Neo Kei

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


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Happy from Harajuku Tokyo

I was recommended this little video from YouTube.

It’s a great display of all the diverse people in Japan and specifically Harajuku. I like how diverse the ages are, not just nothing but 20 somethings. There’s families, a couple of 40/50+ men, and even a sweet old business man that I guess might be about 70.

I also like that it supports but dispels some of the ideas of the Harajuku area. It’s probably best known for being “the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles” (taken from Tokyo Travel). So it’s natural to include a lolita girl, some cafe maids, a cross dresser and even a bear (why not!). But the majority of people in the video are “normal” people. Very bold, expressive, stylish people, but not the stereotypical image of who abides in Harajuku.

And that’s how it should be, a realistic reflection of the residents of Harajuku. It’d be like making a video in Liverpool with nothing but footballers and Beatle-wannabes. It’s not styled like a tourist video. Yes it has sumo wrestlers, traditional kimonos, chefs (and even an appearance from Asimo!) but there’s businessmen, shop owners and people at a hanami (flower viewing). But the majority of the participants in the video are fun, vivacious, stylish people. To me it looks like a realistic snapshot of life in Harajuku. And it just makes me want to visit even more.

 

Enjoy!

 

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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 – 2 May 2012

Artist News

  • I shared this on my Facebook page, but An Cafe have reformed and will be touring Europe at the end of the year. They start in Russia on 03/11/2012 and coming to London on 07/11/2012. An Cafe was one of my early introductions to Japanese music, so I hope I can find a live buddy to go with!
  • Dolly will go on hiatus at the end of this year to work on their solo careers.
  • Dragon Ash bassist Ikuzo “IKÜZÖNE” Baba passed away on 21/04/2012.
  • LAZYgunsBRISKY will disband after their final live at Shimokitazawa GARDEN in Tokyo on 12/05/2012.

Music News

  • There will be a third volume of CRUSH! V-Rock cover albums covering tracks from 90’s visual kei artists. CRUSH!3-90’s V-Rock best hit cover LOVE songs- is available from 27/06/2012. Amongst many brilliant tracks/artists, I love the thought of Inugami Circus-dan covering X JAPAN‘s Rusty Nail, and the session band including members from Guild, -OZ- and D. They’d be great tracks to play in a Neo Kei DJ set.
  • BOOM BOOM SATELLITES will be releasing BROKEN MIRROR, the theme song for Mobile Suits Gundam UC episode 5,  on 06/06/2012.
  • BUCK-TICK have another tribute album due for release, this time fo their 25th anniversary. PARADE II -RESPECTIVE TRACKS OF BUCK -TICK is available from 04/07/2012 and will feature artists such as Acid Black Cherry, MUCC and MERRY.
  • New wave group The Flickers will release their second mini-album WAVEMENT on 09/05/2012. Japanese New Wave? I like the sound of that!
  • Golden Bomber will release their best of album The Golden Best internationally on 18/06/2012.
  • LUNA SEA’s guitarist INORAN has his new album Dive youth, Sonik dive out on 27/06/2012.
  • LM.C‘s newest album STRONG POP will be released in Europe on 04/05/2012.
  • MIYAVI will release his new single on 11/07/2012. It’s tentative title is SAMURAI SESSION WORLD SERIES vol.2 – MIYAVI vs YUKSEK “DAY ONE” .
  • Having toured the UK last year, jazz group mouse on the keys will release an unnamed mini-album on 18/07/2012.
  • Amuro Namie has a new untitled album due on 27/06/2012.
  • Johnny’s Entertainment band NEWS let their fans vote on the tracklisting for their best-of album, which closed on 30/04/2012. Further details about album title or release yet.
  • Another anniversary now, as part of Plastic Tree‘s fifteenth anniversary they will release the single Kuchizuke will be out on 20/06/2012.
  • Even with the news about Raphael’s revival, ex-members Yuki and Kazuhiro will release their new single Acacia under their duo name rice on 06/06/2012.
  • The latest single from SCANDAL has been produced by ORANGE RANGE’s NAOTO.  Taiyou Scandalous” is available from 11/07/2012.
  • On 02/05/2012, SiM released their newest mini-album LiFE and DEATH. The special edition CD features artwork from manga artist Kaneko Atsushi.
  • The first album from ViViD will be released on 27/06/2012. No news on the title yet, but it will feature all the singles since their major debut.

 Live News

  • Jazz singer Jazz singer JUJU performed on MTV Unplugged in New York’s Time Square, the first Japanese woman to have the honour (Ken Hirai was the first singer).