For me the Japanese girl band is epitomized by Paran Maum in the film “Linda Linda Linda,” a sort of “Afterschool Special” that’s not, um, especially special except when the group launches into its version of “Linda Linda” by J-Pop-punkers The Blue Hearts (Paran Maum is Korean for Blue Hearts; well, watch the ‘05 movie for details): “Linda, Linda,” goes the chorus. “Linda, Linda, Lin-DA!”

As you might have surmised, “Linda Linda” is the (excuse the shift into ALL CAPS) CATCHIEST POP SONG OF ALL-TIME.

Now, there are actually plenty of for-real Japanese girl bands, as evidenced by the just-released compilation “I Love J-Rock II” (Good Charamel Records), led off by Shonen Knife’s inevitable cover of “Rock ’n’ Roll High School.” (The venerable group, once championed by Kurt Cobain, celebrates the CATCHIEST POP-PUNK BAND OF ALL-TIME on its current album, “Osaka Ramones.”)

The younger generation is represented therein by the likes of TsuShiMaMiRe, whose spacey concept album “Shocking” is out this week, and the hard-rockin’ LAZYgunsBRISKY (I’m not the only one using CAPS here), whose self-titled new release is the band’s fifth.

Visit the Good Charamel Records website here.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Mikel Toombs is a frequent contributor to Read his recent preview of Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire here.)

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