June 18, 2002

What's My Scene

Neo-Acoustic book coverI'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


Belle & Sebastian, Kings of Convenience, (unknown but very good Belgian band) Gore Slut, all worth checking out ;-)

Bart, Antwerp, Belgium

Posted by: Bart on June 19, 2002 02:11 PM

Huh, I didn't realize Kings of Convenience were Belgian. Gore Slut is a new one though -- I will have to Google that, although part of me is a little afraid of what kinds of results will be returned...

Posted by: nstop on June 19, 2002 09:27 PM

Hello ,

I just saw your description of the Japanese book, Neo-Acoustic....wow! what a great find...i'll go to the book store tomorrow (Im in Toronto, Canada)
and try to order (good luck to me I guess?)

So what's the best c86/Neo Acoustic/Mid 80s band
that you like? I'm still wondering how The Morrisons, The Jeremiahs, Jesse Garon and Grab Grab the Haddock sound like...someone just made me a copy of The Episode Four EP and Penny Candles EP and "Going to England" LP by Cleaners From Venus...WOW! amazing...amazing music!

anyways, thanks for the info.


Posted by: jessel on August 11, 2002 05:35 PM

how do you play games on you web site.I saw your comershoul.please let me know.

from sierra

Posted by: sierra on November 20, 2002 04:18 PM

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