Sunny Day Service – Setsuna

Sunny Day Service – Setsuna
Lyrics: Sokabe Keiichi
Music: Sokabe Keiichi

Cutting off the sunset town, it’s the season of witches casting their pink spells
Drawing a loose parabola, the sky falls, parachute rider
The unsleeping spirit was completely dirtied since the very beginning
And again today waiting in the same place as always is Setsuna’s lover/the lover of the moment*

You’re so much like a quiet blaze
Trying to burn my everything to exhaustion
The two of us ride in this sky in soap bubbles created during childhood

Cutting off the sunset town, it’s the season of witches casting their pink spells
Drawing a loose parabola, the sky falls, parachute rider
The unsleeping spirit was completely dirtied since the very beginning
And again today waiting in the same place as always is Setsuna’s lover/the lover of the moment*

You are so much like a quiet melody
Taking me along to a nostalgic landscape
The two of us go into the night, mimicking an adventure tale read during childhood

Cutting off the sunset town, it’s the season of witches casting their pink spells
Drawing a loose parabola, the sky falls, parachute rider
The unsleeping spirit was completely dirtied since the very beginning
And again today waiting in the same place as always is Setsuna’s lover/the lover of the moment*

 

 

* No idea if “Setsuna” is meant as a name or as a noun…so I gave both JIC

Kyuso Nekokami – Phantom Vibration

Phantom Vibration

Lyrics: Yamasaki Seiya
Music: Kyuso Nekokami

I look at it more than anyone, even more than I look at the girl I like
I look at it for two hours in one day, this tiny appliance has
developed and has passed through culture, the entire world in the palm of my hand,
a more realistic reality, eating into our reality.

Whatever time it is, checking it comes to mind and I am soon gazing at my smart phone

Even if I don’t have to, I still am looking at it, checking out 2chan summaries,
Majikichi Conan(1) is pretty funny, right, I’m gonna bust a gut laughing on the train

Shut up, Shut up, my phone is calling, it’s just an email magazine but I’ve got to react, it’s not ringing, but I think it might ring, my smartphone is already a physical part of me

Phone calls and email and apps and LINE, I’m not looking, but I need to check it
I felt it vibrate, even if it’s an email magazine, even then, I’m not looking, but I need to check it
Incoming call from an unknown number, even if they’re calling me, I can’t take the time
An message with mysterious contents arrived three days ago, I need to check it

Oh, what should I do, just as I thought, I need to check it, even though I just did, I pick up my smart phone becaue I need to check it
The day when our hearts and bodies will dance along riding the electro-magnetic waves is near

my smartphone is already a physical part of me

I need the info when something goes on, since the net is open to the public
Always seeking community, despite harming community in reality
Looking for entertaining news, trying out newly made apps
Sending picture messages of anything and everything, filling up all folder capacity

Whatever time it is, checking it comes to mind, your smartphone is always near

No matter what it looks like, if my battery dies, I’ll be looking for a plug
Even if for a moment I lose mobile connection when my smartphone battery dies, I need to check it, need to check it

Shut up, Shut up, my phone is calling, it’s just an email magazine but I’ve got to react, it’s not ringing, but I think it might ring, my smartphone is already a physical part of me

my smartphone is already a physical part of me

Phone calls and email and apps and LINE, I’m not looking, but I need to check it
I felt it vibrate, even if it’s an email magazine, even then, I’m not looking, but I need to check it
Even if for one day, I’m separated from my smartphone and I try to freely go through my day,
Even then we continue our dependence on the convenient smartphones we love so much
Aah, my fellows and I are constantly lonely, doing nothing but seeking connections to others,
But in the end have no more connections to people in reality, nevertheless, you are calling me

my smartphone is already a physical part of me (x8)
1) So, majikichi is 2ch lingo meaning “seriously messed up,” I don’t frequent 2ch enough to know what exactly this refers to, but I’m assuming it’s a meme…I’ve found some posts rewriting Detective Conan manga scripts with crude jokes and vulgarity…so probs that

Adventures in Music (January Kyoto-hen)

Holy crap, this is late. Wow. Anyway, I spent the new year’s holiday in Kyoto with a friend so got to plunder a new record store for a change. Sadly, I found the indie selection at Kyoto’s Tower Records to be a bit of a tragedy…but still came out with some gems. This time around: Spangle call Lilli line, Taiko Super Kicks, and 21g.

