Sakura’s J-pop Corner – TV Themes – Battle of the Nations – Japan vs The World ! ! !

Hirugao is a Drama About Adultery

Hirugao is a Drama About Adultery

Why do British TV shows have such rubbish theme tunes ? ? ? In Japan there is a link between the TV companies and the record companies and top artists make great tracks for TV themes. In the UK it seemed that TV themes were really just an after thought and written in the ten minutes between drinking a beer and going to the toilet by some geezer that happened to learn to read music in elementary school. Continue reading

Earworms 15 September 2014

Greetings from Earwormland, a slightly psychedelic feel to part of this week’s selection, although you may disagree. Thanks to all; if you would like to send some worms for future reference please dispatch them to

Wolfgang Riechmann – Himmelblau – beltway: You want a long, meditative yet catchy piece of Krautrock-Electronica? Then here is the perfect thing for you, a piece of music that shines so gloriously bright, it’s just like the sun in that expansive blue sky it tries to capture. Riechmann was a bit of a peripheral figure in the Düsseldorf scene of the mid to late 70s, but his 1978 Wunderbar album from which this comes was probably destined to be his big breakthrough and it probably could have been – somewhat tragically he never found out, before it was released he was stabbed to death in a random, unprovoked attack on a Düsseldorf street. A terrible waste, but this is a beautiful thing to leave behind.

Eleventh Dream Day – Rubberband – chris7572: I’m fed up waiting for RRSA Saliva to turn up, so here’s my favourite song about all the melodramatic tension of one embarrassing aspect of nodding off. Apologies for any residual image in your brain, but none for the aural traces.

Robert Plant – Little Maggie – carolebristol: This is the opening track from Percy’s latest album with his band, The Sensational Space Shifters. The album is called “lullaby and …. THE CEASELESS ROAR” and is less of an Americana-influenced set than his last couple of releases. Anyway, this is toe-tapping stuff with some lovely West African sounds that gets the album off to a great start.

Taj Mahal – Johnny Too Bad – goneforeign: Taj was born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr. His father was a Caribbean jazz musician. I met him in Jamaica once and asked him what he was up to, “Just down here spending some time with my father’s family” he said, he has strong family ties to Jamaica and Jamaican music. This is his cover of Jimmy Cliff’s song from the film ‘The Harder They Come’.

Hank Williams – Move it On Over – deanofromoz: Some catchy country music from the 40’s. Note the resemblance to Rock Around the Clock, a pioneering rock and roll song, so I think this track demonstrates the evolution of music very well.

Lucero – Sixes and Sevens – DsD: Make sure the kids are out, lock the door, close the curtains, put the answerphone on. Clear the floor and turn up the volume: it’s dad-dancin’ time. “I can’t say I mind you dancing, it’s quite impressive in those shoes …” I don’t need no complications, but those are complicated moves …” What? . . . . Oh, OK, just me then. Well sod-yuz, I’m duck-walkin’ and side-shufflin’ around the office floor with a big grin on me face, so there!

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Comus – a band I had completely forgotten until I read something that reminded me.

I knew about Comus back in the early 1970s. They tended to get lumped in with people like the Third Ear Band, because of their general weirdness, and also with the Incredible String Band.

Anyway, I knew about them and my cousin liked them a lot, but he was weird. He liked the Holy Modal Rounders as well.

I was reminded of them yesterday because I was looking up Opeth on Wikipedia and that led me on to look at the article about Storm Corrosion, the Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt collaboration from a couple of years ago. That article mention Comus as an inspiration for the Storm Corrosion album. I made a mental note to check on YouTube to see if their first album was there and, lo and behold, here it is.

I think that some people here might like it, certainly I think it will strike a chord with Beth and maybe Chris too.


The He Said ~ She Said A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter H ! ! !


We are the Avante Guarde H

We are the Avant Garde H ! ! !


faye-80She Says:

Gosh we have been on holiday for a long time ! ! ! I was at home in Okinawa and Mr P was at home in Hawaii and then we had our honeymoon cave diving in Iceland and time just flashed by ! ! !  But we are back now and we have a great selection of tracks for you ! ! !  We have avant garde, some chilled tropical sounds from my home, a 16 year old school girl who has already had 22,000 songs written just for her . . . . and   . . . .well . . . Mr P’s other choice ! ! !

spike 80-1He Says:

Ta dah ! Just when you thought it was safe..we’re back with a tremendous pot-pouri of J-Pop and culture for you. Hope you enjoy it !


