Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Very Own Rock & Roll Swindle! How I Scammed the Music Business in Japan!


Alternative title: "How to use lessons of the Sex Pistols to sell records."

"Hype is always better than reality" - Me


In the early nineties, I ran one of the best-selling independent record labels in Japan. It was called "Samson Records." We were based in Shinjuku, Tokyo and I started the label with a guy from Osaka named Suzuki who owned a radio program recording studio named "Sam." Hence the name of the record label, "Samson Records." 

"Of course you do...."

The company was set up so that I would split 1/2 with Suzuki everything we made. He provided the studios and staff and engineers. I would set up the music and branding and marketing... Later I would be given shares in "Sam" on a stock option (an option that I was never able to exercise). 


The former president of Tower Records Asia, Keith Cahoon, once told me that Samson was the number one selling Indies label in Japan.


This is a brief story about how that label began and how I scammed the Japan music industry.


The beginnings of Samson Label:


We wanted to make a cool indies label that had a policy of very stylish and sophisticated music. J-Wave FM radio station in Tokyo was booming and they had a very chic and stylish image. I wanted to sell music that they would air for us (I also had my own late night show on that station).



I was trying to license music from Europe (mostly France) but was having lots of trouble with conceited artists (what's new?) who wanted huge advances (like $25,000 ~ $50,000)... We didn't have any money to pay advances like that!



It was funny dealing with artists from around the world. If you were interested in music from an American artist and inquired with them, they'd normally say, "OK. Let's have our lawyers get in contact with each other." 



If you were interested in music from a Canadian or Australian artist, they'd normally say, "Great! We'll even pay for our own airfare to come play in Japan!"

If you told a European - or especially a British artist - that you liked their music, they'd take a drag on their cigarette and in a very aloof manner say, "Of course you do."

It was very difficult licensing music from Europeans and Americans. So I decided that we'd make our own stylish music. That first project became known as "Nadege" in Japan and was a smash Indies success that was later sold to a major label. 

Besides problems with licensing foreign artists for Japan, for Indies labels, there was (still are) problems with the music publishers in Japan. Mostly the problems are with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC).

At that time, JSRAC extorted money, er I mean, "arranged payment" from all small labels by a silly "sticker on album" system. JASRAC used to charge indies labels ¥90 per sticker to be placed on CDs (about $1.10) whether they sell or not - just for manufacture of product. JASRAC would make you buy these little stickers at ¥90 a pop to place on all CDs made. It seemed ridiculous to me.

No, you couldn't just print these on the CDs jackets either. They had to be the actual stickers!

A new label can't afford these types of charges up front. If our Indies label was going to fly, I had to figure a way out of these problems. But how?
Well, as I wrote about the other day in I Was a Teenage Punk Rocker - Why Dedication Beats Fanaticism Any Day! Even for Punk Rock or Success in Any Field!... I had a punk rock band background so I got to thinking.
First off, I went to Korea and made a deal to press CDs over there (I think I was one of the first, if not thee first, to go make a deal like that)... 

We got around massive import duties by having them ship the CDs as "unfinished product" (parts). The Korean manufacturer would ship the boxes, discs, wrappers all separately and then we'd assemble them into finished product by hand in Japan (that was a tough job!) We printed the sleeves, etc. locally in Japan.
Then I knew a half-French / Japanese girl named Vivi. Vivi was a Deejay at Bay-FM (a Chiba Japan FM radio station) and so was I. Vivi was an excellent singer. She also spoke perfect French (well, at least good enough for the Japanese). We put her and the engineer and the producer in the studio and played some music for them and told them to write songs like some examples that I had brought along for them to hear... You know, smooth jazzy lounge music (like Bossa Nova style, Sergio Mendez, etc....) They did a good job writing songs. They went to work on making the music and I would check it out every once in a while and add comments or advice...

Some advice they took; some they didn't. It was okay with me, I figured. If I already knew what 17-year-olds wanted to buy, I would have already been rich! And anyway, I was in charge of sales and marketing and branding anyhow....
In Japan, at that time, if a CD said, "Made in Korea" or "Made in Japan" on the jacket then there were 3 problems: One, JASRAC will demand payment and two, Japanese radio station directors won't play it... Nor would store buyers at places like Tower Records, HMV, Virgin Mega-Stores buy them - that was the third problem... 

This was at the very start of the boom in foreign music stores in Japan and I desperately needed these stores to carry our product... I needed the local radio stations to play the songs... I didn't want to pay JASRAC unless I sold a record....

