Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll TV?

archive7

I did the least Japanese thing ever: I got cable TV.

Through some weird promotions and unclear machinations, I would actually save money by adding cable to my broadband package.

Back at my former residence, I enjoyed watching cable once and a while, eating breakfast over a little MTV, the occasional Shiina Ringo special on Space Shower TV, old dubbed episodes of The Monkees, observing the total deterioration in J-pop on Sony’s MOTV video countdowns (no, not “Music Television” but “Music on Television.” Totally different.)

So this was more of a return to cable, rather than a new adventure. A sequel. Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in…

I click on Space Shower TV and am greeted by the new Shiina Ringo video. I remember her, but I had completely forgotten that they still make music videos.

As somebody who spent a good chunk of his youth obsessed with Japanese pop music, I have enjoyed the last few years of total and utter market decline because J-pop is now so thoroughly mediocre and bad that you can completely ignore it and not miss anything. No one else is listening, so why should you. There is no pressure to keep up. I mean, do you worry about what’s going on in the Professional Bowlers Association?

In the 1990s Japanese pop music went through a massive renaissance, and even if looking back Kahala Tomomi wasn’t exactly the height of creative exploration, J-Pop mattered. Knowing the latest hits was crucial for karaoke. Melodies drifted through the streets of Shibuya. Hit songs could make hit products and vice versa.

The market for recorded music has completely tanked in Japan (much like the U.S.), but the low numbers do not reveal the full story of evaporated influence.

The best-selling star of our era is Koda Kumi — whom I pretty much loathe. But, it’s not just me. Tantei File found that Ms. Koda is the celebrity the public most wants to disappear. See what is happening: J-Pop is such a total niche market at this point that the top star can have absolutely no public support and still reign as queen. An Oricon #1 right now is about as impressive as being the best backgammon player in Brevard, North Carolina.

Oddly, however, the main music TV shows — Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ and Music Station — still get pretty good ratings. Just no one is going out and buying the songs featured on the show. Crazy, but perhaps consumers are considering these idols and tarento as TV stars and not musicians who deserve to win their hard-earned money. I like Yamada Yu and all, but do I really want to shell out ¥3,000 for her “music.”

Since almost nobody in Japan has cable and music videos get very little time on the air, the question is, why even make a music video in Japan? The question seems to only be one of propriety — i.e., because a star artist has a video. You need the clip for the 10 seconds on CDTV‘s countdown (they still have that show, right?), but that’s it.

The music market in Japan works in a very organized way: Fans faithfully buy their favorite artists’ new releases. Very few songs have slow-building grassroots support or crossover appeal to a wider public. For an established artist whom the public has already made a decision on, a video is not going to attract new fans. No one is going to start listening to the Ulfuls if they aren’t already. The music video has become little more than a very expensive version of a fan newsletter — sounding the clarion call for the true believers to buy the single or album out of duty.

With record budgets declining, video quality is declining. With interest in music declining, MTV and Space Shower TV are so desperate for ad sales that they let the labels dictate their programming. This makes for some very poor viewing.

But hey, the good news is that the pop music structure in Japan is so decrepit, corrupt, and meaningless that underground music feels once again… underground. My favorite bands won’t ever be on TV, but what would that get them anyway?

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

52 Responses

  1. Mulboyne Says:

    Since even fewer people had cable in the 1990s, what role do you think music videos were playing back then? They still seem to be showing in certain kinds of cafes, bars, shops and gyms. Segments get used for CM spots and during live performances. Even though recorded music sales are falling across the board, loyal fans will still often pick up the videos repackaged as a DVD.

    You are probably writing tongue-in-cheek but a decline in recorded music sales isn’t equated with a decline in interest in music in overseas markets. It’s difficult to argue that live music revenues have become more important in Japan as they have in, say, the UK but those ipod sales seem to suggest that a lot of people still want to listen to something.

  2. Neb Says:

    So, what do you think about the new Shiina Ringo/TJ song?

