Monday, February 13, 2012

From AFWJ February Journal - Music Blogs 6

Michelle Z.s’s choices.
Curly Giraffe, Water On
“Did not know he was Japanese the first time I heard his song in... I think a Nike commercial or one of the other shoe companies.”
Chara, Yasashii Kimochi
“Another song by Chara specially for Rachel since it was played at her wedding. Typical Chara: voice of a little girl but the attitude and power of a woman as contender. Lots of fun!
Pushim, The Race of Love
“Pushim is the Queen of Japanese reggae. My fave is her song Colors but I cannot find anything on Youtube in my quick search. This song is also pretty good: She is not one of those cute little girls. This woman has style and attitude. She is also proud of her Korean heritage—something unusual in Japan. Pretty good role model I’d say.”
Bennie K, Oasis
“This one gets my butt wiggling every time. Was also used on a Coca-cola commercial. Bennie K is a duo that met while studying in LA. The rapper from Osaka was visiting her grandmother I think, and the one with the clear singing voice is actually a Kyushu girl from Saga.”
Yamaguchi Iwao, Sora
“Change of pace. I cannot remember what song it was off the top of my head but it reminded me of Billy Bragg when I heard it being played in the mall way back when. Not many available on YouTube because this is getting a little older, but this is Yamaguchi Iwao from his album Acoustic with the song Sora”
Hajime Chitose, Fifteen Nights of Carols
“Another one that people either love or hate is Hajime Chitose. Ms Hajime is from Kagoshima in southern Japan and sings in a style very similar to that of the Okinawan islands—much more throaty than most singers.”
lecca, What a girl can Do
“Have posted this one before: lecca singing, What a GIrl Can Do. Also gets me wiggling in my chair.”
Onitsuka Chihiro, Little Beat Rifle
“Another Kyushu girl is Onitsuka Chihiro from Miyazaki. Just for Victoria and Melody. Here is Little Beat Rifle”
Shang Shang Typhoon, Let it Be
“Personally I love Shang Shang Typhoon’s version of My Girl but I cannot find it on YouTube. You cannot help but smile when you hear them. Here is their version of Let it Be. Thought that might be safe for the uninitiated. WARNING! They are a very fun, theatrical band from Okinawa.”
Akiko Yano, Prayer
“And, a couple that is no longer married but they have great solo careers with avid fans. Maybe you don’t know the wife, Akiko Yano. She now lives in New York. She is another one of those that people love or hate. Piano Nightly or Super Folk Songs are great albums. Home Girl Journey is a bit edgier but not much. Surprisingly she sings with a lower voice if you see her live. Here is her song, Prayer.
“(Probably you have hear of her husband, Ryuichi Sakamoto. His fans buy tickets to his concerts and go to several one after the other in different cities. He often works with other artists such as David Sylvian and Ingrid Chavez on his albbum Heartbeat:”
“And, something from his Sweet Revenge album”
(“BTW, his stage shows are amazing!”)
Sister Kaya, Sweet 19 Blues
“Cannot forget Sister Kaya and her cover of Amuro Namie’s Sweet 19 Blues. This Okinawan girl does a much darker, edgier version that is great.”
Bird, Mind Travel
“One of the women who was part of the trend for women with strong voices in Japan was Bird”
AI, Brand New Day
“Cannot forget Barabara’s little girl, Ai.”
UA, Jounetsu
“If you were female and you wanted to listen to somebody who was just all around cool, you listened to UA in the Nineties.”
Aosora Ruka
“More New Age-y. Aosora Ruka. My friend uses her music in yoga class. Very mellow.”

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