Malcolm McLaren

So, how to fool all these people? I thought about it for a long time and then it dawned on me like a bolt of lightening! I asked myself, "How would Malcolm McLaren or the Sex Pistols do it?" I soon had my answer. 
I forbade my staff from putting any Japanese writing on the CD at all. None. Zero. Verboten! Then in large letters on the back of the CD backing sleeve, I ordered the designer to write, "Made in France." 
When the JASRAC people saw that they thought, "Oh? Not manufactured in Japan? You don't have to pay publishing royalties!" And, since the sleeves were printed in Japan and parts shipped from Korea, I didn't pay import duties for finished product! (Smirk, smirk!) 

We finally finished the CD, put it all together and started selling it. We offered a really good price to stores for quality product that the stores believed was imported. Even though it looked like an import, we gave the stores excellent product for about half the price of a regular import. We even gave them 100% return rights. The CDs sold like hotcakes!
Soon after, I took some CDs to J-Wave (the big radio station in Tokyo that plays that kind of music) to promote the CD. 

There I met a director named Ishii san. Ishii san was a very arrogant and conceited little piece o' sh*t... er, I mean politically powerful radio director and producer. He was director of what was probably the most famous J-Wave radio program (I can't remember the name). I walked in with the CD to hand to him and he laughed at me (in a very condescending manner) and said, "I already have that CD. I bought it at the store yesterday!" (As if to say, "I'm always way ahead of you Rogers, you are always behind a cool trend setter like me!") 

I saw the CD he was proudly holding in his hand and had a hard time not laughing, but I bowed my head to him and said something like, "Yes. Of course. You are an expert on French pop music. It figures you'd have it first, Ishii san!"
That CD sold well over 20,000 copies in the first month. Considering that we were an Indies label, we made about $10.00 (USD) profit for every album we sold.


Later on we sold all the past released albums for that artist known as "Nadege" to Victor Records for about $600,000 (USD)... Hilarious, huh? We sold to Victor Records a "French pop group" that didn't really exist except that it consisted of one half-French / Japanese girl and two Japanese in studio dorks for over a half million dollars.  

Man, did we have a massive party the night that deal was signed!

I think they released several albums on Victor but never had any more hits... Major labels always have a way of making something cool quite the opposite.
We never were able to repeat the wild success we had with Nadege with other artists but we were able to still have several artist's albums that sold well over 15,000 ~ 20,000 each. 

It was a great time to be running an Indies label in Japan and it was a wonderful memory! It was my very own "Rock and Roll Swindle!"
The music was good, for sure... But the entire concept and selling and marketing was all a scam! It was a lesson that I will never forget: Hype truly is always better than reality!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Found a Major Facebook Glitch


I have discovered a major glitch on Facebook and have also found out that several of my friends have the same problem. You might have it too!

The problem is that we have a lots of friends, but Facebook shows us as only having a few "followers." 

Why does that matter? Why is that a big deal? Well, because, if you are like me and host a radio show, or do anything where a strong social media presence is a must, then this is critical: It looks like you have no REAL friends or followers to show clients. If you are like me, you need to show potential clients and sponsors how many friends I have and how many followers you have on Social Media.

That's why I wrote this post, I thought I should alert others.

I have nearly 5000 friends on Facebook. But it shows me as only having 34 followers! That's impossible. A few months ago, it showed that I had something like 4117!

Now, only 34? How did that happen?

As of today, I have 4,989 friends. I used to always have a consistent 5000 friends, but I have been deleting a lot of people who go off on politics supporting this clown or that. (Please refer to: Musicians, Artists and Politics - The Day the Music Dies



So, almost 5000 friends. Great. I must have lots of followers, right? I do, actually, but my Facebook page says I only have 34. WTF?


I was wondering what made so many people get mad an unfollow me? But actually, they haven't. There's a bug in the system; the counter is wrong.

The weirdest part is that if I click the "Followed by 34 people" link, I can see that I do have hundreds, if not thousands of followers.

I told one of my other writer friends about this and he checked and found the exact same problem. He has "only" 2800 + friends, but his page says he only has 3 followers!!!!! Yikes! Now that can't be right!

So, check to see if your page is like this.

If so, do what I did and write to Facebook and ask them to fix it. (On your top page, top far right, click the upside down triangle. Scroll down to "Report a Problem.")




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock N Roll Ghost story. New Trailer. トレイラー新バージョン!

My movie is almost finished. I've gotten great reviews. 

