Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night

1 As Fickle As You Decoration
2 The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns Andrew Bird
3 Eternal Return Brakes
4 Don’t Leave My Mind Azure Ray
5 Don’t Change Your Mind The Broken Family Band

1 I Can Change The Very Best & LCD Soundsystem -
2 Total Turny Electric Sound Of Joy
3 Travelling On (Beber’s Two Part Remix) Beber & Tamra
1 I’m Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn’t Break Your Heart Eels
2 Sex With The Ex Reverend & The Makers Feat. Alex Turner
3 Diplomat Pony Club
4 Like Them Babybird
5 Its OK To Be Fickle Decoration

Is it a question of pulchritudinousness?

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been pondering this question for a while, and I thought I’d throw it over to the class. Do you think that men and women in music are held to different standards of physical attractiveness? Why and how? I was thinking of male artists that I like, but that are not traditionally handsome, and racking my brain to think of a female counterpart. I read that Lady Gaga is rebelling against the idea that she’s not thin enough or pretty enough (or so she was told) but she’s plenty pretty and thin, and frequently quite naked. I’m sure there are musicians of both sexes that have “made it” because they looked good, but does this happen more frequently for women?

In A Not-So-Silent Way

Woe Colossus – “In A Silent Way”

I’ve had this track on a split 12″ for quite a while, but I just noticed the song title yesterday and investigated more. Apparently, it’s not supposed to be a cover of the Miles Davis classic as such, but it was inspired by it. Whatever it’s supposed to be, it’s a glorious epic racket and testament to the wide influence that jazz and Miles in particular has thrown over all types of noi….erm…I mean music!

p.s. Woe Colossus is actually two bands, a collaboration between one of my favourite UK noise-rock bands Hey Colossus and a band I know nothing about called Woe.

p.p.s. It came out as a limited edition 12″ of 200 copies, and I love limited edition 12″s of 200 copies!

p.p.p.s. I listened to it side by side with Miles and couldn’t really hear any similarity, but more discerning musical ears may tell me otherwise.

p.p.p.p.s. some jazz fans may want to skip this post!

The Dark Heart of J-Pop

First I want to say I love J-Pop.  Typically, it is light, optimistic, cheerful and characterised by great production and arrangements and good, dance rhythms.

The J-Pop is a huge money generator for record companies and agencies and young, teenage girls can become stars and make great money and careers.  The majority of agencies are honest and look after girls that work for them.

However, behind the façade sometimes there is a high price that these girls pay.  The contracts for young J-Pop idols have clauses in them which limit their personal freedom to an extent that I do not think would be tolerated in the Europe or the USA.  The punishments for even trivial actions outside the expectations of the management can be extremely harsh.

There is a system, like a production line almost, and to succeed then you must follow that system.  Be a good girl and do what the management says and all is well, however, if you rock the boat then watch out!

In this post I want to share the stories of three girls who have broken the rules and tell you what happened to them.

Ai Kago entered one of the most famous J-Pop idol groups, Morning Musume when she was only 12 years old in the year 2000, and in 2004 left and  formed the J-Pop duo W with fellow Morning Musume  veteran Nozomi Tsuji.  However it all went wrong for her when she was photographed smoking a cigarette in 2006.  In Japan you have to be 20 years old to smoke cigarettes, and she was only 18 at the time.

She was suspended from her agency and spent most of 2006 in what she describes as “house arrest” at her parents home, in 2007 she was allowed to return to Tokyo and worked a few months serving tea, answering the phone and performing  office duties for her agency from January to March 2007 and it was expect that she would have a come back arranged soon.

However in March 2007 she was seen smoking cigarettes again and was rumoured to be dating an older guy.  The agency fired her.

She went on to write a very good book about the pressures of the music business called Kago Ai Live—Miseinen Hakusho where she talks about the difficulty, not just of the music business, but of being a teenager girl today.  It is actually a really good book.

Now days she is an actor and does some Jazz singing.  Here she is with her version of All Of Me.   It is a nice version, even if it is not the greatest.  When I hear it I think of her lost dreams, but also that she has survived and is having a good, if modest career as an actor and singer.

All Of Me  – Ai Kago

Kikuchi Ayaka is a singer and dancer with AKB 48 which is maybe currently the most popular J-pop act in Japan.   This girl was 15 years old, when she took some photos with a boyfriend in a photo both and put them on a private website that only her and close friends had access to.  However the site was hacked and the photos, of two teenagers standing next to each other, were published in a tabloid.  The result was the poor girl was fired!

