February 18, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #7 (February 10 to 16)
Music release news: Yogee New Waves, Nakajima Megumi, Ushio Kensuke, Ozawa Kenji, Plastics, ECD, Scooters, tofubeats
This week's video: tofubeats "Immortal Love"
February 11, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #6 (February 3 to 9)
Food: - Dinner & ice cream at Cochin Nivas, Shinjuku
- Special latte at Aux Baccanales, Kioichō
Movies: This week was movie week! I went to the theater thrice!! :D
- "The Brand New Legend of the Stardust Brothers" (「星くず兄弟の新たな伝説」) by director Tezka Macoto (son of Tezuka Osamu) finally started showing in theaters on January 20! This movie is so special for me because I had the great opportunity to be part of it as an extra in one scene. Not only that, but as it turned out that the movie also featured Nomiya Maki and a whole bunch of people who I like, and also excellent music. It's a kind of rock musical (with most scenes turning into a song) with a surreal sci-fi twist and an overall fun and good feeling. The movie is of course wonderful! I can't recommend it enough to those who like music and out-of-the-ordinary movies.
I had seen the movie once at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2016 (yes, over a year ago!), but I was really looking forward to see it again once officially released. Last weekend I went to see it once, and then on February 9, the last day at Theatre Shinjuku, there was a special event after the movie with the director and many guests so I went again! :) It had already been announced that the director, actress Arakawa Chika (who played Usako/Candy Bunny), Issay (singer of Der Zibet) and composer Chikada Haruo would be present, but there were a lot more who appeared on stage: actor Miura Ryōsuke (young Kan), more actresses (who played two of the angels and the (fake) script supervisor), art director Okudaira Yla, music composers (Akagi Chūji, Maki) and Sasha (of Sunny Kubota and Old Lucky Boys)... This dozen of people each greeted the audience in turn, and then they all sang theme song "hoshikuzu kyōdai no densetsu" karaoke style, with the audience chiming in. What a great finale!
Now the movie is showing in other cities in Japan, with more to come in the following months.
- I also went to see "Rokuroku", a horror/fantasy movie that features nine different yōkai (Japanese folk ghosts), namely Nurikabe, Karakasa, Umibōzu, Hako-onna, Rokuroku aka Rokurokubi, Nekome, Hitotsume, Kamaitachi, Daidara (Daidarabotchi). Most surprisingly, all of these are played by actress/model/singer Nomoto Karia! While using a large dose of CG to accomplish the surreal apparitions, Karia's face, hands, etc. were used to create each of the monsters, for a very impressive result. I was always intrigued by yōkai, although I didn't know much at all, so this movie was a great introduction. It definitely quite scary at times!
This screening also had a special event after the movie. Karia sang the movie's theme "shukumei" live on stage for the audience. This song, for which she also wrote the lyrics, is heard during the end roll. This was followed by a talk show with director Yamaguchi Yūdai, actors Nishina Takashi and Asakura Erika, and theme song composer Kashiwabara Shūji.
I really wish both of these movies make it outside of Japan, and especially that they get picked up by the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal which I enjoyed for several years before moving here. I think they'd fit the festival so perfectly!
Music release news: Robochu, BTB, Juicy Fruits, lyrical school, The Suzan
This week's video: SOLEIL 1st album "My Name Is SOLEIL" teaser
The album will be released on March 21!
February 3, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #5 (January 27 to February 2)
Food: - Lunch at Tapir
Music event: I went to event "Cult Club" at Shimokitazawa Three, a special free edition underlining the birthday of Manon who just turned 16 at the end of January. She came from Fukuoka to perform at this show which also featured She Talks Silence, Dreamcast, Cherry Brown, and DJs Gikyo Nakamura, HNC, Shūichi Kawabe, Threepee Boys and Shakke-and-Wardaa. There was also a flea market space with several vendors. The whole event was a lot of fun!
Manon set list: xxFANCYPOOLxx / Wavy Pineapple Days / Somewhere (New song!)/ 2 Live In Real World (New song performed for the first time!) / Beat the Bad Luck / Popcorn Crisis
Music release news: Tajima Takao & Nagaoka Ryosuke, Negicco, Yasutaka Nakata
This week's videos:
MANON "Popcorn Crisis"
Negicco "Calypso musume ni hanataba o"
January 30, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #4 (January 20 to 26)
Tokyo had quite a lot of snow this week on Monday...!
