When my older brother moved to Japan three years ago he spoke of sake in vending machines, judo on the Shimanto River, and J-pop. He spoke of J-pop as if the Ten Commandments were being channeled through its falsetto tones and ripe melodies, as if some abstract deity was speaking through its girlish glances and hip-hop reinvention. First he sent mix tapes: mix tapes that gave me more than pause, almost a xenophobic rash that can only be caused by fierce sibling resistance. I refused, clutching my Brit-pop, my indie rock, my pre-mod, post-mod pill pops. Anything artschool, anything with hummable melodies. Sad songs about bikes. Anything but J-pop, anything but allowing my... More >>>