Monday, February 1, 2010

"Bands You Should be Listening To" Volume 1: Ogre You Asshole

It's time to start the aspect of this blog that isn't entirely about literature and/or translation, but about Japan and Japanese culture in general. Therefore, I'm starting my hopefully somewhat regular column I'm calling: "Bands You Should Be Listening To!"

Although maybe I should call the column "Music I Would Suggest You Listen To If Your Taste Might Be Similar To Mine But Have Never Ventured Into The World of J-Rock!" But that's a little wordy. All (pitiful) joking aside, music is an entirely subjective experience. There's so much out there that caters to a lot of different tastes. So the bands that I'll be profiling is going to be really only stuff that I, personally, like. So I guess some of you are going to love this column and some of you will hate it, and I guess for some others it'll be hit and miss. (And it's my blog, I'll do what I want!) But in general, this column is going to be featuring Japanese bands that could typically be categorized under the huge blanket of "rock", specifically, "indie". I'll try to keep from being pretentious, but I make no promises. You've been warned!

Today's Subject: Ogre You Asshole


Ogre You Asshole got their (very strange) name when one of their members attended a Modest Mouse concert, and got his arm signed with the phrase "Ogre You Asshole" by MM's bassist. (The phrase "Ogre, you asshole!" being a notable quote from the movie "Revenge of the Nerds".) Well, Ogre You Asshole is very much a band influenced by Modest Mouse (well, their older stuff more than their newer stuff), but they definitely have developed their own style and come out with consistently great albums and EPs. Overall, I think of them as a pretty chill band, but they can really get into that nice post-punk groove when they want to.


Where to Start: My personal favorite of their releases is 平均は逆の期待 (and honestly, I have no idea how I would translate it. "The average is the expectation of the opposite of left and right"? Nope, that is not even close to understandable English). It's an EP, so it's only five songs, but they are five of their best songs, and they wouldn't be as great as they are if they weren't all together to create that perfect distillation of what they are all about musically. 

However, I don't know how easy it is to get a hold of that EP, whereas their latest album "Foglamp" is in the iTunes music store, for a quick and easy download for those in the States (I swear some of Ogre You Asshole's older albums used to be in the iTunes store, including the EP recommended above, but it's nowhere to be found anymore. Too bad). This is also a really great album; the first and last tracks ("Cracker" and "Wiper", respectively) are two of my other all-time favorites.


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  2. Dude, this is a very cool article. I'm always on the look for cool Japanese bands, and this is definitely one of them. I'm a big fan of the old Modest Mouse too...