My favorite is: 

“Loved it! Really original. It really is a Japanese HARD DAY’S NIGHT with a ghost story twist.” - Stephen David Brooks  (Award Winning Director "Flytrap.")

Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock N Roll Ghost story. New Trailer. トレイラー新バージョン! Sorry. You have to click or copy and paste the link I cannot embed it! 
https://vimeo.com/197078048


Yes... And there IS a bedroom scene with Mina Shirakawa in the film.


Here are the reviews/blurbs I've received so far:

“Loved it! Really original. It really is a Japanese HARD DAY’S NIGHT with a ghost story twist.” - Stephen David Brooks  (Award Winning Director "Flytrap.") 

“Sharp, stylish and effortlessly cool, this a world where hairstyles and guitars are king. 
It made me homesick and it made me want to practice. And I never practice, so that must be voodoo. 'Ghostroads' is the movie that comes with free black magic.” - Ginger Wildheart

"Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story" is a beautiful movie and a fun story.... It reminds me of the Beatles movie, 'Hard Days Night.' A future classic rock n roll movie! Two thumbs up!” - Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the Roq - KROQ Los Angeles)

 “Brilliant! Never a dull moment. The music was off the hook. What a rockin' great band. The story teller was superb. Ghostroads is destined to be a cult classic Rock n Roll movie! Bravo!” - Billy Bones (Former lead singer of the Skulls and current Los Angeles punk rock legend

"Get ready for some groovy rockin’ and rollin’ with large doses of spooky intrigue, steamy jealousy, ribald rivalry, backstabbing betrayal, the perfect black leather jacket, sultry groupies, a strummin’ specter and even a miniature stripper as lead guitarist of the Japanese rock group, the Screaming Telstars meets his doom in the form of a smokin’ vintage amplifier.  After crossing the Ghostroad, Tony discovers there is nowhere else to turn — and if you don’t give the devil his due, payback is a bitch." - Pamela DesBarres (Writer, "I'm with the Band" New York Times Bestseller.)

“...Funny, with a pinch of scariness and wonderful twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. Brilliant and wonderfully entertaining…” Lucy Blue (Lucy’s Crown)






Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Truth About Santa


Every year in December, Santa Claus goes with the good people from Children With Incurable Diseases Charity to visit sick children and their parents at hospitals around Japan. My good friend Santa tells me that he thinks Children With Incurable Diseases Charity (難病のこども支援全国ネットワーク)  is one of the best and most respected and reputable children’s charities in all of Japan.



I asked Santa about the reaction of the children at the hospitals and he just gave a heartfelt laugh and winked at me.

I said, “But, Santa, don’t the parents and the children know that Santa isn’t real?”

Santa then said to me, “Mike. Trust me. Santa is as real as night and day; Santa is as real as love and peace; Santa is as real as you and me. In fact, he continued, “Santa is better than real. Santa gives children and parents dreams and hope.”

I laughed too. Certainly, Santa was kidding me, I thought. After all, Christmas comes only once a year.

Santa patted my hand, leaned over and said, “Mike! Remember when you were a little boy? Remember that when you were small you believed in Santa?”

I said, “Yes.”

“Then, Santa continued, “You grew older, then you stopped believing in Santa, didn’t you?” I shook my head. “Then, one day, you went to school and maybe college and there you met a girl that you fell in love with. Then, God blessed you with a wonderful child.”

“So, you see, as a young boy, you believe in Santa, then you get older and stop believing. Then you get married and have a baby and then… You become Santa Claus for that wonderful child.” Santa said.

I was totally surprised. I had never thought about it before! Santa was right! When our children are born, mom or dad, we all become Santa! Of course! It’s true!

Roger Marshall of Odgers Berndtson appears as Santa again this year. Thanks, man!

I gave Santa a hug and then I remembered to think of the parents of the children with special needs; they care and give those special beautiful children the love and caring they need all-year round. Santa says he appreciates the Children With Incurable Diseases Charity people so very much because while Santa only visits once a year, these good people and these brave and wonderful parents are taking care of these special kids every minute of every day of the year.



Finally, Santa said to me, “Mike, did you know Mr. & Mrs. Santa have a special needs child too?”

“I didn’t know that, “Santa!” I replied.

He said, “Yes. Many parents have children who are considered normal and they grow up, go to school or get into trouble with drinking or drugs or car accidents… When many parents worry what their children are out doing at night, Mrs. Santa and I don’t. We know exactly where our little angel is every night. She is sleeping in her room. 

