01/08/2012 to celebrate her fifth anniversary.
  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu had to apologise to Kanjani8 fans on Twitter after blocking them from view on 15/06/2012’s edition of MUSIC STATION.
  • After Hideaki Takizawa became Ambassador of Goodwill in Micronesia, the other half of Tackey&Tsubasa Tsubasa Imai has become a Spanish Culture envoy.

Line Up Changes: Decay, VOICE are disbanding, Lolita 23-q will go on hiatus, Shoujo Lolita 23ku will go on indefinite hiatus, ex-Irokui members are forming their new group Glam Grammar and new group GOTCHAROCKA, featuring members from Vidoll, SPIV STATES JUN, Charlotte and Moran.

Live News

  • C-ute will share their final live of their tour on 30/06/2012 via YouTube.
  • exist†trace will have their one-man live Just Like a Virgin streamed live on 23/06/2012 via Nico Nico Live (viewing time for London is 09:00).
  • Ikuzawa AIK and Tsuchiya Anna performed at the renewal opening of the Hard Rock Café in Tokyo.
  • KinKi Kids have their KinKi Kids 2011-2012 live release in either DVD or Blu-ray available from 18/07/2012.
  • MERRY will release a new live DVD MERRY 10th Anniversary New Legend Of High Color “6 Days on 08/08/2012.
  • Perfume will release their Perfume 3rd Tour「JPN」 live DVD on 01/08/2012.
  • Shonen Knife will be on tour in the UK and Ireland in October, with a total of 13 lives.

Release News

  • AA= is releasing his new single, The Klock, on 11/07/2012.
  • Pop group AAA have their single 777 ~We can sing a song!~ out on 25/07/2012.
  • Amuro Namie will make her new single In The Spotlight (TOKYO) available via mobile download on 27/06/2012.
  • AYABIE will release their first major album ANSWER on 22/08/2012.Horie Yui will release her best of album (no title yet) on her birthday, 20/09/2012.
  • Koda Kumi will release her club mix album Koda Kumi Beach Mix on 01/08/2012.

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei – 13 June 2012

Ohayo,

How’s everyone doing? After the last couple of boo-boos on the posts I’m going to make sure all the news items are properly styled before publishing. But this week hasn’t left a lot of free time so if the post looks a little thin on the ground, don’t worry, it’ll be packed with lots of news soon.

This week there seems to be a lot about both anniversaries and break-ups and of course a healthy dose of new releases, including some for Europe!

Artist News

Line Up Change News – On 29/06/2012 Moran will have 2 new members, but Sleepy.ab are losing their drummer, TRIGGAH are losing 3 members, School Food Punishment have split and Kro:nos, Matenrou Opera are going on hiatus. YELLOW FRIED CHICKEN’z are also split with their last live YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz 煌☆雄兎狐塾 -破秘婆酒日解散祭-泣くのは辞めな、笑ってサヨナラしましょうねぇ- [Happy Birthday Break-up Festival ~ Don’t cry, let’s say goodbye with a smile] and on Gackt’s birthday (04/07/2012).

  • Japanese music company avex are offering a massive opportunity by auditioning for LA performers to be represented and perform in Japan and throughout the world.
  • The Birthday frontman Chiba Yusuke has a number of projects lined up, including a solo album with album-inspired film and fronting a supergroup as well as other The Birthday projects.
  • 10,000 people came to the Flower Tribute Ceremony to say their goodbyes to Dragon Ash bassist IKUZONE.
  • MONKEY MAJIK are planning an English Best of Album, and are opening the tracklist to public vote. So if you want to hear your favourite MM tracks in English, make sure you speak up!
  • Utada Hikaru has reacted to Yahoo Japan featuring her recent tweets as headline news. I know it’s a bit comical that I’m also reporting to, but I’ve also been missing her since she started her hiatus.
  • Tackey & Tsubasa are opening up their best-of album to public vote.
  • THE YELLOW MONKEY have set up their own YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations.

