got back on broadband...

The place for general talk about all other JPop groups and related things
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tachikaze
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got back on broadband...

Post by tachikaze » Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:15 am

first thing I did was find some torrents...

The Feb 6 CDTV finally came in, watching it late on a Saturday night, just like old times (cdtv starts at ~1:00AM)...

www.tbs.co.jp/cdtv is the show's site; they've been on-air since 1993, with very little format change, so I felt right at home.. (CDTV is just that, they show ~10-second clips of the week's top 50 songs).

anyhoo, I was NOT impressed with the quality of jpop these days. wall-to-wall crap really. CDTV played the top 10 from Feb 1999:

1. Automatic by Utada Hikaru (her debut #1 and quite a catchy song)
2. Sono speed-de by TBG (one of my favorite Jpop songs)
3. A SMAP song
4. An ELT song (not quite an ELT fan but they had talent)
5. A relative no-name ("Something Else") act
6. Asa-ga mata kuru by DCT, one of their "A" songs
7. Yuzu's 4th single, they pioneered the 2 guys with a acoustic guitars that I see somebody else is doing now
8. A Mr Children song (every one of their ~25 songs has hit #1 on CDTV)
9. One of Amura Namie's better songs (I Have Never Seen)
10. somebody else (no, that's not the name of the band)

seems to me things were better then... that's the week that Shiina Ringo debuted with kokode kiss shite. heh, I see GLAY debuted their 'Winter, again' song that week too, hitomi was in there, kiroro, Puffy, SPEED, and Dragon Ash...

Getting the 1GB DL of Shiina Ringo's solo PVs made up for it tho. Listening to her catalog on ITMS Japan, seems like she has run out of steam, but her videos were pretty damn good; my favorite is Tsumiki Asobi -- Ringo kinda overplays the Taisho-era dress-up ennui but it was pretty cool in this dosage. I tried to use iMovie to create a shorter clip (the PV is part of a 250MB file) but it crashed out. I'll try again maybe if people want a copy. Don't see how Toshiba can complain about copying PVs when they frickin' lock out the American market with stupid RPC-2 encoding.

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Post by nakoruru » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:52 am

Music world wide is going down hill in a scary way. I couldn't agree more that JPOP 5+ years ago was much better than nowadays. I watched Kouhaku and MS Special... I haven't heard a song that I've liked too much.

I even downloaded the latest billboard I could find. It was a painful listening...
:? We're going thru the dark age of music. No wonder why CD sale has never been worse! There is nothing good to buy!!!

I keep going back to DCT because I know they won't let me down. And I listen to old stuff. I just recently started to listen to Akina Nakamori's songs.
I'm digging 80s JPOP these days. :)

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Post by nogizaka » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:52 pm

A big problem with popular music in general (and which my wife and I noted in Kouhaku and the Music Station on 2/17) is that so few of these people can actually SING. Miwa CAN, which is a big reason why we all love DCT. Inspirationally, today's music for the most part leaves a lot to be desired. Painful listening for sure! The older material is better, but not always so (Akina Nakamori is a better dancer than she is a singer).

The Dark Ages of music? That was Disco. But I agree with you that all is not well with pop music (j- or otherwise).

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Post by Jei » Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:25 pm

May I heartily recommend Tokyo Jihen (Shena Ringo's new band)...and especially their amazing new album "Adult". Another 'mix-the-genres' band, still with Shena's rock nature highlighting things...

http://www.toshiba-emi.co.jp/tokyojihen/index_j.htm

Such a stunning band with some phenominal musicians...the only group out of Japan other than DCT that excites me...
-Jay
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Post by nakoruru » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:08 pm

Exactly what you have said, Nogizaka. In the end, all there is lacking is *talented* people on the music business these days. In the 80s at least there was good composers behind non talented singers like Madonna. I miss this kind of "big mac" pop... you know it is bad for your health but it is fun anyway. :wink:

I feel like recommending Changin' My Life's (sic) self-titled album. This band was doing some nice techno influenced pop. But then they disbanded right after the second album and the singer (Myco) was doing solo stuff. I like her voice, but I'm not sure she can sing live... her solo material is not as good.

As for Akina Nakamori, I liked most of her old songs but her concerts are SO boring! :roll:

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Post by tachikaze » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:34 am

That's kinda interesting; of the talented JPOP singers we have Cocco, Bird (don't know if she's stil active, her last "chart-in" was in 2002) and they're kinda jazzy.

