Surfing the Japanese Music Channels, Part Trois

You know it, you love it, it’s time for another tour of the music channels!

M-On has their “Countdown 100” show on right now, and I was just treated to #42: your generic J-pop idol, strutting her stuff like there’s no tomorrow. She’s cute, as are all her backup dancers, and the video is mostly comprised of shots of them shaking it. As is the norm for these types of videos — something that started I think with the Tsunku produced idol group videos — the colors are highly saturated, making it feel very vibrant and alive. No wonder it gets all those cutie loving girls excited for the music. It definitely is a visual medium.

This is being followed up by a straight ballad, that almost dips into the realm of enka, but featuring a young-ish girl singer. There’s a slight Okinawan flavor to the music, so I imagine the artist is probably from the island. It reminds me a bit of of Hajime something (I can’t remember her first name) from 2-3 years ago who became a big success — but this singer is much more generic.

Oh man — there’s a commercial with Chemistry performing live, backed with a symphony orchestra.

Now it’s #40, one of those oh-so-now dance-rap groups. They’re called nobodyknows+ — sure, why not — and their song is called “T.R.U.E.” Nothing to see here, move along.

VMC is showing an old Jamiroquai single (“Love Foolosophy”), which is a nice little reprieve. Yeah, I’m coming out of the closet, I don’t mind Jamiroquai at all. The album TRAVELING WITHOUT MOVING actually has a special significance for me, associated with my time living in China back in 1997 (when I met my wife). It was the soundtrack of that Summer — accompanied by a great many Qingdao beers.

MTV is showing the US Top 20.

SpaceShowerTV is also showing a chart show, but you just see clips, like you always do on network TV countdown shows. One interesting thing though is that they mix Japanese and Western artists in the chart, which is not something you often see. The Japan side is winning though. Actually, the Japanese stuff (unexpectdedly hard-rock heavy) is better than the American crap they’re playing (a guy called Mario, and Avril Lavigne). Their pick-up artist (sorry, the name is in kanji) actually sounds a lot like the band in the animated series BECK (currently one of my favorite shows).

Oh, Asian Dub Foundation is in the chart. Haven’t listened to them in ages. After a lame Chemistry-like duo, it’s the Chemical Brothers. And then, YES, it’s “No More Cry!!!”

I will go hang myself now.