Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Cover songs’

“I somehow see what’s beautiful, in things that are ephemeral …”

I somehow see what's beautiful

I get a lot of (guff) sometimes for the music that I like. Yeah, I liked the Beatles, but then who in my generation didn’t? That might be our only common ground. I can’t say I have ever liked too much of the mainstream — and still don’t. Also, most kids today listen to rap, and as I’ve always said, I have never heard a rap song which I liked.

In the late 70s and early 80s I liked punk rock/new wave long before it became popular. I got a lot of “Get Away From Me Man” or actually “Don’t Touch Me Man” — because I liked Devo and Elvis Costello. When I told Maury down at the Deli that I like the Japanese Idol genre, he replied “Yu dah WHAT …?” with his hands gesturing out like he usually does like that … well, you would have to know Maury.

Ahem … I will try to stay positive today as I will share one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite American groups: She & Him. “I Thought I Saw Your Face Today” is from their great 2008 debut album, titled simply: Volume 1. The song is written by Zooey Deschanel. She & Him are considered an “indie” pop rock group.

Of course, Zooey-chan is mainly known as a TV and movie actress, but I also think that she is a great, but very under-rated songwriter. (Before you say “Get Away From Me Man”, read what I wrote about this subject on another post, some time back, linked here.) The song reminds me a lot of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe”. In fact, I think that Zooey writes and performs well in a retro-1960s Beatles/Beach Boys- type-style. Let us take a listen, then we will discuss it. (Scroll down for lyrics.)

While listening to the song on YourTube, I came across a number of fan cover songs. Most of these were made back when Volume 1 came out. I especially like the 3rd one down. She did a great job of putting a real music video together.

All are lovely young women, with a lot of spirit. They each bring a unique something to the song. If you ever wonder if there is anything good, and positive in this world, look at these dear hearts. There is a glimpse of the best of humanity. Young ladies — singing a personal song they love.  (Denny choking up a bit.) These are all beautiful moments captured. Like an old photograph — or better yet — like a dragonfly trapped in amber during the early Cretaceous Period, the talent, beauty, and warmth of these life affirming young women are preserved by YourTube — and are still here for us to enjoy.

… Wait a minute, it has only been eight years — perhaps it is the nostalgic echo of the song which made me drop my cup-of-time … the ladies are still here. They probably all just graduated nursing school.

Music and lyrics  – by Zooey Deschanel

I thought
I saw your face today
But I just
Turned my head away
Your face
Against the trees
But I just see
The memories
As they come
As they come
And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

I saw it glitter
As I grew
And loved it
Boy, I never knew
I thought this place
Was heaven sent
But now
It’s just a monument
In my mind
In my mind
And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

The cars and freeways
That implore me to stay away
Out of this place
My mother said
Just keep your head
And play it as it lays

The cars and freeways
That implore me
To stay away
Out of this place
My mother said
Just keep your head
And play it as it lays

I somehow see
What’s beautiful in things
That are ephemeral
I’m my only friend, am I?
Love is just
A piece of time
In your world
In the world

And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

Discussion: I love the lyrics. They are simple, but straightforward and honest.  Maybe a little mystical and paradoxical. One mistake I made  — until I looked up the lyrics — was that I misheard the line “And loved it boy — I never knew”. I thought I heard: “I loved a boy I never knew” which to me — sounded all reverse-time moving/paradoxical involving. Sometimes when you fall in love with someone, you instantly “recognize” them as someone you have always known, or should have known, even if you never met them before…if that could make any sense. A good song may transcend reality. I hope you can find your own meaning in this song. Thanks, Z.D.

You can find the guitar chords out there on the InterWebs. A free example is linked here.

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/s/she_him/i_thought_i_saw_your_face_today_crd.htm

Starlight: She and Him “Volume 1” was released on March 18, 2008. What a great record.

This is a very shaky-poor-sounding-illegal recording from those eight years ago at a concert in New York City. Note that Zooey does her own whistling!  

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Iwasa Misaki: Atonement

Slide3

Oh, I have been getting enka-denka-doo-ed these days. I know that I am Wasamin-crazy, but I have it under control! I can quit anytime I want.

