10 years ago, before I knew much of anything about Japanese Pop music, other than what I had learned on the streets of Osaka in 1997, I purchased Steve McClure’s Nipponpop from a little bookstore in St. Mark’s Place, NY. It’s a glossy 11×17 book with tons of pictures, good reviews, and lots of eye candy. It sits proudly on my “Americans intersect with JPop Culture” section of my library, right next to Fresh Fruits and Manga, Manga, Manga.
Now, being that it’s 10 years old, it’s very dated, but is still a good historical springboard from which to jump into exploring older trends, as well as forerunners of current. It covers folks like Kome Kome Club, Ken Ishii (In fact that’s how I discovered him), Sakamoto Ryuichi, Amuro Namie, TRF, SMAP, Yuming, and a host of others.
The cool thing is that, after doing a search for Ken Ishii reviews on Google, I came up with the website that is an update to this book: www.NipPop.com. This has many of Steve McClure’s original content, plus ongoing information. This is a great thing if you are unable to read such goodness as the Oricon Charts. The Oricon Charts are akin to the top 40 in the USA. You can hear examples, see videos, and check profiles of popular and upcoming artists.
For instance, at the time of this writing, 羞恥心, or Shuuchishin (Shyness) is at the top of ths list. Take a look!
Random Thought: If energy is so costly, why are we leaving all our lights on at every store across the nation all night long?
Yes, it sounds a bit un-PC with it’s title, but I think it’s probably a play on “Hip-Hop.”