Archive for May, 2013

Bad For Good

Bad for good – Jim Steinman

I think this is one of the greatest songs ever written, and as i’ll probably be dead soon i’d like it, while not written on my plaque above my small little cremation spot, at least carrying into the eternity without me some semblance of the person i was. Someone really lame.

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Streets don’t close – Sommerset

The riff to this song sounds a lot like one from a Hot Water Music song. I don’t know what that song is called (i don’t really know the titles of any Hot Water Music songs despite them being a rather important band to me) but you’ll know it when you hear it. It’s off Fuel For The Hate Game. One of the first places i heard Hot Water Music’s name was in a Sommerset interview, so it’s not like they themselves couldn’t pick up how near identical it sounds. Yet they went with it anyway. I think this song was the single off this album, or at least the one they made the promotional video for. It figures. It’s my least favourite.

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Hishou no mori no tenshitachi – Onyanko Club

The Onyanko sub group that never was. Tomikawa Harumi, Watanabe Minayo and Watanabe Marina, while performing under the Onyanko banner, are the only club members who sing on this song. And it was performed live just like that: the three of them alone, with choreography and all, and no Onyanko chorus behind them. Yet the three of them were never named under a subgroup nor ever performed together again. I think the rising popularity of the Watanabes may have had something to do with it, as very soon after this song they would debut as solists, one after the other. That leaves Harumi out and i kind of feel bad for her. She was one of the members i’ve thought should have had a higher profile than she did. The perils of being in the biggest girl group in the world.

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Sunday, May 26th:
Ordinary people do fucked up things when fucked up things become ordinary – Propagandhi

Monday, May 27th:
Why did i trust you? – The Garlands

Tuesday, May 28th:
Hoot – Girls’ Generation

Busy, busy, busy. Torn between three towns 100 kilometres apart and i’m an idiot. I don’t deserve anything good in life. And after class today i’m pretty sure i’m safe never to get that anything.

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Slapdash – Kyaa!

Or Kyah! Or キャ→. An onomatopoeia of a women’s scream, regardless. I’m not at all well versed in 80’s Japanese punk. When everyone was sewing Gism and the Stalin patches on to their jackets, i had this weird resistance to it. Resistance to the unknown and, honestly, the frightening. Resistance to danger; to not having my sensibilities shaken up. As varied as the whole scene was, i grouped it all in as this spiky, unknowable mass of no fun, extreme for extremeness’ sake, conservative, spitting music. What a maroon.

Maybe what i was most of all resistant to was not having an entry point. Well enter the Nurse, and an image of their flexi disc’s picture sleeve. The big hair, the outfits, those poses, those eyes – it was something i could no longer ignore. It was one of those things where i knew even if it sounded a fraction of how incredibly it looked then it would be still be one of the most amazing things i would ever come across. And from there i found Kyaa! and i’m in deep. All punk scenes should be breached by finding out what women were doing in them. Here’s what else was going on in Japanese music in 1985.

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Candy – H.O.T

We Hate All Kinds Of Violence, its cover and title, is the best interpolation of punk in pop ever made, way better than that GISM patch on Lady Gaga’s back. Even their name spelled out – High-five of Teenagers – just has this incredibly potent, rebellious, mobilising, everything-or-nothing force and promise to it. And if you say it isn’t really delivered in the music, tell that to those who would live and die for them back in 1996.

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Naze? no arashi – Yoshizawa Akie

I watched this video of an Onyanko Club reunion last night. I think it was their first, in 2002. It was them in the studio recording their single and i’m not sure if it was the raw recorded version and more tweaking needed to be done, but oh my it sounded bad. There were sparks of brilliance back in the day e.g. Sonoko, Sanae, Shizuka, Kazuko, Mamiko, but as a whole they weren’t relying on singing talent, rather a spirit. Anyway, getting this group back together after fifteen years apart, after fifteen years of no practice, after most of them moved away from show business into quieter, non-singing lives, it was not a pleasurable listening experience.

Akie was not part of this reunion, but she was one of the worst singers in the Onyanko Club (yet one of the most popular) and i half would have liked to have seen her there and half dread how further worse it would have been. I’m sure no one who had waited for an Onyanko Club reunion was that critical about it.

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