A Japanese Band You've Never Heard Of Is Actually Pretty Awesome And Is Making Its Stateside Debut In Dallas This Weekend

You might've heard that A-Kon 19, which claims itself to be the oldest continually running Anime convention in North America, is going down at the Sheraton Dallas (formerly the Adam's Mark) this weekend. You might've even heard the nerd-tastic news that the convention's going for a doozie of a Guinness world record--largest gathering of people dressed as video game characters in one place--for good measure.

But you probably haven't heard this gem: Two Japanese acts are making their North American debut at A-Kon.

Versailles seems the more popular of the two, and I guess they're OK, if you're into kickass riffs and songs that sound like they were written as the soundtrack to a video game about rescuing a princess from the jaws of a fire-breathing dragon in a historic (and yet somehow futuristic and magical!) land and stuff like that.

But Budo Grape (pictured above)? Oh. My. God. These guys are pretty effing cool, man. Let me tell you. I've listened through the band's Myspace player twice now and I'm picking up The Go-Gos, The Hives and Devo. It's great. I'm in love.

And I'm getting serious flashbacks here, too, guys. When I was in the seventh grade, my family hosted a Japanese exchange student and as thanks for hosting him, he brought me some Japanese Dragonball Z comics and made me a mixtape of his favorite J-pop songs. And it was amazing. And this is just like that, only weirder. And better. --Pete Freedman

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