Food: - Curry lunch at Cochin Nivas
- French dinner at Yaoyu, Ōtemachi
Music events: Three great events in three days! :D
- On January 20, I went to see a show of The Scooters and The 18.104.22.168's at U.F.O. Club, Higashi-Kōenji! First on stage was The 22.214.171.124's, famous for their appearance in movie "Kill Bill". It was my first time to see them, and they have a fun and rocking good sound. Also it had been a little while since I had seen the Scooters live, so this was the perfect show to catch-up! Each band played a long set of about an hour. DJ Takagi Kan's sets in-between were also great.
The Scooters set list: I Believe in Miracles / Dancing in the Street / Break Away / Young Americans / Hey Girl / Hang on in There Baby / Make You Mine / Shout / Ghost / kanashii uwasa / The Key to Her Ferrari / Motown Medley
Encore: Heat Wave / Tokyo Disco Night
- Then on January 21 there was a new year event held by SOLEIL (Soleil + Sally Kubota + Nakamori Yasuhiro) at Yoyogi Zher The Zoo! They were accompanied by Shirane Kenichi (Great3) on drums, and chorists Hoshino Michiru (!) and Lemon (Soleil's aunt!). Having been building their repertory with every live show, they now had a show of about a dozen songs. Towards the middle of the show, they also let Michiru sing two of her own songs ("ame no naka no Dreamer" and "Magic Hour") accompanied by the band, with Soleil on glockenspiel.
There was also a big announcement of a first album to be released on major label Victor on March 21! It will contain 12 songs, all of which are previously unreleased originals! Composers include Takanami K-tarō, Kaji Hideki, Arai Toshiya, Microstar, Chikada Haruo, and more! I can't wait! :) The event's DJ was Umegasako who played many good tracks before and after the show.
- I also went to special show "hoshikuzu kyōdai Live! 2018" that celebrated the release of movie "The Brand New Legend of the Stardust Brothers" that's now playing at Theatre Shinjuku. Being a sequel to a movie released over 30 years ago ("The Legend of the Stardust Brothers"), the show featured many of the actors, musicians and composers involved in both movies.
The show started with Sunny Kubota & Old Lucky Boys (band of Kubota Shingo who had a lead role in the old movie, and a cameo in the new one), then a three-piece band led by Takagi Kan (who also was one of the two heroes of the first movie), then a dub trio led by Chikada Haruo. My Highlights of this first part of the show were "honmono no Star" (a great song from the first movie, originally sung by Ozaki Kiyohiko), and also "omoi togeta otoko" (original from the new movie) and "Akasaka atari" (sung by Shingo in the first movie), all of these performed by Sunny Kubota et al.
The rest of the show featured more and more songs from the movies. Part of band Daisy Modern's set, actress Arakawa Chika (aka Candy Bunny in the new movie) sang "sakasama tenshi" as heard in the movie, and then surprised with a cover of "Marimo no kimochi" from the old movie (originally sung by Togawa Kyōko)! Next on stage was Nomiya Maki who sang "hoshikuzu kyōdai, tsuki e yuku" as heard in the new movie. Followed a set of Akagi Chūji who wrote several songs in both movies, accompanied by Bravo Komatsu and Kanatsu Hiroshi. He sang "Crazy Game" and "Monitor" from the old movie, and "I'm breaking this world" from the new one.
Next was Issay, who sang "Peace Mark Baby" from the old movie and "Rock na jinsei" from the new movie. Followed Stardust Sisters who sang both of their songs, "hoshikuzu Country" and "sabaku no arashi", to finish with Stardust Brothers who sang theme song "hoshikuzu kyōdai no densetsu". The encore had everyone come back on stage to sing the theme song again, along with the audience. What a wonderful and unique show!