In the end she was allowed back a year later, first as a “trainee”  and then a full member.  Considering all the songs of AKB 48 are about teenage love, it does seem a little harsh that teenage love is OK for every girl except the members of the group!

Kikuchi Ayaka as part of AKB48 (after her return)  -  Baby! Baby!  Baby!

I have saved maybe the hardest example to last.

Suzuki Ami is a singer and actress and she was a really popular act in the late 1990 decade, but at the peak of her career she got into a dispute with her agency which she felt was under reporting her record sales and money from appearances and endorsements.  She and her family sued her agency in 2000 and won.

However even though it was proved her agency had been cheating her,  no other agency would handle her and she became effectively blacklisted.     Sony reached an out of court settlement with her for her copyright royalties on her songs 2003 and it seemed  her career was effectively over.

But I am really pleased to say that Suzuki Ami was “no push over”  and she started her own record label and began to release her own material.  In 2005 she was signed by Avex (one of the really best agencies, who do stand by their artists) and finally returned to the mainstream.

Her and her family’s heroic actions helped clean the J-Pop industry from some very bad business practices, and actually I think she is an example to all who fight for justice in their work place.  I really admire her!!  Now she is a successful actress, DJ, model and singer.

Suzuki Ami   -  Eventful

J-Pop is certainly not all bad, but the pressures these young girls live under are sometimes unrealistic for their age.  Most of girls and their families  know what the business is like before they enter, but decisions you make at 12 or 13 can be unbearable at 15 or 16.  I love the music, but I do wonder about the girls.  As I said before most really enjoy their time in the spot light, but we need to recognise that some do not.

Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing

Just an appreciation here of a great ’70s soul group featuring one of the great soul voices, Gwen Dickey. Seems like all of their top songs were covered by others, and none can hold a candle. Madonna did a vile cover of Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. Ok, Mary J. Blige does have a good voice. Still her cover of I’m Going Down isn’t a patch on the original. Ditto Xtina and Missy Elliott’s Car Wash cover. Beyonce’s cover of Wishing on a Star is pathetically anemic. Gwen doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

Have i mentioned lately that i miss Magicman? Continue reading

As You Were

Killing Joke – Change
Swans – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Eve White, Eve Black
T-Model Ford – To The Left To The Right

Ramadanman – Don’t Change For Me
Little Jackie – I Liked You Better Before
Radiohead – I Might Be Wrong
Battles – Atlas [Radio Edit]
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Wasted State Of Mind

Sinead O’Connor – Feel So Different
AaRON – U-Turn (Lili)
Mountain Goats – Half Dead
Tindersticks – The Turns We Took
Thee More Shallows – Ask Me About Jon Stross

Who are YUI?

Yui is my favourite singer songwriter and I would like to share a small selection of her songs with you and to try to advocate her to you by explaining some of the lyrics and the context of the songs.

I have not given all the words of the songs, I just wanted to give you an idea of the themes.

But first a little background.  Yui did not have an easy life as she was from a single parent family and quite poor.  She had to work part time in High School to help pay for tuition.  She was encouraged by her mother to keep a journal of her feelings,  and she converted many of the journal entries to poems and also songs and this was how she began to write songs.

The early influence of her was the band Bianco Nero from her home town of  Fukuoka  and it was this band that advised her to leave high school and attend a music school.  While studying at the music school she made money by busking at the railway station in her home town, which in interviews,  she has said was a great education in performing and it confirmed her belief that music was what she wanted to do.

Her first track to be released was It’s Happy Line which was limited to 2000 copies and only released in her home town, but it gained some attention.  It was a year later in 2005, she was invited to write a song for a drama series.  She wrote and performed the theme for the TV drama “Fukigen Na Gene”  and because of the exposure due to the success of the drama the track “Feel My Soul” sold over 100,000 copies and began her career as a major artist.   Since then, she has released four albums which have all been very high quality and all have been platinum discs.

I have chosen five songs for you to try and give a feel for her work.

The first song is a related to my last Spill post as this song Rolling Star was written as the fifth opening theme for the anime Bleach.  Yui is not just the typical girly singer songwriter who writing introspective songs about love (although of course she does this also) She likes rock and often plays electric guitar.  Rolling Star is a good example of the more rocking style of some of her songs.

