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Polysics, Zukuna Sisters, X Japan and the Rest of the Bands I Mentioned at Ignite Phoenix 10

Jonathan McNamara at Ignite Phoenix 10

Photo by MrAnathema on Flickr

Two Fridays ago I jumped up and down like a howler monkey in front of 853 people seated in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts during Ignite Phoenix 10; a presentation series that gives 18 presenters 5 minutes and 20 slides to share their passions with an audience of hundreds. There were talks about the benefits of fast food and role playing games. There was a woman who donated her kidney to a someone she’d never met before. There were presentations espousing the benefits of role playing games and rugby. The show ended with me, overflowing with nervous energy and shouting about X Japan and Shonen Knife.

The video, including (I’m sure) the bit where I run out on stage and pump a rock fist into the air before beginning my talk will be uploaded very soon to Ignite Phoenix’s Youtube channel.

Keeping it brief takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve only got five minutes to talk about something you’re very passionate about. I focused on five Japanese bands that are easily accessible without being in the know and have some sort of connection to American music. Shonen Knife regularly tours the states. X Japan has an English album coming out. Polysics are directly influenced by DEVO.

You might call them gateway bands. Shonen Knife was definitely one of the first groups that got me interested in Japanese music. If they worked for me, I thought, it might work for some other future J music fan looking to get his or her feet wet.

The Ignite format is very strict. It’s just you and your slides. No animation. No video. No audio. It’s that last one that sort of made it difficult to do a presentation specifically about music. After the show, I was given a small table with the rest of the presenters where I set up a listening station and played tracks for anyone that walked by.

For those people who attended Ignite and want to actually hear the bands I mentioned in my presentation, I submit this list. I’m keeping it brief; just a few links and a little trivia. If you’d like more information about these bands or if you want to talk Japanese music (clearly something I take great joy in doing) hit me up via e-mail.
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