Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘1990s music’

Ohio coffee playlist with Moritaka Chisato

When I met her in that Ohio coffee shop, I kept telling myself “Denny, don’t stare  … don’t stare at her legs… don’t stare at her legs you idiot …”

Ohio!  Ha … “Ohio” that is how you say “good morning” in Japanese!

Ha … please don’t correct me, I know that the phrase is really “Ohayō” お早う or “Ohayōgozaimasu”.  I have become a big fan of Japanese singer Moritaka Chisato these past few months. Every morning I look forward to the perfect combination of 1) my morning mug of coffee 2) my iPhone on which I can watch YourTube videos, and 3) my headphones. It is the best time of the day, sitting there, having a good morning coffee … of course my life is complete shit at work, but at least I am happy for those 25 fleeting minutes. Ahem, I am particularly happy when listening to music videos from this wonderful artist.  All Japanese culture comes to me by starlight, and Moritaka Chisato is a good example. I first learned about her from another blogger’s post (MorningBerryz48). The original post is linked here. Moritanka Chisato had her first hits in the late 1980s and was popular through the 1990s. I guess you could call her stuff “nineties music” — but she recorded a variety of great music in many different genres. She was a little different from many pop/idol singers of the time because she wrote her own music and was an accomplished instrumentalist. Ohio! Lets us get to the videos!

The first song is 気分爽快 translated as “Refreshing Feelings”.  There are several different versions and live performances of the song on YT (check out the “drums” version linked here), but this particular MV is very intriguing. I would have to ask my friend Bob to identify the guitars which the guitarist plays here. Oddly, at one point in the video, he is playing a different one than moments before! Now I have watched this MV like the Zapruder film, detailing each moment. There is a “Mystery Woman” dressed in a green sweater-top. She never turns to face the camera, even during the big wide-shot group dance part. We … never… see… her… face. I was thinking that perhaps she is the Moritaka from the future, or perhaps visiting from another dimension … but then again I’m a nut.

Moritanka Chisato portrays a teacher in this next video “Song of Study” or “Study Song” depending on which order you read it. There are a lot different versions of this MV too, but I think that this one is the most endearing. Musically, it sounds like the mid-eighties. Somewhere between Cindy Lauper and DEVO.

Ms. Chisato plays a teacher. I have taken some notes: The superiority of the Japanese educational system is clearly on display here. Ms. Chisato is clearly better than any boring teacher I ever had. Who wants to listen to some dork lecture about rocks? I prefer Ms. Chisato’s suit. Oh, man in that tight suit, nice hose and pretty shoes — she reminds me of a young Mrs. Sinnoh. I like how at one point she gives a boy the choice between a comic book and a study guide, and he chooses the manga, much to her disappointment. After she teaches for a while she gives him the choice between the workbook and a Nintendo Gameboy, and he chooses the schoolbook! (Notice how much larger Gameboys were in Japan. Those things were HUGE!) I noticed that she gives pretty big tests. They are easy (look close) but they are really BIG tests. You will also notice that the school day goes by very fast with her. The hands on the classroom clock fly around very quickly. I sure would like to be this teacher’s pet : )

“They say that the big band sound is coming back!” (Sorry about that stupid comment. I have had to put up with that one half-my life.)  Now, if you have not exited my post yet, you are in for a treat. The next song is “So Blue”. Despite the big band, dance hall atmosphere, this song rocks out pretty hard.  I might even call it “progressive” rock, as it is so interesting and complex. Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir? Forget that, you will find a much better guitar/drum/strings arrangement from Chisato-san here. (Denny sups coffee.)

This next song is “August Love”. My comic-book reading otaku friends like Matthew and The Otaku Judge should recognize the lovely Moritaka is singing inside one of Superman’s fortresses. Now, this is not his Arctic isolated fortress. Instead Superman keeps Mori-chan forever young in this PACIFIC fortress. (It has a slightly different coloration.) Can you imagine the fun Superman has in that place, listening to Ms. Chisato – trapped in time — kept forever young, singing about August Love – with that facethat hair … and that red lipstick. (Denny gulps.)

