Obsessed Again

Hey yo hey,

Back from Golden Week.

My skin is smooth as polished glass and smells faintly sulphuric from the many mountain hot springs that served as my mode of cleansing for the week I spent traipsing the humid southern island of Kyushu. Some envision beaches when they plot their precious escapes. I tackle steamy off-the-road onsen cheek to cheek with befuddled farmers. The conversation was lively. There is only honesty between naked people.

I return with charming photos, a musical rambling or two and happily tetanus-free.

Are you by chance feeling gloomy?

Might I reccomend some Blue Hearts?

Linda Linda was the feel good song of the 80's. A certainly upbeat punk outfit if ever one existed, The Blue Hearts hail from the era of skinny neon ties and white leather fringe. Here they are legend. Currently, I wish they and not plastic jewelry would make a comeback. If you wants a crowd of Japanese thirty-somethings a-jumpin and a-meowin', you will know to bust out with Hiroto Komotou's classic ugly meat-grinder voice:

Dobu nezumi mitai ni (I look like a sewer rat)
Utsukushiku naritai (But I wanna be beautiful)
Shashin ni wa utsuranai (It won't turn up in photographs)
Utsukushisa ga aru kara. (Because beauty is there)

They even include a honky-friendly chorus:

Linda Lindaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Linda Linda Lindaaaa-aaaaa

Speaking of the 80's, may I ask with semi-assurance that a majority of the people I now address have viewed/heard of or has a friend/mum/cat who has viewed/heard of Kill Bill Vol. 1?

I adored that soundtrack.

The 5,6,7,8's didn't do much for me. They kinda sounded like a kid sister of Shonen Knife. I fell more for the sensual enka ballad of O-Ran's last stand ("Flower of Carnage" by Meiko Kaji) and that song that kept playing every time Uma Thurman got pissed off.

That was a remix of a classic song by Tomoyasu Hotei aka my new obsession du jour. (said classic song Battle Without Honor or Humanity)

Everything about him wants you to know he is man with whom not to fuck.

He's huge, for one thing. A tall, tall man. Who knows what was in his kyushoku growing up but his stature and skill are intimidating. His guitar wants to find you and make sure you don't rat on him. Or at least rock until the floors crack. He croons with every ounce of Bowie's steel and none of his frippery.

All the way to Osaka, we disturbed the relative peace of the Tohoku Expressway with his first album Guitarhythm Forever Vol. 1. 80's as you please, the second the taiko drums started on "Sayonara Andy Warhol", we knew we were in for many unwashed and unplanned adventures. "Radio!Radio!Radio!", "Siren" and "Serious?" all brought me back to a place I never saw in a time I'll never forget.

Still feeling crumpled? Let's see, I'm pretty sure I had some candy floating around the bottom of my bag.

Kojima Mayumi is a swanky hepcat of the early 90's whose sound resonates the early 60's. She was on her game before Miss Apple was even out of high school. She sings like a cat, a touchable tease and I can see without looking what she's wearing. For some reason boys flock to her like lemmings to the sea. All my guy friends have been unconditionally smitten with her. I found her one day rummaging through my college boyfriend's CD mixes. Right up there with Offspring, Skinny Puppy, and Korn, there was Kojima Mayumi.

Check out my personal favorites "Manatsu no Umi" (Midsummer Sea) or "Hatsukoi" (First Love). For a schizophrenic bossa nova ditty, go attack "Ano Ko wa Abunai yo" (That Boy is Dangerous). It goes from a sunny street cafe on the West Side to Carnival in Rio with pleasing swiftness.

Let's see, what else I got for ya?

When I first got into Ringo, I had been searching high and low for a Japanese band that didn't sound remotely like it came off an anime soundtrack. Right before I bit the apple, my hot and dusty bartender lent me his Elephant Kashimashi CD and I was very very pleased.

Mayonaka no Hero had me from the word "sousaaa." The opening riff didn't hurt either.

Ai no Yume o Kure (Gimme Dreams of Love) made me want to smoke, purr and wear leather which pleased my bartender to no end. I would make comparisons if I was any good at all with names but you know I'm not so I'll just say that they rock in an old time kind of way and you should definitely check them out. They're dated and not the easiest to find so ask a Japanese comrade, pillage your closest bit torrent, or e-mail me and I'll be glad to hook you up.

I will close by saying for reasons I can't explain, I am listening to Rip Slyme. I don't really go for the Japanese take on hip-hop but their groovy song Masterpiece amuses me. I find many Japanese dudes singing in English funny and I'll take a smile where I can get it. Tomorrow there will be work.

Songs to Seek:

The Blue Hearts/Linda Linda
Tomoyasu Hotei 布袋寅泰/ Sayonara Andy Warholさよならアンディ・ウォーホル/ /Serious?/ Radio!Radio!Radio!/Battle Without Honor or Humanity/Siren
Kojima Mayumi 小島麻由美/ Manatsu no Umi/Hatsukoi/ Ano ko wa Abunai yo
Elephant Kashimashi/ Ai no Yume o Kure/ Mayonaka no Hero
Rip Slyme/Masterpiece

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