relaunches with scaled-down content

Sometime over the three-day weekend, I will be launching a new version of with significantly less content than the site has now. The artist directory, reviews and news items will be moved to an archive, while the Audiobin and Radio Musicwhore will be taken offline. has undergone a tremendous amount of transformation since its beginnings as a short-lived print zine in 1997. The site has grown to such a point where its continued success depends on either expansion or shut down.

While it may have been a challenge to grow the site more — perhaps even taking on a staff — I felt reluctant to go in that direction. However much I would like to perceive as simply a personal home page, the breadth of the content dispels any such notion.

Temperamentally, I’m not suited to accept much help. I make for a lousy collaborator because I’m overly exact about things. It was inevitable that my inability to delegate, coupled with a time-consuming production process, would burn me out.

And has been wearing me thin for the past two years.

I still aim to do the same kind of writing the site is known for — namely, coverage of Japanese artists — in the next version of, and I hope to write more personally about other kinds of music as well. But making a total interactive experience with full audio and e-commerce — well, that’s so late-1990s.

Yes, will become but another weblog in an vast ocean of weblogs, but at this point in my life, it’s all that I have time for.

I’ve been working on my own songwriting since the start of the year, and I’m taking some classes in Fall 2005 to keep my edge professionally. A car accident I was involved with at the start of August derailed a lot of momentum as well. So the site has been neglected as a result.

The scaled-back site will allow me to write occassionally about music without eating up the free time I wish to devote to other pursuits.

To everyone who has found a valuable resource and supported its efforts, thank you. I hope you stick around for a little while longer.

It’s me, Kathy, I’ve come home

New Music Express has a short tidbit about the forthcoming new album by Kate Bush.

It will be a double-LP titled Aerial, and NME lists Nov. 7 as the release date. I’m assuming that’s a UK release date, because Nov. 7 is a Monday, and US release dates fall on Tuesdays, which would confirm Rolling Stone’s earlier report of Nov. 8.

A double album after a 12-year wait sounds like a fair exchange, although double albums can be pretty tricky. Now November seems far away.

UPDATE: Billboard magazine takes the same press release and adds a bit more history for us damn Yankees who may not remember who Kate Bush is. (I bet Big Boi from OutKast must be ecstatic.)

The Kate Bush News site also mentions a number of interesting rumours surrounding the album.

As she once sang on “The Sensual World”, “Mmm yes.”

Sasagawa Miwa releases new single in October

Source: Sasagawa Miwa official site

( and Oops Music haven’t mentioned it, so may as well.)

Sasagawa Miwa releases a new single, “Himawari”, on Oct. 5. The song is a re-recording of her first independently released maxi single, which was used as the theme song for an NHK support campaign in April 2005. The song received enough response to warrant a release as a single. The single also includes the coupling track, “Mimi”.

Quruli packs fall release schedule


Quruli has an ambitious release schedule planned for fall 2005. In addition to the Aug. 24 release of the single “Superstar”, the band will release “Akai Densha” on Sept. 22. “Akai Densha” serves as the theme song for the Tokyo-Yokohama express train. Another single follows in October, titled “Baby I Love You”. Finally in November, Quruli releases its sixth studio album.

Ex-Tokyo Jihen guitarist releases solo album


Guitarist Hirama Mikio, a former member of Tokyo Jihen, will release a solo album on Oct. 19. Details of the album, titled Bunmei Kookyoo Virus, have yet to be determined, but the music has been described as solid, simple rock music, with a “slight hint of decadance”. Hirama went by the name Hiruumi Mikine during his tenure with Tokyo Jihen.

You’ve stolen my Texas dates

I got a very rare e-mail announcement from Kronos Quartet today, and there’s quite a bit of news.

First off, the quartet announced its 2005/2006 season, and dammit — there aren’t any Texas dates on there. They are, however, playing four dates in Hawaiʻi, so catch them if you can — they hit the islands maybe once every 10 years.

Kronos also has a new cellist. Jeffrey Ziegler replaces Jennifer Culp, who in turn replaced original cellist Joan Jeanrenaud back in 1999. I always kind of liked that affirmative action line-up with the one female member, so it’ll take some adjustment now that Kronos is all men.

Of course, You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood hits stores today (Aug. 23). Kronos collaborates with singer Asha Bhole on an album of music from one of the most prolific composers in India’s film industry. Some of the samples from the album sound terrific.

Mikami Chisako releases album in October


Former fra-foa singer Mikami Chisako releases her second solo album, I’m here, on Oct. 19. Details about the album have yet to be determined, but her support musicians include Masuko Tatsuki (ROVO, Dub Squad) and Jaleel Buton (TV on the Radio). A DVD titled ChisakoTV, also released on the same day, contains promo clips from album set in New York City.

Note: The original article names Jaleel Buton as “Jaleel Marcus”.

Remioromen releases new single in October


Remioromen will release a new single in October, followed by another in November. On Oct. 12, the trio releases “Sou no Sekai”, a mid-tempo tune using the autumn deciduous tree as a motif. The three-track single includes the coupling tracks “Ikitsugi” and “Gogo no Teikiatsu”. Another single follows in November with details forthcoming. Remioromen will also perform at Countdown 05/06 at the end of the year.

Hitoto You releases new single in September


Hitoto You will release a new single titled “Kasaguruma” on Sept. 21. It’s been five months since the release of her previous single, “Kagefumi”. “Kasaguruma” will serve as the image song for a new Toho studio movie, Mise Shigure. The film, directed by Fujisawa Shuuhei and starring Ichikawa Somegorou and Kimura Yoshino, is set in Edo-period Japan and opens in theaters on Oct. 1.