Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Fuji Rock Festival ' 01

Eminem’s recent conviction on weapons charges not a problem in Japan. The rapper headlines the Green Stage on Sunday.

Sensational US rapper Eminem's recent conviction on weapons charges won't cause him any problems in gun-shy Japan, says Smash's English pointman Johnnie Fingers. With the festival approaching this weekend, Fingers says nary a peep has been heard out of the Japanese government or press. "Fuji Rock? They don't even know what that is," he scoffs. "Pop is of no importance here until something is screaming in your face." And it goes without saying that the controversy over his purportedly misogynistic and homophobic lyrics is a non-issue here as well.

In the meantime, Australia has been hotly debating whether or not to ban the performer from the country or restrict entry to his concert, in advance of his scheduled show there on July 27. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the New South Wales government is looking into extending the movie classification system to his concert, after an MP called for slapping an R rating on the concert and restricting the audience to over-18s.

At Fuji Rock, Eminem will be performing with his group D12 to support their new album, Devil's Night, just released on Eminem's Shady Records label in association with Interscope. Eminem is just one of six rappers in D12, sharing vocal duty with longtime Detroit buddies Proof, Kon Artis, Bizarre, Kuniva and Swifty.

The album grew out of a vow the members of D12 made to each other years ago, that, Eminem recently told the Los Angeles Times, "If any of us made it, we'd bring the others along and do something together."

"When you dream to be a rap superstar and you finally do become one, it's like you owe that to your buddies," he added.

With six rappers on stage at Fuji Rock, the concert should make a strong impact, but fans of Eminem's 2000 smash album The Marshall Mathers LP may be disappointed…

In other late-breaking Fuji Rock news, J-pop singer UA has been confirmed to play the Red Marquee on Sunday evening. The Osaka native (b. Kaori Shima) may just be Japan's best singer of the moment, with a rich, soulful voice that sounds great either in front of her own band or as part of the recent supergroup, Ajico. Also, British experimental techno pioneers Autechre have canceled their Sunday appearance. Instead, says Smash, popular techno-pop unit Orbital - formed by the irrepressible Hartnoll brothers - have been confirmed to take their place. For the latest updates see Smash's Fuji Rock Festival website.

Roxy Music play Tokyo International Forum on September 7-9. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
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