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Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer festival fever

Yellow Magic Orchestra @ World Happiness

Special to The Japan Times

With a name like World Happiness, you might think this one-day outdoor pop festival is connected to a charitable endeavor, but if it is the organizers are being really secret about it. Most likely it's used as a simple term of purpose: If you're happy, so is the world, and the artists on hand usually guarantee a good time. Yellow Magic Orchestra was probably the first Japanese pop group that people of a certain age in the West ever heard, and along with Kraftwerk, they were an originator of the synth-pop style that would dominate music in the 1980s. These days, Ryuichi Sakamoto gets most of the attention, but it's Haruomi Hosono who was the main architect of the band's sound.

News photo

Also check out: Love Psychedelico, whose take on '70s rock is so clear-headed that Yoko Ono has unofficially made them the point band for her annual John Lennon tributes. And the six-member Moonriders actually started in the '70s as an American-influenced rock band whose individual members went on to become some of the most powerful movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. Also J-pop chanteuse Chara, Asa-Chang, pupa and Granola Boys.

The setting: Yumenoshima Park out on the Tokyo waterfront.

When/where: Yumenoshima Park near Shin Kiba Station, Aug. 9. The music starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are ¥8,500. For more information see www.world-happiness.com.

Summer festival roundup

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