Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Music video’

Gratuitous Valentine’s Day Post #27: “Love Without Anger” by DEVO.

 

lwa by devo

Nothing says love … like a chocolates box filled with earthworms?  Well, how about a holiday created by a candy corporation?

Today’s music history lesson takes us all the way back to 1981 for a track from Devo’s innovative “New Traditionalists” album.  Way back then DEVO were video poets. They were creative, they were funny. I loved their retro-cool pop cultural references — and their takes on the old sci-fi movies, health films, 1950s politics, etc.  They were despised by the mainstream American culture of course.  Want to get beaten up? Say that you liked Devo. I have fond memories of these Kent-State-University-art-students-turned-new-wave-pop-stars. This song —  “Love Without Anger” featured a mixture of costumes, stop-motion animation, quirky retro references, subliminal messaging and a couple broken eggs. (Lyrics here.)

Oh, it really takes me back to when I was just a spud. Kids, back when Devo started their careers, there was no MTV, and rock music videos were seldom seem. I know, that “Barbie and Ken” animation bit looks like something directly out of “Robot Chicken“. It is crude in comparison, but that is part of its retro-charm. I also believe that this MV inspired Seth Green to create his series.

If you find this MV to be quirky and amusing, please check out the Devo playlists on YerTube. Tell ’em “Boogie Boy” sent yas.

Starlight: 1981 — my period of surfboards and plastic hair. 

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Having Breakfast with HKT48!

I know ... where does Haruppi put it?

I know … where does Haruppi put it?

Begin the day / With a friendly voice/ A companion unobtrusive / Plays that song that’s so elusive / And the magic music makes your morning mood …”  

Thanks, Neil, but I know you did not have this genre in mind when you wrote that. Nonetheless, it certainly is inspirational to hear/see the HKT48 girls early in the AM. I like listening/watching HKT48 YouTube playlists on my iPhone during breakfast. They girls are true to the spirit that you wrote about. You know, they would have been good on AM radio. Right up there with the Archies.

I have been so happy and entertained by these lovely young women — my adopted daughters from Hawkstown. I think I like the HKT48 even more than the main AKB group now. These youngsters have so much pep, and they sing and dance with such energy and enthusiasm. This is Idol music the way it is supposed to be … like a milkshake that never ends!

First off — lets hear “12 seconds” while the coffee finishes brewing. This is my song of the summer! … or at least my favorite in the Idol genre. You will not need any sugar in your Breakfast Blend. Aika Ota is sweet enough! Good example: see time 1:39 – 1:42 seconds. Lovetan is not even singing at that point … she just poses … but …

Love-tan you are KILLING me. At least my heart is started.

This next one goes back to HKT48 Dome Concert in 2013. This is probably the CUTEST idol duet I have ever seen. That is Aoi Motomura in the hot pants, and Sakura Miyawaki in the skirt. Musically, I think that one part is stolen from “Be My Baby” by The Ronnettes. The young Sakura-tan is so adorable here so I will not quibble Akimoto’s possible theft.

I could not be more proud (tearing up a bit). Future Anthropologists should study Sakura’s moves in order to define and understand what a Japanese Idol should be. Sakura is pure joy in a bottle. She is like a little piece of God piercing a hole in the fabric of space-time into our universe. Through this teenage girl, we might then be able to comprehend new dimensions … and a higher plane of consciousness. …Um, … Did you put something in my coffee?

sakuratan in ookami to pride 2013

Um … Now this next one is lower video quality, but that is OK because I’m dancing while I reheat these eggs anyway. A better quality video is available, but you have to be on YouTube. I grock that heart shape at the end.

Remember when The Beatles used to sing “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”? Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you added ONE MORE “YEAH”? Find out here. I like this one because this PV features HKT48’s youngest member Yuka Akiyoshi. I own underwear older than her. She’s a little rascal alright!