Shiina Ringo is an interesting case; not much of a singer really but I respect her as an artist, while the jazz-esque genre that she's going with Tokyo Jihen isn't quite my cup of tea perhaps it will grow on me.

My impression from the Music Station super-live was that DCT is gunning to really top the biz again this year. It's been 7 years since they've had a #1 (Asa-ga mata kuru in 1999) and ~10 years since they've really dominated the charts with 'renzoku' hits (Thank You --- LLL --- ROMANCE); we'll see what the current album has in store I guess.

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Post by nogizaka » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:54 pm

I've just watched/listened to a download of 'Himetsu' by Tokyo Jihen.

Song: Cool

Music: Good

Vocal: Not bad

Performance: Powerful

I liked it.

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tachikaze
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Post by tachikaze » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:53 pm

heh, I watched DCT's Jet from Music Station Super Live.

[Removed Link -Jei]

I didn't notice it, but she and her dancers moonwalk to the lyric:

"Moonwalk-sae dekisou" ("It looks like I can even Moonwalk")

then she laughs a bit at the stunt.

As for Tokyo Jihen, I'd certainly go to one of their "lives" but prolly wouldn't want to get a CD. Their music is still a bit opaque to me...

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Post by tachikaze » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:56 am

been getting more Shiina Ringo / TJ stuff from youtube; very impressed on how well she has 'worked it' ie. develop herself and her craft.

Here's one of her earlier performances:

[Removed Link -Jei]

Utada here cracked me up:

[Removed Link -Jei]

(watching Ringo's original:

[Removed Link -Jei]

might help -- Utada rolled her 'r' just like Ringo was doing back in the 90s).

Seems to me that Miwa is/was a lot less serious about the jazz direction than Ringo. I should be careful in saying that since DCT is the title of an Ella Fitzgerald song ("If Dreams Come True")... just think Ringo has more 'edge' to her and has gone into more interesting places musically than DCT lo these past 10 years. Then again Ringo seems more of a random walk while DCT surely knows what is actually good or not by now.

hey, somehow if we could shuffle Shiina Ringo and Miwa into a single personage that would be the perfect JPOP creative force...

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Post by nogizaka » Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:05 pm

Thanks for the Shiina Ringo references, tachikaze. Yes, DCT is definitely pop, jazz-influenced sometimes. Knowing what's good or not is very important in pop- jazz will always be a niche market, and a performer will only get so far with it. Miwa extended her jazz side with her solo work, but surrounding herself with jazzmen did not make her a jazz singer (note on the 'Beauty and Harmony' Tour video all the musicians praise Miwa for her energy and personality, but no one says she is a good jazz singer). I think she knows she's is a pop singer, and that's good for her, because DCT definitely does have a direction. I don't know enough about Shiina Ringo to pronounce a verdict on her, but I'm interested enough to look a bit further.

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tachikaze
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Post by tachikaze » Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:44 pm

Scary thing is that Ringo is 27 now, basically the same age Miwa was when The Swinging Star came out.

Miwa's 27-32 period was the height of her powers perhaps. We'll see what Ringo does with this time, too.

What I find interesting is that Ringo did guitar, piano, and ballet growing up, and was already in a band at the age of 16, while Miwa was apparently in her early 20s before she got her music career moving. Sounds like Ringo had the upbringing Miwa wished her own parents could have afforded to give her, so Ringo has a stronger foundation of skills perhaps.

'course now what Ringo needs is voice lessons, wonder how much software these days can improve her sound. Probably a lot.

Song-writing is the third variable here. Because it's so easy it's also hard -- all the low-hanging fruit has been picked.

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tachikaze
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Post by tachikaze » Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:24 pm

heh, from here:

http://www.holsety.net/music/shenaringo ... go_pr.html

I see that the now famous aiko won that 1995 Teen Music competition.

Also they had good taste in choosing that cover; pretty nice song that had only come out in 1994.

here's the original Danielle Brisbois song they were working from:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/music/clipserv ... 29-0598308

here's a remix from the original producers:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSt ... 41&i=66798

Funny, IME "just missing the train" in Japan has an altogether different meaning that would make an even better song.

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Post by TisSweet » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:55 pm

maybe you should try orange pekoe they do jazz... really great voice.

also maybe you try crystal kay really great voice... pop r&b. her last album call me miss second on the oricon , is not one of my favorite but you should try her others albums.

of course there koda kumi,namie amuro...

oh yeah I love shiina ringo... you try out this single by her, never release on an album..

Mayonaka Wa Junketsu a kick ass song.

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