But what do I know? Almost wrecked, you know.
When I first started this blog, I wanted to write about Japanese popular culture and music. I had rekindled my interest in anime, and fell in like with the music and singing of Hanako Oku. I also started liking this quirky, all-girl group from Japan – AKB48. I know that these two acts are two opposite sides of the Jpop spectrum, but I liked them both – albeit for different reasons.
The music of Hanako Oku broke a hole in a dam, and my admiration for Japan culture began to flood out. I would watch old samurai movies with a different perspective – and sympathy – than I had most of my life. The cascading floodwaters washed away my waning interest in American popular culture (holds stomach, thinks “ugh” … American movies and music …). I thought that I would become an expert writer about Japanese popular music.
… but what do I know. I shortly found out that I did not have a clue.
There are several bloggers on WP who are much more knowledgeable on this subject than I am, and who can articulate the rich variety of enjoyable Jpop there is to be heard.
There are two bloggers I cannot do without. I always look forward to their posts. I’m trying not to make this a “Thanksgiving” post, but here I am. I hope that my 215 subscribers will view some of their posts.
Violetmitsu at HATCHIMITSU II is linked here. She is writing about exactly what I wanted to write about. I usually spend about an hour every Sunday morning having coffee, them enjoying a second cup of coffee, enjoying the songs she shares. Yes, Harry, it makes my day.
Also, another blogger who I cannot live without is Yuna at ALLTHINGSJPOP linked here.
There is probably no other soul on the planet to whom I can express my true admiration for (and silly comments about) the 48 Family. I make a lot of goofy, but sincere comments there. It might be overstated to say that her AKB48 posts validate my existence. “Might” be overstated.
To all my friends out there, bear with me – I’m NOT crazy. I just found a genre of music that I love. My long-term friends have seen all of my phases.
Denny the Rock-and-Roller- The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, etc.
The Progressive Rocker – Todd Rundgren, Emerson-Lake-Palmer
Pub Rocker – Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker
New Waver: DEVO, The Go-Go’s , etc.
The LA Punk Rocker: X, Oingo Boingo, etc.
The Rat Packer/Tin Pan Alley – Frank, Dean and Sammy, plus Bobby, Tony and Ella.
And then a long list of hipster/alternative artists. Throw in some jazz, classical and new-age music phases.
What a weird ride, and a lot of bad hairstyles.
Then there was a drought. There was a long time, when I thought that I would never find anything interesting in music again. I did not like what I heard on the American radio or TV (hols stomach .. “ugh” ). I tried to watch VH1, and could not believe how ignorant and disgusting it was. You mean America’s tastes are THAT vulgar?
(The following is only metaphor – in case you are from Rio Lindo.) Finding a new artist, or a new musical style is a little bit like falling in love.
I discovered Japanese popular music. I never thought I would fall in love again. I’m an aging baby boomer. To think …to be my age … and to feel the intense feelings that I have now, is both surprising and delightful. After being through all those phases and incarnations. It is startling to fall this fast, this deep, and this truely in love. What happened when I was young was actually the “old me”. I have seen and heard the truth. It is better than it ever was. It is like I have been waiting for this my entire life. Everyday is a wonderful day if I only can be with you (I’m talking to “Jpop”, remember this is a METAPHOR!)
Elvis Costello once quipped that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”. Using one subjective art form to describe what is beautiful in another art form is completely subjective, and perhaps only meaningful to the observer. I will continue to blog about some of the older Jpop artists and songs I lucked into. Others can tell you about the latest Jpop news, and upcoming trends. I will continue to look back, to interpret the music videos I love, and try to express what they mean to this old heart …
What? “Everyday” was a clip show ! Turn on CC and HD for full enjoyment!
Starlight: It took 15 months for the light of this AKB48 music video to reach my world.