This next one is from a great mini-concert outside of the HawksTown Mall last year. They cover their big-sister’s hit single “Baby Baby Baby”. Much of the video is down shot at floor level — kind of like a Yasujiro Ozu film. Like the late, great Ozu-sama, the HKT48 kids gave me a great “Late Spring”. The crowd LOVES it!

The next one is “Tenshi no Shippo”. After a introduction by Aika Ota (to time 0:27 seconds), the trio performs this Akihabara Theater favorite.

Warning: Tails are shown in this dance video! (Denny eating too fast and rambling): I like the animated balloon background. The dancing is super cute, and it reminds me of CHAM. Sometimes these performance videos don’t have the greatest sound. It sounds a little like the girls are at the end of a tunnel. The 21-year old Ota-san is a little flirtatious here. Hmmm …

“Angel Tail” you say Love-tan? “MOE! MOE!!”

“Modestly, I love You?”.  Ha Ha, at first Google Translate had it as “Conservative I Love You”.  There are so many performance videos of this out there on so many shows. The dancing is always great. I love how the song mixes some English words in with the Japanese. I think I like the performance videos of this better than the official music video. While that official music video (linked here) is glorious color eye candy, that video is cut so quickly you can hardly get a look at your favorite idol when her cloud passes by. (Forget YOU – Rolling Stones!)

Oh, man, we need to get going. I could watch these all day. Let’s have one more cup of coffee, and watch one more. This is another cover of an older AKB48 song, but it is a perfect match for the younger HKT48. The sound is “muddled dome” because of the distance … but DID YOU SEE THOSE CUTE BOOTS AND HATS!?!?

Oh. wow I am so late … I don’t think I can finish my melon juice! The kids sing with the Japanese mascot Funassyi – who is actually a “Pear Fairy” not a melon.

(Plus, I have already been blamed for looking at melons when I wasn’t … but that is a rant for another meal).

Starlight: “Off on your way / Hit the open road / There is magic at your fingers / For the spirit ever lingers / Undemanding contact / In your happy solitude …”

You and me both Neil.

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Well, Lewis Carroll is probably doing SOMETHING in his grave …

lewis carroll

I am starting to like the HKT48 a lot!. HKT48 stands for “Hakata” 48, as the group performs in their own HKT48 Theater in the Hawks Town Mall located in Hakata ward of Fukuoka, Japan. When I think HKT however, I think GO HAWKSTOWN!  HKT48 is centered/managed by (the somewhat older) Rino Sashihara. Now, why Sashi is in Hawks Town is … ahem … another story, but let’s just say that I am glad that they put this Irishwoman in charge. (What, she’s an O’Hara, right?)

The HKT48 are a lot of fun, and they have a lot of youthful energy! They remind me of AKB48 when the original members were first starting out years ago. They are always so happy and enthusiastic when they do their dances in their pretty outfits. I super-love their single “12 Seconds”. There is a great music video for it, but for right now, let’s view a live performance in 1080 HD!

I think that 12 Byou is a cool, rockin’ power-pop song. I especially love the uniforms that they use for the MV and for this dance. Haruka Kodama is amazingly pretty … and did you see those CUTE SOCKS?

You are killing me with those socks Haruppi!

I hope yourtube does not remove it, because I want to watch this PV all summer. Just in case, I downloaded the MP4 and played it on my PS3 USB, where it looks PDQ on the IT.

hkt48 on tokyo idol

The more I watch HKT48, the more I like them! I also like some of those “kick” moves that they put into the dance. See time 2:00 — I actually make those same knee-kicks like that whenever my leg goes to sleep, or if I have a really bad “Charley Horse“! Thanks, young ladies, for showing me how to stay limber.

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Now for the music video: The HKT48 girls go “down the rabbit hole” and become part of Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is a lot of fun, and the sets look great. Unfortunately YouTube only has the “preview” version of the official MV, but you can find the full version out there if you know where to look.

I was able to find it on Jpopsuki website, but you have to wait a long time for it to load. Watch in a new window on Jpopsuki linked here.

