An Update: Yes, I’m still alive

Hi folks.

I’m still here, but I’m focusing my blogging efforts on my music career now.  If you’ve missed me, this is where to find me.

Also, I’ve released an album of original music under the name 星空.  (Because what good is knowing the kanji if you don’t use them?)  Here it is in its entirety:

See you ’round the internet!


I finally “get” Perfume

Perfume is an insanely popular Japanese electro-pop trio. So I’d heard of them for ages, but I could never get into their music, it being totally different from what I normally listen to.

Well, I don’t know what happened, but now I get it. I own a bunch of their songs that I bought on iTunes, and their poppy synths and child-like voices are getting me through some tough times.

This may be sort of like my brief Girls Aloud phase, but less embarrassing. (Sorry if any of you are Girls Aloud fans, but let’s face it, they aren’t very good.)

Anyway, this is my current obsession. As with most music videos, I have no idea what’s going on here.

Kotoba ni dekinai – A really emotional video

Today I’d like to share with you one of my all-time favourite videos:

It is one of my favourites for several reasons.  First of all, I love the band Off Course.  I listen to them a fanatical amount.  And this song, 言葉にできない is one of their most famous.  At any rate, it’s famous enough that I own it twice  (one version by them and another one by Fuyumi Sakamoto.)

But second, just watch what happens when the lead singer, Kazumasa Oda, tries to get the lyrics out.  He can’t do it.  He’s far too emotional.  Which is kind of appropriate, given that the song is a little bit about that.  Anyway, then the audience helps him out.  Which is really touching.  I think this sort of thing is soooo cute.

(This video gives the same sort of feeling I get when I see baby animals.)

ただいまああああ!(I’m back!)

Hello lovely people of the internet!

Well, after taking an extended break from writing (in which I tried to get my life back together and only sort of succeeded) I can tell you, I’m back.

As usual, I cannot promise any new ideas, insightful commentary, or even quality writing.

However, there will probably be many things like this.  This is a song by Mariya Takeuchi (an artist I’m totally interested in but cannot find any songs of hers to download, paid or otherwise).  For reasons best known to the author of the video, it has been accompanied by a picture of a koala.

See you soon!

Video Post #7 – やさしさに包まれたなら (Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta nara)

Hi folks.

I posted this video a while ago now and never quite got around to putting it up here.

It’s the ending song from Kiki’s Delivery Service, if you watch it in Japanese.  The lyrics are beautiful, and you can find the English translation here.  Sorry the video quality isn’t spectacular – the internet is so bad in my house that I couldn’t be bothered making the video super high quality and then waiting 2 hours for it to upload.  (I got stuff to do, yo!)

Oh, and I didn’t mention in the previous videos, but the pink and yellow jazz hanging off of the microphone stand is actually a gift from a Japanese friend.  His grandmother makes them and he brought one for me.  Nice, huh?

Video Post #6 – ぐるぐる (eufonius)

Hello all!  Jessica here.

Today’s video post is particularly special to me, as I have been in love with this song for what feels like absolutely ages now.  It’s called ぐるぐる (guruguru), and it’s by the band eufonius.

I wrote in October about how much I loved this song. Well, I’ve pretty much been trying to learn the lyrics and piano part since then.  I’ve even recorded it several times, but I always made a huge mistake on the piano or forgot some of the many, many words or got otherwise interrupted.  Even in this recording, there’s a pause at 2:26 in which you can hear someone opening a bedroom door.

So, making a version of this song that I felt comfortable uploading to YouTube is a pretty big deal for me.  🙂

Ryusenkei – A Bit of Everything (That Was Great About the 1970s)

The best thing about listening only to music in Japanese is that I’m forced to keep discovering new bands.  Let me introduce you to my latest amazing find.

I was digging around on SoundCloud one day and I found this track:

I was instantly a fan and had to find out more about the original song.  That was how I found Ryusenkei (流線形).

I love 70s music.  I grew up on Steely Dan and The Bee Gees and Donna Summer, but I haven’t been able to find anything like that in Japanese. I guess, like in the West, you’re lucky if the old stuff makes it onto CD – forget about legal downloads. And I simply don’t do expensive CD imports.

So this band was like my salvation, because they are pretty recent. I bought two of their albums (Tokyo Sniper and City Music) from iTunes, and another (Natural Woman – 2009, I think it’s their latest) from Amazon downloads.

So they sound like the 1970s, and they have absolutely done this on purpose. Do you know Georgy Porgy by Toto?  If so, have a listen to this and see if it doesn’t sound familiar:

They do stuff like that all of the time.  I love it.  I’m pretty much obsessed with them right now.  I’m not sure three albums was enough, I might need to find more.  🙂

Meanwhile, here is their Facebook page, if you’d like to show them some love.  (They mostly post YouTube videos of the music they are so obviously influenced by.)