June 28, 2023 Playlist

Dempagumi.inc "WWDD" (2015)
Dempagumi.inc "WWDD"  2015 (Japan)
My dorky confession: I think Dempagumi is the best pop group of the 21st century. I'd even say the best pop group since The Beatles, who invented "the pop group." A few years ago, I could never have conceived that my favorite musical artists in the world would be hyper-caffienated Japanese "idol girls" who sing in unison with extremely high-pitched voices. In fact, I wasn't particularly interested in "pop music" at all for the decades in between the peak of Spice Girls mania c. 1998 and discovering the enigmatic Poppy in 2018, who inadvertantly guided me to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and I immediately fell into the rabbit hole of "J-pop" (contemporary Japanese pop music) where I have been living ever since. The thing that drew me in to J-pop was a pop scene that still believed in mixing things up: rock and rap and electronica and horns and strings, arranged in clever and sometimes startling juxtapositions. Futuristic but also respecting traditions (like virtuoso musicianship and writing songs with interesting chords and melodies!) I didn't come across Dempagumi until the spring of 2019, and by that time the group's "hot new thing" status was cooling off considerably and has continued to do so. Significant line-up changes in 2021-22 have reduced the group to only 2.5 of the "classic six" members remaining in the current 7.5 member lineup (I count Mirin as a half-member now, since she has not returned to full-time duty following her 18-month maternity leave.) But in 2015, the year this week's classic album was released, Dempagumi were one of the biggest groups in Japan: starring in a movie and a sequel, two seasons of their own TV show, numerous commercials, and scoring a couple dozen hit singles (though interestingly they have never reached #1 on the Japanese charts). WWDD was their third album, and the trajectory leading up to it was basically: 1. indie label debut with funny title scrapes the bottom of the charts, 2. sophomore major label release is a game-changing masterpiece that turns them into overnight sensations, 3. PROFIT!!! Which is to say, this album is like the previous one (they have their formula down pat now) with even more bangin' big hit singles than their breakout record. Three Top 10 hits on this album which have become signature songs for the group are "Republic Of Fun", "Chururi Chururira", and "Cherry Blossom Apparition". Coming back to the present: they released a new 5-song EP last week, included the song for this mind-boggling video "Ancient Akiba Legend".
Dempagumi & Otoboke Beaver gig poster

(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year Country
The Peanut Butter ConspiracyWondermentThe Great Conspiracy1968USA
The DoorsPeace FrogMorrison Hotel1970USA
The Rolling StonesStreet Fighting ManBeggar's Banquet1968UK
Goat Goatmilk
   --> Blow The Horns
Oh Death (N)2022  (Rocket)Sweden
The Damned Leader Of The GangDarkadelic (N)
Sparks Nothing Is As Good As They Say It IsThe Girl Is Crying In Her Latte (N)
2023 (Island)USA
Swans The BeggarThe Beggar (N)
2023 (Young God)USA
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Converge
   --> Witchcraft
PetroDragonic Apocalypse Or, Dawn Of Eternal Night:
An Annihilation Of Planet Earth And The Beginning
Of Merciless Damnation (
2023 (KGLW)Australia
Osees Die LaughingIntercepted Message (N)
2023 (Castle Face)USA
Dempagumi.incBari3 Kyouwakoku ("Republic Of Fun")WWDD
Dempagumi.incMamonaku, Dempagumi.inc Ga Ririku Itashimasu
("Pretty Soon, Dempagumi.inc Will Take The Stage")
Dempagumi.incDance Dance DanceWWDD
Pinky! (Ayane Fujisaki)
from Dempagumi.inc
P and A
(a pun on "Panda" also referencing her two names Pinky and Ayane)
WWDD - special edition bonus EP of solo songs2015Japan
Dempagumi.inc (with Guitar Wolf) DempadepartureOne Nation Under The Dempa EP (N)2023 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
Otoboke BeaverPARDON?Super Champon2022Japan
Niji No Conquistador
("Rainbow Conquerer ")
Alien Girl In New YorkRainbow Eclipse2016Japan
You'll Melt More!Okoronaide ("Don't Get Mad")Surpriser2020Japan
Appare! ("Bravo!")Appare Bibadi
(a pun on the band name and "Up Up Everybody" - sic?)
Tsu Shi Ma Mi ReKedama Boogie ("Rubber Ball Boogie" - sic?)Souzou Ninshin ("Pregnant Fantasy")2004Japan
88Kasyo Junrei
("88-point Pilgrimage")
Ku Ku Nenbutsu ("Suffering Chant")00882013Japan
Green Milk From The Planet OrangeStardustThird2019Japan
Last Exit
(Peter Brötzmann 1942 - 2023)
Red LightLast Exit1986USA/Germany
James Blood Ulmer (with Ornette Coleman)Woman ComingTales Of Captain Black1979USA
Larry Coryell & The Eleventh HouseYinIntroducing The Eleventh House1974USA
Herbie MannThe Wailing Dervishes (live)The Wailing Dervishes1967USA
Sun RaMoonship JourneyCosmos1977USA
Dave McMurray The Other One (Grateful Dead)Grateful Deadication 2 (N)
2023 (Blue Note)USA

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