  3. Andy Says:

    Yamada Yu has a recording career?? Wow. Pop plumbs new depths of cynical commerciality and yet i find myself strangely compelled to seek it out, even if only on youtube…

    Interesting how there has been a marked decline in crossover stuff too; a while ago Miho Hattori was actually gaining respectable cred as a quirky vocallist for leftfield hiphop acts but now not only has she disappeared, there’s noone to fill that gap, and no vocallists following her lead. Somehow i can’t see Koda Kumi doing guest vocals for People Under The Stairs…

  4. Adamu Says:

    What a coincidence – I too have just gotten Japanese cable, except it is more for BBC and Cartoon Network. Watching Space Shower you can totally tell when a video was just made because they had to make a video — its a mess of avant garde concepts and weirdness. But there are other reasons to make videos – I remember Hirai Ken’s “Pop Star” built a lot of buzz around the sort of Napoleon Dynamite-ish kitschiness.

  5. marxy Says:

    “Since even fewer people had cable in the 1990s, what role do you think music videos were playing back then?”

    Videos have never had any real impact on sales in Japan. It’s always been about the network TV music variety shows (and I have a Master’s thesis to prove it!)

    “You are probably writing tongue-in-cheek but a decline in recorded music sales isn’t equated with a decline in interest in music in overseas markets.”

    Very hard to prove, but I think it is in Japan. There’s no good media networks for non-top-driven music. Rockin On Japan??? I mean, that’s as cynically-advertising-based as Music Station.

    “So, what do you think about the new Shiina Ringo/TJ song?”

    Going through the motions. Not bad though. Not the kind of video I would expect from her, but budgets are tight.

    “Somehow i can’t see Koda Kumi doing guest vocals for People Under The Stairs…”

    I can’t really see Koda doing vocals at all.

    “I remember Hirai Ken’s “Pop Star” built a lot of buzz around the sort of Napoleon Dynamite-ish kitschiness.”

    This was one of the last songs I remember even though I never actively tried to listen to it. Possibly because it was horribly annoying.

  6. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    I think Miho was doing okay already without that “cred.”
    If anything, her Smokey & Miho project helped to prove that she had talent beyond kitsch raps (that second record helped too). But anyway Cibo Matto are kinda to J-Pop what hoppy is to beer.
    Was the Sheena Ringo video from the recent DVD?

  7. Aceface Says:

    ”There’s no good media networks for non-top-driven music. Rockin On Japan??? I mean, that’s as cynically-advertising-based as Music Station.”

    I don’t deny it.They also hire lots and lots of bad writers,even I could write something better.
    But that was all I had in the late 80′s and things were a bit different in those days.The editors had peculiar obsession to Manchester bands and month after month they put the translation NME interviews of NEW ORDER,THE SMITHS,THE CURE,and THE ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN(OK,That’s not Manchester band..) and then NEWORDER again…
    They maybe the top driven bands in UK,but not in Japan.My internal music calender stopped sometime in the early 90′s when I stopped reading ROCKIN’ON.They,at the time were into THE STONE ROSES and THE RIDE.I loved the former but hate the latter.
    These days I only go to The Tower Records in Shibuya mostly to go to the English bookshop on the top floor and buy a copy of New York Review of Books and I just skipp the CD section.The last CD I bought there were NEWORDER album with that shamless Japanese version collaborating with ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION(What a choice…)and “Meat is Murder”CD of which my friend took it from me and never returned.Considering these choices,I must say there is diehard influence of ROCKIN’ON in my flesh and blood….

  8. Davo Says:

    Wow,

    Pretty interesting to hear all of this. I had no idea that cable TV wasn’t a popular thing in Japan. I would have thought the contrary. But you learn something new every day.

    I do want to remind you of one thing though, at least outside of Japan MTV hasn’t really been showing videos for a long time. They have basically moved on to programing closer to the real world or Laguna Beach (reality TV). Its all normal network stuff with a few videos in between.

    But videos Don’t even make half of the programing. Can’t prove this though.

    Where are Japanese artists getting exposed then, “RADIO”?????

    Or myspace like in the rest of the world???

  9. marxy Says:

    http://blog.livedoor.jp/dqnplus/archives/1002318.html

    More Koda Kumi backlash.

    “Where are Japanese artists getting exposed then, “RADIO”?????”

    Radio used to be big in the 70s for the more underground folk guys. Now it basically has zero impact.

    “Or myspace like in the rest of the world???”

    Ha. I am still waiting for a band in Japan to “break” on the Net.

    “But videos Don’t even make half of the programing. Can’t prove this though.”

    Thanks to YouTube, I can watch the new Kells and Usher video. Even a band like OK Go! used a “video” to become famous. I can’t name a Japanese band to whom that has happened.

