I've gotten a few emails lately from people who've stumbled upon my want list and were interested in selling or trading, which has prompted me to begin updating it since the list is pretty old and I've since found a number of the records on it.
An invaluable resource in jogging my memory re: what records I need has been this Japanese book called Neo-Acoustic, which, as the cover proclaims, "includes 500 albums, 100 singles & 100 12inch singles." I can't read a word of the text, which is all in Japanese, but there are loads of pictures of record sleeves, many in color, plus all the track listings are in English. Which makes sense, given that the vast majority of the bands covered are British or American.
Perhaps I should explain "neo-acoustic"... it's a term coined by a certain class of Japanese music lovers used to describe mostly guitar-based pop music released in the 80s and 90s, usually (but not always) released on independent labels. In short, indiepop. I like this description from the TweeNet web site:
The Indiepop mailing-list is devoted to discussion of independently produced pop music, the kind that tends to come out on small-run seven-inch singles with handmade sleeves. They call it "wimpy" and "twee", but Pop Kids everywhere know that the true spirit of Punk Rock lives on not in the mass-marketed "alternative" scene, or the sub-metal caterwauling of testosterone-poisoned grunge-rockers, but in the simple and pure efforts of kids banging out sweet delicious songs on cheap guitars.
Whereas "indiepop" is relatively obscure in the UK, and even more so in the U.S., it's attained enough of a cult popularity in Japan to warrant the publication of books like this as well as a series of compilation CDs (under the Guitar Pop Jamboree imprint) by the Japanese divisions of the major record labels: Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group. I just wish it was easier to track down some of these releases! The CDs haven't been too hard to find, but I had to special order this book from a Japanese bookstore in midtown. But I know it was well worth the effort, as I flip through page after page of records, jotting down notes as I go.Posted by nstop at June 18, 2002 06:38 PM