Movie, Music & Entertainment (12)

 

 

Underground Music Spotlight

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3 By Design

THE California quartet 3 By Design is a modern hard rock band that channels a variety of sounds such as Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains, Sevendust and The Black Crowes. Formed in late 2013 by vocalist Jon Goodhue, guitarist Kevin “KJ” Hicklin, bassist Frank Mullis and drummer Kent Diimmel, the band demonstrates tight technical musicianship on their EP Under the Surface and strikes an instant chord with audiences during full-throttle live performances. When asked what makes them click, all of the band members agreed that it is their chemistry, both on and off the stage, and wide array of musical influences. Check out their video for “Shatter” and their EP on their website: www.3bydesign.net tj

Blondie

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BLONDIE

I clearly remember when Lisa Robinson called me to tell me to take pictures of a band called The Stilettos. She said the lead singer was very beautiful and was going to be a big star. The minute I saw Debbie Harry I knew Lisa was right! Soon after, Debbie and the lead guitarist Chris Stein formed Blondie.

Join the Night Shift

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Don’t Drop Out to Make it in the Music World.

Join the Night Shift.

Students of L.A.’s Citrus College Mega Band, Night Shift, Join the Pro Circuit

ONE of the biggest concerns with higher education today is whether graduates can find employment when they enter the “real world.”

Kohaku

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Big in Japan

Kōhaku

The Coolest Music Competition in the World

"Kōhaku will blow your mind."

FOR those of you who don’t know Kōhaku, I’d like to introduce you to one of the coolest institutions of music not only in Japan but in the world. The closest comparison might be the Eurovision Song Contest, but that would be doing Kōhaku a disservice. Kōhaku is an annual New Year’s music “competition” between male and female artists. There’s no prize and the competition part is really just in good fun to give the viewers a rooting interest. The 66th annual Kōhaku was broadcast live from NHK Hall in Tokyo. What’s so cool about it? Well, it’s one act after another in rapid succession with little talk in between and no long-winded thank you speeches. Each artist’s set is unique and even more extravagant than the previous one, which seems inconceivable for over 50 acts on a live TV broadcast. Only with Japan’s superhuman work ethic, unwavering discipline and accurate-to-the-second planning could such a mammoth of a show be pulled off year after year.

DIR EN GREY

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DIR EN GREY

Two Decades of Pushing Musical Boundaries

A Japanese metal band with nine full-length albums under its belt, DIR EN GREY has nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry. Drawing on inspiration from different genres, from the strong presence of visual kei at the inception of their career to current influences like alternative metal, DIR EN GREY continues to evolve and push boundaries. The five-member band showcases a masterful combination of music and lyrics. Formed in 1997, they caught the attention of one of their idols early on — X Japan’s Yoshiki, who produced five of their singles in 1999. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the lead singer, Kyo, “is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal in ections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream — no electronic effects needed.” DIR EN GREY is set for an exciting summer. Their recent releases include a July 27th new single, “UTAFUMI,” in collaboration with renowned X Japan / LUNA SEA guitarist SUGIZO, as well as a June 29th Blu-ray/DVD of the band’s live performance of ARCHE on the legendary Nippon Budokan stage from February 2016. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Kyo (voice), Kaoru (leader/ guitarist), Die (guitarist), Toshiya (bassist) and Shinya (drummer) about the band’s journey and their plans for the future.

All-4-One

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All-4-One

The Dukes of R&B for 20 Years

With millennials suddenly embracing the nostalgia of their childhood, many former pop-culture figures are profiting from this newfound popularity for all things ‘90s. All-4-One is no exception. Their 1995 number-one hit “I Swear” was named one of the greatest love songs of the 20th century by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. With sales exceeding 22 million records worldwide, constantly touring and releasing new music, the GRAMMY Award-winning band released their 20th anniversary album, Twenty+, at the perfect time. Tokyo Journal sat down with Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez and Tony Borowiak as they revisited their roots and discussed touring Japan.

Cheeky Parade

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Cheeky Parade

Up-and-Coming Japanese Idol Group Aiming for the Hit Parade

One of Japan’s up-and-coming girl groups, Cheeky Parade, combines the classic J-pop style with their own flavor of mischievous energy. Consisting of nine members, all between the ages of 16 and 21, the group derived its name from the cheeky attitudes displayed by the girls, combined with the concept of entertainment represented by “parade.” Their cheerful personalities translate well into the vivacious energy required for their dynamic live performances, which have catapulted them to popularity. Making history as the first Japanese act to perform at the CBGB Music & Film Festival, the band continues to achieve success in both Japanese and global markets. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Cheeky Parade’s Mariya Suzuki, Momoka Kodakari, Hina Nagai, Marin Yamamoto, Seran Mizorogi, Yuriya Suzuki, Rino Shimazaki, Asami Watanabe and Yūna Sekine to talk about their recent performances abroad.

Loudness

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Thunder in the East

Loudness Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Breakthrough Album

Japanese heavy metal band Loudness has long been an innovator in the Japanese music scene. They made history by securing a U.S. contract with Atlantic Records and were the first Japanese rock act to perform at Madison Square Garden. They stand out in their unique determination to become a truly international heavy metal band. They have released 26 studio albums, five of them in the U.S. The band’s roster has changed multiple times since 1981, with the current lineup consisting of the original members — lead singer Minoru Niihara, guitarist Akira Takasaki and bassist Masayoshi Yamashita — and later joined by drummer Masayuki Suzuki in 2009. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Minoru Niihara to learn more about his time with Loudness.

DRUM TAO's Drum Art

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DRUM TAO's Drum Art

Combining the Japanese art of taiko drumming with contemporary costumes and choreography

DRUM TAO has entertained over 7 million people in 500 cities in 23 countries, performing at 120 locations around Japan every year. The wadaiko (Japanese drum) troupe combines the artistic visual elements of a Cirque du Soleil show with the dynamic energy of a rock concert performed with traditional Japanese instruments. The group reflects Japanese tradition through music and dance, while incorporating Maori, Korean and Indonesian influences, and mixing traditional Japanese songs with modern compositions created by members of the troupe. In addition to taiko drums, TAO uses other instruments including the shinobue (Japanese flute), bamboo marimba, gongs and the koto (horizontal harp).

Sumire Matsubara

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Sumire Matsubara

Rasing Star Returns to Her Japanese Roots

Simply known by her first name, Sumire Matsubara is a Japanese actress, singer, dancer and model. The daughter of entertainers Junichi Ishida and Chiaki Matsubara, Sumire moved to Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of seven after her parents’ divorce, as her mother wanted to shield Sumire from the press and start a new life. After her second year in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Musical Theatre and Acting program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sumire returned to Tokyo to begin her career in the Japanese entertainment industry. Sumire has appeared in stage productions and on television throughout Japan, as well as in commercials, magazines and corporate events/parties. She also has begun appearing in U.S. television and film, including a guest role on the CBS drama Hawaii Five-0 as well as her upcoming Hollywood lm debut in The Shack, in which she will play the “Holy Spirit” alongside Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Rising Star Award at the Asian World Film Festival. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Sumire to talk about her experiences with culture shock and her hopes to break stereotypes.



Staff Continued

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