Music release news: Spangle call Lilli line, Toshiyuki Yasuda, fox capture plan, Kinoco Hotel
This week's video: Toshiyuki Yasuda "Landfall"
January 21, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #3 (January 13 to 19)
Food: - Pudding at Matsuki, Nakano
- Corn taco rice at Moris, Shibuya
- Mutton salsa burger at W.P. Gold Burger, Shibuya
Music event: My first show of the year was Eye Röller from New York! They played at Moon Step in Nakano. Eye Röller is a band with a rock'n'roll sound, with singer Erik who MC'd their first Japan show in Japanese with an Osaka accent. Their bassist is Tsugumi Takashi (Old Monk, Van Goose, Twisty Bonbon, ex-PINE*am). They have a very tight sound and the songs were great! Formed about a year ago, they don't have any studio recordings released yet, but some live songs can be heard on Soundcloud and also there are many clips on YouTube including ones of their Japan tour.
The show had many other good bands too, and I ended up watching almost the whole event. I saw at least Bacara, The Tachometers (feat. Miki Mizutani (Hiroshima) on drums), Dance With Me, Rocket, Eye Röller, and Unknown.
Movie: For a week before the premiere of "The Brand New Legend of the Stardust Brothers" (which started yesterday January 20), there were film screenings for a week of the previous movie from over 30 years ago, "The Legend of the Stardust Brothers" (1985). I had seen it once on rental DVD, but this was a great opportunity to watch it on the big screen. Starring Takagi Kan and Kubota Shingo (who both also appear in the new movie), as well as Togawa Kyōko and Ozaki Kiyohiko, and many more. Like the new movie, the old one was also a rock musical, with most scenes turning into songs (and great ones at that). Now I wish for a DVD release (it was released many years ago but it's now rare)! At least I got the soundtrack of both movies that was released last week, so I'll keep listening to all of this great music.
Next, I'll be sure to catch the new movie at the theater a few times while it's showing. :) Don't miss it!! Theatre Shinjuku currently has costumes form the new movie on display.
Music release news: Tentenko, Nosa Reina, Bakubaku Dokin, Milli Milli Bar
This week's videos:
Bakubaku Dokin "B.O.N.E."
Nosa Reina "Endless Valentine" (Promo clip)
January 13, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #2 (January 6 to 12)
Food: - Nanakusagayu (seven herbs rice porridge) on January 7 at Tapir
- Dhaba Special Thali at Dhaba☆Kunitachi
Music release news: Luby Sparks, Wednesday Campanella, Cherryboy Function
This week's video: France Gall (R.I.P.) "C'est cela l'amour"
January 7, 2018
Weekly revue: 2018 week #1 (December 30 to January 5)
Happy New Year 2018! The new year came calmly. I was able to take some time to do some music write-ups of 2017 that I felt shouldn't be left behind. Now I'm looking forward to a new year of good music, good food and fun times. :)
Music release news: Nakano Aya, DJ Misoshiru to MC Gohan, Charan-Po-Rantan, Avandoned, kotringo, Hosono Haruomi, Blue Peppers, @17, Kashif, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sunny Day Service, atarashii chizu, Nona Reeves, Denki Groove, "'The Legend of the Stardust Brothers' / 'The Brand New Legend of the Stardust Brothers' Original Soundtrack", WHY@DOLL, Takkyu Ishino
This week's video: WHY@DOLL "Show Me Your Smile" (written & produced by Nakatsuka Takeshi)
December 30, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #52 (December 23 to 29)
Music event: - Dropped by a free event at Trunk (Hotel) in Shibuya that featured a DJ set by FPM! It had been a while since I had seen him so it was good to catch up with his current sound, which mixed electro, lounge and funk. A notably good way to end this year of good music!
Music release news: Nomiya Maki, Takkyu Ishino
"hoshikuzu kyodai, tsuki e yuku" sung by Nomiya Maki feat. Stardust Brothers
"hoshikuzu kyodai no densetsu" theme song sung by Stardust Brothers (Miura Ryōsuke & Takeda Kōhei)
"sakasama tenshi" sung by Cutie Bunny (Arakawa Chika)
December 24, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #51 (December 16 to 22)
Food: - Salmon & salmon curry at Shake Stand, Daitabashi
Music event: - I went to check out a free event held at Agnès b. Ginza Rue du Jour, featuring a DJ set by Milo Oyamada (son of Oyamada Keigo aka Cornelius) and a live set by Maika Loubté! Milo spinned vinyl and did a very enjoyable selection. Maika played almost a full hour of her songs! I got to buy her new 7", "Candy Haus" (incl. a cover of "Video Killed the Radio Star") and she autographed it for me! Merci Maika!! :)
Set list: Open me / Universal Metro / Candy Haus / Kind Devils We Are Counting Numbers / Nobara / Prismé / Sky Diver / You & I / Mountaintop
This week's video: Maika Loubté "Candy Haus"
December 23, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 weeks #49-50 (December 2 to 15)
Exhibition: - Went to an exhibition of Maki Hirochi's latest "Kichijōji dake ga sumitai machi desuka?" manga (#5 published this month). Held at Daily Coffee Stand in Nogata, where characters enjoy a cafe latte in the book, the original pages of the Nogata chapter are on display. The coffee was great and the owner looked just the same as in drawing. :) Bringing the book gives you a free sticker! This goes on until December 31.
