Blog - December 2009 Archives
December 2009 Archives
December 26, 2009
Vanilla Beans one-man live: report
On Wednesday I went to see Vanilla Beans who were giving their first "one-man" show at Unit in Daikanyama. Usually that would mean that there's only one band playing, although they ended up having Kinoco Hotel play an opening act, and that turned out to be a decent full set. I had seen both bands together before at an event headlined by Les 5-4-3-2-1 last July (report).
Kinoco Hotel played a full set similar to what I saw in July. They were quite energetic again and announced that their first major album would be coming on February 3rd. They ended up on the same label as Vanilla Beans (Tokuma Japan) which is why they were invited to play here.
Next and last were of course Vanilla Beans. Aside from the instrumental opening for which a guitarist played live, the stage was all Rena and Lisa's. They gave about twice the content of their usual shows, changing outfits twice, and also for the 2nd part they were accompanied by VJ team Enlightenment.
The show was pretty much straight-forward karaoke with the nice choreographies, and just a little bit of talk occasionally (not as much as I expected, which is good). At one point they brought out Tirol chocolates with a Vanilla Beans design and threw many at the audience. I wasn't lucky enough to catch one but my friend Miwa did.
The set lists went like this:
Part 1: ("Nicola" outfits)
Opening~Instrumental~ / sakasaka Circus / Afternoon a Go-Go / ashita wa ashita no natsu ga kuru / Shopping Kirari / happy merry-go-round / a little crying / koi no Theory
Part 2: ("Love & Hate" outfits)
Gamla stan / Love & Hate / kimagure na Palette Type / Tic-Tac / Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji / Nicola
Encore: ("U ♥ Me" outfits)
Nostalgy / U ♥ Me
What I was most happy about was the cover of Pizzicato Five's "Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji" ("the night is still young")!! This song —as well as two other Shibuya-kei covers (Original Love and Kaji Hideki)— was released for download on mobile phone only, and it was the first time I heard it. Won't they finally release these on CD or at least iTunes?
I was hoping for any sort of upcoming release announcement, but nothing. I really hope for more fun releases in 2010.
Watch the digest clip below that was put up on YouTube by the label.
December 12, 2009
Yoshimori Makoto: live report
On Wednesday I went to Monnaka Tenjō Hall to see a solo piano concert by Yoshimori Makoto, original member of Modern Choki Chokies. I had seen him for the first time in September, opening for Hasebe Novko (report).
Yoshimori Makoto was actually planning to make this show to celebrate the release of his new album, but for some reason the album was delayed until January, so instead of his original plans he decided to give a solo show. This was quite similar to his style I had really liked last time, although the program was quite different. It lasted for about an hour and a half, many songs paced with the right amount of funny talk.
Divided into two sets, the first had a theme of "foreign songs", either from or inspired from other countries. He played instrumental pieces, one from England, about which he recounted a trip to the the UK where he found an ad for a Van Morrison show, and not knowing what he was getting into he traveled 3 hours by train and couldn't even enter because it was sold out. He also played originals that he wrote thinking of Indonesia and Ireland, places he's never been to.
The 2nd set consisted of more songs usually accompanied with vocals. It started with a song with chords that sound like "The Entertainer" but at some points it turns into something different, I remembered hearing this the last time. Then there was a cover of Modern Choki Chokies' "hatsukoi no oka", actually a cover of a song written by jazz pianist and composer Shibuya Takeshi in 1971 and originally sung by Yuki Saori (hear the original here).
He told about when he lived in Osaka in the 80's and was doing a job where he and a singer were like a delivery band, they would be hired to go to homes around Christmas time and play music at parties of people they didn't know. At first they played Christmas songs but soon they got bored and started playing jazz, guessing that if they said "Merry Christmas" at the end of songs nobody would notice. No one ever complained. :) He did a Ray Charles song that he used to play in those days.
The show closed with an encore of Michael Jackson's "Ben".
Yoshimori Makoto will play another show at the same place on January 15, that time truly celebrating the album release. The show will be a bit different featuring 4 different guests.
December 9, 2009
Korg DS-10 Expo 2009 in Tokyo: report
Last Sunday afternoon was the Korg DS-10 Expo 2009 in Tokyo event, held at Shibuya Axxcis. The promotional event featured various musicians doing performances that used the Korg DS-10, a software synthesizer for Nintendo DS.
We dropped by for a little while to especially check out Hosaka Akane's short set, the result of a recent challenge to use the DS-10 for the first time to make music. She played a very cute song (hear below on YouTube) of her style.
She was followed notable performances we caught were one of Simongar Mobile (サイモンガー・モバイル) with his crazy disco feel and odd looks, he was really entertaining!
Another unexpected one was Cherry-san(?), an older member of the audience who was already a legend from having showed up at a previous event. He took out a lot of gear from his bag to play a kind of messy but hilarious set, fearlessly playing his two DS-10's pushing quite hard on the screens with his fingers! (Sometimes he even attempted to push buttons on the upper screen, provoking a lot of laughter.)
Simongar Mobile (at another event)
December 1, 2009
More fall colors in Rikugien, Komagome
December already! Before the cold weather gets us, here are more autumn colors from Rikugien (六義園) in Komagome, a park built in 1695. You can read a bit more about it on Wikipedia.
It won't be much longer before all those leaves are gone..!