    “These days I only go to The Tower Records in Shibuya mostly to go to the English bookshop on the top floor and buy a copy of New York Review of Books”

    This sounds like how I use my iPod.

  10. seenyourvideo Says:

    I think everyone understands what you are against. But what are you for?

    Right now, what are some great Japanese bands?

  11. marxy Says:

    “I think everyone understands what you are against. But what are you for?”

    Seriously, I only spend so much time talking about what’s wrong with music here because I have so little to talk about when it comes to liking.

    All the Japanese bands I like I have written about extensively before: Shugo Tokumaru, Kiiiiiii, Nhhmbase, YMCK, MacDonald Duck Eclair, Petset, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box (the last two haven’t put out anything in ages). I enjoy the Backdrops sometimes. M.A.G.O. are allright. That The Number EP on Creation Centre is great. Riow Arai does that one thing he does well. Yukari Rotten/Fresh has been interesting, but I can’t see her putting out that much more stuff.

  12. marxy Says:

    Shiina Ringo is still mildly interesting. I will never forgive Sony for buying out Halcali and then doing absolutely nothing with him.

  13. harry Says:

    So Koda Kumi = Paris Hilton?

    And what did you think of AL & BUM? Rocks, huh?

  14. jasongray Says:

    Theme songs for movies「主題歌」, both for domestic and sometimes retooled foreign releases (eg. Koda Kumi’s song for dance movie “Step Up”), are probably more important for ‘visibility’ than music videos. Many geinou news stories are about who’s doing what song for which film or anime. But even that strategy is proving less effective. Ayu’s original song for Hong Kong film “Confession Of Pain” 「傷だらけの男たち」(distributed by Avex Ent.) didn’t help avoid a lackluster first weekend at the box office.

    Aceface, you never liked Ride’s Vapour Trails? Great song!

  15. alin Says:

    >MTV . Don’t even make half of the programing. Can’t prove this though.

    yeah, mate , i’ll back you up. i was thinking the same. i doubt it’s even half though. on the other hand peripheral mtvs be it eastern europe or se asia or whatever are spewing out local music non-stop. popular music , as a signifier, has shifted both place and meaning. my personal opinion is that in the civilized world mountaineering is the new rock and roll (which is to say the new internet).

  16. erisdiscordia Says:

    <delurk>

    > my personal opinion is that in the civilized world mountaineering is the new rock and roll (which is to say the new internet).

    Care to explain that one, Alin? It almost makes sense to me, but not quite.

    </delurk>

  17. alin Says:

    thoughtless, typical me. just read through the new studio voice, obviously it is politics that’s the new rock’n roll.

  18. erisdiscordia Says:

    This still leaves unclear your alleged criteria for something to be rock’n'roll (be it rock’n'roll itself or its alleged modern replacement) in the first place.

    (With all those “alleged” in there, this sounds like I’m peering warily at you, not trusting a single word you say, but I don’t mean it that way.)

    e.

  19. alin Says:

    alleged,

    well, being a bit of a fashion mountaineer myself i know what i’m talking about. i’ve been hanging around a bit in mountaineer circles , stores, lodgings etc and the number of people of all ages there is rather overwhelming compered to the 90s when the internet was rock’n roll (i was paraphrasing someone here, maybe the dude who started wired magazine) or the decades before that when rock’n roll ws rock’n roll. furthermore hang around a bit in those in-between airports (say moskow, istambul) and be surprized by the number of (in other circumstances) funky people strolling about in Scarpa and La Sportiva high altitude climbing boots or even fucking ski boots and the whole gear, off to obscure peaks in Kirgistan or whatever. it might be a search for the “real” or something , an alternative to what Zizek calls the “slasher” phenomena, refering to those iggy, or sid vicious habits with the blade to feel real (pain) ? it might be a post-extreme-sports kind of thing ?

    now if marxy ever gets worried again about a decline in quality in japanese products i suggest he should check out the respect in which they are held and the subsequent commercial success of japanese titanium cups, pots and cutlery worldwide.

    yes , i was convinced mountaineering was the new rock’n roll but then SV, the style bible, who only occasionally have been dedicating sections to mountaineering, came with a whole issue on politics and that made me change my mind.

    //now, if this, by marxy’s definition, makes me a troll i blame you e.

  20. Kim Jong-il Hater Says:

    Has anyone seen the video for “Surfer King” by Fujifabric? It’s probably one of the best videos I’ve seen in a while. And it proves that music videos aren’t dead yet!