Some people might call her ‘handicapped’ but we call her ‘perfect.’

Never forget how wonderful you and your children are."

And with that, Santa smiled at me, stood up and gave out a big, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” He then got on his sled and flew into the night. As he disappeared into the night, I felt happy and as I waved my hand, I realized I was holding something.... I turned my hand over and opened it and I saw I held, “Hope.”

God bless you all. May all your dreams come true in the next year!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers' Top 50 Best Songs of 2016 (With Music Videos!)



Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers' Top 50 Best Songs of 2016 マイク・ロジャースの2016年のトップ50曲(1から50の順番リスト!)




These are my favorite songs and/or something from my favorite artists of the year. These are just my favorite 50 as I placed on the weekly Top 3 Video Countdown (http://robot55.jp/?s=top+3). There are also 5 songs included this year from the Cool & Strange Music Countdown too! (http://robot55.jp/?s=cool+%26+strange+music) Now, some of these songs were not released in 2016...  But so what? I play alternative and underground stuff so this year was the first time I had heard them and it's my countdown, so there! Also, these songs were chosen by my iTunes software as the Top 50 songs I played from October, 1 2015 until December 20, 2016 (Plus some late entries and other stuff that tickles my fancy!)....

I have placed videos with the songs whenever and where ever possible.

#1) Ginger Wildheart - Do You? 
The real story here in 2016 was Ginger Wildheart. Not only did he tour Japan but his music was the most played by any solo artist - by far - on my radio shows this year. "Do You?" has to be one of my favorite songs of all time. I wish there were a proper video for this song... Hey Ginger! When you come to Japan in January, let me make this video for you!




#2) Karma Dealers - Poison Free Malibu. 
Karma Dealers were in a dead-heat with #1. We played this song heavily and the lyrics are awesome: 
"The Cat woke up in Heaven, and spoke to the Rat. 
What are we doing here? Where are we at? 
He said, I ate some poison, from a black box, then you ate me, and so did the fox. 
We need a Poison free Malibu. 
The family was so sad, they put up signs everywhere, 
have you seen our loving cat, his name is bear, 
little did they know, it was cause of them, 
Their house had the black boxes, of poison. 
We need a poison free, poison free Malibu"  



#3) Kill My Coquette: Post Teenage Angst. 
Great song. Great video made by my friend Kansas Bowling. Kansas also made the future horror cult classic movie: B.C. Butcher.



#4) Ginger Wildheart & Courtney Love – Honour. 



#5) The Mirror Trap – Piranhas 
One of the other big stories for Japan in 2016 was the Mirror Trap from Scotland. They appeared at Summersonic 2016 and their fantastic album (with Japan only extra tracks) is available from Vinyl Junkie Records




#6) The Privates – Action Woman 

My best friend, Ken Nishikawa and Les Deciduous and I had the honor of making this video for one of Japan's legendary rock bands. Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the Roq) also gave this tune some heavy airplay! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlHfjMx31Dw



#7) The 50 Kaitenz ザ50回転ズ - Vinyl Change The World
These guys are considered by many to be "Japan's Best Punk Band." They are Japan's three-headed answer to the car crash between the Ramones and the Three Stooges. If you ever get a chance, go see these guys.



#8) Richie Ramone –  I Fix This   
This year also saw Richie Ramone back on the charts and doing a world tour and appearing in Japan. This is probably the greatest song The Ramones never made. I love this track!



#9) Baby Shakes "Summer Sun"
I was looking through Facebook one day and saw a post about this band. I clicked the link and thought, "I LOVE THIS!" This is one hot rock band!!!!


#10) Walkings – Flying Fly 
Next up is one of Japan hottest up-and-coming bands. They are called the Walkings and this is the best song T-Rex never made. These guys are HOT!



#11) Su凸ko D凹koi (Su Ko D Koi) – すっとこどっこい –  「店長、私バイト辞めます。」 (Shop Manager! I’m quitting my part-time job!) 
One day, I was at a Live House (Club) and these girls were practicing. I played them on the radio and Twitter went crazy. These girls are unusual for Japan as they sing pop but say things quite straight and directly. I hope they do a song in English and ask me to help! Anytime, ladies!!!!!


Mike & Taro’s FREE New Year’s party!   Jan 23, 2017 starting at 7 pm at Shibuya Milkyway.

