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776: Yoko Ono
775: Boredoms
772: Kurofunedan
768: Merzbow
766: Oshiripenpenz
765: YMCK
763: Shizuka Kudo
762: Mo’some Tonebender
761: Soil & “Pimp” Sessions
756: Tokyo Conflux 2008
754: Ed Woods
753: 8otto
751: Para
750: Fuji Rock Festival 2008
748: Katan Hiviya
745: Who the Bitch
742: Low IQ 01
740: Shake Forward!
738: iLL
736: Tobu Ongakusai
733: Yanokami
731: One Night in Naha
729: Shugo Tokumaru
727: Japan Nite
725: Getting out the vote
723: J-Melo
721: Electric Eel Shock
717: GO!GO!7188
715: Yura Yura Teikoku
712: Midori
710: Seigen Ono
708: Wrench
707: Shinichi Osawa
704: M-flo
701: Freesscape
699: Versailles
698: Fuji Rock Festival 2007
697: Uri Nakayama
695: UA
693: Shonen Knife
690: Kemuri
689: Ikochi
686: Best Japanese Albums
684: Monkey Majik
682: Shibusashirazu Orchestra
681: Jon Lynch and Juice magazine
677: DJ Kentaro
675: Sadistic Mikaela Band
673: Osaka Monaurail
672: Teriyaki Boyz featuring Kanye West
666: Oki
662: Amanojaku
659: Polysics
657: Oceanlane
655: Cornelius
651: Bomb Factory
642: Soul Flower Mononoke Summit
640: African JAG
637: Buffalo Daughter
635: Ryukyu Underground
633: Mazri no Matsuri
631: Mono
629: Coldfeet
628: Crystal Kay
625: J-pop goes def
623: Ken Yokoyama
621: Zazen Boys
619: Monday Michiru
613: PE’Z
611: Afrirampo
609: Sherbets
603: Double Famous
601: Meltone
599: Michiyo Yagi
597: Hifana
594: Guitar Wolf
592: Rip Slyme
590: Little Creatures
588: Bliss Out on Hougaku
586: Hoppy Kamiyama
584: Bliss Out on Hougaku
582: Mazri no Matsuri
580: Mari Natsuki
575: Towa Tei
573: The Beautiful Losers
571: Fantastic Plastic Machine
569: Nippop
567: Brahman
560: Shonen Knife
558: Nice Guy Jin
556: Toru Yonaha and Kinohachi
554: Hiromi Uehara
551: Nicotine
549: Ego-Wrappin'
545: Eastern Youth
538: Inside tracks
536: Outside the Box
534: Rainbow Warrior
529: Breaking the mold
527: Sadao China
524: The sound of cyberpunk
522: Ryuichi Sakamoto's Chasm
516: Ken Yokoyama
514: Jan Linton
512: Jazz messengers
509/10: Naoko Terai
507: Akiko Yano
504: Kotaro Oshio: Solo Strings
502: Refurbished rhythms
494: Resonance
492: Samurai.fm: cyber-swordsmen
490: Loop Junktion
488: Ryukyu Underground: Okinawan Odyssey
484: Gocoo: Reinventing taiko
481: Leonard Eto
479: Gaijin à Go-Go
477: Enemy music
475: Yoriko Ganeko with Chuei Yoshikawa
472: DJ Kaori
469: Yuki
467: Wrench
464: Young and swingin
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460: Shonen Knife
457/458: Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden
456: Yuka Kamebuchi & The Voices of Japan
454: Jude
452: Kokoo
451: BBQ Chickens
449: Man and the machinery
446: Crystal Kay
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434: Boom Boom Satellites
432: "Rambling" Steve Gardner
430: Dry & Heavy
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406: Love Psychedelico
393: Mikidozan
391: Shelter 10th Anniversary
389: The beautiful losers
387: Junpei Shiina
383: Umekuichi
381: P'ez
379: Boredoms
377: Dai Sakakibara
375: Dreams Come True
373: eX-Girl
370: Pizzicato Five
368: Dub Squad
366: Buffalo Daughter
364: Phew Phew L!ve
362: Fumio Yasuda
360: Boom Boom Satellites
358: Kei Kobayashi
356: Cool Drive Makers
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351: United Future Organization
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345: Misia
343: Brahman
341: Puffy
339: Ryukyu Festival 2000
337: Rappagariya
335: Lisa Ono
333: Air Jam 2000
331: Feed
327: Tenkoo Orchestra
325: Wrench
323: Sadao Watanabe
321: Dry & Heavy
319: Bonny Pink
317: Sakura Hills Disco 3000
315: Aco
313: Rovo
311: The Mad Capsule Markets
309: Coldfeet