 See you in the culture club boys ! ! !

See you in the culture club boys ! ! !

A Message From The Faculty ! ! !

Holidays are over and lessons and club activities have started again ! ! !   We expect you in class for your Japanese Lesson with P sensei and if you do not have cram school we expect to see you in the Culture Club With S sensei ! ! !  This week the in Japanese class will learn the meaning of Hikikomori ! ! ! 

In the culture club S sensei will be explaining about the cultural linguistic matrix and one reason why communication between westerns and Japanese people can be difficult . . even in Japanese ! ! !

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Earworms 8 September 2014

Thanks to everyone who has helped to top up the worm bank, much appreciated, although there’s always room for more. I hope those of you with offspring have survived the first week back at school; it has been a strange week in earworm land and we seem to have acquired a dog. Unprecedented in family history and the cat may never forgive me. Anyway, to the worms!

Miriam Makeba & the Skylarks – Uile Ngoan’a Batho – goneforeign: She recorded this in 1959 just prior to going into exile from South Africa knowing that she would not be allowed to return, it was her ‘Farewell to Africa'; the traditional pennywhistle is played by Spokes Mashiyane.

Ute Lemper – Surabaya Johnny – bishbosh: I’m sure it’s sacrilege to listen to any version other than Lotte Lenya’s, but I love Ute’s recording of this Brecht-Weill song. She really takes us on a journey. Or makes the song her own. Or one of those X Factor-esque clichés!

Zoe – Sunshine On A Rainy Day – DsD: This popped up when I found a ‘blank’ CD-R whilst tidying up the office. Turned out to be an unlabelled compilation I did for one of the girls years ago. An absolutely MASSIVELY sticky earworm on release, I’ve never grown tired of its unashamed pop.

Ry Cooder – How Can You Keep Moving (Unless You Migrate Too) – chris7572: Written by the daughter of an Okie sharecropper, teacher and political activist Agnes ‘Sis’ Cunningham’s words tell of the harsh times of the Dust Bowl era in the USA. Ryland’s music – as it has done so many times throughout his career – provides the authentic background.

Thiago de Mello & Amazon – Meu Boi-Bumbá – beltway: The recent World Cup in Brazil has had me re-evaluating some of my favourite Brazilian records and here is a catchy little number. Just love the punchiness of this, big bold brass and flailing percussion, magic stuff!

J Mascis – Every Morning – carolebristol: This track is the single from the new J. Mascis solo album “Tied To A Star”. It isn’t as rocky as his Dinosaur Jr stuff but it is clearly old J himself. I got the album last week and it is good, a grower, I reckon.

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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon – Feminist Icon ? ? ?

Moon Prism Power - Make Up ! ! !

Solider of Love and Justice – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon


Sorry Spiller Guys, this post is about feminism, but I hope you will read it also.

Feminism is about empowering women, equality and social justice . . . so why is it so unpopular with young women and girls ? ? ?  Most girls I know either deny they are feminists or are embarrassed to admit it.  Why on earth should this be so ? ? ?  What is wrong with feminism ? ? ?

A new series of Sailor Moon has started in Japan and it has caused a lot of debate about the nature and role of this manga ( and later anime series ) People seem divided equally between those who think that Sailor Moon is an icon of feminist literature and those who think the complete opposite. Continue reading

Big in Japan ! ! ! – Marty Friedman – ex Megadeth Guitarist ! ! !

Marty Friedman - Big In Japan ! ! !

Marty Friedman – Big In Japan ! ! !

Welcome to a new occasional series I am going to write about people from the west who are Big In Japan ! ! !

Megadeth were one of the iconic metal bands of the 1990 decade and hugely successful but at the peak of their success the Marty Friedman left the band and headed to Japan. Marty Friedman has lived permanently in Japan since 2003 and has a really great career here. But not the one you might expect ! ! !

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