The lyrics in the song relate to the story line in the anime, which is heroic and supernatural, but she focuses in the song on the motive of building a peaceful world and the rather clumsy nature of the hero in the series.

She sings:

A world like the one I dreamt of

Where everyday life is peaceful, and without conflict

But the truth is, those days are trouble

And sometimes those kinds of Rolling days are frustrating

… Yes, I understand

Stumbling, way to go!!

Yeah!! Yeah!! A rolling star, covered in mud!!

The next song I choose is Feel My Soul.  This is really one of my very favourites by her.  This song follows one of the recurring themes of her songs which is leaving home or moving on from people or places to follow dreams and ambitions.  Of course in a country like Japan, where many young people leave their home towns to work or study in the big cities like Tokyo (as I did) these songs can really touch people.

She Sings:

The words that you softly whispered, you say it

“Start moving, the road is so opened up that it’s like you can’t see it”

I feel my soul, take me your way, yes, even as I struggle

I’ll always be able to walk along like this

It wasn’t by chance, and it wasn’t an everyday dream either

You’re right, all right, you’re right, all right

The Third song I have chosen is Gloria,  It is a song about facing the future  and being brave and honest and is sung like a monologue to a friend.  I like this song as for me it is about being brave and doing what you need to even when you are afraid.  I find it a powerful and positive song.

She sings:

You’re not losing

Gloria shine away to the future

You’re approaching closer


I do not even blame anybody anymore

Embrace it all

If you think of only yourself it’s all a crooked lie

Uh uh uh the time the cherry trees start blooming

Uh uh uh I’ll be able to find myself

I believe it’s not only a dream

Though I am really afraid

The fourth song is Goodbye Days.  This is a break up song but there is a slight difference to the normal break up songs.  The singer is going to break up with a guy that she really likes but has somehow become a friend and  not a lover anymore, so she  is sad but strong about her intention.  I think this is a situation which many girls can relate to.

She sings:

So I’m going to go see you right now, that’s what I’ve decided

I want to have you listen to this song, that I have in my pocket

Quietly, I turned up the volume, to make sure that it was there

Oh good-bye days, right now I’ve got the feeling that things are going to change; so long to everything up until yesterday

An un-cool kindness is at my side

With you

I pass one ear phone over to you

And this moment slowly streams over to you

If you have read and listened  this far I would like to say thank you very much.

This last song is actually my favourite song of hers and is the most personal to me.  It is called Tokyo and is about her leaving home and her home town to come to Tokyo and the sadness of leaving home and friends behind.  For me this is song captures how homesick I feel sometimes.  In the song she sings about the train and the station, but of course my home is much further away than her home town, and the train for me was the plane, and the station becomes the airport, but somehow this very simple song really moves me.

She sings:

The day has come when I will leave the room I’m so used to living in
My new journey is still disorienting me

On the bus to the station
I emailed my friend

On the platform in the morning, I tried calling too
But it felt like something had changed

I’ve brought one old guitar with me
I’ve left all my photos behind

Letting something go and then gaining something new
Does the same cycle repeat itself?

When I pretend to be strong, it always leads to dreams
When I let myself be cowardly, they stop

As the train began to move
I cried a little

I hope you enjoyed the songs

The Spill Weekly Challenge # 12. Who are you ?

If you’ve got this far you probably know what this is about already. Every week, on a Tuesday, a topic is put to the RR community so that our minds are kept active until Thursday.Think of it as a kind of community care thing.
This week I want you to imagine you have been abducted by aliens. You’ve had the anal probing and samples have been taken and now, while you sip alien coffee and admire the view of Venus through the window you get chatting with your captors.
They ask about Earth music and your life
What I want you to do is suggest a piece of music that tells them all they need to know about you or, if that’s too personal, a tune that will tell them all they need to know about life on Earth.
Let’s show those tentacled intergalactic explorers the best that humanity has to offer.There’s a free alien abduction and probing for the best suggestion *.

Volunteer wanted. Not for probing etc, I hasten to add, but for next week.

* To claim your prize simply go to Area 51 and ask for “Dave from Zlorch”.

