Stereopony’s 1st album to be released on 6/17

Popular 3-piece all-girl rock band, Stereopony, coming off from a gig in the US at SXSW ’09, will be releasing their debut album on June 17, 2009. Titled “Hydrangea ga Saiteru,” the album will have a total of 13 tracks with the limited edition CD+DVD version (cdjapan link) containing a documentary of the trio at SXSW ’09.

(Via bounce.com.)

H&MC reveals new vocalist – Tokyograph

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR has announced the addition of a new female vocalist. The 21-year-old HALCA, hailing from Okinawa, is filling the gap left by former member Maki. Maki left in October due to her marriage with Masato Nakamura of DREAMS COME TRUE.

(Link: “H&MC reveals new vocalist – Tokyograph.”)

So, we finally have a name and yeah, I first thought of Halca from HALCALI (one of my favorite artists) upon seeing how the new singer romaji’d her name. While I’m dying to hear what she sounds like, we have some info on her via the band’s website:

  • Goes by her first name, HALCA
  • She was born on June 11, 1988
  • Her blood type is AB
  • She’s a Gemini
  • She was born in Okinawa (no village listed tho)
  • Her hobby is playing guitar (maybe we’ll see her play acoustic guitar?)
  • Her favorite artists are Brody Dalle and Kurt Cobain (hmm, we know she’s definitely not pop)

Now we wait for the release of a new HandMC single featuring HALCA.

Monpachi’s albums hit the iTunes Store! Buy now!

If there’s one album you should own that represents the indie punk scene in Okinawa, it’s Mongol800’s (or affectionately known as Monpachi) 2001 album “MESSAGE.” The album contains a couple of their most popular songs: “Chiisana Koi no Uta” and “Ryukyu Aika,” but the album in its entirety is absolutely awesome. If you’re into rock, even pop rock, you’ll definitely love the album. “Chiisana Koi no Uta” is often covered by other artists so that should be enough to buy it, no? Great thing about having it on the iTunes Store is that you can always sample before you buy so what’s stopping you?

“MESSAGE” as well as the rest of the band’s discography is now available at the U.S. iTunes Store (link will open iTunes) in iTunes Plus glory.

I’ve included a PV of Yurika Ohyama’s (from Okinoerabu-jima) found on YouTube of her covering “Chiisana Koi no Uta.”

Teased! HandMC finds a new singer but gives us no details!

haikarasnewsinger.png

So with the auditions to find their new singer completed it’s only a matter of time till we find out more about the person. On the band’s blog post (pictured above) about the new singer they mention that we’ll find out soon enough on their official website so all we can do is keep refreshing that site until it goes down—just kidding! It’ll be all over the internets as well as over here too so let’s all wait patiently and let their PR people do what they do best.

(Via bounce.com.)

Stereo Pony steps up from “Bleach” to “Gundam” – Tokyograph

The new Okinawan girls band Stereo Pony is on a roll. Last month, they released their debut single ‘Hitohira no Hanabira,’ which was used as the ending theme of the hit anime series ‘Bleach.’ Now, they will be doing the theme song for the ‘Mobile Suit Gundam 00’ series, starting on January 11.

The ‘Gundam’ franchise has not used a new artist for a theme song since Hitomi Takahashi sang ‘Bokutachi no Yukue’ in 2005 for ‘Gundam SEED Destiny.’ Like Takahashi, the three members of Stereo Pony are all in their teens.

Many ‘Gundam’ theme songs have become hit singles in the past, which means high hopes for Stereo Pony’s tune, titled ‘Namida no Mukou.’ The single will go on sale in February.

(Link: Stereo Pony steps up from “Bleach” to “Gundam” – Tokyograph.)

Wow. This is really big news for them and I think, in a way, Stereo Pony (ステレオポニー) may fill the void left by the exit of vocalist Maakii of HandMC. (That’s not to say that I’m dismissing the group altogether, but Maakii leaving them has a much larger effect than the exit of drummer Katchan from ORANGE RANGE who have managed to remain popular since.) The YouTube clip above is from the band’s PV for their debut single “Hitohira no Hanabira” (11/5/08) which is a very catchy tune that’s worth checking out.

Stereo Pony’s official website and official blog.

Maki leaves H&MC – Tokyograph

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR vocalist Maki performed her final show with the group on Saturday at the Akasaka Blitz in Tokyo. In July, she had announced that she would be leaving the band by the end of this year due to her marriage to DREAMS COME TRUE’s Masato Nakamura.

For the final concert, HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR performed a total of 21 songs, including Maki’s last single, ‘Remember,’ which went on sale last week.

The band’s five remaining men have said that they will remain active without Maki. The group also has a request album titled ‘BEEEEEEST’ coming out on November 26.

(Link: Maki leaves H&MC – Tokyograph.)

Ready to FLiP out?

Okinawa has a pretty good record of turning up some pretty popular punk bands like MONGOL800, INDIAN-HI and Bleach. Of particular note is that like Bleach, FLiP is an all-girl punk band comprised of Sachiko (vocals/guitar), Yuko (guitar/chorus), Sayaka (bass) and Yuumi (drums/chours). The band just released their first mini-album called “Haha kara Umareta Hinekure no Uta (母から生まれた捻くれの唄)” on June 25th.

(Link: bounce.com [ニュース].)

Monpachi to release best album – Tokyograph

Popular rock band MONGOL800 (also known as ‘Monpachi’) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a best hits album, titled ‘etc works.’ The collection features not only their own songs, but also collaborations with other artists (such as RYUKYUDISKO and RIP SLYME) and covers they performed for the tribute albums of Unicorn and Husking Bee.

‘etc works’ hits stores on July 8.

(Link: Monpachi to release best album – Tokyograph.)

With four albums in their discography (the last one 2006’s “Daniel), “etc works” covers a decade’s worth of material for the band. While we don’t have a track listing yet, it’s a sure bet that “Chiisana Koi no Uta” (the YouTube video above) will be in it.

Music: ‘Sanshin punk rock band’ Yamato

Yamato is a three-piece band from mainland Japan who are labeling themselves as a “sanshin punk rock band.” Lead vocalist, Hitoshi Tawaratsumida from Kagoshima Prefecture, plays sanshin and guitar (albeit not at the same time 😛 ) for the trio. The band’s second album, “Tabi no waraji no tsume wo kiru” (11/7/07 release), will feature a cover of BEGIN’s “Shimanchu nu Takara” — punk rocked. Check out the band’s PVs on their YouTube channel. [Via bounce.com.]