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It's never been a better time to be a Japanese shoegazer
January 24, 2013 1:47 PM   Subscribe

While you're waiting for the third My Bloody Valentine album or just their next show why not listen to Yellow Loveless, the newly released, All-Japanese cover of My Bloody Valentine's 1991 classic Loveless?

The full album is available on Japanese iTunes or U.S. Amazon MP3 and CD, but you can hear many of the tracks on YouTube:

01. Tokyo Shoegazer – Only Shallow
02. GOATBED – Loomer
03. The Sodom Project – Touched
04. Lemon’s Chair – To Here Knows When
05. Shonen Knife – When You Sleep*
06. Tokyo Shoegazer – I Only Said
07. Age of Punk – Come in Alone
08. Boris – Sometimes
09. Shinobu Narita – Blown a Wish
10. Lemon’s Chair – What You Want
11. Sadesper Record – Soon

This year should be huge for Japan's shoegazer fans: MBV is due to play Osaka and Tokyo in February, including new material, then again at Tokyo Rocks in May. Not to mention the Japan Shoegazer Festival in January, featuring many of the bands from this album.
posted by 2bucksplus (23 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
And don't forget this guy, who covered Loveless in full.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:51 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also love Japancakes' all acoustic version of Loveless. American band, not Japanese. Here's some of it on Youtube.
posted by Nelson at 1:53 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Awesome, thanks for the soundtrack to a rainy day here in AZ. Gonna throw on my Fishmans record after I give these a listen:

Fishmans - Night Cruising
posted by nataaniinez at 1:56 PM on January 24, 2013


I was just going to mention Japancakes. There's that french band, too, that covered it in total, but I can't remember the name.

I really dig the Shonen Knife version of When You Sleep. Great stuff!
posted by dirtdirt at 1:58 PM on January 24, 2013


Can anyone recommend where to start with Boris? I have a couple of random mp3s, which sound great, but they have so many releases it's intimidating. Their guitar tone is amazing obviously, which is the important thing.
posted by kersplunk at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2013


Just listened to the Japancakes acoustic version. Never realized until listening now that the original MBV version of Only Shallow spoofs or sounds like violin.

Because clearly I'm dumb about things blindingly obvious.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:12 PM on January 24, 2013


kersplunk - their sound varies from album to album. If you really dig their fuzzy, riff-oriented guitar sound, "Pink" is the album I would recommend to you.

I cannot stress enough how different they sound from album to album though :)
posted by nataaniinez at 2:12 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


kersplunk:
If you like Sigur Ros, listen to this.
If you like Kraut, check out this or this.
If you like to drive your truck real fast, hear this or this.
If you like any of this, get a bunch of their albums because they are totally sick
posted by special agent conrad uno at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, I really like that Shonen Knife cover. So bouncy!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:24 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can anyone recommend where to start with Boris? I have a couple of random mp3s, which sound great, but they have so many releases it's intimidating. Their guitar tone is amazing obviously, which is the important thing.

Pink is the easiest entry point, being song-based, easily digestible, and covering a pretty good cross-section of their sound. Beyond that Feedbacker comes pretty close to being a defining statement, which despite being a single unbroken 40 minute piece, still has a lot of song to it and rocks crazy hard.

Most of their recent North American releases have been unfocused and disappointing (Smile, Heavy Rocks (2), and Attention Please), but Smile: Live at Wolf Creek is worth seeking out. Rainbow with Michio Kurihara and the original Heavy Rocks (orange cover) are great, and Soundtrack from Mabuta No Ura is worth digging for. The Japanese Heavy Rock Classics single series they did is awesome. These are all the more song-oriented, rocking items, where others like Flood (also well worth hearing) and Amplifier Worship tend to focus more narrowly on the doom or sludge aspects of their sound.
posted by anazgnos at 3:33 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently like a few of you I gravitated directly to the Boris cover - wow, that's beautiful. Did not disappoint.

(And hah, that Shonen Knife cover is both great and super witty... kind of makes you go, oh, right, all of those MBV tracks are actually songs underneath all that gorgeous reverb.)
posted by en forme de poire at 3:35 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be fair, though, "When You Sleep" is the most obviously "a song" on the album.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:47 PM on January 24, 2013


Can someone help me here - in the Valve game Alien Swarm, in the big fight you have on the cargo lift, do they play 'Only Shallow'? I can't find it mentioned anywhere and I worry I may have dreamt it.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:58 PM on January 24, 2013


all of those MBV tracks are actually songs

I never felt like that was particularly difficult to discern. There are verses and choruses and A/B structures all over the place.
posted by mykescipark at 4:14 PM on January 24, 2013


I had no idea Japan was the place to look for my shoegazer fix before this post. And I had no idea of the existence of Boris. I've been educated.
posted by Jimbob at 5:17 PM on January 24, 2013


There's always Hideka!
posted by dunkadunc at 5:31 PM on January 24, 2013


Is this released stateside (please?)
On vinyl (please please?)
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 6:05 PM on January 24, 2013


I never felt like that was particularly difficult to discern. There are verses and choruses and A/B structures all over the place.

For sure - it's just not usually the main thing I'm listening for when I listen to Loveless because the timbres, etc. are so powerful. Plus, partly because the melodies are generally pretty slow moving, I tend to hear their songs more vertically than horizontally. Sorry, probably being vague and imprecise!
posted by en forme de poire at 8:50 PM on January 24, 2013


And on a tangent, there's always the Bilinda Butchers, who I originally wrote off for their name until I realized they were actually really good.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:57 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This Boris cover of Sometimes is blowing my mind.
posted by j03 at 10:48 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Japan is the place to look not only for shoegazer, but for any fetishistic, obsessive, loving tributes to various things from the past, like american workwear/denim/military surplus men's clothing, or anything involving fetishistic, obsessive levels of attention to detail and craft, like coffee, sushi, and whiskey
posted by C.A.S. at 1:59 AM on January 25, 2013


Holy crap that Boris cover is amazing. Clearly I'm gonna have to listen to more Boris. Thanks special agent conrad uno for the intro point suggestions.

Another group carrying the MBV torch is the Fleeting Joys. Their song Lovely Crawl from the '06 album Despondent Transponder grabbed me hard and wouldn't let go.
posted by Babblesort at 8:01 AM on January 25, 2013


Shonen Knife: adorable band, or the most adorable band ever?
posted by not_on_display at 10:27 PM on February 8, 2013


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