Featuring Su Ko D Koi, The Stephanies, The Pats Pats. Tons of presents and surprises too! Wanna go? It’s free but you need to reserve a ticketGet a free ticket here: http://bit.ly/2fv2qoe

Mike & Taro とパーティーしましょう!「2017!新年会!」
2017年月1月23日(月)@Shibuya Milkyway  OPEN/START 18:30 / 19:15
ADV/DAY Invitation Only 1D¥600
CAST:Su凸ko D凹koi / THE STEPHANIES / THE PATS PATS

TICKET:会場・各バンドweb予約: 
http://bit.ly/2fv2qoe

お問い合わせ:Shibuya Milkyway  03-6416-3227
※先着限定200人!!

----------------------------

#12) REWS – Death Yawn
REWS are a London/Belfast based high energy pop rock duo. Great lyrics. 
  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTWx9nmMU4w





#13) The Stephanies - Baby, I Love You 
These girls are really making waves in Japan. They released their debut album in Sept of this year and, since then, have been opening for some of Japan's coolest bands. Wow!





#14) Placebo - Jesus' Son
Thank god! (Pun intended) Placebo graced us this year with what is probably their most positive track ever. Fantastic song.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obovwrfkvv4



#15) THE PATS PATS - ドーナツの歌 The Donuts Song 
Another great girl's band I found this year were the Pats Pats.... I think I've been playing them every week for 4 months now!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqlRybasUD0



#16) Ginger Wildheart – If You Find Yourself In London Town 
Ginger Wildheart again hits the charts with a fantastic ballad about being a down and out rock star hopeful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gkHcucD7Gk



#17) Black Honey – Hello Today.
Black Honey are a quartet from Brighton in England. They opened for the Mirror Trap in Tokyo and also appeared at Summersonic.



#18) The Spitfires – So Long
The Spitfires are from Watford in England and they have been getting lots of rave reviews and airplay. They were introduced to us by Gabbie and Chris who host the world famous Biscuit Boys radio show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ7AxEM13XQ



#19) Summer Twins – Demons 
Here's two girls from Riverside, California (????) that put out one heck of a catchy album this year. 



#20) Maddy Jane – Drown it Out 
I was doing my weekly web surfing and looking for new music when I stumbled upon Maddy Jane. She's from Tazmania and this is fab!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8iSVTjmYn0



#21) Bleached – Wednesday Night Melody 
Bleached are a band that I was turned on to by Rodney Bingenheimer! Their album, "Welcome to the Worms" was released April 1, 2016.



#22) Blaas of Glory – Why Can’t This Be Love 
A Heavy-Metal marching band from Holland!? Say no more! Love this!



#23) Dog Party - Til You’re Mine  
Two sisters from California. Opened for Green Day this year! 



#24) Lina Loi - Dip  
New Motown-sounding sensation from Los Angeles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqtNIYd7q8k



#25) Lucy’s Crown – Skinn   
Lucy's Crown is from Australia and is most likely the most heavily Australian band in the history of my shows. 



#26) The Love Me Nots – Don’t Let Him  
The Love Me Nots are a hot quartet from Phoenix Arizona. Wish they'd come to Japan. They'd be huge here.


#27) FRANKIE + THE STUDS – High on Yourself 
Frankie is Frankie Clarke. She's out of Los Angeles and has the awesome Ronnie Simmons on guitar. Ronnie toured this year with Richie Ramone!



#28) James Brown vs Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Sex Machine 
Here's another one from the Cool & Strange music files. How do they do this?


#29) Van T’s – Blood Orange   
I had the inkling earlier this year that there's some sort of a rock movement going on in Scotland.... Placebo, The Mirror Trap.... And then... the Van T's confirmed my hunch.



#30) Su凸ko D凹koi – Busu (Ugly) 
Next up is another video made by me and Ken Nishikawa. This was released in January of this year! Su Ko D Koi are the only Japanese band to ever have two songs in the Top 50!


#31) Hey! Hello! – Automatic Love  
Wow! It's Ginger Wildheart's other band! Wow! I saw them open for the Wildhearts and they were fantastic! 


#32) Lola Dutronc – Harley Davidson  
Lola Dutronic who had the #1 song on our countdown 4 years ago with "Everybody Loves You When You're Dead" is back with another hot track! Why isn't Lola Dutronic a household name?



#33) Deap Vally – Smile More  
Two girls from Los Angeles. Pissed off track. I love it!



#34) Heywood Banks – Toast Song 
Gotta love a comedian who plays a toaster. This is hilarious! 


#35) The Routes – Meant To Be 
One of Japan's best bands. This has to be, hands down, the most played band from Japan in history on the Rodney on the Roq show KROQ Los Angeles.