Gentemen, hold on to your hearts, because if you have not fallen in love with Moritaka Chisato yet, you will succumb during this next beautiful song — “Watarase Bridge”. She was going for a Beatles “Let It Be” sound and video. Well, screw the Beatles. At least Chisato-san did not have to lie about who was playing the instruments. SHE IS!  Clearly one of her best songs, even my other Jpop hero Hanako Oku loves it. Psst: Watch for the “mystery woman” to walk through right at the end.

If you love Jpop, make sure that you add some Moritaka Chisato to your collection! Her official web links are here:

Official Website: http://www.moritaka-chisato.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chisatomoritaka
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moritakastaff
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/108720770772129735479/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moritakachannel

She has a great volume of music and video to explore. She is older now, and not publishing as much as during her hey day in the 1990s. She is married to a nice guy and has two lovely children.

I have also started a Pinterest board for Moritaka Chisato linked hereThanks MB, for introducing me to another great artist, I might otherwise never would have known about.

Starlight: I discovered Moritaka Chisato on November 16, 2016 through MorningBerryz48’s blog. I can’t do justice to MB’s post. She has all this great album cover art, photos, live performances, songs lyrics, etc.

Wha … Why are you still here? go have  a look!

Pokémon Nicknames: Helioptile and Heliolisk

helioptilehelioliskclasps

Helioptile (in Japanese: エリキテル  “Erikiteru”) is a Electric-Normal dual-type Pokémon. Helioptile evolves into Heliolisk (in Japanese: エレザード  “Elezard”) when exposed to a Sun Stone, where it remains an Electric-Normal dual-type.

helio evo tumblr_n6plq4NPlG1rpn9eno1_500

There is no Mega-Evolution of Heliolisk yet. Both Helioptile and Heliolisk are known as the “Generator Pokémon” (from Bulbapedia).

The “helio” part of Helioptile’s name means “Sun” although it is an Electric type. Helioptile’s ears look a lot like helicopter blades, so I named one “Huey” after the famous American-designed military helicopters. The Huey-Helicopter was an important transport aircraft during the Vietnam war. The chopper is a big part of the iconography and the American public’s perceived memory of that forgotten conflict.

huey helicopter

I also like the name “Huey Louie”. You may think that this is named after Donald Duck’s nephews Huey-Dewey-and-Louie. In fact, I name it Huey Louie after the original stage name of 1980s singer Huey Lewis (video linked here.) I am a rock historian, so I can tell you that Mr. Lewis is also famously well hung.

I was watching a VH1 Documentary the other day about famous rock music groupies (linked here). It was said by Pamela DesBarnes that she gave oral sex to dozens, if not hundreds, of rock musicians. When asked about the comparative penis sizes of all the dudes she blew, she said that “Huey Lewis was the biggest, and Peter Frampton was the smallest”. The documentary goes on to tell how these groupie chicks would suck-off — not just the rock stars, but they would also polish the knobs of all the roadies, security guards and managers — as they would work their way up to the group.  Plus, they would be taking all these hard drugs — but to hear them tell it — in a cool way! If you’ve seen that terrible movie “Almost Famous”  … you know that rock historians look back on these ladies of the countless blow-jobs – not with disgust – but as strong, “feminist” women who made their own way in a man’s world. It would take a lot of courage to do that many drugs. Yup, even with all that “Kablooie Louie” all over their faces, tits and hair, they were the one’s being empowered.  At least Hollywood thinks that it is heroic to take a lot of dangerous drugs and blow a multitude of guys. Just ask Susan Sarandon or Goldie Hawn. … and — Yes, I see that I have digressed once again …

You know, come to think of it, “Kablooie” might just be a good nickname …

Ahem … keeping with the rotating them of helicopter blades and the like, I have also used the names “Whirligig” after those cute lawn decorations. I also used “Tilt-A-Whirl” after the famous carnival ride (images linked here).

helio IMG_0126 helio IMG_0125

I think that “Willy-Nilly” might be good for female Helioptile. I used the name “Dizzy~Lizzy” in honor of Little Richard’s famous rock-and-roll song “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” (The Beatles version is linked here). I named another “TWISTnSHOUT” after the famous Beatles cover song (linked here).

