Shot Pot

PotShotHyper-frenzied J-ska’ers, Pot Shot released their first LP by ways of Asian Man Records wayyyyyy back in 1997. Titled Pots and Shots (clever enough), she was released once on vinyl, limited to 2000 copies worldwide, and has yet to be reissued. I had to order this puppy from Japan as domestic sales were either nonexistent or hugely overpriced. Their hit, Radio was featured on the 1998 comp, Mailorder is Fun! and as it turns out, was my first introduction to this exciting band. They’re aggressively upbeat, ferociously frenetic, and unmistakably catchy. Shove them in your ear this holiday season.

Captain Vapour Athletes AKA Mid-90s Japanese Groove Music

BD CoverBuffalo Daughter are an intriguing blend of hard hitting groove rock colliding with hints of hip hop and just the right amount of downtempo-electro-flair to keep things teetering (crazily) on the edge of complete and outright chaos. This Japanese 3-piece cut-and-paste act takes a bit of discipline on the part of the user at first spin, but like with many exemplary albums, the everlasting joy is found the deeper one digs.

BD were indie rock when the term still mattered. I just kick myself in the ass for not getting into them more when Grand Royal Records was still around (it took me YEARS to track down a reasonably priced copy of BD’s New Rock… their 2nd album).

BD AdAnyway, not much to say today (or any other day for that matter), so if you find yourself in the mood for spaced-out grooves performed and produced by Japanese women from the mid 90s, and let’s be honest, we ALL struggle with that blend of mood from time to time, I strongly suggest you take a leap of faith and check out Buffalo Daughter’s first album, Captain Vapour Athletes. To some, it may just be a wall of noise, but to others, it may open a concrete door into a vast and fruitful new musical landscape… I mean, something happened to me.

Take A Trip Across the World (and Back) with Alfred Hause & His Orchestra

FolksongsEasy listening waltz romps manifesting themselves as interplanetary folk ditties. Solemnly executed by Alfred Hause & His Orchestra, this 1970 cultural roller coaster politely invites you, the listener on a destination vacation through the sunny shores of Mexico, over to the Mediterranean-basking banks of Italy, behind the looming German wall, down to the open, festive, ambience of Spain, all the way across the Atlantic and halfway across the Pacific to paradisiacal Hawaii, before making a pit stop (to flip the record) all the way back to the island of Ireland. If jet lag isn’t your thing, consider a shot and a nap before continuing on with the equally delightful side 2.

Folksongs BackAll rested up and ready for another go? Fantastic. After your three day nap, you find yourself amongst the natural wonders of Argentina (Argentine Republic), before hopping over to the densely populated, yet culturally explosive streets of Japan, up to the chilly, crisp air of Russia, back to Germany (to retrieve a pair of socks you accidentally left behind… you know the socks, the ones you got as a gift from Aunt Silvia that you simply can’t live without), then over to the ignorant-minded throes of Southern United States, before reaching your final, and justly deserved, destination of Scotland.

Closing out a multicultural trip that you’ll undoubtedly remember for the rest of your days with the classic, Auld Lang Syne, you look back at your wondrous journey with exhausted fervor, and a lifetime of memories and useless knowledge with which to entertain (or annoy) your friends and family.