Alternatively you could watch it in a new window on Voz48.com linked here. Much less loading time.  What a Lolita-styled beauty is the “Alice” here!

1 down the rabbit hole

If all else fails, you can go with YouTube, but the company will only let me show you the preview. Dag-nabbit wabbit, it still sounds and looks so inspiring I’m interested in both the fine literature AND the pretty skirts!

The “Alice in Wonderland” theme here gives rise to the speculative question:

Was noted British author Lewis Carroll a pedophile? (Note: “Lewis Carroll” was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.) It is commonly known that the author based the “Alice” in his books on Alice Liddell, his neighbor, and the daughter of his church leader. It is well documented that he had a friendly relationship with Alice and her family, however the extent of their relationship has given rise to some speculation. (Link here.)

Denny turns his bar stool to face the reader: Look, regarding these famous writers and your English majors, scholarly professors and the like — they all go one of two ways: Either they are 1) a total “fruit salad” and thus are harmless to women, or 2) they are lecherous serial womanizers that think they are above common decency.  … but I digress.

Furthermore, a British documentary produced earlier this year investigates the relationship between Carroll, Alice and her other young sisters. They conclude that although Carroll was obsessed with the young girl, he was too “repressed” by his religion and conscience to act upon it. There is evidence that he took photographs of Alice and her sisters, but they were NOT sexualized images. Researchers uncovered an old photograph of Carroll and Alice in an embrace however. I will NOT show that photograph here, but it is available on a Pinterest page linked here. It is argued that the photo has been faked in order to diminish the author. There is no evidence that the late Mr. Dodgson ever had an inappropriate relationship with any child.

Ok, that being said, I think that Lewis Carroll would have approved of HKT48 and how they bring his concepts to life! I think he would also enjoy these performances.  Here is another PV of the “12 seconds” single: Enjoy the silky pastel colors version in 1080 HD!

Before I go, here is a rockin’ instrumental version with guitar by YouTube user Arif Hadianto.

“Party on Garth!!!” 

Starlight: You would have traveled 2,232,000 miles if you were going at the speed of light!

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What? You say you’re going to open a can of “WHOOP ASS”?

can of paruru

Well … You might open your can of “whoop ass” but I am going to beat you down when I open my can of “Paruru”!!!

Asahi soft drink corporation has released new promotional commercials for their product line of “WONDA” coffee featuring AKB48!  WONDA promotional campaign spokes-idols are AKB48 members Haruka Shimazaki (島崎遥香), Mayu Watanabe (渡辺麻友), Minami Takahashi (高橋みなみ), Yuki Kashiwagi (柏木由紀) and Yui Yokoyama (横山由依).

They are pretty cute “Japan-is-crazy-type-commercials” which we all know and love. (But nothing as crazy as the music video at the end of the post.)

I actually liked the older WONDA cans when they had the photos of the members on the cans. Then, you could really “open up a can of Paruru”!

paruru on a can

I’m gonna open me a can of Shimazaki-san !!!

Still, I would like to have the promotional poster!

wonder-2015-poster-02

You can see more commercials — one featuring each member for each day of the week — at the post by AKB48-Daily linked here.

Oh, and these commercial themes are also going to be worked into a new AKb48 music video.  Here is the “short version”. The record company does not trust me with the long version. It is still 1:30 of funny.

Starlight: From the Sun to Neptune. Not all that long this time!

ZOOEY-CHAN IS PREGGARS !!!

She and Him_Brian

No … Matt is NOT the father, silly. Ms. Deschanel-sama and her fiancé, producer Jacob Pechenik, announced in January that they were expecting a child together.  Looks like she is “beginning to show” here in this special music video.  She and Him are in the studio to back up rock legend Brain Wilson. Mr. Wilson has a great new record out. Brian of course, is one of Zooey’s heroes. Zooey-chan has always been very comfortable in a 1960’s genre. You can hear a little Beach Boys in the songs she writes!

