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01.15.07 Things I Dislike About Sputnikmusic01.07.07 Songs To Turn You On
08.21.06 10 Artists You Should Know

10 Artists You Should Know

Ten artists flying pretty far below the radar on Sputnik.
1 Puya

Everyone's favorite, defunct, neglected, salsa-metal love child. Originally from Puerto Rico, Puya came to rise in the nu-metal era, forging their own unique brand of metal, heavily rooted in their native Latin sound. In a nutshell, Puya is what Metallica would sound like if Carlos Santana replaced Kirk Hammet, and James Hetfield had a Latin voice and could actually sing and scream decently.
2 m-flo

Short for "mediarite-flow", and in striking contrast to the previously mentioned band, m-flo epitomizes everything that pop should be: fun, eclectic, quirky, and slightly experimental, while still making music accessible to a wide audience. Hailing from Japan, m-flo skillfully incorporates a wide variety of styles both musically and lingually. At any given moment, m-flo can be pumping out brilliant works in Japanese, Korean, English, or even Spanish.
3 Teriyaki Boyz
Beef or Chicken

Very much like m-flo, but not quite as diverse and far more hip-hop driven. Composed of Verbal from m-flo and prominent members of other popular Japanese groups, such as Ryo-Z and Ilmari of Rip Slyme, Wise, and Nigo, creator of the Japanese urban clothing line, Bape, Teriyaki Boyz primes in pumping out fun, quirky, oddly catchy tunes, featuring guests such as the Beastie Boys and Pharrel.
A Dead Sinking Story

On to a more emotional side of Japanese music, there's Envy, a five-piece hardcore/emo band. Over the past ten years, Envy's sound has been ever changing, starting from nearly straight hardcore/rock jams in their debut album, "Breathing and Dying in this Place", to more refined, emotionally driven, yet similarly raw sounds in "From Here to Eternity", ultimately ending in the well thought out and refined, intensely beautiful sounds of today, as featured in "Insomniac Doze". Envy's constantly changing sound gives their discography a very eclectic feel, with each album having it's own unique sound.
American Nervoso

At the apex of all heavy music lies Botch. Perhaps they aren't the "heaviest" band around, but what they lack in decibels, they more than make up for in musical competence. Botch knew what worked, and it showed. Songs such as "Thank God For Worker Bees", "Oma", "Dali's Praying Mantis", a cover of the B-52's "Rock Lobster", "Afghamistam", and their epic, "Man the Ramparts" are just a taster of what the band is capable of musically. Botch was so much more than just heavy. Botch was deep, insightful, ironic, clever, but most of all, Botch was simply Botch.
6 Meiko Kaji
Zenkyoku Shu

Unlike the previously mentioned artists, Meiko Kaji is not breaking any ground with her music. In fact, she doesn't even manage to pull away from her own sound all that well. The thing about her is, though, that she's just really quite good at what she does. It's a bit difficult to classify her. She's not quite pop, nor is she jazz, nor blues or soft rock. She's just an amazing artist who makes good music. End of story.
7The Black Mages
The Black Mages

Two words: Nobuo Uematsu. Any band who can claim him as a member is destined for glory, even if their music mostly just reaches a select group of people from a certain niche. But even as their song catalogue comes directly from Final Fantasy, each cover takes on a life of its own, distinctly apart from the game. Basically, it sounds like Final Fantasy music played by hair metal bands, but in this case, the hair metal bands are actually good.
8 Steely Dan

There's three ways of getting laid on a first date: 1. Drug your date, which is illegal 2. Use your charm (if it exists) and take most of the night to woo her, which sucks because it's a whole lot of work 3. Play a Steely Dan album, which ends in a win-win situation. The Epitome of cool lies in Steely Dan.
9Jay Chou
Ye Hui Mei

If the above doesn't work, you're probably with an Asian chick (and if not, whoever it is really isn't even worth it at all. Abort). In which case, play some Jay Chou. Jay Chou is a megastar in Asia and among those who follow Asian trends, and rightfully so. Unlike many other Asian artists, Jay Chou's music is substantial enough to have replay value. It touches on a whole lot of styles, and basically amounts to well rounded musicianship, appealing to many. Plus, Asian chicks love him.
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

Chances are, you have heard Devo before, but as it is, most people don't divulge further in their music aside from "Whip It". The truth is, aside from "Whip It", Devo manages to be one of the most awe-inspiring bands of all time, influencing such great acts as Rage Against the Machine. Their debut, "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" may rank number 447 on Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time, but if truth be told, Devo is much closer to the top ten.
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