Welcome to the third episode of our new series ! ! ! This week we have another great variety of tracks from Japan dating from 1955 to 2013 so I am sure there will be something you like this week ! ! ! We have one of the biggest Stars in Japanese music history and bands that only the members mothers have heard about, so why not take a few minutes and join Mr P and I for . . . The Cs ! ! !
“C”, the last letter in the ABC, is often overlooked in favour of more popular letters like “P”. Here , however, we shine a little light on “C” and some of the bands that have chosen the letter as the initial of their names. Continue reading
The Letter B ! ! !
Welcome to the second episode of our new series ! ! ! This week we look at the letter B and we will be looking at the blacklist operated by agencies and record companies, some great punk, one of Japan’s most popular indie outfits and some Eurobeat disco music. So we think there will be something to interest everyone . . .well almost everyone ! ! !
Do be do be do”, no , not Frank Sinatra, that’s what Sakura said to me, and so I did. From me this week are some crusty old punk tracks while Sakura provides and interesting tale of industry shenanigans and some class J-pop.
We hope you enjoy them.
A Is for . . . . Lots of Good Music ! ! !
Welcome our new project ! ! ! We have been thinking about how we can give our Spiller friends a taste of the variety of music that there is in Japan and we thought about this idea. Each week we will use a different letter and include bands, tracks or genres that start with that letter. That way we hope to share with you a wide variety of pop, rock, punk, indie, alternative and anything else we can think about ! ! ! Maybe you will not like all the tracks, but we hope you enjoy most and that you enjoy our new series ! ! !
Welcome to “Project A-Z” in which Sakura and I hope to explore the dark nooks and crannies of Japanese music and, with luck, provide some interesting and entertaining tit-bits of information. I shall be focusing on “Word of the week”, being keen on education and stuff, and will be teaching a Japanese word with each post. We hope you enjoy the ride. Fasten your seat belts please….
SLADE ! ! !
Tokyo is a wonderful city and as one gets to know it, one discovers the hidden places in this strange and beautiful city.
Asakusa is a neighbourhood in the city known for the most famous Buddhist temple in Tokyo and the narrow side streets packed with tiny shops selling just about everything you could wish for ! ! !
The area next to the Sumida river is lined with house boats and there is a thriving alternative life style there which gives the area a vibrant and carefree atmosphere.
SLADE – So why am I talking about a neighbourhood in Tokyo when this post is about Slade ? ? ?
The Amazing Ochi Shiho
I am sure, you all know that horrible moment in a concert when the lead singer says . . . . .
“On guitar . . . .. “ Continue reading
Goose House with Rina Katahira
Rina Katahira is a singer songwriter from Fukushima. I have been meaning to talk about her for a while now but somehow the opportunity did not really happen, so I decided to make it happen ! ! ! Continue reading
I have my trumpet Ms S.
Mr P ! ! ! I don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band it aint what I call rock and roll ! ! !
Welcome to the Rock and Roll party ! ! ! This week Mr P and I are sharing some of our favourite Japanese rock tracks. There is quite a variety, from tracks released this year to golden oldies from the 1990′s ! ! ! We think you will enjoy the selection, I think there will be something for everyone to like this week ! ! !
This time we are looking at “rock” but in two rather different ways. My choices focus on the seedy, “dark” side of things whilst Sakura’s , still rockin’, of course, are more user friendly. It’s quite a noisy selection and should be played LOUD !
We hope you enjoy them.
Read this post or I will shot ! ! !
Well come back to the winter series of He said she said ! ! !
She Says :
This week we will be looking at some K-pop boy bands and girl groups. Korea has a reputation as having the best looking guys and girls in Asia, but K-pop is not all about looks ! ! ! Korean pop music is ultra professional and the quality of the bands singing and dancing ability is really high. For a small country Korea has really made a name internationally as a centre for pop music and in this post we will show you some of the groups that are making it in Korea and internationally
If you had said to me a couple of years ago that I would be writing about Korean Boy Bands I would, probably, have laughed in your face. So here is a piece about, among other things, Korean Boy bands ! What has twisted my mind in this way ? Obviously it’s Sakura’s fault. That and the fact that I have a soft spot for well made, cheesy pop.
I am sorry Ms S – I can not see anything at all in your eye . . .
This week thought we would dedicate to love ! ! ! Summer is such a romantic season ! ! ! So the to help you enjoy the romance of summer the He Said – She Said Spiller Romance Enhancement Special Operations Team have made you two playlists to help you get into the mood for love ! ! ! One playlist is Western tracks and the other one is Japanese tracks. We hope you like them ! ! !
I tried, with my choices, to give a little “selection box” showing some of the different “flavours” of love ( marzipan ! Ugh !). Love is such a difficult thing to pin down, there are all sorts of different kinds. Love of a lover, love of a child or parent, love of beer or money….mostly beer, actually..now I come to think of it..anyway..here’s some songs about it. Continue reading
Juice = Juice
Hello ! Project is the management company behind an army of J-Pop Idol groups, but the arrival of AKB 48 has caused them to some how get lost in what they are doing. But H!P are fighting back ! ! !
If he chooses a track about octopuses . . I will kill him ! ! !
Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! ! This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! ! So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !
We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !
This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary track, one oldie and one traditional. We hope you enjoy the tracks.
“Mr P . . . It is getting dark . . “
“Don’t worry Ms S . . .There is no night that never ends and no rain that never stops”
Welcome to The Dark Side ! ! ! This week we will look at a short selection of tracks that reflect the obsession with the darker side of life that many Japanese groups and musicians have. We will only have four tracks this week, but it is an all video post as we wanted show the visual elements prominently. We hope you enjoy it . . . but this could get scary ! ! !