Brian looks good… looks good … I am hopeful.

Um … I don’t look that burnt out do I? Be honest with me!

There is also a very cute lyric video here. Retro-hip cool, as you might expect from these three.

More on Zooey’s pregnancy diet linked here.

I hope Zooey will take it easy this summer. I hope that she works LESS on the TV show and MORE on writing her songs.  Sit down there girl and write me a new Volume Number of Deschanel-penned songs.

Starlight: Five more months until September.

“To the Devil, drink a toast…”

pirate_flag_wallpaper

Yes, it was also difficult for me to get past that lyric …

Hopefully, I can find redemption by the end of my post. This week I would like to share some swashbuckling excitement from another chapter of “Denny-Lived-Through-It-Music-History!”

Emerson Lake and Palmer were one of the greatest “Progressive Rock” groups of the 1970s.  The song “Pirates” has always been one of my favorites.  The track is from their album “Works Vol.1”. This critically-acclaimed record was actually a significant departure from their previous hard rock/synthesizer work.  They used a full orchestra for some songs, and much of the double-album had a “classical music” sound and feel to it.

I think that the song holds up well.  In fact, the music is often “pirated” in many TV shows and movie soundtracks.  “HEY! – that music is from Pirates”  … It never surprises me to hear excerpts from it. I hope that Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer and Peter Sinfield receive royalties.

Who’ll make his mark / The captain cried
To the devil drink a toast / We’ll glut the hold
With cups of gold / And we’ll feed the sea with ghosts
I see your hunger for a fortune / Could be better
Served beneath my flag / If you’ve the stomach
For a broadside / Come aboard my pretty boys …

The brilliant lyrics are by Peter Sinfield, British poet, and occasional songwriting partner with Greg Lake. These full lyrics (linked here in a new window) are good at describing what pirates were actually like in history.

Six days off the Cuban coast, / When a sail ahead they spied
“A galleon of the treasure fleet” / The mizzen lookout cried
Closer to the wind my boys / The mad eyed captain roared,
For every man that’s alive tonight / Will be hauling gold aboard …

“Spare us” the galleon begged / But mercy’s face had fled
Blood ran from the screaming souls / The cutlass harvested
Driven to the quarter deck / The last survivor fell
She’s ours my boys / The captain grinned
And no one left to tell …

So brilliant. Such imagery and colorful language! You can really feel the sea air, the tense fighting, the heaving ship, the merciless killing

The captain rose from a silk divan / With a pistol in his fist
And shot the lock from an iron box / And a blood red ruby kissed
I give you jewelry of turquoise / A crucifix of solid gold
One hundred thousand silver pieces / It is just as I foretold
You, you see there before you / Everything you’ve ever dreamed

If you only know what you see in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” you might think that pirates were harmless flakes or fruits (e.g. Johnny Depp).  Of course real pirates drunk toasts to the Devil … they were leaving their Christian life behind.

Anchored in an indigo moonlit bay / Gold eyed ’round fires
The sea thieves lay / Morning, white shells
And a pipe of clay / As the wind filled their footprints
They were far, far away …

The first video features famous scenes from pirate movies, and mixed in with live performances of ELP during the “Works Volume #1” tour. The one below plays and shows only the lyrics.  Such great DRIVING music!

I always thought that this song was great music for a road trip and  highway driving! … but you are not driving right now, are you, my pretty boys? I can remember seeing ELP live on the Works tour during the summer of 1977. Oh it was a great experience. The legal drinking age in my state was 18 back then, so there was plenty of rum (actually 3.2 beer) on the trip. My friend had a black 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass (Like the pirate sword, get it?). He tied a black pirate flag to the antenna so it snapped in the breeze (“closer to the wind my boys” ) as we drove westward on USA 80.

oldscutlasssupreme1976black

I was very much looking forward to seeing ELP perform their great new album live with a full orchestra … however the group ran out of money to pay the orchestra just two dates prior to the show I saw. They had to drop the orchestra and performed as a three piece again.

