Quick, name five Japanese bands. Chances are, some of the more intense music nuts out there might name-check the Boredoms, Pizzicato Five, and Shonen Knife, and some might even recognize Melt-Banana or Guitar Wolf. But the reality of Japanese pop music -- or J-pop, as it is referred to by its growing cult of Western fans -- is a very different story from the one told by the aforementioned groups, whose North American appeal is almost inversely proportional to that in... More >>>