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"
December 18, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 weeks #47-48 (November 18 to December 1)
Food: - Oden at Tapir (again!) :)
Exhibition: - Went to see the Tara Books exhibition at Itabashi Art Museum. Tara Books is a publishing company in Chennai, India, which silkscreens by hand many of its picture books. We had the chance to find some of their beautiful books at a bookstore in Delhi. Turns out they are known everywhere in the world, especially for "The Night Life of Trees" which was translated in many languages. This exhibition teaches about the publisher and its silkscreen process, and there is a lot of beautiful artwork exhibited, and of course the books themselves which can be browsed freely. This exhibition goes on until January 8.
Music events: - On Sunday November 26, I went to "Joy Ride vol.240" at Akihabara Cypher mainly to see Elektel, a unit I've loved ever since finding out about them on [the old] mp3.com in 2000! Elektel did a very cool set featuring singer Tomoko (ex-Jellyfish), with a mix of old and new songs!
I also got to see Love The Candy's (unit of Cutemen's Picorin), which had a very cool 90's techno sound, Omoshiro Sangokushi, and Francis (aka Ori Makoto, ex-Collectors) who surprised with a funky set that mixed elements of electro, chanson, rock, finishing with a cover of "Copacabana" that had everyone dancing. I got Francis' latest release, Francis avec Haruko "Jamón, jamón" which is great!
Elektel set list: Desktop Music Adventure / Runway Star / Panoramic View of Jazz / My Favorite Sunday / Better sound for better kindness / Touch & Go / Midnight Samba
Francis set list: S'il vous plaît, Ha! / Alexandre (Nino Ferrer cover) / Kameari Pop (P-Model cover) / Jamón, jamón / Da Du Da Di décadence / kawaii mocha / Delaware / Copacabana (Barry Manilow cover)
- I dropped by a mini-live event by Vanilla Beans at Shibuya Marui, in promotion of their new greatest hits album "Vani Best II", actually a collection of all their singles since their debut in 2007. Yes, 2017 is their 10th anniversary! They sang "sakasaka Circus", "Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji", "Please me, Darling" and "sweet life". Normally photos aren't allowed at their shows, but this time was an exception so many were busy taking photos throughout the show. :)
- And on December 1st was bimonthly event "hoshikuzu Salon" hosted by Macoto Tezka, the director of 1985 cult musical movie "The Legend of the Stardust Brothers" ("hoshikuzu kyōdai no densetsu"). Follow-up movie "The Brand New Legend of the Stardust Brothers" ("hoshikuzu kyōdai no aratana densetsu") is about to start being shown in theaters next month, so this event was a bit special as it featured several of the cast and staff. Several music scenes from the new movie were shown in uncut or specially edited versions, along with some from the old movie. One of those shown was the scene where Nomiya Maki sings "hoshikuzu kyōdai, tsuki e yuku", a great space disco track which is now available on iTunes, etc.!
After a break there was a short show by Akagi Chūji (Films) and Kubota Haruo (Pearl Brothers), who played some songs related to the movies, including "Monitor". For the encore, all of the cast and staff came back on stage to sing together the theme song, "hoshikuzu kyōdai no Theme". A very special evening! It was announced that the official soundtrack (including all songs from the new and old movies) will be released on January 10. And I can't wait to see the movie again! It starts on January 20 at Theatre Shinjuku. I bought a poster-sized edition of the movie ticket, autographed by the director!
Music release news: Wakita Monari, Izumi Ookawara x P.O.P, The Aprils, Record Day 2017 (Oh! Penelope, Roger Nichols, Kyoto Jazz Sextet, Salome no kuchibiru, The Pen Friend Club, WHY@DOLL, etc.), YeYe, Perfume, Vanilla Beans, Nomiya Maki with Stardust Brothers
This week's videos: Elektel "Better Sound For Better Kindness"
Francis "Jamón, jamón"
November 25, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #46 (November 11 to 17)
Food: - Oden at Tapir, Shin-Ōkubo
- Roasted pork and apple pie at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Shibuya
Music event: I went to café event "Swing Avenue autumn 2017" at Weekend Garage Tokyo, which featured shows by Yume to Cosme and Milli Milli Bar!
It had been too long since I last saw Yume to Cosme. They gave a great show of new and old songs, and even two "self-covers" of songs that Hase Yasuhiro wrote for Negicco ("Canal no madobe") and Wakita Monari ("inori no kotoba")! Hase and singer Yumi were accompanied by violinist Tanaka Yūichi.
