Archive for September, 2012

Fushigi na tejina no you ni – Nitta Eri

On that intro again: When sung on TV, or maybe only on Yuyake Nyan Nyan, a lot of these songs are cut of verses and choruses for time. As such, those times Eri sings this song the intro is left out completely from its place at the beginning, though thankfully kept at the end where it counts. It would appear on a list of as pop musics greatest crimes if it weren’t. It shows its impact is not reliant on it being an echo of anything that happened before. Just so long as it happens there.

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Vitamin B

Vitamin B – Boyracer

There must be some Boyracer songs that Stewart cannot remember writing. The amount of them and the stretch years and releases they are strewn over, if he ever listens to his old records there must be some songs that make him go “Really? Me?” I might have a better handle on his work than he does. He does have bigger concerns now than an encyclopaedic knowledge of his discography, sadly (sad concerns, not sad that his music is not the main priority in his life). It’s strange to feel for someone you’ve never met. No it’s not, it’s human.

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You’re the only one – The Mr. T Experience

This is my drum packing away song, because when i listen to Love Is Dead it always only seems to be when i play drums to it. I’m a busy man and i’m not going to sit through this mostly drumless song to hit the same pattern of things for thirty seconds at the end. I can get a head start. Make excellent time. As such, it is probably the Mr. T Experience song thats drum part i know best, because i’m not ever drowning it out with my own wrong approximation. So to this song are triggered memories of spinning wing nuts, taking down cymbals, tying up speaker cable and moving my kit back to its resting place. It’s a funny thing to have a song remind you of, but if you live with things long enough they’ll come to mean things in the oddest little corners of your life.

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Fushigi na tejina no you ni – Nitta Eri

Ok. Nitta Eri was Onyanko Club member #4, which was the highest number anyone would hold during the time the Onyanko Club actually released music. The benefits of not being caught smoking. Even though the number is not indicative of any rank, i wonder if it ever went to her head. Judging from appearances and her constant dedication and enthusiasm throughout, i’m going to say not. Though not always, and never for the big performances, she was also one of the only of the girls to wear glasses onstage.

This was her third solo single, her third number one, and it is among my favourite Onyanko Club and related songs. As well as just being a rollingly perfect pop song, there is this symmetry to it that works so wonderfully, as though the song could be folded over on itself. It leaves as it comes, ending with the intro you don’t realise is its best part until it comes around again, falling exactly where it has to. Everything that has come before now feeds into it, it soaring beyond the glory of the chorus and leaving you in its bliss. The walk up to a first kiss is now the walk away, with every momentous, euphoric thing that has just happened still swirling unsettled, delirious, in your head.

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I Walk The Line

I walk the line – Johnny Cash

My favourite round of this song – my favourite key it’s sung in, and hence probably the best key any song is sung in – is the last. The deepest. “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.” It as though he cycled through all possible deliveries, testing them all looking for the right one, and found it in the last, fading out after because there is nothing more he need do. This is how he wants to tell you what he wants to say.

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No More Renai Gokko

No more renai gokko – Onyanko Club

“No more pretend love,” i think it translates to. I’ve also seen “No More Love Done Together” and Google translates it to “No More Amourette,” which is French (small/not deep/meaningless love) but kind of can be squeezed into that first definition. I should really learn Japanese if i’m going to keep this up. To get a better handle on the lyrics, the meanings, what goes on on Yuyake Nyan Nyan aside from the songs, the wider Japanese culture the Onyanko Club existed in, and the scholarship out there on the group.

That is if any scholarship exists. It has to be more substantial than what is here in English, which consists of dumb surface dismissiveness as either “those crazy Japanese” or “those perverted Japanese.” That or they are referenced slightly among people open to Japanese pop music as Akimoto Yashushi’s distant project before AKB48. All this does not come close to translating the wonderful, affecting, critically rich, and i believe empowering things the group offers. The things i am hit with.

I come up as a search result for the Onyanko Club, and i don’t want that, at least not until i have some passable expertise. Even then! What i can find and regurgitate are details, lists, chart positions, member numbers and my own personal response to Onyanko. That’s not interesting at all.

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Tenshi no Bodyguard

Tenshi no Bodyguard – Iwai Yukiko

Yukiko, or Yuuyu, was Onyanko’s 19th member, the other of Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi with Takai Mamiko, and one of the most popular members. Look, i’m gradually drawing a picture of the Onyanko Club as a whole. She was also the shortest member, which coupled with the way she sings made her look very young, but in reality she was one of the oldest in the group. Mamiko graduated before her, leaving her partnerless, but not out of the spotlight as she was soon given a solo opportunity. This was her first single. Her popularity remained after the Onyanko Club folded and she branched out further on her solo career, and there is something incredible about watching a 4 foot 11 person alone, bouncing around, owning a stage and an audience as much as anyone has ever before.

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Pick you up – Powderfinger

Because i’m super cool and fun to be around, i spent last night at home half-watching Rage. It’s celebrating 25 years on the air at the moment, dedicating every show to play year by year defining videos of its life as a music video show. Let me say there is some serious revisionism going on here. Last night was 1995/1996/1997, and i, nerd that i am, taped near every episode back then so i know what they were playing back then, and what they aired late night was not at all an entirely accurate representation of it.

They did play some videos shown back then ad nauseum – the Smashing Pumpkins, the Silverchairs, the Tools, the Foo Fighters, the Powderfingers – but among them, inserted with the same sense of celebration were videos they never celebrated. Sugar Cube, Triumph, Cross Bones Style – things i’ve come to learn about and love, but not through Rage ever airing their videos.

It was like they were through their means suppressing any hint that they were ever late to these parties. Not Rage as it was, but Rage as they wish it had been, years of education, trend-settling and scope-broadening after the fact. Maybe the programming was meant to reflect that: To simply play the best videos. But if it was just them playing what they know now to be the best videos of those years, why the heck did they play this song?

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Koi Wa Question

Koi wa kuesu-chan – Onyanko Club

It’s taken three years for How Much More to be the most posted song on here; it may take only three months for this song to beat it. It must be the greatest song ever written, then. Like a lot of their or their subgroups or soloists songs, it was the theme song to an anime: the Onyanko Club era-contemporary version on Animatsu Hime. I have no interest in seeing it, but researching it i found among its many adaptations a 1958 drama version, which i would give anything to see. And that Alex Kidd in Hi-Tech World was an Animatsu Hime game originally in Japan, it being remodelled for us in the west. I hope this has been enlightening for you.

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How Much More

How much more – The Go-Go’s

Even though it’s spread out over a couple of years and therefore not really noticeable, i think this is the song that has come up here the most. A fantastic song to wake up with. I should be jumping out of bed, ready to take on the day, instead of saying every 5 minutes “now!” and eventually crawling from it. A nice little window into my life. Sorry, Go-Go’s.

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