Remember, Grasshopper, to have light you must have the dark too ! Here are some songs that reflect the darker underbelly of the Japanese music scene. I find them interesting, if, at times, somewhat challenging. As always with Japan they are certainly well produced !
The children of the night ! What music they make….bwaaa haaa haaaa…….
What are Scandal hiding in The Bonus Track Section ? ? ?
When I buy a single or Album or DVD, one of the first things I look at are the bonus tracks. Bonus tracks are always a little of a lottery. We usually get the predicable, instrumental version, acoustic version or a track written by the drummer for his mums birthday, but occasionally there is a real gem hidden in twilight zone at the end of the CD.
These girls are not just a girl and a guitar Ms S ! ! !
Mr P ! ! ! They are not just anything ! ! !
Now is a really great time in Japan for singer songwriters. They are working in a really great variety of styles and genres and in this post we want to introduce you to some of the girls who are making great music and writing fantastic songs. We think you will enjoy them – they are all much more than just a girl and guitar ! ! !
I think that we in the West sometimes get the impression that Oriental women are somewhat downtrodden and subservient. Whilst there may be an element of truth there I think things are changing in the East and women are becoming more prominent in the world of business, media , teaching etc. Especially notable is the number of Japanese music artistes who are not only performing, as they did in the past, but also writing their own material. Here are a few of our favourites. We hope you enjoy them.
Babymetal Make A Stand Against Bullying
Every year, sadly, in Japan there are horrific stories of bullying. In a recent case a young school boy committed suicide after being persecuted and even made to rehearse his suicide by his persecutors. There was another recent case of a another boy who committed suicide after being hit more than 40 times by his teacher in one day. This for me was the most tragic of cases as the bully was actually a teacher who should have been protecting the child and not persecuting him. Continue reading
It’s So Romantic Mr P ! ! !
Ummm. . . what did you say Ms S ? ? ?
This week we want to share some cool tunes with you ! ! ! There is so much more to the Korean music scene than just Gangham Style and K-pop and in this post we want to share some of the Korean Indie bands we have been listening to recently. It is cool, relaxed and chilled post this week, but we hope you will like it!!!
So it’s not just Gangnam Style after all ! I confess that I know little about Korea and even less about it’s music scene. I have, however, tracked down some fine music over the last couple of years and thought you might like to hear what’s going down in downtown Seoul. No K-pop this time, just good old “indie” stuff that’s full of charm.
The big question is of course -are you a feminist? And can you be a “girl” and a feminist?
This is question that I have been fighting with for sometime.
Free The AKB 48 ! ! !
J-pop has been in the news recently and for all the wrong reasons ! ! ! Minami Minegishi one of the founding members of the group was photographed leaving the house of her boyfriend and has made a public apology and as a symbol of her regret she has shaved her head.
“Miss S ~ they are playing our song”
” Shall we dance Mr P ? ? ?”
In this special our songs edition of He Said – She Said we wanted to share the tracks that are special to us because they remind us of each other. we had a lot of fun with this post and we hope you will enjoy it also. I think there are some interesting and surprising tracks in this edition ! ! !
I have been told to say that this was my idea. I completely agree with everything Sakura has said here and there were no threats of violence used at all to get me to write this piece. Everything is fine, the hostages have been released and the bruising has gone down, so there’s nothing to worry about, obviously. So here are some songs that make me think of Sakura. I’ve left out “Please don’t hit me” and “Can I go home now ?” on legal advice…..
Swing Girls – The Brass Band Is Where The Action is ! ! !
Of course while I was making my posts on Japanese school girls and J-pop I was aware that actually 2 things. The first is that Japanese people actually make music much more that western people, and that the reality is that in talking about Japanese school girls and music in real life (as distinct from J-pop) then really the brass band is where it is all happening for girls these days.
Schoolgirls ! ! ! Prepare To Attack ! ! !
Stand and Bow ! ! ! Lessons are about to start ! ! !
In the last class we looked at the history and development of the Japanese Schoolgirl Uniform and the also some characteristics of Japanese schoolgirls. This week are going to concentrate on school girls in Japanese pop and rock. So no talking in class and pay attention to the teacher. There will be a test at the end and if you do not pass there will catch up classes during the winter break ! ! !
Evan Taubenfield is well known as the guitarist and producer for Avril Lavigne, so what is he doing teaming up with Okinawan girl rockers Stereopony ? ? ?
Are Goose House a group or a musicians collective? We do not really know and actually we do not care because Goose House are FUN ! ! ! In this special edition of He Said – She Said we want to share our enthusiasm for this wonderful group of young musicians who have taken a very different path to success and on the way have had a lot of fun and shared the fun with many thousands of people.
A little bit difficult for me to write about this band as I only came across them a few weeks ago in relation to the Yui tribute album ( see Sakura’s previous post). However I’ve been playing their songs and videos and find them very enjoyable. This post, I think, illustrates two things about the Japanese music scene at the moment.
1. There’s still room for “bedroom” musicians.
2. It’s pretty much self contained. Goose House could cover “Teen Spirit” or other Western rock songs but they choose J-pop instead. They don’t need us.
K-pop Mega Star Hyuna
Oh Dear ! ! ! The Guardian has discovered K-pop ! ! !
This week there are two articles about it over on on the Mothership ! ! ! Of course one is about learning the Gangham Style dance and the other is about Girls Generation. The Guardian seem to think Girls Generation will be able to break into the western market, and as usual they have gone for the K-pop Lite option. But actually if a K-pop artist will make it long term in west, it will probably be HyunA.
She is smart, funny, sexy, fluent in English and Japanese a great singer and dancer and a charismatic live performer.
You will all hate her ! ! !
Yui Announced today that she was taking an indefinite hiatus from performing and recording. She made the announcement on her website today.