Updates and rambles

BAND-MAIKO: April fool’s music video “secret MAIKO lips”

Hard rock band BAND-MAID released a music video on April 1st. With it, they announced they changed the band’s name to BAND-MAIKO, and performed a song titled “secret MAIKO lips” dressed in kimono, with a shamisen backing track. In addition, the lyrics were re-written (from their original song “secret My lips”) into a Kyoto dialect.

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Why oh why… (random thoughts from Japanese popland)

As I look through upcoming releases…

– Why can’t SCANDAL band members drink milk without spilling it everywhere? See: 0:58

– Why are Aimer song titles full of typos (random semicolons) in the middle of them? Like her most recent single, Ref:rain.

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 Updates and rambles No Comments

Happy New Year!

As it is said in Japanese, Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

Wishing you a wonderful 2018. May it continue to be filled with music and new memories!

// ico.

Monday, January 1st, 2018 Updates and rambles No Comments

Has Yoko Kanno reached the pinnacle of recognition for a composer?

It took me most of the year to realize that Yoko Kanno composed the music to Naotora, the current NHK Taiga drama. Has she reached the pinnacle of recognition for a composer, now writing the score for one of the most prestigious TV programs in Japan? She’s even composing for Lang Lang. Truly impressive.

Saturday, November 18th, 2017 Updates and rambles No Comments

2010 is the decade of Japanese girls’ rock

Two weeks ago I wouldn’t be saying this, but 2 weeks ago was right before I saw BAND-MAID live in San Francisco–and subsequently did some research into other rock bands. We’re in the decade of Japanese girls’ rock. To be more precise, we’re in the decade where all-girl rock bands is acceptable and even mainstream (compared to the past 20 years where girls’ rock bands undoubtedly existed, and did not seem to get recognition). Heck, all-female metal rock bands are even getting air time–like Aldious and Bridear.

It is possible that the internet revolution has something to do with this phenomenon. Even if “traditional” outlets (magazines, TV, etc) are not promoting girls’ bands, 15-minute fame spreads like wildfire online through sites such as YouTube.

I’ll try to highlight some of these bands, many of which have been active since the early 2010’s. In the meantime, keep on rocking!

Monday, September 25th, 2017 Updates and rambles No Comments

Back from hiatus!

That was a quick one. After declaring a break, I promptly heard about new and interesting music being released this month. Read on to find out more about new releases I’ll be looking forward to this month!

And as always, thank you for your continued support of the Melody Cafe.

// ico.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 Updates and rambles No Comments


Due to my current schedule and circumstances, Melody Cafe will officially be going on hiatus for some time. Perhaps months, perhaps years–hopefully not so long. I’ve had other priorities at work and in life, among them sleep and burnout prevention, so until those are taken care of, it will be hard to keep up with my interest in Japanese pop music.

I briefly wanted to say thank you to those who have supported the Melody Cafe all this time. I will certainly get back to it when I can!

// ico.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 Updates and rambles No Comments

Moved and settling

It’s been two months since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I’ve got good excuses: I moved 600 miles to start a new job, and I’m working close to 80 hours a week, now about a month in. It’s the hardest job I have ever had. I’ve hardly had time to sleep, let alone stay up to date on Japanese pop music. It’ll get there, once I unpack the boxes and settle in–a process that will likely take about a year. In the meantime, thank you for your patience. The music lover in me is not gone yet.

// ico.

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 Updates and rambles No Comments

The (not-so) great internal debate of 「づ」

Alright, I give in. I’ve decided to romanize 「づ」 as ‘zu.’
This breaks one of my tenets of transliterating (romanizing) Japanese characters with less ambiguity, as the character is more distinguishable (from 「ず」 which is also ‘zu’) if written as “dzu.”

I decided to make this change because the combination of the two consonants ‘d’ and ‘z’ can be very confusing for English speakers, making it unnecessarily difficult to process, and because “zu” is more aesthetically pleasing.

I was clearly wavering on this one, romanizing it as “dzu” in some lines and “zu” in others, sometimes within the same song. I have been going back to make everything more consistent when I catch a stray “dzu”, but please help by sending me a comment when you find one.

