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On the 12th Day of *J-Pop* Christmas: Hello Project/Morning Musume's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 14, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment
Okay, so it ain't twelve drummers drumming but c'mon! Marveling at twelve wee lasses cute-ing it up in reindeer costumes, prancing in unison along with a holiday karaoke backing track isn't something that happens to you very often, no? I'm guessing because, you know, this sort of thing happens to me all the time. That's why this year I'm going to take a perfectly annoying traditional English Christmas carol and marry it with a series of twelve patently Christmas, increasingly ecstatic J-Pop "merry x'mas" videos to celebrate the spirit of the season. Curious about Christmas in Japan? Peep my take on it here and enjoy the 12 Days of *J-Pop* Christmas! Happy holidays from me and everyone here at Amoeba!

On the 12th Day of Christmas: Hello Project / Morning Musume - "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Slam A Stack of Holiday Cheer with the Yule Logs!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 9, 2011 02:30pm | Post a Comment
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! 'Tis the season for the
Yule Log's holiday tour-a-thon which also means that the 7th annual anything-goes seasonal revue "Christmas is the BEST!" - going down this Sunday, December 11 at Amnesia SF with hosts Uni & her Ukelele and Dr. Trucker, with the Yule Logs headlining the gig. I borrowed a Log or two for a fleeting yet intriguing interview - do read on, below:

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Amoebapalooza SF done Decked them Halls at Cafe du Nord!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 8, 2011 10:42pm | Post a Comment
Right about now some of us here at Amoeba Music are probably experiencing disconcerting flash-backs of last Sunday nights' Amoebapalooza 2011 extravaganza - our annual variety show / collaborative fete wherein we Amoebites take all of our informed musical tastes and influences and toss them in in a blender with extra heaping helping of dysfunctional family sentiments and exhibitionist zeal often resulting in a veritable battle-of-the-bands whodunnit of epic proportions. For those who couldn't make it, and for those who can't remember exactly what happened, I'm here to commit all of my impressions and observations to the interwebs via personal recollection rendered threadbare by copious rum consumption. [photos by Kaitlin Layher]

Amoebapalooza liquid karma drone guru level experimental electronica julian maestas

First up, right on schedule, we had the elusive "powered by crystals" act Liquid Karma. Now, I know what you're probably thinking - "Liquid Karma? The all-natural plant growth stimulant?" No, silly! I'm talking about the signed-up-by-his-no-good-co-worker, one-man, guru-level experimental drone-core laptop wizard that opened Amoebapalooza 2011 - guess you had to be there, man. The only way he could've improved his performance is with the addition of a fog-machine. I really liked his senior shades.

amoebapalooza 2011 schnitzelklit

Following Liquid Karma's wall of WTF we had the good fortune to enjoy fifteen delicious minutes of SCHNITZELKLIT - a newlywed duo performing songs like "Blue Moon" and a heart-swelling rendition of David Lynch's and Angelo Badalamenti's Fire Walk With Me slow jam "Sycamore Trees," complete with an on-hand portable tape recorder playing the sax solo to lend a true Twin Peaks air to the affair. Lovely indeed!
amoebapalooza 2011 gabi beck

After that we had our very own self-styled "Jesus with a bun" Gabi Back strumming out a solid set of poignant acoustic covers what closed with an especially emotional rendition of Radiohead's "Lucky" proving that, within the span of just three brief acts, the spectrum of musical tastes and talents of our Amoeba brethren is as enthusiastic as it is expansive.

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The next act in the line up took their love of George Harrison to new heights as Darkhorse: the one man/three women tribute act that featured our resident Jazz-man/Metal dude/Kate Bush enthusiast (every record store should have one) on guitar, steaming up the inside of his GH mask as he shredded his through the acoustic set accompanied by a Kaitlin, our lady of the Darkhorse tattoo on drums and vocals, with further vocal accompanyment provided by Amoeba ladies both dear and fair of voice. Everyone of them in some way sporting a likeness of Mr. Harrison. I know that sounds like kooky fun, and it totally was, but there are unfortunately no pictures the act to make true said observation. [sigh] I hope the images above, them kooky masks and Kait's Darkhorse tat, make up for it even if it's just a little bit.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Disturbingly Cute Debut!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 28, 2011 12:12pm | Post a Comment
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Harajuku superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut mini-album, Moshi Moshi Harajuku, was spotted recently among the new releases in the J-Pop section at Amoeba Music SF and, like a saccharine-laced shroom-hazed acid flashback citing the fallout that was my impression upon viewing her now-long gone viral music video for the single "PONPONPON", many intriguing questions about the psychedelic limits of Japan's popular Kawaisa and Decora cultural aspects immediately bubbled up. Chief among them: how much Pon could a Pon Way Way if a Pon Way could Way Pon?

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - "PONPONPON"


That, and where can I get that giant box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Has Pee-Wee Herman seen this? Some of the realizations spawned during the review: there really can never be too much pink and, something I had forgotten since, say...1997, Doc Marten's pair well with just about any ensemble. But I guess it took this Tokyo model and blogger fashionista turned J-pop wunder-gyaru to hip me to that fact, or re-hip me I guess, as the case may be. Seriously though, speaking of Kyary's fashion blog, this is the face that greets you when you arrive at her site:

Ain't no party like a Rammstein beach party!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 25, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment
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Gearing up for the December 13th release of their greatest hits retrospective titled Made in Germany 1995-2011, Neue Deutsche Härte darlings Rammstein have channeled their inner Hasselhoff and outdone themselves again with the kooky, retro beach party themed video for "Mein Land" (directed by renowned videomeister Jonas Åkerlund - creator of Rammstein's most pornographic, er, controversial music video "Pussy" as well as the greasy, all-nude male revue that is the "Mann Gegen Mann" body slam and the award-winning "Ich tu dir Weh"). The single, with the exception of the b-side "Vergiss Uns Nicht," is the only previously unreleased song slated for inclusion among the collection of heavy hits celebrating the body of work of a band that has seen zero changes in their line-up since 1994 and continues to flaunt an outlandish style what combines boundary-pushing tomfoolery with impressive pyrotechnic stage antics much to the delight of their fan-base though said accolades often cause a rift among critics who more often than not seem perfectly pleased to acquiesce to confoundation and mild annoyance. But then everybody loves a beach party, ja? It's difficult to imagine anyone laughing at Rammstein more than they are laughing themselves, spray-tanned tits out and all. Check it below:

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