Dieter Rams – The Man Who Shaped the Modern World

I was keen to do a post that was related to our shared musical interest, but in a more oblique fashion. There are few things that unite or divide opinion like music, but the look of things is certainly one of them. Modernism or Victoriana are just as likely to elicit a negative reaction as they are to be embraced, but all eras have styles or objects of enduring appeal.

I have worked for 20 years on and off for design companies. This happened entirely by accident, a result of a job interview I did in London. My interviewer was late and tipsy and I was offered the job on the spot. What sold me was a visit to this German company’s showrooms – it was like a Pauline conversion. I had no idea I was interested in design up to that point, but leaving there that day I was sure that I was! Since then I have worked mainly with German manufacturers of high end kit and they all took their cues in one way or another from one man: Dieter Rams.

Rams is an industrial designer. His goal was to make products from a functionalist persuasion rather than an aesthetic one –  the design being based on what is purposeful rather than starting out with the mindset of producing something which will look pretty. However many products which he designed do indeed look pretty. Here’s his take on hi-fi equipment.

Braun SK4

The SK4 must have looked like something from outer space when it was launched in 1956. Nicknamed “Snow White’s Coffin”, it had a see through lid – an innovation typical of Rams. He was ahead of his time on speakers and tuners too!

Braun LE1 Loudspeaker

Braun 9 FM Radio

These products look as good now as the day they were launched. Rams became chief designer at Braun in 1961 and oversaw a range of products from juicers to clocks and calculators. In the 80s he came up with Ten Commandments of good design. They may seem trite but they are universal in their applicability and it is amazing how often they are not followed, leaving us with unappealing, incomprehensible or plain useless products!

Good design is innovative

Good design makes a product useful

Good design is aesthetic

Good design makes a product understandable

Good design is unobtrusive

Good design is honest

Good design is long lasting

Good design is thorough, down to the last detail

Good design is environmentally friendly

Good design is as little design as possible

The last commandment is probably the most telling. He’s not really interested in minimalism, things are not pared down for just that end. His maxim is Less, But Better. These commandments and the quality of his work have had a profound impact on the way things look today. There will be something in your pocket or on your desk that betrays his  influence on product designers, the most obvious disciple being Jonathan Ive of Apple. Check out some of these products and their progenitors.

Braun T3 Pocket Radio & Apple's iPod

Apple iPhone & Braun ET44 Calculator

In each case the Braun product predates the Apple one by 30 years or more.

Dieter Rams retired in 1998 but many of his designs are still in production. He recently said that Apple are the only company currently manufacturing products that adhere to his Ten Commandments. I don’t really go with that in that one of Apple’s core strategies in recent years has been to drip-feed innovation onto the market, forcing their devotees into an endless cycle of product purchases to “consume” innovation. This to me is a profiteering strategy which does not place the customer at the product’s focus. Apple will eventually pay the price for this, they are losing customers already to the Android product and their focus on innovation is on the wane

I have a Braun alarm clock which I have thrown around my bedroom for nigh on twenty years. It is voice activated, keeps time perfectly and of course looks beautiful. Rams will remain an inspiration and next time you pick up your iPhone or iPod, smile and spare him a thought!


Michael Cacoyannis, the Cyprus born-filmmaker and screenwriter who directed the 1964 film classic “Zorba the Greek,” starring Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates has died, he was best known internationally for the Academy Award-winning “Zorba the Greek” — the 1964 adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, he joined up with composer Mikis Theodorakis whose score for the movie remains an enduring Greek anthem. This is one of my all time film favorites, it introduced me not only to Greek culture but to Greek music, here’s a short taste.

Earworms – July 25

“When the music changes, so does the dance”
African proverb

Deon Jackson – Love Makes The World Go Round
Soul! Sweet, sweet soul! What more needs to be said?

Huey “Piano” Smith & His Clowns – Don’t You Just Know It?
“That song sold a million copies back in 1958 – and that was when sellin’ a million was a really big deal,” said TP, when he played it on his radio show. Plus you just gotta sing along. Gooba gooba gooba gooba!

The Muffs – You Can Cry If You Want
This is The Muffs covering The Troggs’ “You can cry if you want”. In the hands of Reg Presley and co, a west-country ballad; in The Muffs’, a thing of wonder.

Paris Angels – Perfume (All On You)
Baggy old Madchester threw up some right shockers (Candy Flip, I’m looking at you!) but also the odd gem. This is one of them, imho. From the Moroder-esque keyboards to the lugubrious Manc vocals, I just love it. God knows why it’s called “Perfume” though.

