Archive for “July, 2017”

Top 3 Indies Videos 7/16/17! Bombón, Dubmatix King, The Van T’s, N’shukugawa Boys (Japan)

It’s time once again for the Top 3 Indies Artist Video Countdown. The Top 3 best Indies and Alternative Music artists for the week of July 16, 2017!

First up is an all-girl trio Surf rock and roll band from San Pedro named Bombón. Their FB says, “Founded in San Pedro in 2009, the three ladies behind the band, Angela Ramos, Paloma Bañuelos, and Jerico Campbell, have been working hard ever since to deliver their gospel of old style surf rock blended with ‘60s garage rock and DIY punk rock attitude far and wide. The last five years have seen the girls release an EP on Burger Records and an LP on 45 RPM Records.”

Today’s song is surfomatic cinematic cool! Here’s their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/laschicasdelbombon

#3) Bombón – “La Sirena” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3i8nKGZEek

At #2 is a song that could easily qualify for my “Cool & Strange Music” countdown (See the latest here: Cool & Strange Music Countdown June 20, 2017! Pinksideofthemoon, Japanese Led Zeppelin, Miami Dade County Police!)

It’s the Dubmatix King! Dubmatix King (or maybe just “Dubmatix” is from Toronto, Canada). He is a Musician, Producer, Mastering, Radio Host, Label Owner and has won a shitload of Juno awards… Most recently this year for “Best Reggae Recording.” This stuff is hot! Oh, he has a Facebook page (or two): https://www.facebook.com/dubmatix/

2) Dubmatix King – Sex Pistols – “Anarchy In The UK” (Ska Remix)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?sns=fb&v=OaQi63-DXEo

At #1 this week is a video hot off the presses. It a 4-piece group from Glasgow, Scotland who got together in 2013 and, also, have graced this chart at least 2 or 3 times in the past. Their name is the Van T’s. And they are two twins and two others joining in to make “…everything you ever wanted from a 90’s dream.” I think they are fab!

I can’t find a homepage for them (they have a Spotify but Spotify sucks!) But they do have a Facebook page (But duh! Facebook sucks too!) Go Like it here: https://www.facebook.com/TheVanTs/

#1) The Van T’s – Fresh Meat  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYa52w5OgG0

Spotlight Artist! It’s now time to show you good people our usual spotlight on a Japanese artist. I had planned on introducing a different artist, but they put out a video and it was merely a 30-second teaser. I hate those. Why bother? So…. Since I don’t have anything super brand new, here is one of my all-time favorites from a short while back. They are a trio named the N’shukugawa Boys. I LOVE THIS BAND!!!!! I think this was one of the best songs that has come out of Japan in a long time. It’s got everything you want from a Japanese band: looks, hooks, and slightly bizarre. This is a true classic!

Unfortunately, the N’shukugawa Boys broke up (last year, in 2016, I think it was). The lead vocalist Marya is currently heading up the fantastic Japanese bad boy group, The King Brothers… Check this out, gang, you will dig this!

Spotlight Artist! N’shukugawa Boys – Monogatari Ha Chito Fuantei  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBddnWs4-Ag

By the way, the King Brothers have a song on the Original Soundtrack on my feature length Rock n Roll Ghost Movie: Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story. Here’s the trailer (If you like the trailer and want to see this flick near your hometown, please come “Like” our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Japaneserocknrollghost/)

That’s all for today! See you next week when we return to the Top 3 Indies Artist Videos Countdown. See ya! – Mike in Tokyo Rogers

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About Mike in Tokyo Rogers: Mike has been a professional music/TV/radio/anime-related program producer in Japan since the eighties. He began in the music business in 1977 as lead vocalist with the legendary Los Angeles Punk Band, “The Rotters” (Sit on My Face Stevie Nix.). As a university student, he was assistant to the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the ROQ – KROQ Los Angeles from 1980 ~ 1981.) Mike was the first and only foreigner in Japanese history to become the General Manager of a major Japanese broadcasting station (TV Tokyo owned InterFM). Has produced a few smash hit programs (some real losers, too!) and several of Tokyo’s highest rated and most famous radio programs. A recent hit program was “The TV Show” (Set Program with “Ninja Slayer”) which, between April – Oct. 2015, garnered over 10 million viewers.  He is currently producing and hosting “WTF?” the hugely popular Sunday live show on InterFM 89.7 . And his life’s dream is his just completed full-length motion picture, Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Storywhich will be released by a major Japanese motion picture company and in theaters all across Japan in Autumn 2017. (See trailer here:  https://vimeo.com/210533272)

… Oh, and he likes to write about himself in the third person!)

