About the Writer
Kobe. It’s cold outside, but the crowd emptying out of Star Club is covered in steaming sweat. That’s what happens when you see a metal show featuring Nara’s own Abnormal Voltage.
Through the enthusiasm of a friend, Jonathan finds himself face-to-face with a large bottle of tequila held by Abnormal Voltage’s drummer, Mal. He’s insistent upon Jonathan drinking it.
You do not refuse a drink from a heavy metal drummer.
Somewhere in the haze of pure exhaustion and absolute drunkenness Jonathan’s brain has a startling revelation: Japanese music is ridiculously cool.
Currently, Jonathan McNamara works as a Web Editor for The Texas Observer in Austin, Texas. Before that he held a similar position at Phoenix New Times in the great American desert. Jonathan has written for Spin Magazine, Houston Press, The Japan Times, and Kansai Scene Magazine. The chances are pretty good that he’s currently drinking coffee and listening to some ridiculously cool music in a language other than English.
Without divulging the entire history (or at least more than what is directly above this paragraph) of how I came to be so enamored with Japanese music that I would construct a blog about it, let me say that first and foremost I am absolutely an advocate Nihon Ongaku (Japanese music). What you will receive by visiting Nihongaku is not purely objective, nor pure advocacy, but a mixture of the two. If the new Gran Rodeo album sucks (it does by the way), I will not hesitate to say so. I will also freely admit my generally positive bias toward (just about) any music that is Japanese in origin. As with anything even remotely journalistic in origin, the final decision about anything written here is up to you to discover for yourself.
Nihongaku is not a portal for Japanese music news. I will report news from time to time as I become aware of it, but there are plenty of sites that are already doing a fine job of covering that. At least, I hope there are.
No, Nihongaku is an active record of how one American boy stumbled upon Japanese music and never looked back. I’m sharing this story in the hopes that you’ll look beyond listening to the music in your country and your language.
Trust me, there’s so much more out there.