8otto – 1977
People say Osaka, where 8Otto come from, is a bit like Liverpool. It is a port city and maybe not the richest place in Japan, and the people are famous for their sense of humour. The leader of this band, Maenosono Masaki, is a very funny guy. This is the only group I know (apart from Genesis) in which the drummer sings lead vocals. 8Otto are very influenced by British indie bands, as I think you’ll hear in this song.
Hoshino Sakura

LA Vampires – Berlin Baby
These days, thanks to the ‘Spill, I listen to the odd bit of contemporary stuff, getting a new crush every couple of months. This is the latest, courtesy of Japanther; dark and hypnotic, and reminds me of Leftfield. I was reduced to buying one of their t-shirts when I realised that the record is available only on vinyl…

Please send submissions to – thanks!

Pictures, please.

This was a thought I had last night, when it was too hot to sleep despite air-conditioning. Partially brought on by some beautiful pictures of rocking Rocking Mitch. I thought it would be fun if we posted pictures of ourselves in our youth…teens or twenties. I’d love to see punk rock pairubu, or goth Bethnoir, or… you see the pattern!! I know we’re all shy about posting pictures, so no pressure, but … wouldn’t it be fun?!?!

Amy Winehouse RIP

Don’t know what to say really.

I was listening to Back to Black a few days ago for the first time in a while. It was as good as I’d remembered it. I said I hoped she’d get things together to record a new record – and for her own sake.

I’m shocked, sad, unamused that fate should snuff out yet another star at 27, and angry that a media that hounded, mocked, pilloried and generally did a troubled young person no favours will now inevitably be weeping crocodile tears (with a few morality lectures thrown in).

I hope history will judge her on the merits of her music. Half a dozen tracks on Back to Black are right up there with the greats – off the top of my head, I can’t think of many albums with a stronger opening 3 songs than “Rehab”, “You Know That I’m No Good” and “Me and Mr Jones”.

Here’s a fitting epitaph – a song that sounds like it was written for Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald:

saneshane’s summer shakedown

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 Jive Soweto Sipho Mabuse
2 istavrit belly dance mood Baba Zula
3 Samba (San Palenque De Columbia Remix) Tony Allen
4 Bengali Skank Mad Professor
5 Mambo Bado Orchestra Makassy
6 Cajesukarije Cocek Goran Bregović
1 Do The Stomp (Spank Rock Club Mix) The Snowdroppers
2 Downtown Samba Yello
3 Tango Guido
4 Breaker’s Revenge Athur Baker
5 Salsa Smurph Special Request
6 (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew The Rock Steady Crew
7 The Wiggle Dave Clarke
8 Samba Soul (feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & DJ Qbert) N.A.S.A.
1 Walk And Skank Jah Screechy
2 Roller Boogie Son Of Dave
3 Waltzing Around Insane St. Thomas
4 Let’s Fall In Love And Run Away From Here Ballboy
5 Raindance The Past Seven Days
6 Footloose Doveman
7 Dance Little Rude Boy Ian Dury & The Blockheads
8 Dance Like a White Boy Master Shortie

And we got nothing to be guilty of… (Part 1)

Hi. My nom de blog is bishbosh and I *heart* chart pop. There, I said it. I love it. Not all of it, of course. That way madness lies (and we’ll come on to them later, hur hur). But probably more than is considered healthy in a man of my age.

This being the case, I thought I would celebrate my shame (pah!) by launching a new weekly(ish) column in which I attempt to seduce you, my more discerning music-loving friends, into savouring the dirty delights of pure pop. I realise this may take some doing, so let’s take it slowly: just one track a week. For critical reappraisal, if you will. Or even if you won’t.