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Spangle call Lilli line has been a perennial spring favorite for quite a while for me. There is just something to their sound that feels like the transition from frosty winter tentatively thawing into spring, put into music. They have that kind of gloriously refreshing sound. So, when I saw they had a new album out, I had to give it a try.

The album starts out with Azure, I was a little curious as to how they may have evolved since I last looked in on them. I was definitely caught by this intro, and I feel like this is every bit a scll song, with its tentative energy, that sounds like it’s reaching out for something. Subtle, calming, but still motivating somehow.

With Spangle call Lilli line, you won’t find complex guitar work like most of the other music I talk about. Instead, you’ll find subtle layers of vocals, synth, drums, guitar, and bass, weaving in and out and all around each other that you can’t help but just sink happily into.

I honestly think this is their smoothest album to date. I am so happy to have this addition to my SCLL collection in my life, as I will always need more of Kana Otsubo’s voice.

Highlights: escort  & landing, Constellation, Echoes of S.

 

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Taiko Super Kicks continues this dreamy atmosphere in their album Many Shapes. I must’ve been in that kind of mood that day. Haha. No, really, this album was my primary impetus for the trip to Tower. After having fallen so hard for their previous release, Reikan, I was happily looking forward to more.

Truth is, though, I loved Reikan much more than this one. That’s not to say I don’t like Many Shapes, just that it is a touch different. I feel like the atmosphere of Reikan was much heavier whereas Many Shapes is, while still not a super pop fest, a much more hopeful sounding release.

Taiko Super Kicks still have an amazing style of complexly layered guitar and bass overlays effects, which is satisfying in its own right. The shedding of the previous Pinback-esque grimness probably is more appealing to some. I have definitely been accused of wallowing in some pretty depressing music, in the past. What can I say, I have a type…musically.

Highlights: Many Shapes and Hikui Gogo

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Last is 21g and their album, Hitorishibai Honey. Holy crap were they a surprise. Listening to the first track, I was expecting to just skip through the album and immediately cast it off with nary a second glance. WRONG! First track, not my taste. Second track, though? OH MY GOD YES!

What immediately struck me about this band is how much they remind me of Head Phones President. Oh nostalgia. BUT BETTER!  Sadly, this seems to be SUCH a baby band that their net-presence is incredibly light. To make matters worse, they aren’t the only 21g running around Japan. UGH! Whatever. I don’t usually feel the heavy rock/melodic female vocals evanescence style (more like actively hate that one), but these babies make it work by not being one trick ponies. They put their eccentric and diverse influences to good use producing a mini-album with some very drastic variations on a theme. At times sounding dreamy, others Kenshi Yonezu-inspired. Much fun to listen to. I really hope they keep on keepin’ on in the future, as I’d like to hear more of their sound.

Highlights: The End and Hate and Seventeen Blue

 

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Sorry I never got around to posting this in February like I almost did. This year has been taking it OUT of me. Music has been accumulating at a steady rate, but words have not.  Maybe someday I will catch up.

Brian the Sun – Half Cab

Lyrics and music: Ryota Mori

At the extreme top end of refined thinking, the style I’ve chosen,
Our smiles entwine, stance prepared to flee,
there’s no script. At any moment, I’m freestyling,
marking time on my soul until it’s worn down to disappearing

I love you but that’s not the least of it
It’s a sound argument, but I can’t see you smiling
I’m just pretending to understand, there’s no passion
It’s just a diss, but there’s no tomorrow

I don’t know, not even yesterday’s me
Identity, may be forever unanswered-da-damn It!!!

I can’t see a thing, it’s pitch black
I want to get it out, so can you shut up a bit
Withdraw the previous remarks, is so happy choice
Life in this way, it’s so tedius, stop.

I love you but that’s not the least of it
It’s a sound argument, but I can’t see you smiling
I’m just pretending to understand, there’s no passion
It’s just a diss, but there’s no tomorrow

Like a child dreaming of eternity
We are merely keeping the ship afloat
It’s alright, nothing’s gonna change
We’re always going unanswered-da-damn it!!!

