With a focus on the big J-Pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Every year, Nikkei Entertainment puts out something called the “Talent Power Ranking,” which is a list of entertainers in Japan and how they stack up against one another. It comes with scatter-point graphs, so you know it has to be exact. For the fifth straight year, electro-pop trio Perfume topped the “Girl Group Ranking,” edging out Momoiro Clover Z and AKB48. When it comes to just musical acts, the top honor went to Arashi, also taking number one for the fifth year straight. The “talent” towering over everyone, though, is TV, radio and all-around performer Matsuko Deluxe; the top talent for a second year.
Gesu No Kiwame Otome
In less than a week, rock band Gesu No Kiwame Otome dusts off their latest album, which was originally slated to come out last December, but thanks to lead vocalist Enon Kawatani’s tendency to mess everything up, was pushed back to May. Promotion is on though, and this week they shared the video for new song “Kage Song,” a cut featuring some slippery synth notes and a video imagining Kawatani as a puppet. Watch it below.
ONE OK ROCK
Rock outfit ONE OK ROCK have quite the impressive international touring history, and now they can add “opener for Linkin Park” to the resume. They’ll join the nu-metal titans on their East Coast tour of the United States in late July and August, playing four shows as opener.
Zepp Concert Halls
For the last few years, the Japanese government has been running a program called “Cool Japan,” aimed at spreading the country’s pop culture overseas. This week, they announced a new plan that is pretty clever; they are helping to open branches of the Zepp chain of live venues - which are found all over Japan - across Asia. The first opens in Singapore this year, and will feature a show from RADWIMPS, while buildings in Malaysia and Taiwan are scheduled for a 2020 debut. As more Japanese acts expand into Asia, having high-quality live houses they know they can arrive at is a great development.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation lead vocalist Gotch shared his latest solo number “Taxi” this week. Watch the video below, and marvel at the skittery drum programming he whips out for the song.
Well here’s a nice story. The boy band Bullet Train has been kicking around since 2011, placing singles into the top ten over the last few years, but never nabbing number one. This week, they pulled it off with the high-energy “Chou Never Give Up Dance,” and truly the lesson to take from this is never give up. Less inspirational, the album side saw folk-rockers Yuzu shine with a best-of compilation.
Video Of The Week
Tokyo four-piece CHAI travelled to Texas for this year’s South By Southwest music conference and festival, and while in the Lone Star State they filmed one of the most joyous clips out of Japan this year. It finds the band goofing around inside big box stores, conga-lining through hotels and genuinely having a good time.
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