Resonance

eX-Girl

As anyone who's taken the time to peek underneath the glossy, corporate exterior of the Japanese music scene knows, the country boasts more than its share of unconventional musical viewpoints. Often, these left-field acts find an audience abroad before they are accepted here. Bands such as the Boredoms and Shonen Knife come to mind.

Another act that, like Shonen Knife, have been upending stereotypes abroad of what Japanese women are supposed to look and sound like are eX-Girl, the female trio who have been making a splash overseas in recent years. Now the band launch a regular event in Tokyo to re-introduce themselves to a domestic audience and, says bassist/vocalist Kirilola, to showcase other non-mainstream acts, "regardless of genre."

"Resonance" kicks off on Wednesday at live house Doors in Hatsudai near Shinjuku with a number of acts that operate beyond the confines of comfortable musical boundaries.
Kokoo, for example, are part of a movement underway to bring traditional Japanese instruments into the 21st century. Founded by shakuhachi (bamboo flute) virtuoso Akikazu Nakamura, the group also includes koto (Japanese harp) players Michiyo Yagi and Maki Isogai. By incorporating rock (including a Jimi Hendrix cover), jazz and avant-garde music, Kokoo have delivered a slap in the face to the rigid world of traditional Japanese music.

Percussionist Steve Eto, meanwhile, is the son of a koto master, but grew up in largely in the US, where he imbibed the experimental currents of New York's downtown music scene. A recent Tokyo concert featuring Steve and younger brother Leonard, a taiko (Japanese drum) player who was once a member of Kodo, contrasted the elder Eto's tongue-in-cheek bangings on automobile parts, trash cans and other modern detritus with the younger Eto's impassioned taiko rhythms.

Also in the lineup are Hoppinmo, which Kirilola describes as a "creepy show of the fast keyboard-playing competition between Hoppy Kamiyama and Jinmo." Kamiyama is known as something of a Svengali of Japan's experimental rock scene (as well as its most notorious cross-dresser), working both as musician in a wide variety of contexts and as producer (most recently of eX-Girl). The challenging piano compositions on his most recent album, Juice and Tremolo, may give some indication as to what to expect on Wednesday.

eX-Girl themselves defy description, although fan Mike Patton (ex-Faith No More), took a pretty good shot at it when he called them, "a beautiful example of information overload. Jagged three-part vocal harmonies, adventurous arrangements, and songs that hook you like the sucker that you are. Take all of these treats, wrap it in an ultra-bright technicolor live show with surreal homemade costumes, and you've got the sensation of being strapped in an out-of-control carnival ride."

Since forming in 1997, eX-Girl have brought their eccentric, frog-based esthetic ("We like to play with a giant 'Frog King' on stage," says Kirilola, and, "the staff at Doors are always kind, they love Frog King.") to the West, establishing themselves not merely as another oddities act from Japan, but as the anti-idoru. While commercial success has been elusive, they have built a loyal following through exhaustive self-promotion and a resourceful, DIY ethic. Kirilola says that a new album is due out in the fall (featuring the song "Resonance") with a European tour to follow.

Wildcards on the lineup are Ken Samurai, a comedian who regularly opens for eX-Girl, and DJ Big Brother Balboa, who eX-Girl's Kirilola says plays, "unique unknown music he found in unexplored caves around the world."

Resonance takes place at Hatsudai Doors on September 17. See concert listings for details.

credit: eX-Girl

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