  21. alin Says:

    >Fuji fabric?

    that makes me wonder now if that band is not just a puppet act and the eponymous mountain , the mecca of jap mountaineers, a grotesque case of product placement, all plotted by the F**i corporation and the titanium outdoor oligarchs. seenister indeed.

  22. Laotree Says:

    Although I’ve defended Koda Kumi on here before, she IS horrible! I just thought Marxy’s attacks on her appearance were uncalled for, especially since she appears to have had a lot less “work” done (ie the previous post) than a lot of stars. And compared to the rest of the garbage out there, not bad enough to single out, just bad enough to ignore.
    Rory, Cibo Matto is hoppy to J-pop’s beer? I never really thought of them as J-pop at all since they’re sound was born in NYC and has nothing to do with what was happening in Japan at the time. Actually when I first heard Halcali I thought it was a calculated record company Cibo Matto pakuri. (Having heard one song “Strawberry Chips”) After hearing the first album I don’t think so anymore and rather enjoy them.
    I was still stateside when Cibo Matto came out and I know a lot of Japanese kids I knew in NY liked them, but did they enjoy any mainstream success over here? (to marxy or anyone else who might know )

  23. Laotree Says:

    THEIR sound

    I hate it when I do that

  24. alin Says:

    > but did they enjoy any mainstream success over here?

    not really, not at all, probably the american-japo act that was enjoying (near) mainstream succes at the time was Love Psychadelico

  25. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    Right. Hoppy LOOKS like beer, and people often mistake it for beer.

  26. marxy Says:

    “the american-japo act that was enjoying (near) mainstream succes at the time was Love Psychadelico”

    how are they “american-japo”?

  27. Brown Says:

    Surely Alin is referring to the singer’s extremely American pronunciation of Japanese (and extensive use of English lyrics). The first time I heard Love Psychedelico, I thought I was suffering from some kind of serious brain disconnect, because I couldn’t understand like 75% of whatever new Sheryl Crow song this was I was hearing. Then I realized it was 日本語…

  28. alin Says:

    they grew up and/or were born in the states, right? that was the main initial media hype point as far as i can recall. what do you call those people ? (hope i’m not somehow offending aceface, never know people are often hypersensitive here)

    there’s the jikipedia if anyone can be bothered but honest that was the reason some 5 people i knew bought the first record.

  29. Aceface Says:

    They are called Kikoku shijyo帰国子女,alin.Of which I used be one of them.
    And trust me.Love Psychedelico always make me uneasy.

  30. alin Says:

    >Love Psychedelico always make me uneasy.

    they do touch the wrong switch don’t they ?
    i see them as some sort of apex of 90s j-(western)cosmopolitanism and for that they get credit points for historical value in my books.

  31. alin Says:

    btw. i recomend the new studio voice. it’s truly political in a now sense, rather than romancing some past revolution as they used to when they chose a political-ey theme.

  32. Jrim Says:

    Yeah, I think I’m going to have to get the new SV, if only for the interview with Koichi Toyama – that guy used to prop up the bar at my local back in his pre-underground icon days.

  33. Laotree Says:

    Rory:
    Never actually drank hoppy, and was under the impression that it was a cheap substitute similar to happoshu or the soy-peptide brews, so I thought you were making a quality comparison. My mistake.

    Alin: are you getting commission on each issue of SV that gets sold? Blog product placement?

    Aceface: You said you used to live in Westchester county, NY is that right? Out of curiousity, how long ago?

  34. hidarinoji Says:

    > Ha. I am still waiting for a band in Japan to “break” on the Net.

    I am in the rather strange position of being a newish member of a band that is just beginning to make its way through the record industry here in Japan, now receiving a whopping 1% of the proceeds from our first release on a reasonably large indy label. Despite our utter lack of involvement (I don’t even have an account, I’m not sure about the other guys), mixi has been a critical component of the fan community. MySpace hasn’t really caught on here yet (small favors, etc.), but since they’ve finally begun integrating the Japanese side with the rest of the site, maybe it’ll gain momentum. They really fucked up out of the gate when they didn’t allow Japanese users to search for people/bands that didn’t have their account set to Japanese and vice versa.

    I’ve become a bit derailed. If it wasn’t entirely clear already, I really dislike that site.

