Archive for the ‘Music (general)’ Category

You do not see a rock outfit with an album cover like this all that often (or ever), but I just love how they manage to grab your interest right there. It suits them very well though, as they (Korpiklaani) incorporates a large dose of folk music from their native land Finland into their music. And here is the thing, I may not understand a single word, but I can feel it. This is a very talented outfit.

Check out the latest video here.

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Well I mentioned the Japanese group Onmyoza the other day on this blog and I think they are one of these rare bands that really have a thing of their own going. The name needs to be addressed. The official site has it as Onmyo-za, people outside of Japan tends to spell it as Onmyouza, and still I see Onmyoza all over the place. The videos on their official channel are not presented in a way that is friendly to international viewers (not like Babymetal, that eyed the big foreign market from day one), so it is hard to share information with friends. Like, if I want somebody to pay attention to a particular song, I need a title that is written out so that I can read it (and Japanese lettering will not help). Right now, I have no clue about song titles or even what albums that the videos represent. That makes it tricky as a foreigner to jump in.

Case in point, I think this particular song, as represented in this video, is pure magic. But the only clue I get is that it is picked from the “11th album” and that the video was posted in 2014 (and they had two albums released on the same day that year). I think they need to address this on their video channel because I feel that they have what it takes to reach a respectable audience outside of Japan. In fact it would be nice if a label picked them up in Europe and introduced them with a Compilation album. The interest in Japanese rock is out there now, largely fueled by the runaway success of Babymetal. But other acts are making waves, like Lovebites that just performed at the Wacken Festival in Germany.

It is at times like these that opportunity knocks and I would like Onmyoza to succeed outside of their own market. They have worked long and hard for it.

Out now in Japan, Burrn! Japan (issue) 11. The band on the cover is called Onmyoza and they have been around since 1999. Looks like they have some 15 studio albums behind them, the latest being released in June this year. The music is a cross of Melodic Rock and Japanese Folk Music.

Check out their videos here.

Got (Swedish) publication Rock´n´Roll Magazine (issue) 6 2018 in the mail the other day. Nice Paul McCartney cover. Best article in this issue? I have to go for the BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive) feature. Five pages with Randy Bachman talking business. Apparently, we can expect Vinyls to arrive fairly soon. The BTO back catalogue deserves to get some love, it was a fantastic band. Anything that Randy has touched musically is worth a listen.

Good job chaps.

This is for the Swedes out there. I have just read “Hög standard – Om Sonet, folkhemmet och starten för det svenska musikundret” (Leopard Förlag, 2018) by Swedish journalists Håkan Lahger and Lasse Ermalm. It deals with the classic record label Sonet that roamed the earth as a well respected independent company for decades before the eventual fall that resulted in Polygram taking over the brand in the early 1990s. It really is a wonderful story about men that cared about music, cared about people and saw more highs and lows than most. They basically went for broke in the 1950s and pretty much winged it until the very end. But they were also bigger than the major labels for years since they had such a solid reputation. A handshake was good enough in those innocent days and by the time it crashed and burned (along with the rest of the independents) they had a reputation among their peers on the international scene as absolute top men. A reputation well earned.

The writers of this book worked for years on this project, the result is remarkable.

The Japanese hologram phenomenon Hatsune Miku is making waves. The mega show called Miku Expo is coming to Europe with shows in Paris, Cologne and London in early December. The show is visiting several cities Stateside right now and it is a huge success. It all started in 2004 when the Yamaha Corporation presented a music creation software that allowed users to write music and has it performed by Idol style Vocaloids. With “Vocaloid 2” (2007), Crypton Future Media created Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloid became a runaway success. Today the franchise is enormous and the most well known songs (most of them written by Joe Public) are being performed by a live band that flanks the hologram star with a stunning show that makes you think of Disney. The escapism is on a monumental level, but it is well crafted and highly entertaining. And fans will also be able to wave a lightstick in the air in unision, which is considered good fun by many.

Check out an official live clip from Japan 2016 here.

You may not know who Hans Zimmer is but you must have heard his music (he has written over 150 Soundtracks after all). He has created the music for films like “Gladiator”, The Dark Night Trilogy (Batman), “The Lion King”, “Interstellar”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, “The Thin Red Line” etc etc. And it is all here on this DVD filmed in the Czech Republic in 2016 and released last year as “Live In Prague”. He is joined onstage by 72 top notch singers and performers and there are certainly moments on this DVD that is bordering on pure magic and beyond.

I love the bombastic moments where they are in Pompous Rock territory (think Nightwish, a band that must have been inspired by this guy), just crank up the volume and close your eyes. Having grown up with Deep Purple I am no stranger to the concepts here, the Classical meeting with so many genres. In the world of Soundtracks few can match Hans Zimmer. Tina Guo is here, cranking it up good in the Caribbean section and elsewhere. Now she is a Rock Star in her own right and that is why she on this stage. Hans must have loved every second of this night.

Watch the official trailer here.