Issue Index

Features
  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
Jobfinder
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Features
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Travelogue
  Art
  Artifacts
  Fashion
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Buyline
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person
  Concerts
  Clubbing

 

The sound of cyberpunk
PROBOT
Probot
bar news and views
 LIVE CONCERTS

Popular
Jazz/World
Classical

774: Presidents of the United States of America
773: Keith
767: Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute
764: Kaiser Chiefs
760: Tim and Puma Mimi
759: Ice Cube
758: Vinyl Soul
757: Bajofondo
755: The Troubadours
752: Spiritualized at Summer Sonic
749: Cajun Dance Party
744: Heat and Noise
739: The Checks
737: Blue King Brown
735: Asian Dub Foundation
734: Scouting For Girls
732: Buzzcocks
730: Old Man River
728: The Kills
726: KT Tunstall
725: Jason Collett
722: Brotherís Sisterís Daughter
720: Sufjan Stevens
716: Gossip
714: The Go! Team
713: Cafť Tacvba
711: Celtic Woman
709: Jack PeŮate
706: Soulive
703: Animal Collective
703: Reverend and The Makers
702: Battles
700: Dinosaur Jr
696: The Polyphonic Spree
695: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
692: Golden Age of Rock
691: One Fine Day
688: Rhombus
687: Corneille
685: The Cinematic Orchestra
683: 747s
680: Pete Murray
679: Mice Parade
678: Enter Shikari
676: The View
674: !!!
671: Donavon Frankenreiter
670: Herbie Hancock
669: Krystal Meyers
668: The Roots
666: Lily Allen
664: Two for Christmas
663: The Datsuns
661: Peaches
660: Tapes ín Tapes
658: Mystery Jets
656: Shayne Ward
654: The Beat
653: Eumir Deodato
652: Mt. Fuji Calling
650: Juno Reactor
649: Yo La Tengo
648: Hyde Park Music Festival
647: Juana Molina
646: Sierra Leoneís Refugee All Stars
645: Tool
644: Juan Formell y Los Van Van
643: The Benevento-Russo Duo
641: TV On The Radio
639: Summer Music Festival Guide 2006
638: ESG
636: Editors
634: Greenroom
632: Ben Harper
630: Matmos
627: Arctic Monkeys
626: Erykah Badu
624: Cake
622: Bent Left
620: Mogwai
618: Deerhoof
617: The Album Leaf
616: Tristan Prettyman
614-615: 10, 9, 8....
613: Madonna
612: John Tropea and Incognito
610: Boy
608: Underworld
607: Niyaz
606: The Beautiful Girls
605: Miho Hatori
604: Doves
600: Bang Gang
598: Feist
596: Fantomas
595: Hyde Park Music Festival
593: Little Barrie
591: Juliette Lewis
589: James Chance & The Contortions
588: Carnival: Vice Bongo 1st Anniversary Party
585: Stereophonics
583: Little Joe Washington
581: Caetano Veloso
579: Maximo Park
578: Moe
577: Death From Above 1979
576: Destiny’s Child
575: Megadeth
574: Bandstand
572: Ozomatli
570: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
568: Prefuse 73
566: Pat Metheny
565: Rachel Yamagata
564: The Shins
563: The Music
561-562: Metropolis music survey 2004
559: Blues Explosion
557: The Libertines
555: G. Love
554: Dropkick Murphys
553: Kasabian
552: Fertile Ground
551: Recliner
550: Jah Shaka
548: Faithless
547: Tokyo Rotation