    You mentioned OK Go, which I think brings up an interesting point. I’ve always liked MTV and its ilk in theory (at least, the earlier iterations that had more ‘M’ and less ‘TV’), but the problem is having to sit through a bunch of bullshit I don’t want to see or listen to in the hopes that something I’m interested in will come on. I think even more than most TV formats, the music video has a lot to gain from online and other on-demand services. They’re short, i.e. small and easy to download, store, and share, and they’re non-serial. The megastar booty extravaganzas will probably never go away, but I think we’ll be seeing more YouTube low-budget/homemade/fan-made videos from this point on. I have my doubts about it “revolutionizing the industry,” but it may contribute to the demise of the current system.

    Considering that the relationship between labels and bands is almost comically unbalanced (see above), and apparently even more so in Japan than in the U.S., I’ve been looking to some of my favorite artists who have eschewed the traditional model to some success, such as MC Frontalot, Brad Sucks, and to a lesser extent, Jonathan Coulton (all of whom have several fan-made videos on YouTube). Which is why I’ve been thinking about these things too much as of late.

    We’ll see how that works out.

  35. Brown Says:

    Laotree, if there are any kickbacks for mentioning that issue of SV, I certainly hope they will be going to me. First!

  36. Brown Says:

    And as long as I’m endorsing things for free, I should mention that Rumi has a great new album out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGRsNWHSXos

    Back to the topic at hand, where do you think the above promo video is intended to show up? I’m thinking Space Shower and Youtube…

  37. Brown Says:

    (maybe that vid is a bad example, as it’s a promo for a whole album, not an individual song)

  38. Aceface Says:

    alin:
    If Love Psychedelico makes me uneasy,Kuwata Keisuke makes me feel I need to go back to the ESL class from all the beginning.Ever heard any of the stuff from KUWATA BAND of mid 80′s?
    And what do you think of Damo Suzuki of CAN?I don’t understand any German,but I can guess….

    Laotree:
    I was there from ’81(the year zero of MTV) to 85.I still remember what everybody used to say about MTV and the future of rock’n roll with all that never-ending re-run of Rick Springfield clips.If history repeats it self as Marx says, we may even see Koda Kumi in vegas attraction in the near future too.(or perhaps we already do in that pachinko commercial).

  39. alin Says:

    Damo Suzuki of CAN

    he’s different, sort of like cocteau twins, what language was that?

  40. Andre Says:

    The funny thing is: music videos in Japan are more expensive-looking than American music videos. AVEX spends LOTS of money on Ayumi Hamasaki, Koda Kumi, Ai Otsuka, EXILE, etc.

  41. Alan Says:

    This thread of conversation wreaks of elitism and jaded music listeners.

    People like what they like (crap is in the eye of the beholder), music videos aren’t dead they just get uploaded by foreigners to youtube under romanized names (and watched religiously), and more people have cable/satellite than you make out I think.

  42. Alan Says:

    This thread of conversation reeks of elitism and jaded music listeners.

    People like what they like (crap is in the eye of the beholder), music videos aren’t dead they just get uploaded by foreigners to Youtube under romanized names (and watched religiously), and more people have cable/satellite than you make out I think.

  43. marxy Says:

    “This thread of conversation wreaks of elitism and jaded music listeners.”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. See you at the next Sukima Switch concert, Alan.

  44. Aceface Says:

    Cocteau twins:

    I thought they were singing in English(with Scotch
    accent).

    “This thread of conversation wreaks of elitism and jaded music listeners.”
    OK,I confess.I just bought the CD of 80′s proto J-pop band REBECCA in today.
    Alan,some of us are closet J-pop listeners,You are not all alone.

  45. alin Says:

    Aceface

    “The catch is I can barely talk English, isn’t it? I quite like that. Combining words in different languages that I couldn’t understand just meant that I could concentrate on the sound and not get caught up in the meaning.”

    etc
    http://www.cocteautwins.com/html/dynamine/lyrics.html

  46. Laotree Says:

    “This thread of conversation wreaks of elitism and jaded music listeners.”
    Alan, to the contrary I see the commenters grasping at straws to find something good to say about the J-populist picks, even if they are throwbacks like Shiina Ringo. Marxy’s calling attention to the decline of something he once felt was great AND mainstream, rather than some rant about a once obscure band or genre that has broken and isn’t “cool” anymore. Plus he lists a number of bands that he’s excited about, which the majority of the listening public would most likely think is too weird or just plain crap (not an indictment in any way).
    I would agree to you that more people have cable (or satellite) than Marxy thinks, but dare I say he might have to step out of Tokyo a bit for a more accurate picture. I’d wager a significant number of people are watching cable out in the sticks, cuz there isn’t a whole lot else to do.
    Aceface: Ever go to the Westchester County Fair? They probably ran the same ads back then. “Rides n’ attractions! Non-stop action!”