I love you but that’s not the least of it
It’s a sound argument, but I can’t see you smiling
I’m just pretending to understand, there’s no passion
It’s just a diss, but there’s no tomorrow

I don’t know, I don’t understand anything
Inside the cage of imagination and reality
Am I always going to love you
It’s alright, we’re always going unanswered-da-damn it!!!

 

 

 

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Here you go, Kato. Man, I love the guitar in this. That guy is so much fun to watch, too. Can really tell he digs what he does. So much groove, especially in that first “I don’t know” part. Best.

Also, I have a pretty good temperature going right now, so I hope this came out as good as it did it my head. D:

Bentham – Time Over

Lyrics: Tatsuya Ozeki

Music: Reiji Tsuji

 

Sluggishly melting
Falling in a spin
Farewell, today is over
Look, who’s in front of you?

Wait a second, Time Over
It’s so sad, the cloudy sky
Wait a second, Time Over
It’s so sad, the cloudy sky

One, Two, Three, Four, Five
One, Two, Three, Four, Five
Run!

Wait, wait, not quite there
Broken pieces fall every time you take a breath
Wait, wait, still more to go
Disappearing with the bubbles in soda

Sluggishly melting
Falling in a spin
Farewell, today is over
Look, who’s in front of you?

Trembling with pleasure
Unchanging things are disappearing
Stand still and look behind you
Look, who’s in front of you?

Wait a second, Time Over
It’s so sad, the cloudy sky
Wait a second, Time Over
It’s so sad, the cloudy sky

One, Two, Three, Four, Five
One, Two, Three, Four, Five
Run!

Wait, wait, still more to go
Disappearing with the bubbles in soda

Sluggishly melting
Falling in a spin
Farewell, today is over
Look, who’s in front of you?

Trembling with pleasure
Unchanging things are disappearing
Stand still and look behind you
Look, who’s in front of you?

 

 

 

Someone on youtube asked for the lyrics to this, so I dug out the CD and did it in about fifteen minutes. Good celebration for being able to see them this weekend. YAY!

Adventures in Music (December)

This month is a bit special, as it’s not just a random Nagoya hit, but also CONCERTTIME! Comin up Roth Bart Baron, Brian the Sun, Inshow-ha, Hinto, and Plastic Tree.

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As tradition dictates, first thing you do upon arriving in Nagoya is of course heading to Sakae for HMV and Tower Records. While there, I picked up Roth Bart Baron‘s album “Atom.” I nearly bought it during a trip back in maybe November sometime, but I had probably spent too much already at that time. It continued to hang in the back of my mind through the months, and after reading about it being considered one of the best of the year by Music Magazine, I decided to just grab it.

The placard at HMV talked about how they highly recommend this group if you like western groups like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and Sufjan Stevens…not gonna lie, that intrigued me. And again, not gonna lie, that recommendation was absolutely accurate. There is a huge Bon Iver vibe to these guys, though…less unplugged. They claim that it’s not their aim to sound like anyone else, but the vibe is definitely there. This  distinctive western indie sound comes from the fact that they seem to have worked with some pretty impressive Canadian and Japanese artists to make it.

The band claims that the album was inspired by 80’s sci-fi movies they had seen when they were younger. It’s aim was a near futuristic sound. It’s honestly not terribly apparent through most of the album, only showing up here and there. Still sounds very good, though…very chill to put on in the background. But that’s the thing. It’s nice, but it’s not something that so much reaches out and grabs me. There are nice little things, but it doesn’t get stuck in your head…it’s the type of music that you forget soon after hearing it.

Highlights: Shopping Mall Monster and Glass Shower (Sorry…there’s legit nothing off this album on youtube to link…)

decemberbrian

I also picked up Brian the Sun’s new mini-album, “Shrodinger no Neko” during this trip…finally. I mentioned it in an earlier post, very much wanting it, but having already overspent a bit. I regret not picking this up then. It’s so good. From the very first track, I’m gone. It’s only a mini-album, which is enough to leave me dying for more…even though I seem to be following these guys religiously.