Yume to Cosme set list: Yume to Cosme / Kiss toka kirai toka / Baroque & Rouge / inori no kotoba (Wakita Monari cover) / Canal no madobe (Negicco cover) / zettai Love Motion / New York walk on fame
There was also a lot of expectations and curiousness about the other band, Milli Milli Bar, a new band led by pianist and songwriter Yafune Tetsurō (who has written songs for Hoshino Michiru), and featuring singer Mia Nascimento (ex-Especia)! They played a total of about 8-9 songs, several originals that Yafune wrote especially for this band (including "My Sweet Seventeen" that he wrote for Mia), a few covers of his solo songs ("nete mo samete mo", "aenai toki wa itsu datte") and, being that Mia is Brazilian, a cover of bossa nova song "Sandalia Dela" (with new lyrics translated to Japanese). They have a very cool sound and great songs, and this show proved that Mia has a very nice voice and stage presence, which can be many times better enjoyed in this band than when she was in a group of three. Can't wait for more! Meanwhile some videos have been posted on YouTube (see below).
Milli Milli Bar set list: Miyuki dōri / nete mo samete mo / unmeiron / Sandalia Dela / Dance in the moonlight / aenai toki wa itsu datte / My Sweet Seventeen / asobi hanbun / Surprise You
Music release news: Studio 75, Francis avec Haruko
This week's videos:
Milli Milli Bar "asobi hanbun" live
Milli Milli Bar "Sandalia Dela (Japanese version)" live
Yume to Cosme "Baroque & Rouge"
November 23, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 weeks #44-45 (October 28 to November 10)
Earlier this month was a little trip to Québec, Canada!
Food: - Lanaudière delicacies: cheese from Fromagerie Domaine Féodal, wine from Vignoble Lano d'Or, and many goodies from Abbaye Val-Notre Dame
- Delicious and impressive dinner course at Le Mousso, Montréal
- Evening at Le Vin Papillon, Montréal
- Poutine and more great local food!
- Exhibition of works by Taiwan artists (Zishi Art, Mister Ogay, ...) at Artgang St-Laurent, Montréal.
- More art in the streets
This week's videos: Félix Dyotte "Je cours (feat. Evelyne Brochu)"
Félix Dyotte "Station balnéaire"
October 28, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #43 (October 21 to 27)
Food: - Beef curry and fig chou à la crème @ Tapir
Music event: On October 21, I went to "Shibuya no Radio no Shibuya-kei Festival", featuring Nomiya Maki, Kaji Hideki, Vanilla Beans, Takano Hiroshi, and DJs Konishi Yasuharu and Halfby! That was an amazing show! I wrote about it in detail at Tokyo's Coolest Sound.
October 22, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #42 (October 14 to 20)
Food: - Chocolate & mint chocolate ice cream at Tomihisa Ice Cream, Shinjuku
Music events: - On October 15 was the release party of SOLEIL's first single "Pinky Fluffy"! SOLEIL is a band fronted by singer Soleil, bassist/producer Sally Kubota (of Sally Soul Stew, les 5-4-3-2-1) and guitarist Nakamori Yasuhiro (Hicksville). This time they were accompanied by drummer Shirane Kenichi (Great3) and chorist Lemon!
It was the first show in which they performed songs other than the single's, there were some brand new originals and covers, and even some instrumentals too in which the singer showed her skills at playing glockenspiel and drums! This show gave a much wider view of SOLEIL's sound, and a lot to look forward to in upcoming releases. I definitely can't wait to hear those songs again! I got SOLEIL's photo book, with autographs by all three members! :) Many photos of the show can be seen at Natalie.
Set list: SOLEIL no Theme / Pinky Fluffy / koi no Happy Date / koi no Happy Date (The Nolans cover) / Wow Wow Wee (He's The Boy For Me) (The Angels cover) / Captain Scarlet / aoi Ink no Love Letter / Believe In Magic / Breakout (Swing Out Sister cover) / namida no Moonlight / SOLEIL no Theme
Encore: (Session w/ Soleil on drums) / So Much in Love (Timothy B. Schmit cover)
- I dropped by the free opening party of "Shibukaru Matsuri", an annual event organized by Parco, to see singer Manon perform accompanied by producer Yuppa (HNC) and VJ unit onnacodomo! That was a very fun show! Aside from the 4 songs already released, a new one titled "Somewhere" was also played. Yuppa played some live keyboards, and Manon also played toy piano (the intro to "Wavy Pineapple Days") and hit some sampler pads.
I was very happy to see onnacodomo at work, as I hadn't seen them in a long time. They're a very unique and creative team that uses cameras and real toys and cute objects to make live analog-style VJing. Manon's latest video "Popcorn Crisis" was directed by them, and I love it! You can watch a short live video that I shot here.
Set list: xxFANCYPOOLxx / Wavy Pineapple Days / Somewhere / Beat The Bad Luck / Popcorn Crisis
Music release news: Rie Aono, les 5-4-3-2-1, VIDEOTAPEMUSIC
This week's video: VIDEOTAPEMUSIC "Fiction Romance"
Continue reading in the October 2017 Archives.
Next entry: "Weekly revue: 2017 week #41 (October 7 to 13)" (October 15, 2017 at 16:17)
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