  47. alin Says:

    Marxy,

    just spent a couple of hours in a bookshop and incidentally gathered some facts about previous stuff here

    1. the pakuri of new order: in the previous Studio Voice, the movie one (yes, i have to make a living somehow) there’s actually a full page, obviously paid advert, letter by the shachou of warner japan disclaiming the photographer’s claim stating that the image actually comes from new order’s ceremony video piece , released long before matsu?moto’s work, that the image is obviously integral and only a small part of the whole package blah blah – basically what i was saying. i wasn’t surprised by the photographer’s frustration nor by you getting excited about it here but the unanimous accord here reaching all the way to jean snow and beyond made me feel like a muted Cassandra . oh, cruelty

    2. “Dignity of a Nation”, is finally available in english so students here can now pursue their study and critique independently.

  48. marxy Says:

    “2. “Dignity of a Nation”, is finally available in english so students here can now pursue their study and critique independently.”

    You can finally discover Fujiwara’s logical flaws, historical distortions, half-digested theory, and dishonest arguments without even having to go through my terribly biased analysis.

  49. Alan Says:

    What I was trying to get at is there is still a significant market for JPOP despite being the so-called crap that it is. Its a huge powerhouse in Asia (although in recent years the tides have flipped). Its alleged that Oricon #1s are nothing special any more, but I think its something when an entire nation of otaku rally around a certain single and it only attains #2 status (the recent hilarious adventures of “Lets make Lucky Star #1″) http://wiki.livedoor.jp/lapislazuli01/d/FrontPage

    Unless every #1 Oricon is a label buyout (which has happened), alot of people still like this stuff.

    This is purely my own observation and opinion but Shina Ringo and Yuki (former Judy and Mary vocal) always tend to be at the top of foreigners’ (particularly white American middle class friends of mine) list of “Jpop I love.” I haven’t met any Japanese teens or 20somethings with the same affection for these artists, so these groups apparently don’t run in the same circles.

    I don’t mean to defend the quality of Japanese Pop, but I don’t think its any worse or more manufactured than pop from anywhere else in the world. This singling out of Japanese pop with its overt idolization of female stars and boy bands is what gets to me. I may have misinterpreted the tone of the arguments being made, but it just all seemed negative.

    For Japanese music on a whole I think the just-short-of-mainstream rock scene is amazingly vibrant and original. Rock on Japan was degraded as being just as cynically advertisement based as everything else, but the bands it covers (AKFG, Ellegarden, Beat Crusaders, the entire Pizza of Death stable) are producing great music with broad appeal.

    Just some thoughts.

  50. SMonk Says:

    While marxy is probably correct in that music videos matters little as a marketing tool, he forgets that nowadays, unlike in those idealised 90′s, music videos actually sell in themselves. Even fairly minor idol groups that has yet to break into the oricon top 30 (case in point: Perfume) frequently release both DVD singles and live DVD’s. Since the j-pop market is, as has been pointed out, based primarily on loyalty, this means that any serious fan of the major acts (Johnny’s, H!P, the Avex divas etc) buys the same single several times (regular audio, limited audio, regular video, limited video, super special remix surround karaoke edition dvd release, etc), no doubt inflating the sales figures and bringing in significant yen.

  51. alin Says:

    a bookish quote that’s not at all unrelated to most (crap, if you want it) j-pop.
    Context: japanese popular/urban music in time

    “Still we should remember that a villager’s singing in a folk song doesn’t have to sound “good”, though being loud helps; the real goal is participation.”

    William P. Malm – Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instrouments

  52. ndkent Says:

    You have to consider it’s always that handfull or artists and the era good and bad that first caught your attention that will likely continue to hold a special place for you. (Unless something else holding an even bigger epiphany replaces them). The fact is things haven’t changed much, the same amount of crap was always out there though what you liked when some music sparked your interests probaby isn’t. I think the big labels are always going to feed you mostly crap, the thing is maybe now you are paying attention to it because it’s easier than hunting for something more interesting.