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PAST ISSUES OF THE TOP 3 VIDEOS:

LAST WEEK:

Top 3 Indies Videos 7/9/17! Pats Pats (Jpn), Pale Lips, Flemmings & Peeling! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-7917-pats-pats-jpn-pale-lips-flemmings-peeling/

Top 3 Indies Videos 7/1/17! Vile Assembly, Wolf Girl, Taffy (Jpn), Mutation, The Darling Buds, Bonsai Kitten! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-7117-vile-assembly-wolf-girl-taffy-jpn-mutation-the-darling-buds-bonsai-kitten/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/25/17! The Shit! The Goggles (Jpn)! The Bopp! Ice Cold Slush! http://robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-62517-the-shit-the-goggles-jpn-the-bopp-ice-cold-slush/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/18/17! Molly & The Krells, Shirley Holmes, JinnyOops (Jpn), Blood People! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-61817-molly-the-krells-shirley-holmes-jinnyoops-jpn-blood-people/
Top 3 Indies Videos 6/11/17! The Fontaines, Beck Black, Taffy (Japan) The Beverleys! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-61117-the-fontaines-beck-black-taffy-japan-the-beverleys/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/4/17! Bobby’s Bar (Japan), Trash Templars, Peeling, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-6417-bobbys-bar-japan-trash-templars-peeling-jessica-hernandez-the-deltas/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/28/17! The Atomics, Fiona Silver, Plastic Girl in Closet (Japan), Blaire Alise & the Bombshells! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-52817-the-atomics-fiona-silver-plastic-girl-in-closet-japan-blaire-alise-the-bombshells/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/21/17! Moja (Japan), Baby Shakes, Sloan Peterson, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-52117-moja-japan-baby-shakes-sloan-peterson-jessica-hernandez-the-deltas/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/14/17! Blaire Alise & the Bombshells, Lisa Mychols, Pats Pats (Japan), Single By Sunday http://robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-51417-blaire-alise-the-bombshells-lisa-mychols-pats-pats-japan-single-by-sunday/

 

MORE TOP 3 VIDEOS SEARCH: http://robot55.jp/?s=Top+3+videos

If you like this countdown every week, please come “Like” our Robot55 Facebook page (or friend us on Twitter or subscribe to our Youtube page). Thanks!

 

Making a Great Music Video for Zero Budget

“Good ideas will replace a lack of cash any day.” – Mike Rogers

Su Ko D Koi – Japanese girls band

     I was asked by a friend to help with making a music video for a band. My friend is on the other side of the earth, so I don’t know how much help I can be.

     So here is my freebie advice (for what it is worth)….First things first… As far as making a video. My friend wrote that she’s: “been given the opportunity to produce/direct a music video for the title track of a soon-to-be-released CD.”

     I can guess that she reached out to me because she might not know where to start. That’s normal. I’m the same way every time I make a video.

     I always remember one important thing that my hero Quentin Tarantino once said (I’m paraphrasing here):

     “It is not necessary that I know how to do everything: camera, editing, lighting, etc…. As the producer/director/writer it is only important that I have a vision and am smart enough to gather people around me who have more talent and are smarter than me. Also, after I gather them, it is ultimately most important that I am skilled enough in communication to get them to understand my vision….. That’s all.

     I used to be a (sort of) good cameraman and editor and lighting… Now? I have gotten old and my eyes are bad so I can’t see if the shots are in focus…. The editing software constantly changes so I don’t know how to use the new software and am very slow (always was)…. The lighting? I can still do that…. (Yuji Wada who does the lighting for all of Sophie Coppola’s movies – Lost in Translation, etc. – was my teacher and best friend.)

     But it is better for me to find people who are better than me and smarter than me to work on the project. I just have to make sure they understand the vision and to have them help me achieve that vision.

     Always remember: We don’t hire smart/talented people so that we can tell them what to do; we hire people smarter and more talented than us so that they tell us what to do! (We tell them the vision. They tell us how to implement).

NUTS AND BOLTS ON A VIDEO:

     A while back, I stumbled upon this (at the time) unknown girls band, named Su Ko D Koi. I liked them a lot and asked them if we could make their video (as a DJ, I do have an eye and ear for what might become big). We had a zero budget of course. So, we figured the best way is to shoot their live show, rehearsal, and not spend any money. Then we add some “spice” to make the video fun and entertaining.

