Blog Archives

Saturday Night Studio Bonus – City Pop Summer Edition

80s City Pop for long hot days on the beach, skating down the boulevard under a blue sky, and driving into the sunset on an infinite highway…

City Pop Summer Edition just dropped. It is most excellent.

 

Playlist posted by Van Paugam. He’s done a number of other City Pop collections, give them a listen.

♪ Track List (with associated anime clips):
♪OFF SHORE – 角松敏生Toshiki Kadomatsu (0:00) Waves gif from Neon Genesis Evangelion followed by Maron from Dragon Ball Z”
♪土曜の夜はパラダイス – エポEPO (5:11) “?”
♪RIDE ON TIME – 山下達郎Tatsuro Yamashita (9:18) “City Hunter”
♪HIGHWAY OF THE SUN – パイパーPiper (14:46) “Creamy Mami”
♪Dancing Tonight – 国分友里恵Yurie Kokubo (19:06) “Akira”
♪Streets Are Hot – 藤原美穂Miho Fujiwara (22:04) “Megazone 23”
♪Paradise Island – 中原めいこMeiko Nakahara (25:50) “Bubblegum Crisis”
♪Sky High – 松原正樹Masaki Matsubara (30:37) “Dragon Ball Z”
♪TRANSIT IN SUMMER – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (34:10) “?”
♪そよ風のエアメール – 石川秀美Hidemi Ishikawa (38:26)
♪DEAR BREEZE – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (42:42) “?”
♪Summer Connection – 大貫妙子Taeko Onuki (46:35) “Cowboy Bebop”
♪あこがれのSundown – 桑名晴子Haruko Kuwana (51:00) “Sailor Moon”

The Local Rock Group In Japan Is Trying Hard To Learn These Songs

I had no idea how shatteringly empty my life was without knowing Japan has its own Monkees tribute band…

They even have a Fifth Monkee sitting in with the band…

Is it awesome? Yes
Because girl
You know that it’s best
With a little bit East
And a little bit West

Saturday Night Studio – New Year’s Eve

Have some music to rock out the old year and ring in the new!

See you in 2017!

Trump Elected World President in Japan!

Swiped this, title and all, from John C. Wright, who notes –

It is not clear to me whether this charming weirdness is meant to mock Trump or applaud him, or just a neutral bit of fun that means nothing. For myself, I like Trump better, seeing this.

Rocktober Saturday Night Studio – 10th Floor Cibo Matto

Extra sugar, extra salt, extra oil and MSG with a few bad words if you’re delicate like that.

Shut up and eat!

Sixteen years ago, one day*
I was walking down the street
I was looking for music
You know what I mean?
And I picked up this CD

 

I kinda want to know her more

Are you made or broken by the birthday cake?

2 for 1, but 3 For 2!

She talks like American, she walks like Egyptian

 

*Ok, it might have been 15 years ago. Somewhere around there I picked up Viva! La Woman at a used CD place.

Rocktober Saturday Night Studio – Liphlich Great Nonsense Skam

By request, here’s some Liphlich for Wdydfae, whose site you really should check out. I have no idea what the hell the deal is with this band, they’re almost like a collision of Glam Rock and Lounge Style with some Scandinavian metal thrown in over a disco beat. Or something.

Skam Life –

Move every Zig for Great Nonsense –

Whatever happened to that Manic Pixie that you used to know?

Some live Liphlich, not the greatest video quality but good enough –

Thanks to Wdydfae for making this an easy one.

Chasing A Song Along the Yamanote Line

So over at What Do You Do For An Encore, wdydfae posted a video of a song called ““Kawaberi no Ie” (“house next to a river”) by Nao Matsuzaki. I tried to give it a listen, but the video’s not available in my country. I let him know, and he replied with another version of the video. Which also wasn’t available here. Wdydfae had included links to both Nao’s site (where I was totally lost) and a site where one can purchase the song (shipping alone would cost 2 or 3 times as much as the actual CD, never mind that I was only wanting to hear one song). Since he had mentioned the song was used in some documentary, I asked the name of it, thinking I might find that on youtube. He posted a video of said documentary, this video finally working.

72 Hours – Dreams Along The Yamanote Line, song at about 22:50 –

After this most roundabout path of finding a way to hear it, I listened to the song, which was all right, quite mellow even. But then I went and watched the entire documentary.

It’s just under 25 minutes long, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. They start at Shibuya Station on the Yamanote Rail Line in Tokyo and walk their way around it, interviewing people they meet along the way. Give it a watch.

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.