K-Chuck Radio: Prepare yourself for J-Pop…

This insomnia has been kicking my tail for a while.  And it affected me over the weekend, while I was in Buffalo on business.

So I flipped around the hotel television dial one night and found the NHK world channel.  NHK is the home of Japanese television, and in the middle of the night they showed what appeared to be a variety show featuring Japan’s top music stars.

Well, I didn’t see the Kome Kome Club performing “Well Come 2” …

Or the Kome Kome Club performing “Kome Kome War” …

Or the Kome Kome Club performing “We Are Music…”

Okay, I’m going to admit it.  Kome Kome Club are my favorite Japanese pop-rock-funk performers of all time.  And on this edition of K-Chuck Radio, I want to share with you the breadth and depth and highs – and lows – of popular Japanese music.

Including a trio that I saw on that late-night TV show.


Jet Kuma Star

Okay, let’s see… three hip-hop girls, whose names Ayumi Kuri and Kamaki form the name of the group … performing wearing teddy bear hoodies and teddy bear mittens.  Somewhere there’s supposed to be some symbolism of some sort… somewhere…


Refresh My Heart

Okay, I’m not getting this.  Twelve girls in Japanese sailor schoolgirl outfits… maybe the lyrics will make sense … nope, that’s not happening, either.

Pon Pon Pon

I can’t watch 30 seconds of this video clip without looking for some insulin.

A Mystery Night!

Insert your own jokes about whether the mystery is that this group is one of the biggest selling artists in the J-Pop world.

Pepper Keibu

If you know of Pink Lady from their disastrous late 1970’s American variety show “Pink Lady and Jeff,” just know that this duo had a couple of million-selling hits in Japan, including this track, “Pepper Keibu.”

Wait a minute… haven’t I heard this song recently?

Oh yeah.  From this group.  Morning Musume.  Scuse me while I go find my earplugs.

Namonaki Uta

This actually is a pretty good song, and it does show that there is more to Japanese popular music than teenage girls running around in teddy bear suits.


Apparently this rock duo is the best-selling Japanese music group of all time.   Not much more I know about this group, other than they definitely love that pop-guitar sound.

Heavy Rotation

Just think.  This is one of the biggest selling groups in Japan.  Yeah, even bigger than Morning Musume 15.  Even bigger than that trio in the teddy bear suits.  Of course, when one actually READS the lyrics to their songs…

Computer Games (Theme From The Circus)

I actually remember this track from my college radio days – if for no other reason than one of the keyboardists in YMO, Ryuichi Sakamoto, later partnered with British pop singer David Sylvain on the track “Forbidden Colours” from the David Bowie film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.  Yeah, I’m a music nerd.  Deal with it.

Bamboo Bong

And let’s close this out with a track from one of my favorite jazz fusion keyboardists, Jun Fukamachi, who is just amazing.  If you’ve never heard his music, click on this YouTube clip and be amazed.

Some good stuff here on K-Chuck Radio today.  Even if some of the performers are dancing around in teddy bear suits.