Observations from Watching 5 Mins of Japanese Music Channels


1) Sum 41 – “Still Waiting” video

This is the one where they parody the Strokes‘ video for “Last Night.” Things are so confused in the rock music world that the most mainstream, polished punk rock band takes it upon themselves to challenge the pomposity of a different genre of polished mainstream rock for the real crown of “authenticity.” Seeing that Sum 41 is clearly the chart-topper of the two, this is where punk rock rebellious anarchy just becomes authoritarian bullying. I’m glad we never ended up electing Sid Vicious president.

2) A commercial for 175R Live at the Budokan DVD

Meanwhile in Japan, punk-rock chart-toppers 175R played a sold out gig at the Budokan and have released the footage as a DVD. The clip used in the commercial showed 10,000 young Japanese girls all moving their hands over their head in time with the music (like they are required to). This punk rock/melocore boom has not exactly challenged the J-Pop system as much as found itself a bigger home.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
December 6, 2004

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

2 Responses

  1. Graham Kolbeins Says:

    Does that Sum 41 video get a lot of airplay in Japan? Because it didn’t here in the US… most of its target audience probably missed the joke, as the video and band(s) it’s parodying aren’t marketed very visibly to the same audience that would be watching MTV or Sum 41 videos to begin with– The Strokes, here, make a thin attempt to create an image of themseleves as “underground” by staying out of the MTV/VH1 lens to a certain degree, thereby tapping the portion of that audience that wants to fancy themselves as “alternative”.

  2. marxy Says:

    I was having dinner with a friend from MTV last night, and when I commented on that Sum 41 video, he said, that was like a year ago! I think that video did get a quite a lot of airplay in Japan since they are huge here. I wonder if Japanese fans were like, why is Sum 41 making fun of the Strokes? They clearly don’t have exposure to all the innerworkings of alternative music politics.