Of note, this character is rendered “du” according to the Japanese government’s official (Nihon-shiki) system, but please don’t make a fool of yourself by singing “too-doo-ku” instead of “tsuzuku” (つづく).

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 Updates and rambles No Comments

Seasons Greetings!

For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you are having a merry one. For everyone else, I hope you are having a relaxing holiday season and a cheerful winter.

You may have noticed the rapid pace of posts in the past month as I continue to restore the site content back to the way it was 6 years ago. I have continued to revise and catch errors from translations from long ago. Again, please do not hesitate to contact me with any suggestions or comments!

// ico.

Friday, December 25th, 2015 Updates and rambles No Comments
ABE Fuyumi AHANE Ayano AIKAWA Nanase Aimer Aimi Aimyong Alan Aldious Ali Project Anamu Angela Aki Anzen Chitai AOI Shouta AOYAMA Thelma ARAI Akino ATSUMI Saori AYANO Mashiro Babymetal Band Maid Bang Dream! Begin Beni Beverly Bonnie Pink Bridear Bump of Chicken Camui Gakupo Chara Coma-Chi Core of Soul Daoko DENDA Mao Do As Infinity Earnie Frogs Eir Aoi Ellegarden Every Little Thing Fayray FictionJunction FictionJunction Yuuka Final Fantasy 15 Fio Flower Flower Garnet Crow Goose house Gumi HAIGOU Meiko Hakobune HAMASAKI Ayumi HASHIDA Norihiko Hashida Norihiko and Climax Hashida Norihiko and Shoebelts HATA Motohiro Hatsune Miku HAYAMI Show HAYASHI Asuca HAYASHIBARA Megumi HIGUCHI Ai HIRAHARA Ayaka HIROSHIMA Ayako HISAAKI Hogari HISAKAWA Aya HONDA Minako Honebone Hysteric Blue Ia IEIRI Leo IMAI Miki Inshowha ISHIDA Yoko Jero Kagamine Ren Kagamine Rin Kaito KAJIURA Yuki Kalafina KAMIJO KAMIJO & Hatsune Miku KANDA Sayaka KANNO Yoko KASAHARA Hiroko KATAHIRA Rina KAWASUMI Ayako Kikuo Kikuohana Koh+ Kokia KOTANI Kinya KOUDA Mariko KUMAKI Anri Legend of Zelda Lovebites Loveless Luna Sea Lyrical School March In Flames MATSU Takako May'n May J Mayu Megurine Luka Meiko Melody Chubak Michael Kaneko Mirai Misia MIYAZAKI Nahoko Monkey Majik NAKAHARA Meiko NAKAJIMA Megumi NAKAMORI Akina NANRI Yuuka Necokicks NIIYAMA Shiori Nothing's Carved In Stone Oceanlane ODANI Misako OGAWA Mayu OHYAMA Yurika OKAZAKI Ritsuko One OK Rock OSHIRO Claudia OTSUKA Ai Plum Planets Rami Ranka Lee f. Nakajima Megumi Rei Rie fu Rihwa Riri Rivini Roselia RSP Rurutia sacci SAKAMOTO Kyu SAKAMOTO Maaya SASAKI Yuko Scandal SHEENA Ringo SHIBASAKI Ko SHIBATA Jun SHIMA Kaori SHIMIZU Shota SHIMOMURA Yoko SHIRATORI Maika Skygraph SUGA Shikao SUGAZAKI Akane Supercar T-Square TAINAKA Sachi TAKAHASHI Yoko TAKAOKA Ai Tama TAMURA Naomi TANE Tomoko TANIMURA Shinji Tanimura Shinji x Kalafina TERAO Akira Teresa Teng The Folk Crusaders The Hiatus The Third ~Aoi Hitomi no Shoujo~ Tiana Xiao Tiaraway TM Revolution Tommy february6 UENO Yuuka Ulfuls Vocaloid WADA Kanako Wagakki Band YAIDA Hitomi YAMAMOTO Koutarou Yamamoto Koutarou and Weekend Yanawaraba Yoko Kanno Seatbelts YONEKURA Chihiro Yui Yuka & Chronoship Yurica / Hanatan Zaq