     The basic way to do this for a music video? Shoot at the venue of a live show for that band. Shoot the live show but also shoot full dress rehearsal a few hours before the live show. (Why at a venue? Because one of the biggest problems with cheap assed videos is poor lighting… At most venues they have professional lighting. Use it.) Also have the band make damned sure the venue knows what is going on (they have to know, someone needs to control the lighting!) Every one shows up to sound check/rehearsal at least 1.5 hours early ready to start.

Use at least two cameras. Shoot the exact same song (Shoot the exact same song (lip synched to CD) three times at full dress rehearsal (these are almost all very close up shots). Then two cameras shooting the song performed live one time. (Tell the band to play live as close to the CD recording as possible because syncing up for edit is difficult and time consuming if versions are different or timing is different.)

     Also remember:

1) For bands that do not move around a lot: Move the cameras around a lot to create the feel of action.
2) At the dress rehearsal shoots: Tell the lighting people to do the lighting the same as the actual live.
3) Make sure the bands tell the venue  way before the day of the shoot. Thank the venue folks for supporting your efforts (make damned sure the venue name appears in the video or at the ending – ask the venue boss for a logo to be sent to you. – Hell, you never know, if you do a good job, the venue might ask you back!)
4) For one song, it takes at least three or four takes at rehearsal to get footage you need. That only takes 15 ~ 25 minutes. But set up takes time… Make sure everyone (and venue lighting people) know what’s going on and arrive 1.5 hours earlier than usual.
5) If the band will be lip syncing to a song, better make damned sure you have that song on a CD (and a backup CD) when you get to the club…. Duh!

The Actual Video Concept?

     This is the producers/directors/writers job (that’s you). Come up with an idea for the base. This will be the “Spice” that makes the video stand out. Make sure everyone “gets it.”

This Su Ko D Koi video was completely inspired by the ending theme of the Monkees TV show from the sixties (See below). This video was a smash success and one of their most viewed videos of all time (even though the budget was basically zero). 170,000 views in less than 2 years (actually, over 200,000 views adding in another link that we have deleted now.)

Here is the original Monkees TV show ending for your reference:

Original Monkees TV Show ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKzw_rapYNs

We use this low-budget concept for almost all the videos we make. My partner (and video genius extraordinaire), Ken Nishikawa, (and I) make these videos for basically free for bands because music has given us a good life and we want to “pay back” and help Indies bands…. In most cases, if we don’t help these indies bands make a professional video, they’ll never have one.

Su Ko D Koi is now becoming very famous in Japan…. The next band, Shonen Knife, has been famous for a long time. We shot their video in order to give ourselves some credibility. Oh, and they also paid us a little bit because they are so cool – and famous! But the basic plan: Shoot dress rehearsal before a live show and the live show to cut costs remains the same.

This video was inspired by 1960s Beatles videos and an old 1930s movie of the title I’ve forgotten.  The archival scenes inside the video can be used for free from here (read terms of use: https://archive.org/index.php). You’ll have to write to them to get clearance, but they are happy if you credit them and use their footage!

Shonen Knife – Ghost Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCpfohSnp0U

     The Shonen Knife video was made for less than a few hundred dollars. But you don’t have to tell your client that. There are LOTS of band video on the internet around that cost several thousand dollars that are terrible! The trick is to get your $100 video to look like it cost $5,000 or $10,000 or more!

     Always remember that: “Good ideas will replace a lack of cash any day.”

     That’s my best advice on making a great band video.

Some others we made using the technique above:

The Pats Pats – A.A.A. (We did shoot some shots with them hugging and playing with a cat…. But the cat wasn’t cooperative at all and got mad and scratched one of the girls (uh oh!) so we trashed all those shots…. Working with animals? Not recommended.) Oh, and can you tell that this Pats Pats video was shot at the same venue as much of the Shonen Knife video was shot at?

Make sure the venue you choose has great lighting – dark clubs are not good.

This next one is an old one from a punk band from Kobe. I want you to look at this one as it uses archival footage from Archive.org too (like the Shonen Knife video). Once again, there’s tons of great footage at Archive.org but you have to write to them…. Don’t be lazy! It just takes a few minutes to write to these kind people and ask them for permission! And, as in this case, it’s well worth the effort… Not every Japanese punk band can be in a video with the legendary Bela Lugosi!

The Soap – The Street  https://youtu.be/scf3xBQV-cg?t=5s

The next video of Japan’s seminal rock band, the Privates, was shot before a live show at a club in Shinjuku. The club’s stage was so small that we moved the band to the crowd area and shot there. This was done with three cameras and four takes lip synched to the CD. This club is small and, since the Privates were playing there, it was sold out months in advance (of course)… So there is no live footage because that club was sardine can packed that night!

