Monthly Archives: October 2015

Rocktober – Tubular Chocolate

The song “Tubular Bells” was quite popular when I was a kid.  I remember it popping up all over the place, including TV commercials. It had a strange, vaguely nightmare-like vibe to it that made even mundane boring stuff seem a little creepy. I’m not sure, but I think even science fiction magazine Omni used the song in a TV ad, which definitely added to its mystique.

It was released in May 1973, and later that year was used in the movie The Exorcist. Fitting, given the eerie feel of the song. It seemed like a perfect song for a horror film. Or perhaps for Halloween time.

In 1978, the movie Halloween came out, with a sort-of-but-not-quite similar soundtrack –

Not the same song, but there’s some definite overlap.

However, a more recent (and some would say scary) song has commonalities with “Tubular Bells,” If you listen closely –

The connection occurred to me several days ago, and I thought someone should make a mashup of the two and post it on YouTube.

Apparently I am not the first to notice this, since I found this about 5 minutes ago –


And If That Wasn’t The Truth, It Would Be A Lie

Spotted by my wife…

“My most important professional accomplishment to date is the ability to keep working with absolutely no skills whatsoever.”

Double Bonus Sakamoto Night Studio – Akiko Yano

J-Pop night’s unexpected (even by me) surprise encore does science! and research.

So this post about Vanilla Mood earlier tonight included the song “Harusaki Kobeni,” which is a rather poppy song. At the time, I did a quick youtube search to find the original by Akiko Yano but had no idea what I was reading since all results came back in Japanese, and I’m too lazy an internationally famous nighttime DJ like myself doesn’t have time to mess with that sort of thing.

Enter wdydfae, who commented –

The song apparently goes back to the early 80s and was sung by Akiko Yano, backed by none other than Yellow Magic Orchestra, the milestone techno fusion band. It was quite a thing at the time.

During his research he discovered a post about the song on a site called Kayo Kyoku Plus, which explains that the song is about “enthusiastically admiring the cherry blossoms.” Enthusiastic is an understatement.. the song is so ferociously upbeat it makes last week’s relentlessly cheery songs seem like dirges –

The song was such a hit that it was used in a commercial for Kanebo Cosmetics –

So very 1981.

The writer of the KKP site relates an apocryphal story…

I found out a rather interesting piece of trivia that I’m still not totally convinced about. Yano has had professional relationships with a wide variety of Western artists ranging from Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer to Thomas Dolby.There is the famous line in Dolby’s biggest hit, “She Blinded Me With Science” in which he sings, “Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’re beautiful!”Apparently, Yano had been observing the recording of the song, and Dolby was referring to her, since she had been married to YMO’s Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一) at the time. This is according to J-Wiki, but at another site, Miss Sakamoto is supposed to refer to their daughter, Miyu(美雨), who is now also a musician but was only around 1 year old when “Science”came out. Not sure if this is true or not…just throwing it out there.

Studio Bonus – Saturday Night Shodan

Bonus Studio on what seems to be turning into J-Pop night. Sort of.

From The Weekly Constitutional

 If you are anything like me, you have more than once found yourself sitting alone in your room listening to Steely Dan cover bands while lamenting:

“If only a group of chinamen would form a group devoted to doing spot on covers (except for the accent) of the Steely Dan classics…”

Well friends, your wait is over… Coming at you from Japan, here’s Steely Shodan…

Rather surreal hearing him sing “the shine in your Japan, the sparkle in your China.”

Here’s their version of “Kid Charlemagne” –

Donald Fagen of Steely Dan hears them for the first time –

And here’s some balls-out awesome –

No flies on them.

The band is a near perfect replica with a slight Japanese twist, and the singer looks like a streets-of-Chiba pimp or one of the gangsters in Black Rain, making him perfect for the, uh, less than cheery lyrics that Walt and Don  are notorious for. It’s like Steely Dan crossed with Blade Runner.

Saturday Night Studio – Vanilla Mood

I first discovered this band 5 or 6 years ago. Then forgot about them.

“Day By Day” with Yui on violin, Mariko on cello, Waka on flute, and Keiko on piano, although Emilee has apparently sat in for Waka at times.

It’s a catchy enough tune, kinda reminds me of the Corrs a little.

They did some more classical sounding pieces like this and this, and did a cover of Volare because apparently any non-rock band is required to play it, much like how federal law required all West Coast 70s bands to have Michael McDonald sing backup vocals on at least one track per album. Beatles covers work much the same way.

These pretty women* also included Roy Orbison in their cover catalog…

This one sounds like the intro to some late 60s/early 70s comedy-variety show –

And speaking of late 60s/early 70s American television –

* Hey, I don’t write the show, I just use what the program director gives me.

Rocktober Request Line

I’m the DJ, Nightsky
Hello Baton Rouge
Won’t you turn your radio down
Respect the seven second delay we use

Internet station NSR with jazz and conversation, here til the sun comes through the skylight. Call in with Rocktober song requests or to discuss why you’re for tougher legislation.

While we wait for your calls to come in, here’s a classic uplifting song about the Disc Jockey profession –

…. it seems someone let the manager into the DJ booth again. Let’s try that again….

Rocktober – 1st Friday

Friday Night, 12:30 pm EST. Rocktober’s Friday night Videos is back –

… and begins counting down to Halloween with a request from the DJ’s wife, Rob Zombie’s Dragula!

Bonus from that great american band –

Got a request? Drop it here.