Continue reading

Two Feet Left

Fall – Psykick Dancehall
Shitmat – Theme From The 1998 Morris Dancer Massacre
Can – Tango Whiskeyman [A Guy Called Gerald Rmx]
Clock DVA – High Holy Disco Mass
Frightened Rabbit – The Twist

Stranglers – Waltzinblack
Shriekback – My Spine Is The Bassline
Postmarks – One Note Samba
Yello – La Habenera
Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals

Derrick Morgan – Moon Hop
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & Dub Syndicate – Secret Labratory (Scientific Dancehall)
House Of Pain – Jump Around
Gary Clail & The On-U Soundsystem – Rave On
Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel


Somewhere on another post this week there was some discussion about cars, new blokes I suspect since the last time I mentioned this subject there was mostly silence. So I’ll take the opportunity to try something I’ve been wondering about lately; how hard is it to do a slideshow on WordPress? Turns out to be very simple though I haven’t figured out yet how to vary the speed of the slides nor the size; of course I’d like ‘em to fill the screen and to stay on for a long time. My interest in cars goes back literally 60 odd years and you can see that the ones I favor mostly come from that era though there’s a lot more from the ’30′s. I’ve chosen just a few from my Italian file, I think that the Italians have produced the most beautifully designed and engineered cars in the world; if I were buying a car today I’d rather have any of these 60 year old relics than anything on today’s market. We don’t need music to distract us with these images but I thought this might be appropriate, it’s from a recording of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1958; I don’t follow Formula 1 any more but I do enjoy going to Laguna Seca for the vintage races, the cars that race there often look a lot like the ones in these photos. These are just a few of my car photos, I have many more in files for most European countries if anyone’s interested.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Anime is one of the uniquely Japanese contributions to modern popular culture and is popular not just in Japan but all over the world.  One of the most successful Anime series is Bleach.  It is the story of a group of characters both human and supernatural who fight evil, so it is not so original in the story lines!!!  But the mixture of action, humor, a little romance and great characters have made this series so successful.  It is based on the is shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Noriaki Kubo and currently there have been 15 TV series with a total of 334 episodes and 4 anime feature films.

I was listening to one of my favorite singer songwriters the other day and realized that she had actually written and performed one of the openings for this series and then I started to remember some of the others and I realized that they actually are an interesting sample of J-pop music since the last few years.  (even if the themes are a little heroic)  In total so far there have been 14 opening themes by different artists and 28 closing themes!!

Here are some of the opening themes I like the most.

The first opening theme was Asterisk by the group Orange Range.  Orange Range are an Okinawan pop- rock group who were formed in 2001 but it was in 2003 that they became well known with the single Shanghai Honey which reached number 5 in the single charts.  In 2004 they had a huge hit with Hana which reached number one in the charts and stayed in the chart for 50 weeks.  In 2005 they were asked to make the opening track for the then new Bleach anime series.  The track they wrote was called Asterisk and it debuted at number 1 in the chart and stayed in the chart for 22 weeks.

First Opening  -  Asterisk by Orange Range

The third opening theme was  Ichirin no Hana  by High and Mighty Color.  High and Mighty Colour are another Okinawan group.  They started life as a Metalica cover band actually and but were joined by a female vocalist and produced a song for the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, called Pride which was their first single and hit for them and they started to make their own music.  They never really made it to be a really major band, but always had a loyal following.  They made the third opening for Bleach in 2006.

Third Opening  – Ichirin no Hana by High and Mighty Colour

The sixth and ninth opening themes were by Aqua Timez.  Aqua Timez also did the theme for the Bleach spin off movie Bleach: Memories of Nobody.  Originally called Aqua Times they were formed in 2000 by Futoshi Kawasaki and Tomohisa Okada when they were at university, but it was in 2005 they changed the name to Aqua Timez and signed to Sony Music.  They released their first mini album Sora Ippai ni Kanaderu Inori which became number one in the chart and started their success.  The sixth opening was a track called Alones and the ninth opening was Velonica.  Both had good success in the charts, and both feature the positive and inspirational lyrics they are well known for.  I prefer Valonica but I have included both so you can decide which one you prefer.

Sixth Opening  Alones by Aqua Timez

Ninth Opening   -  Valonica by Aqua Timez

The tenth opening was Shoju S by Scandal.   Scandal are a four piece girl rock band from Osaka.  The met at a dance and voice school while still in high school became friends and formed the group in 2006 when they were still only 17 years old.  They initially signed to independent record company Kitty Records but eventually signed to Sony Music in 2008 after long negotiations.  Unusually they managed to obtain artistic control of writing and production.  So well done to them!  In 2009 they wrote Shojo S (Girl S) for Bleach and it became the tenth opening theme.  They have had good success with sales and tour more or less continually.  I have actually seen them live and I must say they seem to enjoy playing live very much and are an enjoyable act to see.