This series is about a real estate agent in Kichijōji ran by twin sisters who love heavy metal. Whenever someone comes to look for a home in Kichijōji, one of the most popular places where to live in Tokyo, they take the surprised customer to a completely different place in the city. Every time real shops and places are depicted accurately and in great detail, and you can feel the love for each. It's what I like in Maki Hirochi's books, same for the "It will be breakfast at Tiffany some day" series.
Unrelated to the exhibition, but last month the latest "It will be breakfast at Tiffany some day" (#12) was published, and I got bookmarks made of cut-up original frames in a giveaway the author was doing on Twitter! And a nice Christmas card too! Thanks!!! :D
Music events: - On December 10 at Shichōshitsu in Jinbōchō was an event by band SOLEIL, formed of singer Soleil, bassist Sally Kubota and guitarist Nakamori Yasuhiro. The event began with a talk show with Mayutan, who was producer for the singer's previous unit Tanqun Democracy. Together they wrote new lyrics to a self-introduction song, originally Tanqun Democracy's "jikosho", and then sang it together. Then followed a show with the band, accompanied by The Scooters' drummer, and Kunimi Tomoko (Wack Wack Rhythm Band) and Lemon for back-up vocals. The short but sweet set list consisted of "Pinky Fluffy", new song "koi suru Guitar" (for which Soleil used a fancy broomstick as a guitar) and another new song inspired by manga "watashi wa Shingō". The encore was a rocking session with Soleil playing drums.
On my way back, I dropped by Disk Union in Jinbōchō and happened to find an early promo sonosheet by Sally's 80's band The Phantom Gift! :)
- On December 15 was an event at Shimokitazawa Shelter that featured Kaji Hideki and Neil & Iraiza. Neil & Iraiza being back this month with a new album after 15 years (Timeless Melodies), I just had to go! Ihe place was very packed! First on stage was Kaji Hideki, backed by band Otogivanashi for the first time in Tokyo. They were really great, and thanks to the unusual personal the set included some songs that aren't normally often played live.
Kaji Hideki set list: Siesta / amai koibito / Ice Cream Man / Lucky loves you / Love Is All / Have a Lovely Day! / My Favorite Tofflor / My Boom Is Me
Next was Neil & Iraiza who did a set mostly of older songs, and just a new one. Chabe and Horie Hirohisa, both playing keyboards and guitars, were backed by a bassist and girl drummer. So many great keys, Chabe's percussions, and those two sharing main vocals in great nostalgic songs. They did play one song from the new album, "Clock Park Orange". After the show I bought the new album and got a signed card! I've been listening to it almost everyday since, it's just wonderful with all those warm synths and catchy melodies, and a final track that makes you want to push the "play" button again.
Neil & Iraiza set list (from Twitter): Middle Man / Can I Do It / Wasted Time / Dream On The Weaver / Clock Park Orange / My Favorite Shoes / The Picture of Summer Again / Cowboy Kate / Violetta / Tragedy of the Soft Rocker
Last to play was the band that organized the event, Comeback My Daughters. They had a fun vibe, and a very good rock sound with an enjoyable pop sense. Their sound had some country influences. It's not the type of music that I normally listen to, but I really enjoyed seeing them on a shared bill like this. Also thanks for this remarkable booking!
Music release news: Nosa Reina, Neil and Iraiza, Vanilla Beans, Duke Aces, Maika Loubté
This week's video: Manon "Young Dumb & Broke"
Continue reading in the December 2017 Archives.
Next entry: "Weekly revue: 2017 weeks #47-48 (November 18 to December 1)" (December 18, 2017 at 23:24)
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