And by “cans” I mean headphones. Hopefully you have some cans, not crappy earbuds.
Anyway, I wanted to share some of the music I’ve discovered living over here. I was already a huge fan of GACKT, and a decent sized fan of L’arc~en~ciel and Hikaru Utada. But thanks to supermarket speakers, commercials, morning shows, NHK concerts, and random clicking around on YouTube, I’ve come across some varied and interesting pieces I wanted to share with everyone. Okay, okay, I just wanted to get that ridiculous picture of me with the corn a bit further away from the top of the page.
First up, the song I heard EVERY TIME I went to the supermarket and 100 yen shop when I first got to Fukuoka, 「優しい嘘」(“yasashii uso”) by Acid Black Cherry. The voice was so familiar, but I couldn’t place it. The only lyrics I could make out over general store noises were 「愛してた、愛してた．．．愛してる」which means, “I loved you, I loved you…I love you,” so you can imagine how many unrelated Google results I got (on top of the song by another band that actually has that for a title!) when I tried to find what the song was by searching for those lyrics. I looked at the Oricon chart (the Japanese equivalent of the Billboard chart) and figured out the song and artist from that. Turned out Acid Black Cherry was the front man of Janne da Arc. I will forever associate this song with my early days in Fukuoka. Which is perhaps a bad thing as the song title is “Gentle Lie.” ^_^;
I hope that didn’t disturb anyone! ^o^ Hm…I just noticed that all the colors in that vid are on my blog! >o<
Now, when I told my kids my tremendously long name, I told them they could call me エリ instead; basically, the Spanish pronunciation of the first three letters of my name (not to be confused with the Hebrew male name Eli, as that would be イライ). “Eri” is a common Japanese girls’ name, so I figured it would be easy for my kids to remember it just like that. I didn’t tell them, “My name is Elly” or “Ellie;” in other words, what I’d have to write to get Americans to say the name I’m used to being called instead of the Hebrew men’s name. But after a while, I noticed that people were calling me エリー, turning the “i” into a long i. I thought, well, I suppose that is the more accurate transliteration of “Elly,” but I really don’t hear it like that. Then I learned of the Southern All Stars’ 1979 #1 hit single 「いとしのエリー」(“itoshi no erii,” which means something like “My dear Elly”). I guess that’s where they’re getting it from.
Next, a piece I heard on a televised NHK concert featuring the opening themes of various Taiga dramas. You can imagine how geeked I was when the orchestra played the theme of Fuurin Kazan! (Or not, if you don’t know me. ^o^;) But I also discovered the theme to the second ever Taiga drama, 「赤穂浪士」 (“akou roushi”). The theme builds up much like Ravel’s “Bolero,” just that with a bit of languor. What captivated me is how it sounds like a mix of Japanese and Arabic and classical music! (This vid sounds like maybe it was made from a slightly warped record; I got this track off the Japanese iTunes Music Store and it doesn’t sound quite as…warped-ish as this vid, but you can still get the point and enjoy it, I think.)
Alright! Let’s not stop the music! Any techno fans out there? I can’t find the whole thing on YouTube, but here’s a sample of Tripshot’s “Nebula [Type J]” remixed by xxJulexx. Well, I would’ve discovered this regardless of where I live since someone from Square-Enix Members shared it. ^o^ Tripshots uses the Vocaloid Hatsune Miku to “sing” their songs, but I think this version, well, I’m pretty sure mitsumushi is a human vocalist. Here’s a sample:
So tripped out! There’s actually a Japanese version, but…I don’t really like Hatsune Miku’s “voice.” It’s a bit whiny. ^_^; Anyway…
I admit I hadn’t listened to any of Ayumi Hamasaki’s songs because her look is so “idol factory.” Now, it’s not that I’m opposed to pop factory music–I’ve got some Britney Spears in my iTunes Library–but if its something that I have to go out and find on my own (as opposed to just hearing it on the radion, on TV, and everywhere else), well, I don’t really go looking for it. But I somehow landed on a YouTube vid that used a sped-up version of Hamasaki’s song “Evolution,” and it caught my ear. Then I went and read up about her and her story’s definitely a bit deeper than “she’s an idol.” Without further ado, “Evolution”:
何とか何とか何とか速い日本語 Yeeeeah, woo yeahhhhh, wooo yeaaaahhh, yeah yea yea yea yea yea
Now, going to the opposite end of the age spectrum…my kouchou-sensei was very amused to learn that I knew Hibari Misora‘s 1989 classic enka hit 「川の流れのように」(“kawa no nagare no you ni” meaning, “like the flow of a river”).
Lastly, I will end with a song that’s made a comeback thanks to a recent cover. Since the original was a male vocalist, and the cover is a female vocalist, it’s hard to pick one over the other since they both have unique qualities. I think I like the male vocalist better for listening to and just enjoying it, but the female vocalist better for feeling Aesthetic Emotions. Either way, the melody is hypnotic! Again, since the post will load slowly if I cram it with vids, I’ll just insert the original here and link to the cover.
So, here it is, Billy BanBan’s 「また君に恋してる」(“mata kimi ni koi shiteru”):
Here’s Fuyumi Sakamoto’s cover: right here!
Well, that’s all folks! Did you enjoy having me for a DJ, or should I keep my day job?