Release News

  • The Bishi-Bishi group are giving two European album releases for seiyuu Horie Yui and Momoiro Clover Z on 04/07/2012 through their digital store and other stores like iTunes.
  • exist†trace‘s first full album VIRGIN is now available on iTunes in thirty countries, including the US and UK.
  • KinKi Kids will be releasing a DVD/Blu-ray of their 01/01/2012 live, King • KinKi Kids 2011 – 2012.
  • Seiyuu Minori Chihara (aka Yuki Nagato in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) is releasing her 15th single ZONE//ALONE on 11/07/2012.
  • Johnny’s Entertainment group NEWS will be releasing their single Chankapana on 18/07/2012.
  • ONMYO-ZA  have a new album called Kishibojin, and through GANSHIN it will be released in Europe on 20/06/2012.
  • SPYAIR have recorded the theme for The Amazing Spider-Man 3D film. 0 GAME will have multiple releases, inclduding 28/06/2012 in Europe and 03/07/2012 in the US.
  • In time to celebrate their fifth anniversary, Versailles will release their single ROSE on 04/07/2012.
  • ZUCK will release their single Hoshi no Nai Sora online via dwango.jp on 18/06/2012 and via iTunes on 27/06/2012.

Live News

  • BUMP OF CHICKEN will be performing at the MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JAPAN on 23/06/2012.
  • Record label Crow Music are celebrating their 15th anniversary with 2 lives featuring artists such as  RavanteD, REVINE, BORN and OZ.
  • The artist line up has been announced for GIRLS’ FACTORY 12 in Zepp DiverCity TOKYO.
  • MERRY will release a DVD of their 10th anniversary lives, entitled MERRY 10th Anniversary NEW LEGEND OF HIGH COLOR -6DAYS-
  • VAMPS will be getting into the summer spirit with their own beach party live BEAST ON THE BEACH in Aichi prefectures in August.

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei – 6 June 2012

Hi Minna!

Firstly big apologies for publishing last week’s post with a lot of loose hyperlinks. In my commitment to keep the blog updated regularly I set a publishing timer, but didn’t finish formating before the deadline. In future I’ll make sure all the news and info is up-to-date before sending it out into the big wide world. And then once I took out the publishing deadline, I managed to skip a whole week! I will be more diligent with the posting in future.

Now onto the double-dose of latest news. It’s great that there’s so many artists not just celebrating their anniversaries in special ways, but also are open to their fan’s opinions and act on their voting. Plus check out an unsual cover coming soon. Enjoy!

Artist News

  • After the news about their single on Neo Kei XBOOM BOOM SATELLITES will be collaborating with video sharing website Nico Nico Douga for upcoming single BROKEN MIRROR for a remix contest. Fans can use track parts from the release and submit their remix via Nico Nico Douga: Zero, and in early August the group will choose the winning track that will feature on their upcoming remix album  due in September. Exciting stuff!
  • Kanjani8- have announced their plans to celebrate their eight year anniversary, with the Fan Gratitude CD Special Free Event at their hometown Osaka on 08/08/2012, and their fan festival 8 Festival ~Bokuramo 8cchai, 8cchake Matsuri in August.
  • Kyary PamyuPamyu has reached Number 1 in the ORICON Daily Charts, American, French and Belgium Electronic iTunes charts with her first album PamyuPmayu Revolution. She has also been featured in Jigoku no Misawa’s manga Kakko-Kawaii Sengen.
  • After their last world tour date on 31/05/2012 in Honolulu, the day was established as L’Arc~en~Ciel Day in the city. They are the third Japanese act to have a day established for them, after TUBE and Arashi. Also L’Arc~en~Ciel are letting their fans vote for which countries they visit on their next world tour. Voting started on 01/06/2012, check it out and vote for your country, or the UK!
  • On 25/05/2012 Moritaka Chisato announced a number of activities for her twenty-fifth anniversary. First she has her YouTube project 200 Songs Self Cover Project with archive and new videos, including cover videos of all the songs released between 1987 and 1999. Her singles are available digitally for a limited time in Chaku-Uta form through Recochoku. And finally her single collection album The Singles is out on 08/08/2012.
  • For MUCC-Day (MUCC‘s 15th anniversary live) on 09/06/2012, the band are looking for 69 reporters to cover the event and share on their personal blogs.
  • Acapella group RAG FAIR will make their December 2012.
  • Morning Musume‘s manager has announced a new project, an all-girl rock band for member Reina Tanaka.
  • Tokyo Jihen have launched a special website. It includes video clips, photos and liner notes, so check it out.