#36) Ginger Wildheart & Ryan Hamilton – Fuck You Brain 
Ginger has had a hand in 5 songs in the Top 50. This is the first time anyone has ever had more than two! Ryan Hamilton is a new kid on the block and has a bunch of hot songs... I expect to be seeing more of Ryan Hamilton back here next year! This song was made to help a charity for those suffering from depression. You can help the charity out here: It's available through Ginger’s Round Records Bandcamp page  
(https://roundrecords.bandcamp.com/releasesthe three track single is raising money for the Samaritans and aiming to highlight the problems people have with depression.



#37) The Whereabouts – Razor Sharp 
The Whereabouts are a four-piece from Kingscourt, Co. Cavan in Ireland.... 



#38) Hands Off Gretel – My Size  
Hands Off Gretel are a 4-piece alternative rock band, formed late 2014 in South Yorkshire, UK.



#39) SUZY BLU – Lone Wolf  
Suzy Blu gets lots of airplay on my shows. She has some of the best electro beat driven layered pop songs you'll ever hear!



#40) The Coathangers – Down Down The Coathangers are three girls from Atlanta, Georgia. This song is quite excellent!


#41) Love Zombies - Birthday 
This is a group from Los Angeles. My classical music trained wife who graduated from some high-falutin' classical music university heard this song one day and said, "I like this." That NEVER happens! 


#42) The Watanabes – Over Romantic
The Watanabes are two brothers who are Japan's answer to Belle & Sebastian. One day, Christopher from the Routes said to me, "I love that band, the Watanabes... If I were in Tokyo, I'd want to be their manager!" Seriously heavy rotation in November and December.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA_APovYaWI



#43) Killmama – Bad Rep 
Cool duo, Rob and Sophie, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida making some killer noise. 



#44) Mitski – Your Best American Girl  
Half Japanese girl living in New York. Might become the very first famous half-Japanese singer. I love this track. She has some other very cool songs too... 



#45) Wendy James – Bad Intentions and a Bit of Cruelty  
I was reintroduced to Wendy James by Andrea Lynch who describes herself as a "Plugger" over at Blue Soap Music PR and Radio Plugging. Wendy James was the lead vocalist of Transvision Vamp... She has to be one of my favorite stars of all time... There's a movie in there, somewhere about her life.



#46) Louise Distras – Aileen 
This girl has been descirbed as the "Best thing to happen to British punk since the Sex Pistols." I concur.



#47) NØISE – Little Lions 
Noise is part of Noise project (I think) and they are a New wave, Electronic, Modern Pop outfit from Los Angeles. 



#48) Peter118 – ‘Need You More’ ft. Lisa Cox 
Peter118 from the UK released this hot track this year and he got married too! See what happens when you become popular!



#49) Spam69 - Fuck You, Fuck Me  
Spam69 is called "Spam Rock" in Japan but I guess over in the west, they'll be called "Spam 69." Great band. Loud as hell. Heard a rumor that they were signing to Mystic Records in Los Angeles. This song is funny... NSFW!


#50) Kinoko Hotel - Onedari Strange Love  
One of Japan's best girl's bands... They are heading for legendary status.



#51) The Candy Ditches – Death Ray
A band from Yokohama that was introduced to me by Bee Bee Clark of the Japanese Garage rock documentary Garage Rockin' Craze fame. Candy Ditches are from Yokohama.


HONORABLE MENTION: Taffy - Dr. K
Though they didn't release any new music this year, what countdown from Japan would be complete without Taffy? Taffy toured the USA and the UK and has been getting lots of airplay on my show, the BBC and Rodney on the Roq.  





Dedication! David Bowie - Life On Mars (2016 Mix) 
I guess Mick Rock wanted to pay tribute to David Bowie so he remixed this classic Bowie video. This, actually, the song I always play as the last song whenever a radio show of mine gets cancelled.... Thanks for everything. I miss David Bowie... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UipTt-qqZOE




----------------------

In many ways, I'm glad 2016 is almost over... But I do thank all these great bands and artists for so many great songs this year. You guys and girls are tops. 



Also special thanks to Kona Cindy, Dave McLean, Andy Griffin, Aya Fukuta, Ken Nishikawa, Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the Roq), Kansas Bowling, Ginger Wildheart, Gabbie Cabbie AR, Chris Browne and 
Alex Kish
You guys are the only people in the entire music industry who teach me new music that I don't already know about. 

You guys are the best!