546: Yokosuka Reggae Super Bash
545: The Roots
544: True People's Celebration
543: Trans Europe Fes
542: Matthew Sweet
541: Heaven Artists
540: Manolito y su Trabuco
539: Rabble rouser
537: The Offspring
535: Janet Kay with Omar and Thriller U
533: Critters Buggin’
532: Cyndi Lauper
531: Cat Power
530: Standing in the shadows
528: Missy Elliott
527: Stereolab
526: Organic Groove
525: Questions of the day
523: Tough Cookie
521: Conversion
520: Iggy's inner artist
519: Control freak chic
518: Down to the Wire
517: Incubus
516: Kraftwerk
515: Black Eyed Peas
514: Pretenders
513: Sonicmania
511: Suburban funk boys
509/10: Incognito
508: Celtic Xmas 2003
507: Limp Bizkit
506: Robert Randolph and the Family Band
505: Out on a limb
503: Electraglide
501: Super Furry Animals
499: Geezer's groove
498: Ashanti
497: Syn city
496: Slacker rock rules!
495: Television
494: Lou Reed
493: Joao Gilberto
492: The Used
491: Gypsy Summer 2003
490: The Lucksmiths
489: Maxi Priest & Shaggy
488: Chuck Berry
487: Summer Sonic
486: The redheaded stepchild makes good
485: Positive punk mom
484: Duran Duran
483: Unapologetically acoustic
482: Break and Remake
481: Ron Sexmith
480: Folk Implosion
479: The Brand New Heavies
478: The Blood Brothers
477: Eminem
476: The Kills
475: Jackson Browne
474: N.E.R.D.
473: Shred a tabloid, make music
472: Garage Redux
471: Bringing the jams east
470: Asian Dub Foundation
469: Badly Drawn Boy
468: Massive Attack
467: Teenage Fanclub
466: The All Wave Grrls
465: J. Mascis + the Fog
464: Catching up with Sonic Youth
463: Deep Forest
462: Magic Rockout
461: Jurassic 5
460: Snuff
459: Queens of the Stone Age
457/8: On the phone: The Jeevas
456: K-Ci & JoJo and The Roots
455: Sleater-Kinney
454: Beast Feast
453: Contrasts in young UK rock
452: Tahiti 80
451: Pink
450: The Artist (no longer) formerly known as..
449: Paul McCartney Previewed
447: Jamiroquai
446: On the phone: Taxiride
445: Bad Religion
444: Jennifer Love Hewitt
443: Camp in Asagiri Jam
442: The Cinematic Orchestra
441: On the phone: Moby
440: True People's Celebration
439: Roots Revival
438: The politics of sampling
437: Summer Sonic sampler
436: The Jazz Mandolin Project
435: Indie icons
434: Cato Salsa Experience
433: Get's Bossa Nova 2002
432: Janet Kay with Omar
431: Kottonmouth Kings
430: Bowes & Morley
429: Christina Milian
428: Elvis Costello
427: Space Kelly
426: Diana Krall
425: Jay-Z
424: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
423: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
422: Weezer
421: The Music
420: Lenny Kravitz
419: Speech
418: Tool
417: Green Day
416: Chuck Berry & James Brown
415: Ozomatli
414: Britney Spears
413: Music Mary J. Blige
412: Incubus
411: The Chemical Brothers
410: David Byrne
409: The Prodigy
408: Roger Walters
407: Ozzy Osbourne
406: Lisa Loeb
405: Aerosmith
404: Garbage
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi
401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson
396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel
392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana

by Dan Grunebaum

Questions of the day

Veteran US man-with-a-guitar Jackson Browne talks music and politics ahead of this week's solo acoustic tour.

Not only has Jackson Browne written million-selling hits, he's also been published in the op-ed section of The New York Times. Just a week before this interview was conducted at the end of March, the Times published Browne's letter to the editor, ''Songs of Cuba, Silenced in America.''

The piece took issue with the recent denials of US visas to Cuban musicians, including among others, Browne's friend, the singer-songwriter Carlos Varela. "In essence, the government says that if Carlos Varela plays concerts in Cuba, the money he makes would go to Fidel Castro," Browne wrote. "The Bush administration used the same reasoning to keep Ibrahim Ferrer, of the Buena Vista Social Club, and Manuel Galban from attending the Grammy Award ceremony..."

Speaking by phone from his Santa Monica home, Browne, 55, explains that the impetus for the op-ed piece grew out of a visit to Cuba with a group called Music Bridges, who introduced him to Varela. "He was very hospitable and threw a party for me, so I was looking forward to him being [in the US] at the Hall of Fame. I had a seat reserved for him at my table, which is not easy to get, and I was upset but not entirely surprised when they rejected his visa application. A friend whose work it is to accompany politicians to Cuba suggested that if I simply wrote an op-ed and sent it in, it would get printed."

In a sign of the enduring influence of a singer whose hits remain synonymous with the easygoing soft rock of 1970s California, The Times published the piece. Does Browne expect any results? Unlikely, he says. "The views of this administration are very entrenched, but I would hope they would come to their senses and let Carlos Varela come on the merits of his music and his criticism of the Cuban government. He's not a dissident per se, but his songs are perceived as being critical because they talk about what life is really like in Cuba."

While many of Browne's indelible songs, like "Running On Empty," deal with intensely personal questions, such as the loss of innocence, he's also well known for a political outspokenness that dates back to his involvement in the antinuclear movement of the late '70s and early '80s. "When so many efforts at human rights and the environment began to run aground on American foreign and corporate policy, we began to see that being right doesn't always carry the day," he recalls. "I was politicized then by the nuclear industry's free ride that they got from government, and also by our government's policy in Central America, which trampled people's human rights."

Browne's latest album, The Naked Ride Home (Elektra) is no exception, with songs that depict emotional landscapes like the title track, but also political tracts such as "Casino Nation," which begins with a line describing "a weapons producing nation under Jesus."

But as Browne explains, the genesis of even a political song must be natural to in order to work. "You don't sit down with a pad and paper and think, 'I'll write a song about human rights in Latin America,' " he says.

"People who are used to expressing the concerns of their whole lives, and maybe heretofore were confronting issues that were very personal, become politicized because the times have brought it alive in them." He cites as an example Marvin Gaye's anti-Vietnam war song "What's Going On," penned by an artist more accustomed to writing love ballads.

Browne believes that now is such a time. "I think a lot of people are being politicized by what's going on. People are suddenly waking up, asking how did we get here, and are being called upon by their own consciences to do something."

To follow Browne's train of thought, one artist who recently visited Japan, Rickie Lee Jones, for example, took up politics for the first time in three decades of music on her new album The Evening of My Best Day. But at the same time, another artist recently interviewed in these pages, Iggy Pop, derided songwriters who get their material from the morning newspaper.

The question of whether politics belongs in music is one Browne clearly struggles with. "There have been times when people have called my songs more political speeches than songs; this is a criticism the LA Times made of me," he admits. "There is always a certain amount of contention about whether politics should go into songs."

But warming to his subject, Browne notes that even songs one might not think of as overtly political often have a political subtext. "A lot of people don't think about it, but blues came out of a highly charged political situation, which was slavery. A blues song that says, 'I asked for water, she gave me gasoline,' might not sound political, but it's not really about a woman, it's about a slave driver standing over a black man as he toils in the field. So the music became a mode of expression for much more than just that man's misery, it became the thing that sustained him, and an expression of his dignity and humanity, and that's a very political act."

Does the well-known liberal Browne worry about preaching to the converted? "It's a risk you take, and that's always the question: How well do you make your point to people who don't really know what you know?"

But he's optimistic that songs can also reach beyond established constituencies. "It all comes down to how you do it, and how well you do it." That, he concludes, is where the power of rock 'n' roll comes into play. "Music talks to things that you know, like desire or the search to find out about yourself, but it can also make you want to know more. You need to talk to people that don't agree with you-that's where the fun and exuberance and freedom-bearing virus of rock 'n' roll comes in."

Jackson Browne plays Bunkamura Orchard Hall on April 22-23. See concert listings for details.

credit: Smash

Discuss music with METROPOLIS readers at http://forum.japantoday.com


top