I Hope You All Had A Super Hina Matsuri ! ! !

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri is celebrated on the 3rd March.  I had hoped to post something about Hina Matsuri before the day, so I am so sorry I am late wishing all The Spillers a happy Hina Matsuri.

Hina Matsuri is one of the nicest festivals in Japan and it is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.  It is a day to celebrate daughters in families and to appreciate the joy that girls bring to a family and to pray that they have a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.

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A Year of Listening Scottishly – February

So that’s one sixth of the year gone already and another month of listening Scottishly behind me.

For the benefit of those of you who have not been following every post on Facebook, waiting eagerly for each successive day’s slice of Scottish pop heaven, here’s February’s list:

1 Danny Wilson Davy
2 Aztec Camera Stray
3 Twin Atlantic Brothers And Sisters
4 King Creosote You’ve No Clue Do You?
5 Idlewild Love Steals Us From Loneliness
6 Del Amitri Heard Through A Wall
7 The Blue Nile Downtown Lights
8 Altered Images Love To Stay
9 Belle & Sebastian The Boys Are Back In Town (Live)
10 Trashcan Sinatras White Horses
11 Camera Obscura Modern Girl
12 Aztec Camera Jump
13 God Help The Girl Funny Little Frog
14 Orange Juice L.O.V.E. Love
15 Teenage Fanclub Here Comes Your Man
16 Close Lobsters I Kiss The Flower In Bloom
17 Ballboy Donald In The Bushes With A Bag Of Glue
18 Franz Ferdinand Darts Of Pleasure
19 Cocteau Twins Musette And Drums
20 Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Come Undone
21 Eurythmics There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
22 The Pastels Up For A Bit
23 Trashcan Sinatras Weightlifting
24 Peatbog Faeries The Naughty Step
25 Roddy Frame English Garden
26 Big Country In A Big Country
27 Mogwai This Messiah Needs Watching
28 Belle & Sebastian Fox In The Snow

I particularly enjoyed ‘covers’ week which presented me with an additional challenge and led me to the discovery of Teenage Fanclub’s excellent version of The PixiesHere Comes Your Man – further themed weeks are in the pipeline.

It’s certainly no struggle finding suitable material and while of course the list is inevitably going to be skewed in favour of my own 1980s, indie-pop leanings, I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit, dipping my toe into the murky waters of folk music for example, and I intend to continue to push the boundaries of my comfort zone as the year progresses. I’m grateful for any suggestions (I’m not taking requests as such – yet!) but please don’t ask for any Nazareth as a Glesga’ Kiss offends…

One thing that’s become very apparent is the dearth of suitable Scottish music dating from before the mid-to-late 1970s and it raises an interesting question. Why did the 1960s pop revolution (apparently) not take hold in Scotland? Both Glasgow and Edinburgh (and Aberdeen and Dundee for that matter) seem like perfect breeding grounds for the sort of guitar-based rhythm and blues/pop bands which sprung up in their hundreds south of the border, but I’m struggling to find anything worthy of inclusion. It’s almost as if the entire nation spent twenty years listening to what was going on elsewhere, taking it all in and quietly, secretively perfecting its pop sensibilities, before handing Edwyn Collins a guitar and a microphone and saying, ‘Go on. You know what to do…’

Of course I may be wrong and there may be some excellent 1960s/early 70s material waiting to be discovered. But that’s for another month.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of highlights from February’s posts…

GIL SCOTT HERON

gil

I’ve mentioned my recent obsession with listening to the air checks of my 1990’s radio show, such an interesting new late night interest. But, I’ve just started a new obsession, I’m reviewing my VHS collection; I have close to 600 tapes recorded throughout my working life and mostly related to music. This week I’ve watched 2 one hour documentaries about Duke Ellington and two about Bob. Today I pulled one from 1982 titled ‘Black Wax’, a documentary and performance by and about Gil Scott Heron and as I sat watching it I kept thinking ”I must find a way to share this with the Spill”, but the process of transferring and digitizing the tape was very off-putting so I checked youtube on the off chance that they’d have it and sure enough they do. My suggestion is that if you know how to record from youtube you should, this never went to commercial DVD and it’s invaluable to anyone who appreciates Gil. It’s a great piece, well worth watching, you see Gil at his peak in many aspects, if you can’t watch the entire thing at least watch from 1.04.30 ’til the end credits, about 12 minutes. He’s great.
There’s a couple of extras after the credits and I was present at the last one, it’s shot at Sunsplash in Jamaica and I was right in front of the stage, I remember it well.
So here’s a special treat, Black Wax by Gil Scott Heron with the Midnight band, enjoy.

Sakura’s J-pop Corner ~ Goose House Release Two New Albums ! ! !

Goose House

Goose House

Hi There J-poppers ! ! !

Just a super quick post to let you know that everyone’s favorite Musical Workers Collective will be releasing two new albums simultaneously on the 25th February Which is tomorrow ! ! !

They have made a really typically kooky and charming advertisement and if you click the continue reading you will be able to see it and also a the video for the current single.

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Cakes, Smiles, Hugs and Unconditional Love – My Best Friend ! ! !

A Girls Best Friend is Not Diamonds  -  It Is Her Best Friend ! ! !

A Girls Best Friend is Not Diamonds – It Is Her Best Friend ! ! !

Tokyo metropolitan area has a population of 36 million people and I am regularly voted in the top ten most complicated people in Tokyo. If sulking were an Olympic sport then I would definitely be a member of Team Japan and a strong medal contender

But there is always one circumstance when I am almost normal and one person in my life who puts up with my shit unconditionally. My Best friend Yuki. Continue reading

I’ll Be Frank

sinatraSinatra. Whenever I thought of him – which was not often, until a few months ago – he appeared as a symbol of cultural and moral decadence, the essence of a Las Vegas that was the essence of a particular smug, moneyed ghastliness; smooth self-satisfaction with an edge of thuggishness and an all-pervasive atmosphere of sexism and casual racism; showbiz in the worst possible sense. More prosaically, when I was growing up he seemed like the dark heart of Radio 2 in the days when Radio 2 was the antithesis of everything exciting and wonderful about pop and rock and soul; something like Big Band Special felt quite harmless, albeit laughable, in its wish to pretend that the 1960s had never happened, whereas Sinatra was reactionary nostalgia weaponised. The dinner suits, the cocktails, the notion of suave, the eau de Playboy (even less appealing when adopted by the likes of Robbie Williams). Bloody My Way – the Sid Vicious deconstruction felt, to my father as much as to me, not only brilliant but necessary. Yes, I did like Guys and Dolls, but for Damon Runyon and the songs, more or less despite Sinatra; I would at the most grudgingly admit that he played a sleazy lowlife pretty well, and feel that Miss Adelaide would be better off with more or less anyone else… Continue reading