This video was directed by Ken Nishikawa. Brilliant editing by Ken too… It reminds me of trippy music videos from back in the days when people dropped a lot of acid (Repo-Man reference for those of you paying attention.)

The Privates – Action Woman  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlHfjMx31Dw

Here’s another old one: Moja! This got great reviews…. Moja is interesting as they are a very difficult band to capture their true spirit in a video. Has to be live…. Lots of spice.

Moja – Hello Hello   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6K0aaVtnWs

Ken and I with the team also made a full length motion picture that hits theaters in Japan in Sept. 2017. The same concept for the music videos. Lots of fast cuts, on sync, good lighting….

Oh, and the last important thing, always believe in the project. You have to believe in yours. I always believe in mine or I don’t do them. As for this movie, we have garnered a deal with a very famous Japanese major film studio for release as well as some film festivals. I found out later that my team didn’t think that was possible (so maybe I need to work on convincing people and explaining the vision). But I expected to sell the movie and I expected success.

Believe in your project. Believe in yourself.

Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story  https://vimeo.com/210533272

The ideas above will work for all music videos. So what are you waiting for?


Thanks to my genius friend and partner Ken Nishikawa. Without him, I couldn’t do anything!

Top 3 Indies Videos 7/9/17! Pats Pats (Jpn), Pale Lips, Flemmings & Peeling!

It’s time once again for the Top 3 Indies Artist Video Countdown. The Top 3 best Indies and Alternative Music artists for the week of July 9, 2017!

First up is a brand new artist called the Flemmings that was introduced to us by Alex over at Wassup Rocker Radio (Check their newest groovy video here: http://bit.ly/2tSpLZB). The Flemmings just released a cool punk vinyl 10-inch EP with a mere 250 copies, so we’re seeing some really fresh new stuff here. There is absolutely no information about this band anywhere but I gather from the jacket art, it is a guy and a girl – the video shows 4 of them. Their label, ODD Records is in Cardiff in the UK. Nope! No Facebook page or Twitter that I can find!

#3) Flemmings – The Rats Are Back   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZaFBKA7LcM

Next up is a 4-piece “psych punk/noise pop” unit from Toronto. Their name is “Peeling.” Band info? Ha! You now know as much as I do; which is next to nuttin’. (I wonder why bands seem to have stopped posting basic information? Hmmm?) Here is their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/peelingband

And their Bandcamp page: https://peeling.bandcamp.com/

#2) Peeling – Leisure Life  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4kG_VejZA

At #1 is a band that I just discovered yesterday and I LOVE THIS BAND!!!! It’s the Pale Lips who claim to be “Drippy mascara slopped rock n’ roll with sprinkles!” from Montreal, Canada…. (Hey! That’s two bands from Canada on this week! What’s going on up there?) The Pale Lips are a Bubblegum Punk/ Power Pop/ Rock n’ Roll all-girl quartet and they get the enthusiastic nod for #1 this week. Here’s their Facebook page. Go “Like” it. I did: https://www.facebook.com/palelips/

#1) Pale Lips – Mary-Lou Sniffin’ Glue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFM4i_0XsmM

Spotlight Artist! Today’s spotlight goes to one of my favorite Japanese girls bands of all time. Their name are the “Pats Pats.” AND I AM SO DAMNED PROUD OF THEM!!!!!! I’ve been telling people for a few years now that I think the Pats Pats are going to become famous and that they could become the “Next Shonen Knife!” Well, well, well… Lookie here! Give you one guess who is opening for the legendary Shonen Knife’s tour starting tomorrow night! The Pats Pats!!!! Yeah!!!!!

Check it! http://www.gogovamp.com/news/3412.php

Pats Pats Shonen Knife Tour

Be there! Also, here is the Pats Pats Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/patspats/

(I like this band so much that my friend Ken Nishikawa and I made their latest video!)

Spotlight Artist! The Pats Pats A.A.A.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7-4IWBiSSU

Here’s a freebie for all you Shonen Knife fans. Here’s another video Ken Nishikawa and I made – for Shonen Knife!