Tenth Opening  -  Shoju S by Scandal

Now the artist that started me thinking about this theme for a post.

Miwa is a relatively new singer songwriter who I like very much and I think will become one of my very favourites!  She has only released one album Guitarissimo which actually reached number one in the album chart this year.  She wrote Change for the twelfth opening of Bleach in 2010 and was the third single she released.

Twelfth Opening  -  Change by Miwa.

If you have read so far then well done and thank you so much.  I hope you found it interesting.

The ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge #11 – Songs About Things That Are No More

Afternoon to y’all, and welcome to this week’s Spill Challenge.

For the uninitiated, a new challenge appears each and every Tuesday and is a blue blanket type device for Readers Recommend enthusiasts to prevent them from sucking their thumbs down to the bone in the time between the close of nominations and the appearance of results of a Thursday.

It is quite possible that we have no volunteer for next week’s Challenge, so if you are feeling brave/inclined, speak now or forever hold your silence (or hold it until the following week at least). Challenge topics are ideal for all you luddites out there: simply post a picture/video/text combination in support of your choice, then just sit back and wait for the gibbering/frothing/adulation (don’t count on the latter) to begin. If you would prefer to do something fancy, the multi-talented Maki has – in between tapas courses – written an easy to follow manual, under the “Manual” tab at the top of the blog. Not much in the way of rules other than the requirement that no artist can be duplicated in one week – whoever posts firsts gets to keep their choice.

We all have long memories here, so this week’s topic should represent no major difficulty. Your task is to recommend a song or piece of music which relates to something which is no longer or has ceased to be made or somewhere from the past, which no longer exists in the original form. I’m talking specifically about a place or an object rather than a person. Your choice need not necessarily be of itself nostalgic. It could be a shop, a street, a town, an industry, or even a product from the past.

I originally chose this song because of the profession, but technically that’s not a thing of the past in that power/phone cables still need to be connected by hand, but when Jimmy Webb wrote ” I hear you singing in the wire/
I can hear you thru the whine”, he may have been referring to the sound of the wind resonating harmonically on the exposed steel cables. So my suggestion is for a sound which is no more!

A nice open goal of a topic – as long as you’re not an English penalty-taker, that is!

Well done Kenny!

I’m sure that all of ‘Spilldom knows that King Creosote is one of my utter favourite singers, so I’m exceedingly pleased he’s been nominated for this year’s Mercury Music prize for his “Diamond Mine” album, a collaboration with Jon Hopkins. The last time I saw Kenny he was singing by the creels at Crail harbour, a fishing village just down the coast from where I live, and the album that’s been nominated is a concept record in the form of a postcard from a Fife coastal village – so well done to KC, and big up the East Neuk of Fife, Fence Records, and all that sail in her!


Earworms – July 18

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
Maya Angelou

Little Richard – Freedom Blues
An old favourite but I remember how it blew me away when I first heard it – not what I expected from Little Richard but at the same time very much in keeping with the power of his classic early stuff. It still stirs the blood and always has me reaching to turn the volume up.

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans – Come To The River
This is a blues-gospel masterpiece written by Evans, a backing vocalist for Ry Cooder, and performed with Theessink, a Vienna-based blues master, on their unlikely collaboration, the 2008 CD Visions. I was fortunate enough to catch up with them HERE:

Blind Boys of Alabama – Soldier
There has been a band, variously called the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama and just The Blind Boys Of Alabama (depending, I suppose, how many there were at any given time) since 1938 and I understand one person joined at 14 in ’38 and was still with them when they cut this in 2001. I’m not the least bit religious, but if anything’s going to convert me then it’s stuff like this!

Malouma – Mahma El Houb
This one has been floating in and out of my consciousness for days now. It makes no difference that I can’t understand a word of it; there’s a quality there that haunts me. Malouma is a woman from Mauritania, the strip of Sahara desert that runs up the Atlantic coast from Senegal to Algeria. It’s a very poor Berber/Arab country. There isn’t a complete road along its length; if you need to travel, you drive on the beach. Hope this song sticks in your ears like it does mine.

Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards – Dust
Lovely romantic lyric & pedal steel, but that’s not why I posted it. This song just refuses to go away: twice you think it’s over, but after pausing it’s back. Delicate atmospheric coda? Or irritating faux-finish? You decide.

Please send submissions to – thanks!