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.)

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.)

Video Post #5 – The Real Folk Blues

Hello everyone!

So, as I said earlier, I took a break from recording videos.  Then I took a break from the internet altogether.  It was…difficult.  But necessary.  Now I’m back (ただいま!).

I actually uploaded this video a week ago, so my apologies if you’ve seen it already.  This is technically the first song I ever sang in Japanese…more or less.  Before I started learning Japanese, my husband and I really enjoyed watching the English dub of Cowboy Bebop, the classic space bounty hunter anime of the late nineteen nineties.  This song, The Real Folk Blues, is the ending theme from that show, and we used to sing along with the romaji subtitles.  It was kind of difficult, too – I remember being surprised that “honto” consisted of three syllables, not two, etc.

Here is the ending from the show.  I highly recommend watching it, if you haven’t already seen it.

Video Post #4: 哀しいくらい (Kanashii kurai)

I took a little break from recording videos.  However, before that hiatus, I uploaded this video:

This is one of my favourite Off Course songs.  The original recording reminds me a little bit of “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project.

I couldn’t find an English translation for the lyrics, but my Japanese teacher was kind enough to go over them with me in our most recent lesson.  It is sung from the perspective of a man (I never let that sort of thing stop me) who has been emotionally damaged in the past through failed loves.  He is sad – he wants to get with the girl he is singing to, but he is afraid that he’ll get hurt again.  Meanwhile she (he tells her in the second verse) doesn’t want to take any risks either, as long as she can say everything is okay at the moment.

In the chorus he says that he cannot see a tomorrow coming that works out well, so he hopes the dawn never comes.  And that he is sad because he loves her.  And that she should open her mind/heart to him.  At the end he tells her to lift up her face and close her eyes (I think they probably kiss, but my Japanese teacher didn’t want to speculate on what may or may not have happened afterwards).

So it probably ends okay.  I love Japanese songs – they’re so emotional.

Also here’s a live version from the 80s.

I think I will be making more videos soon. I keep trying to tell myself to be more serious, sing songs in English, try to get an agent, a job, a mortgage, a haircut. Hasn’t worked yet, so I’ll just keep making more videos. 🙂

Music I Cannot Live Without: “Love Logic” – Minuano

It’s snowing for the second time in a week and Somerset is going into panic mode, again.  Invest in a snow plow or even just some grit for the roads, seriously!

Meanwhile, I grew up in Chicago and don’t drive here, so this isn’t really affecting me that much.  Also, I am listening to some music by a Brazilian-influenced Japanese band called Minuano.

According to Wikipedia, “The Minuano is a cold wind that blows in the South of Brazil and in Uruguay.”  However, listening to their album “Love Logic” is more like being in Brazil now, at the height of summer, maybe with a cold drink (Guaraná Antarctica FTW!) in my hand as I watch the waves play on Ipanema Beach.

I was fortunate enough to discover this band at Christmas, when I was gifted $30 in iTunes vouchers and loaded up on Japanese music.  I got really into Lamp as well – they share the same lead singer.  Her voice is marvellous, light and airy but without the “cuteness” of, let’s face it, most Japanese female vocalists.

As good things are for sharing, here are their details:

Minuano Myspace
Minuano Facebook
Minuano “Love Logic” iTunes (US)