It looks like 2015 was the last time I posted music from Against The Current which still survives on my blog, so it is obviously time to do it again! This will be in four parts: Their latest hit JUMP will start it off, followed by their previous 2021 hit Weapon! Then my personal favorite Gravity will help hold down the center position, and the duet with Taka on Dreaming Alone will anchor the set; twice! Which probably means I am due to post another Taka/One OK Rock entry here soon.
Several of the bands I like posted new songs (or new versions of favorites) in the last 7 days, so I wanted to share a few of them here. First up is SCANDAL from a concert they did on April 18th of this year, a medley of two of their hits, Tonight and Eternal. The next track is BISH (sometimes referred to as the Punk band that doesn’t play any instruments) doing a live version of their song Sparks from their new release Stacking. After that BAND MAID cranks it up to 11 with live versions of their hits Manners and BLACK HOLE recorded at the Day Of The MAID concert back in May and posted 5 days ago. Enjoy!
It has been a while since I posted about ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, so it’s time to look at a few of their recent pieces. The first track is their new song Empathy, posted about a week ago on July 22nd and already pushing the 400K views mark. Since this year marks the bands 25th anniversary, the cross-generational message embedded in this video seems most appropriate. The next track is their classic hit Soranin, the version from THE FIRST TAKE project, posted on July 23rd, and already exceeding 1.5 million views. Not bad for under a week, but then it is a long time fan favorite recorded in a single take, with no do-overs. The third track was posted October of 2020 (nine months ago) and roughly translates as I want to touch I want to confirm, and sits at just over 500K views.
The last post I did for AKFG was in 2019, but like a third of the posts from that year and all but about 6 posts I did for 2020, it evaporated when I tried to migrate the site to the new servers. My best guess is the pandemic lockdown interfered with the hosting services on site backup processes for the 2020 entries, the way it has been doing with all aspects of everyone’s daily life since it slammed into us a year and a half ago (with no end in site as new infection rates once more skyrocket). But I did find several earlier entries survived just fine, if you want to check out a few more tracks out of the hundreds this excellent band has put together you can See Them Here.
Belle herself, voice actress Kaho Nakamura, sings in Millennium Parade’s song U in Mamoru Hosoda’s latest masterpiece Belle. The film opened at the Cannes festival on July 15th, where it received a 14 minute standing ovation! It opened in Tokyo the following day, immediately taking the number one spot at the box office. The second track here is a song from the film just posted online yesterday by Toho Studios, and the third is one of the trailers. It made me smile to see the Beast to this Beauty was a dragon this time around. While I don’t know the opening date for North America, I do know it will be in the hands of G-Kids, who I trust when they say it will be coming soon to theaters here. After all, it has to play before we run out of December in order to qualify for the next Oscar nominations; and considering the reception it received at Cannes I would say Hosoda is an even more serious contender to bring home a bunch of Oscars than he was when his last film Mirai was nominated for both the Oscars and the Golden Globe Awards.
Live on KEXP has been one of my favorite radio programs from North America for quite a while, so I thought it appropriate to mention it here (which I have done multiple times before). The show puts a large number of the best bands in the world in the spotlight every year, granting each one time to show off their talents. Here are a few of the ones I liked recently, to give you an idea why they are worth checking out.
The first one in this small set is Los Bitchos with their full segment from March 2020; the second is Dinosaur Jr from June of this year, with both the music and interview segments. The third is Japanese Breakfast from just a week or two ago. Enjoy!
There were just too many SCANDAL songs I wanted to post on Part 1 of this entry, so I decided to break them apart and created this second post. This one continues the Pre-pandemic selections, first with 2014’s Awanaitsumorino Genkidene, and then what may be my favorite song by them: 2012’s Shunkan Sentimental! And the oldest track of all included in tonight’s collection: Shojo S, from their high school collection!