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.
Kawaii ! ! !
I am very sorry but I am going to be a week late with part 2 of The Attack Of The Japanese Schoolgirls.
High School Is A Special Time For Girls
Stand And Bow - Lessons Are About To Start ! ! !
When I started this post I realised I had so much I wanted to say that I would actually need two posts ! ! ! So in this first one I want to talk about the two main styles of uniform and a little of the history of school uniforms in Japan and then something about personalising uniforms. Next week I will focus on School uniforms in J-pop but first lets get to know the uniforms and something about the girls that wear them ! ! !
In Japanese schools when the lesson starts the kids stand up and formally bow to the teacher. This is to show they are focused and ready to learn and as sign of respect for the teacher. We ready to start now - so stop talking at the back of the class and pay attention ! ! !
She Loves You is a YUI tribute album and a first sight with Scandal, Stereopony, Joy, Goose House, Dancing Dolls, and Miwa on an Album playing songs written and made famous by Asia’s most famous and successful female singer songwriter. It looks like it should be a great album ! ! !
But I immediately thought - “OH WOW! ! ! Some of my favourite bands and singers making versions of some of my favourite songs by my absolutely favourite all time artist - It can only be a disaster - right ? ? ?”
Well read on if you want you find out what I thought of YUI’s tribute album.
Award winning investigative journalist Sakura goes underground to bring to you the secrets of Japanese Schoolgirls! ! ! !
In this exclusive Spill expose post I will tell the secrets of Japanese Schoolgirls.
- Why is glue so important to schoolgirls ? ? ?
- How can you shorten your skirt without your mum knowing ? ? ?
- How can you stop guys seeing your panties when you climb stairs ? ? ?
All this and much more will be reveled in ~ Attack Of The Japanese Schoolgirls ! ! !
Exclusive to The Spill and to be published on Sunday - Do not forget to order your copy today ! ! !
What do we do with the winners Mr P?
Exploit them ruthlessly like everyone else Ms S ! ! !
Welcome to the J- factor ! ! ! This post is based on a popular TV series which maybe some of you have seen. Basically we have three categories. Solo, Group and Oldie. I will nominate one track for each category and Mr P will nominate one for each category and then you will have the chance to vote for your favourite. We hope you have fun listening to the tracks and voting for your favourites ! ! !
Call me S*mon C**ell and pass me a pair of high waisted trousers. It’s time for a head to head J-Factor contsest. The rules are clear ( vote for me) and the gloves are off !
It was a chance meeting out side Shibuya station in Tokyo that resulted in Japanese girl punk-pop band Toquiwa’s signing to a UK record lable and collaborating with The Wedding Present.
Toquiwa (as Pinky Piglets) were playing a street live out side the famous Shibuya station in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most popular entertainment districts when the promoter who was booking the Wedding Present Japanese tour walked past and stopped to listen and had one of those wonderful “A ha ! ! !” moments. He booked Pinky Piglets as they were called at the time to support Wedding Present and the start of a common journey with the two bands began.
On 24 October an exciting event will happen. A YUI tribute album will be released. YUI produced the album and it will feature 13 of her most famous songs covered by different artists.
There are tracks by some of my favourite bands and singers. Stereopony, SCANDAL, Miwa, Goose House, Dancing Dolls and many other great bands and artists are participating.
Tokyo is one of the great cities in the world. Like all great cities Tokyo is exciting, dynamic, creative, complex and cruel. But we have a saying here that for every true thing you can say about Tokyo the opposite is also true ! ! ! You can live your whole life here and still be surprised by the beauty and also the cruelty of the city. Tokyo is not one city, it is a million villages and tribes crushed together each keeping it’s own character but passing on and receiving something from its neighbours. This it what gives Tokyo such a unique and varied atmosphere.
Obviously I’m not an expert on Tokyo. All I know of the place is what I’ve seen in films or read about. There’s no doubt. I think, that it’s an interesting and exciting city. There seems to be so much going on. Music, fashion, food, shopping, strange night clubs and dodgy “character ” cafes etc. I’m not a city guy these days, I’ve served my time in London and prefer the quiet life but I’d go to Tokyo. I think it would drive me crazy.
Japanese girl pop punksters changed thier name last year from Pinky Piglets to TOQUIWA and currently touring the UK supporting a UK band called The Wedding Present.
Shane and I will be writing a post about them including an exclusive virtual interview and a review of the latest album very soon. . . .
Many People have asked me about the cartoons of the characters I use in our He-Said – She Said series (well .. one person actually) They come from one of the really very best Anime series and certainly the one with the best Music. - Cowboy Bebop.
The music in Cowboy Bebop was composed by the famous jazz pianist composer Yoko Kanno and performed by the band The Seatbelts and the music plays a big part in creating the atmosphere of the anime.