One thing Brian the Sun is good at is everything their guitar-work. They’ve got rhythm, they’ve got chaos, they’ve got hook. I’ve always enjoyed their guitar work, tucked into the nooks and crannies of their songs. This is really hard to explain, but as an example, in “half cab,” the chorus has these little sort of curls at the end, where a little flair is added to the end of the standard guitar riff behind the vocals. All this is then on top of a bass line that makes you want to get up and dance the more you listen to it. That’s far from the only example, these guys really like playing with what they can do with guitars.

I really wish I had picked this up earlier. I need more Brian the Sun in my life, and I’m thinking this is some of their best stuff so far. Such love.

Highlights: Tokai no Izumi and Schrodinger no Neko (and the whole (mini)album, I mean it’s only 5 songs…)

 

The thing about this trip is that my reason for being back in Nagoya was because HINTO CONCERT! Yas!

 

2015/12/20 – HINTO and 印象派 (Inshow-ha)

decemberhinto

It’s always a bit wild being the only foreigner in the audience at Japanese shows, but this one took the cake. Club Rock & Roll in Nagoya is pretty small, and this audience probably barely broke 50 people. Me and my curly foreigner hair standing in the second row through the whole show, rocking my little behind off did not go unnoticed. I had a great time, and afterwards, attacked the merch table without mercy. Picked up a copy of HINTO‘s “Chen-sama (blue version)” album, because I only had blue before, and Inshow-ha’s Nietzsche album.

I had only just heard Inshow-ha for the first time a week or so before the show. They were openers, and I was there for HINTO, but holy crap, those girls (and their AMAZING tour members…dat keyboardist,tho) are impressive! Those are some strong pipes on both of them, and their music is crazy fun.

decemberinshowha

I really dug their Swap video on youtube, so I decided to grab that album. WORTH. This album goes in a lot of different directions. It’s got energy, mystery, catchy guitar riffs, what sound like some really fun vocals to sing (I certainly don’t have those kind of skills…), and creepy superfans. This group definitely made a fan of me that night.

As I greedily plundered the merch, that night, I spoke briefly with one of the Inshow-ha girls. She was really surprised to see someone so foreign there lol and really happy that I seemed to enjoy the show so much. I told her I loved Swap, and she pointed out that they had a sticker set for it. insert high pitched squeels, STICKARS I, of course, picked up a set.

Inshow-ha highlights: Swap (of course) and Volcanic Surfer

HINTO were, of course, beyond brilliant. I want to steal Ito Shinichi’s hair. Wild, manic, energetic, and awesome, they put on a great show. They claimed that they had wanted to fill their playlist that night with love songs (most likely because it was almost x-mas, which is the date night in JP) but realized…they didn’t really have any. That got a good laugh. I spent most of the night staring at Ito’s guitar work and hair because looking at Abe was somewhat frightening. His energy burns so bright, I have to look away. That man is intense. He was literally bashing himself into the soundproofing foam on the wall towards the end. Don’t ever change. Great night. I am literally contemplating flying out to Hokkaido to see them again in March…is that too much?

HINTO highlights: No, just go listen to everything of theirs. It’s all golden.

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After this, I got back to my tiny town, and got the new Plastic Tree album I had preordered basically as soon as it was available for preorder, Hakusei.

Plastic Tree are…probably the only visual band I listen to. They got me hard over a decade ago, and have been stuck in my heart ever since. For me, listening to them is so much nostalgia…which is why they’re a bit of a departure from the rest of the music I tend to talk about.

Anyway, this is a bit of a difficult album. What I love most about this band is their lyrics, or really Ryutaro’s lyrics. I follow all of his writings I can, and have all his poetry books. I was surprised to notice that the lyrics on this album are almost completely from other members. The singles are all him, one other track, and some random additions in the liner notes. Needless to say, I’m a bit shocked by this, and a bit curious about why this album is so different from the others.

Despite this, though, the album is still amazing. I was a little iffy at first, but after a few listens, I have fallen hard for this album. Beyond the singles, the deep cuts are as good as always. I have taken to listening to Insomnia Blues on repeat for ridiculous lengths of time, which of course contributes greatly to my estimation of this album. I haven’t translated the whole album, yet, so I could potentially fall harder in love. Nothing on this album is too much of a departure from their general sound, so if you’re a fan, you’ll probably continue to be…

Highlights: Mime (I always love you, bby), Insomnia Blues, Hakusei (jesustakethewheel,allthefeels)