Release News

  • Singer/songwriter aiko is making her first release in two years with her tenth album Toki no silhouette on 20/06/2012.
  • An Cafe will be releasing their first mini-album in two and a half years on 08/08/2012. No title yet, but I am really looking forward to it, I might just pre-order.
  • After providing for the first game, Ayumi Hamasaki will be providing the theme song for the video game Tales of Xillia 2.
  • BONNIE PINK has a double release planned, with her single Machi no Namae due on 04/07/2012, followed by her twelfth album Chasing Hope on 25/07/2012.
  • A number of rock and visual kei artists such as MERRY, MUCC and Acid Black Cherry have covered BUCK-TICK tracks for their tribute album PARADE II–RESPECTIVE TRACKS OF BUCK-TICK, out on 04/07/2012.
  • Hip-hop group Caramel Peppers‘ third mini album LOVE LOVE LOVE SONGS 3 is out on 18/07/2012.
  • D=OUT will release their mini-album high collar on 15/08/2012 in three editions.
  • Denpagumi.inc will release their single Kirakira Tune / Sabotage on 18/07/2012. An idol group covering this Beastie Boys track?
    This I must hear.
  • The latest album from the GazettE will be DIVISION, out on 29/08/2012.
  • KAT-TUN‘s latest single will be TO THE LIMIT on 27/06/2012.
  • L’Arc~en~Ciel will release their best-of live DVD LIVE TWENTY and tribute album L’Arc~en~Ciel Tribute, both on 13/06/2012.
  • lynch. will make their major debut with the album INFERIORITY COMPLEX, out on 27/06/2012.
  • Another major debut is planned for Vision Factory performer Miura Ryosuke with the single Natsu dayo HONEY!! on 11/07/2012.
  • Moi dix Mois are releasing Reprise on 11/07/2012 for their tenth anniversary. It features new versions of songs voted for by their fans.
  • MUCC released two singles, ARCADIA FEATURING DAISHI DANCE and NIRVANA , digitally on 25/05/2012.
  • Female rockers Negoto will release their single Lightdentity / Re:myend! on 08/08/2012. Both tracks will be used as theme songs, Lightdentity will be in the CM for a nurse recruitment website and Re:myend! will be in the anime movie  After School Midnighters, out on 25/08/2012.
  • If there aren’t enough AKB48 sub groups, new unit NO NAME will make their debut with their single Kibou ni Tsuite on 01/08/2012.
  • Sadie have releases due, first their DVD with all their thirteen PVs since forming, CLIPS-13 is available from 11/07/2012 . Then the single METEOR will follow on 25/07/2012.
  • Morecover album news, V-ANIME ROCKS!, due on 01/08/2012, features some of the most current visual kei artists with themes from classic anime such as DRAGON BALL Z, Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion and YuYu Hakusho. I know not everyone who enjoys Japanese music enjoys anime, but I imagine a lot of people were introduced to the music like me through anime. I’d love to play some of these tracks at a Neo Kei event.
  • On 27/06/2012 ViViD will release their album INFINITY.

Live News

  • Her first dome tour in fifteen years, Amuro Namie will be embarking on namie amuro 5dai Dome TOUR 2012 ~20th Anniversary Best~ in November and December. Twenty of the set list songs will be voted for by the fans through the twentieth anniversary website.
  • Angelo will host their first featured event Angelo Presents – THE INTERSECTION OF DOGMA on 17/08/2012 at SHIBUYA-AX and will also include girugamesh, lynch., MERRY and Sadie with a live-battle. Fighto!
  • On 10/06/2012 BUCK-TICK will host their at the NIGHT SIDE 2012 performance at Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall and it will be available live online on NicoNico NamaHousou.
  • DJ Kentaro will appear at London’s XOYO on 14/07/2012 as part of his European tour.
  • GLAY have revealed they will release their live DVD s just revealed that they will be releasing a new live DVD on July 25th, GLAY HIGHCOMMUNICATIONS TOUR 2011-2012 ‘RED MOON&SILVER SUN’ at Nippon Budoukan exclusively through their mail-order website G-DIRECT from 25/07/2012
  • Between December and January, LUNA SEA will be touring with their one-man live LUNA SEA LIVE 2012-2013 The End of the Dream.They will be at Osaka-jo Hall and Nippon Budokan for the first time in twelve years.
  • Perfume will release their live DVD Perfume 3rd Tour ‘JPN on 01/08/2012, featuring footage from the second day in their hometown.
  • the GazettE, ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION and Perfume have been added to the line up for The RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL in Hokkaido.

Be Genki (^o^)y