Ahem …Let me share this nice YouTube post of Iwasa Misaki singing “Tsugunai”  つぐない which translates as “Atonement”.

She sang this on her great Enka album “Request Covers” released a couple of years ago. Wasamin recorded several songs made famous by well-known Enka artists of years past. What a great record.

the cover of request covers

The cover for “Request Covers”.

This is a more recent performance. Here she sings a shorter version than what is on her record, but still it is great to look at and listen to. She wears an amazingly beautiful dark kimono .. as I have come to expect when she performs on this Japanese variety show. Enjoy this slide set! I also downloaded this to MP4 , which my PS3 up-converts — and it LOOKS AMAZING!!!

The sound is just YouTube. The song sounds a lot better on my iPhone with my Nakamichi headphones. You can really hear the enka-quivering in Misaki-san’s voice, and the instrumentals are fantastic. The “tango”-like organ work provides a great musical backdrop for this nostalgic-tragic love song. If you ask me, the tone of the woman protagonist is a little “passive-aggressive”. She is saying goodbye but she is actually begging, and is trying to hide her disappointment and bitterness. You could figure that out. Here is what Wasamin is actually singing:

“Atonement”

In the room exposed to the western sun
There always remains your scent
If I live here alone, I must always remember you
So, I will leave here, by keeping the scratch on the wall as it is
After atoning for our love, we must be separated
Please don’t forget about me although I have been such a woman
You have been too sweet to me
You have been innocent like a little boy
We are going to be strangers tomorrow
I only care about you left behind
Please cut down smoking
Instead of living by being attached to the past
You should find a lady more attractive than I
Because atoning for our love becomes a burden for me
I will try to leave this town and live alone
I will have to drink alone
I will have to dream alone
We are going to be strangers tomorrow
After atoning for our love, we must be separated
Please don’t forget about me although I have been such a woman
You have been too sweet to me
You have been innocent like a little boy
We are going to be strangers tomorrow …

Slide10

The song was written by Araki Toyohisa and Miki Takahashi. It has been recorded many times, in Japanese and Chinese. It was made most famous by Cantonese Enka-singer Teresa Teng. (That is until Misaki-san of course.) Get me drunk at the Karaoke Bar and I WILL SING IT!

Here is a version by the late great Teresa Teng.

Here are a couple of fan-made versions. (I put the guitar cover in here just for you Bob!) Oh, nice work you gifted young people.

Starlight: From Earth to where Veeger is now. Veeger needs the information!

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Orpheus melted the heart of Persephone … then “GOOSE HOUSE” melted mine : )

orpheusmeltedtheheartofpersephone

Poor Orpheus looked back …

Poor Orpheus.  Persephone gave him a chance to save Euridice, but he broke the spell and looked back.  I am not the “Queen of The Underworld” but I can be a disagreeable and critical character. However,  I could never tell someone “Don’t Look Back” — that is how we learn!

My point you ask? I was very happy when I read a post by our fellow blogger Genkinahito’sBlog today.  He posted a song by “Goose House” which I loved. They melted my heart. I spent about an hour listening to their fun songs today.

Goosehouse (グースハウス) is a group of singers and musicians who are notable for covering Japanese songs.  They are active on YouTube and they also perform live streaming music in their USTREAM channel about once a month.  You can check out their webpage linked here.

http://goosehouse.jp/

The group’s membership has changed over the past few years, and some have graduated.  Still they are a great, fun group to watch.  The group also composes their own original songs. Even AmazonMP3 have their singles.

goosehousephoto

The amazing members of Goose House can shadow (or cover) anyone !

They have also covered several AKB48 songs!  I am ALWAYS “looking back” as I conduct my AKB History.

I will share a few of the Goose House AKB48 covers with you here, and invite you to visit the Goose House YouTube Channel to find covers of your favorite JPop groups.  They are so JOYOUS!

Here is a quickie list:

Koi Suru Fortune Cookie

Shonichi (“First Day”) – this might be my favorite!

Chou “Ponytail”

“Not Yet”a great job with a lesser-known song.

Gingham Check

Labrador Retriever

I think that Goose House captures all the fun of the original songs! … and even build on it!

Who wants to start a band?

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