Shonen Knife – Ghost Train / 少年ナイフ – ゴースト・トレイン https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCpfohSnp0U

That’s all for today! See you next week when we return to the Top 3 Indies Artist Videos Countdown. See ya! – Mike in Tokyo Rogers

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About Mike in Tokyo Rogers: Mike has been a professional music/TV/radio/anime-related program producer in Japan since the eighties. He began in the music business in 1977 as lead vocalist with the legendary Los Angeles Punk Band, “The Rotters” (Sit on My Face Stevie Nix.). As a university student, he was assistant to the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the ROQ – KROQ Los Angeles from 1980 ~ 1981.) Mike was the first and only foreigner in Japanese history to become the General Manager of a major Japanese broadcasting station (TV Tokyo owned InterFM). Has produced a few smash hit programs (some real losers, too!) and several of Tokyo’s highest rated and most famous radio programs. A recent hit program was “The TV Show” (Set Program with “Ninja Slayer”) which, between April – Oct. 2015, garnered over 10 million viewers.  He is currently producing and hosting “WTF?” the hugely popular Sunday live show on InterFM 89.7 . And his life’s dream is his just completed full-length motion picture, Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Storywhich will be released by a major Japanese motion picture company and in theaters all across Japan in Autumn 2017. (See trailer here: https://vimeo.com/210533272)… Oh, and he likes to write about himself in the third person!)

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PAST ISSUES OF THE TOP 3 VIDEOS:

LAST WEEK:

Top 3 Indies Videos 7/1/17! Vile Assembly, Wolf Girl, Taffy (Jpn), Mutation, The Darling Buds, Bonsai Kitten! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-7117-vile-assembly-wolf-girl-taffy-jpn-mutation-the-darling-buds-bonsai-kitten/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/25/17! The Shit! The Goggles (Jpn)! The Bopp! Ice Cold Slush! http://robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-62517-the-shit-the-goggles-jpn-the-bopp-ice-cold-slush/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/18/17! Molly & The Krells, Shirley Holmes, JinnyOops (Jpn), Blood People! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-61817-molly-the-krells-shirley-holmes-jinnyoops-jpn-blood-people/
Top 3 Indies Videos 6/11/17! The Fontaines, Beck Black, Taffy (Japan) The Beverleys! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-61117-the-fontaines-beck-black-taffy-japan-the-beverleys/

Top 3 Indies Videos 6/4/17! Bobby’s Bar (Japan), Trash Templars, Peeling, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-6417-bobbys-bar-japan-trash-templars-peeling-jessica-hernandez-the-deltas/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/28/17! The Atomics, Fiona Silver, Plastic Girl in Closet (Japan), Blaire Alise & the Bombshells! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-52817-the-atomics-fiona-silver-plastic-girl-in-closet-japan-blaire-alise-the-bombshells/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/21/17! Moja (Japan), Baby Shakes, Sloan Peterson, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-52117-moja-japan-baby-shakes-sloan-peterson-jessica-hernandez-the-deltas/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/14/17! Blaire Alise & the Bombshells, Lisa Mychols, Pats Pats (Japan), Single By Sunday http://robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-51417-blaire-alise-the-bombshells-lisa-mychols-pats-pats-japan-single-by-sunday/

Top 3 Indies Videos 5/07/17! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-50717-jungles-japan-pinksideofthemoon-the-coathangers-skating-polly/

Top 3 Indies Videos 4/30/17! No Girlfriends, pinksideofthemoon, Lisa Mychols, Bo-Peep! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-43017-no-girlfriends-pinksideofthemoon-lisa-mychols-bo-peep/

Top 3 Indies Videos 4/23/17! Daphne Guinness, Potty Mouth, Femmepop, Hands Off Gretel! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-42317-daphne-guinness-potty-mouth-femmepop-hands-off-gretel/

Top 3 Indies Videos 4/16/17! Warbly Jets, Baby Shakes, Samehada Shiroko & Dynamite, Ryan Hamilton & the Traitors! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-videos-41617-warbly-jets-baby-shakes-samehada-shiroko-dynamite-ryan-hamilton-the-traitors/

Top 3 Indies Music Videos 4/9/17! Miss Derringer, 222, Glam Skanks, Yanagiya Mutsumi&The Ratbones (Japan) robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-music-videos-4917-miss-derringer-222-glam-skanks-yanagiya-mutsumi&the-ratbones-japan/

Top 3 Indies Music Videos 4/2/17! Lisa Mychols, The Routes, Circe Link, Su Ko D Koi! robot55.jp/blog/top-3-indies-music-videos-4217-lisa-mychols-the-routes-circe-link-su-ko-d-koi/

MORE TOP 3 VIDEOS SEARCH: http://robot55.jp/?s=Top+3+videos

If you like this countdown every week, please come “Like” our Robot55 Facebook page (or friend us on Twitter or subscribe to our Youtube page). Thanks!