Visiting Yutaka Ozaki in Shibuya, Tokyo

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Even by itself, my recent trip to Japan had a very special meaning to me. But there were also several crucial objectives planned way beforehand to be ticked off from the bucket list – some were related to cuisine, others to culture, history, nature or entertainment. However, one of the places I visited had also spiritual significance of sorts. While the stopover there lasted maybe 20 minutes, it was a very emotional moment, and it left a powerful impression on me. Located relatively close to Shibuya Station, I paid a visit to a memorial plate of Yutaka Ozaki, late rebellious singer of the 1980s, whose music and charisma actually hugely contributed to my interest in Japan, and he was among the main reasons for my travel there. Continue reading →

The Heavy, Courtney Barnett, and how I’m revising my views on modern music

courtneygardener

There was a time when rock n’ roll in its different forms was a dominant force in music. Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Queen, Journey, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith (a random namedrop) filled the arenas all over the world and people loved them. Then by the end of the 80s the industry became completely oversaturated with dudes wearing lipsticks and all that glam. Nirvana and grunge came along, hip-hop arrived in the mainstream, Britpop and so on. I would argue that music in general is more diversified than ever, but what an average person gets to hear on day-to-day basis is just a bunch of artists, those who are  the most intensely promoted by the recording companies. For several years it falsely led me to believe in the notion that ‘the music today sucks’. Continue reading →

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is magical

MetteAs my preference for older music is quite strong, I don’t have much exposure to music post 2005 or so, which is why finding some more recent music gems is always a pleasant surprise.
My most recent discovery is a band called The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Sounds stellar, doesn’t it? Continue reading →

New additions to my CD stash

0313I got my Akina Nakamori and Jun Togawa CDs the other day. As usual I reached to CDJapan to fulfill my need for Nihon sounds. Shipping fees are a bit high, but I’ve never complained about their services and they have a very extensive artist catalog. Akina’s 7th album entitled ‘Possibility’ is a dose of above-average Japanese pop music from the 80s – catchy and emotional, + Akina’s voice is as good as ever. Her vocals get really deep and powerful. No to mention ‘Possibility’ comes with a sexy-cute jacket sleeve. Continue reading

My music heroes – Yutaka Ozaki

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Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Richey Edwards. Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse.  Musicians who belong to the so-called 27 Club (there are more). Through music they proved their immense talents, and, partially due to untimely deaths at the age of 27, they achieved the status of rock n’ roll legends.

The question is – should we glorify those who lived lives of excess and abuse, and simply got what was coming to them? Probably not. Yet all these years after Joplin or Hendrix died, people all around the world still find joy and inspiration in their artistic output and charisma. There’s something inexplicable about certain personae in the music business which makes us – listeners – hopelessly captivated by anything they do or sing about.  The dangerous devotion to music they do – even if it means straying off the safe path of counting the earned $$$ in the multi-million-dollar-worth villa – is extremely charming. Continue reading →

Nihon music and I

Morita Douji

I first became interested in Japanese music around 8 years ago – I believe it was my freshman year in high school. One day I decided to re-watch Dragon Ball saga, which I used to often catch on TV back when I was a kid. Then I discovered ‘anime’, watched few of these cartoons, kind of liked several songs (not to mention anime themselves), and in the end I decided to look up some Japanese rock music. Continue reading →

‘I was born too late…’ No, you were not.

Ferris

You’re in your late teens/early 20s and you begin to realize the things aren’t working out exactly the way you’ve planned them. Sure, you’re a normal guy. You have a circle of close friends you hang out with, you have your hobbies, you’re trying to make the best of what you’ve got; you’re more or less aware of what’s going on in the world today. You finally graduated from high school and thought that the grand college life of your dreams (which was based on a bunch of movies starring a guy who’s a total loser, yet still gets to bone Alyson Hannigan) was just about to start.  Continue reading →

'I was born too late…' No, you were not.

Ferris

You’re in your late teens/early 20s and you begin to realize the things aren’t working out exactly the way you’ve planned them. Sure, you’re a normal guy. You have a circle of close friends you hang out with, you have your hobbies, you’re trying to make the best of what you’ve got; you’re more or less aware of what’s going on in the world today. You finally graduated from high school and thought that the grand college life of your dreams (which was based on a bunch of movies starring a guy who’s a total loser, yet still gets to bone Alyson Hannigan) was just about to start.  Continue reading →