Heliolisk is one of those “frilled lizards” after evolution. The type of lizard which raises a large circular frill around its head as a way of intimidating a predator, or what I think – to scare the heebie jebbies out of the prey.

heliolisk_mxm85383Ag1rcwf0xo1_500

Heliolist head/neck area looks like a blacked hood, so potential nicknames are “Dark Hood” or “Sheaths”. The hood does resemble one of those axe-wielding midlevel-era “Executioners”. I have used “SPF-1Million” for the sunblock value you would need to witness Helios when he is doing his nuclear fusion.

helio IMG_0127

Because Heliolisk’s head can turn into a sun-like disk, my FAVORITE nickname for this Pokémon is “BlackHoleSun” after this great song by Soundgarden.

It is like the 1990s never ended right? How could anyone NOT like that video? If you don’t like that one, my head will explode all Kabooie Louie.

What is the name for your sunny electric lizard? Please comment!

Image

A song for all you cheating husbands out there …

toledo phrase

“Toledo” by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.

Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach teamed up for the great album “Painted From Memory” in 1998.  The record is arguably the greatest of Costello’s collaboration albums. The album is loaded with songs of bittersweet memories, sorrowful memories, love gone lost, emotional pain, and hopeful wishes of new love. There would be so many great songs to share and discuss with you otherwise. I could not find the studio version of “Toledo” on YouTube. Instead I will share this live performance.  The lyrics are slightly different in the live recording, so I have provided the original lyrics at the end of the post. There are a lot of interesting, but painful moments to discuss. I will have to interpret, and perhaps extrapolate a little on the meaning of the lines.

This is the story as I see it:

A man had once cheated on his wife when he was on a business trip to Toledo, Ohio.  They are back together, and even though his wife has forgiven him (to some extent), the affair is always in the back of their minds. His travels take him to Toledo (not Spain) again. Imagine when he phones home and tells her that he is staying overnight in Toledo. Even if she trusts him now, there would always be that little piece of doubt in her mind.  The damage had been done.

“But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it”

Lesson #1 / Men: Do not cheat. Even if you are forgiven, you will never get the trust 100% back.

Another line says “… and that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me …”.

Lesson #2 / Men: Do not cheat. Men always say that – but that actually makes it WORSE! It would be one thing to actually fall in love with someone else and have an affair, it is another thing to be promiscuous for its own sake. It means that the cheater is not romantic – he is an asshole.  At least he is now. 

I think that it is a very strong song. You can feel the pain in the lyrics. Pain that was self-inflicted. He hurt his wife, he hurt himself. He is still haunted by the fight they had the first time: You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”

Other lyrical imagery describe of how he walks around outside, and all the young people, and young lovers are happy.  “How can they be like this?”, he thinks. Don’t they understand what I have lost?!?!?  Of course, it is an irrational thought, but I think that it underscores that all is not right with the world once his vows were broken. The lyrics demonstrate that the guilt may be all-consuming.

Lesson #3 / Men: Do not cheat. Try to learn from this fool. 

———————————————

There is one other item I have never heard discussed about this song. Why did Costello choose “Toledo, Ohio” as the place where the protagonist fell? If you are a Costell fan, you know all about his famous drunken incident in Toledo. Costello and his bandmates had a fight with an American band staying at the same hotel. Costello said something outrageous.  I won’t repeat what he said here. The quip was picked up by the American press, and it haunted him for years. There is no doubt, it affected his lack of commercial success in America for so long.  

———————————————–

“Toledo”

All through the night you telephoned
I saw the light blinking red
Beside the cradle
But you don’t know how far I’ve gone
Now I must live with the lie
That I made

But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it
But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But it’s no use saying that I love you
And how that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me
For if anyone should look into your eyes
It’s not forgiveness that they’re gonna see

You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”
You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”

So I walked outside in the bright
Sunshine and lovers pass by
Smiling and joking
But they don’t know the fool I was
Why should they care what was lost
What was broken?

But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it
But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But it’s no use saying that I love you
And how that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me
For if anyone should look into your eyes
It’s not forgiveness that they’re gonna see

But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But we still have Florence, Alabama
We don’t have Paris, and we don’t have Rome.

Starlight: I bought the record the week it was released. I was still a Costello fan back then.

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