I like how the music video had scenes from the orchestral performances. Darn it.  It was still a great show. We had tickets right on the floor of the arena, only a few rows back from the stage. I was surrounded by drunkards, thieves, thugs and assorted scoundrels – but I didn’t care – and you would have thought that I was a bit of a scoundrel back then anyway.

elp live 1977 dvd

It was one of the best rock concerts I ever attended.  ELP was still at their peak in those days, and the group played all their great AOR favorites.  It was an evening of great adventure. “Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash” indeed.

However, If you would like to see a good pirate movie without any of all that, and with a more Christian theme, then I suggest:

You may like these "Pirate Fruits" (no not Johnny Depp)

You may like these “Pirate Fruits” (no not Johnny Depp)

ELP received mixed reviews from the serious music critics. Some liked them because the group incorporated classical music elements. ELP recorded Aaron Copeland’s “Hoedown” and “Fanfare for the Common Man” as well as Mussorgsky’s “Great Gates of Kiev” and “Pictures at an Exhibition”, amongst others.

The group is mainly known for their one AM radio hit “Lucky Man”. Some critics panned them because they were so bombastic! So pompous — so full of sound and fury — but YOU COULD NOT DANCE TO IT! The group could switch from gentle Greg Lake love songs – “Still You Turn Me On”, etc, to Kieth Emerson’s long piano concertos, to synthesized percussion noise masquerading as classical music (Alberto Ginastera’s Concerto for Piano “Tocatta” )

Basically, whether or not you would like ELP comes down to one question: DO YOU LIKE GARGOYLES?

Whoop whoop weeeep woop woop ... bumm bumm bumm wooop weeep

Whoop whoop weeeep woop woop … bumm bumm bumm wooop weeep

No, the songs were not about gargoyles.  However, if you think that the gargoyles on gothic cathedrals are beautiful or at least interesting, then you may like ELP. I always thought that ELP were the musical equivalent of gargoyles.  Tarkus, for example.

Starlight: Has it been 38 light years?

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“Trying … hard … not … to … love … her … so … much …”

Milky and a kimono that needs to be worn

I hear you Captain Kirk.

I think that anyone would fall for her, Jim. Fanboy that I am — I will share some postings from YouTube that feature the Milky one — Miyuki Watanabe. 2014 was a big year for Watanabe-san, what with winning the Janken and getting her shot at solo work. The sound is a little flat here on this particular live TV performance, but I do not care. YouTube keeps removing all her recent performances, but I keep finding new ones! (They must be good because YouTube keeps removing them!) I’m loving this retro-style 80s-themed song Mr. Akimoto arranged for her. Enjoy this Milky heaven!

I’m so happy she has had a chance to shine solo recently.  She is one of my favorite members. I have always thought that she takes a good photo … However — pity the poor life of the professional photographer! What if you had this job of taking magazine photos of Miyuki Watanabe? Dull, boring, tedious!!! What would be more excruciating than watching Milky make all those poses … taking photos — over and over again. Feel free to waste eight minutes of your coffee break on her photo shoot. My favorite is the “frame” which begins at time 5:24.

On the subject of photos, this is a very cute photography video with SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH!  Here some of the other 48 family members are in a competition to take the best “Gravure” photo. See  the contest amongst between Team Nemousu (Yukirin) VS Team AKB48 Group Alliance (Oya, Kizaki, Kimoto, Shibata and Furuhata of SKE48).  I think that you will find it to be a cute and funny little photo shoot to watch … and, er …

and … oh … (Denny feels weak suddenly, has to sit down on park bench)

Oh … (Denny pauses), oh … (with slightly different vocal inflection).

Oh … Miyuki (Denny takes off cap, exhales, stares at horizon)

NMB48 / AKB48 member Miyuki Watanabe 2014

Miyuki Watanabe … or some type of illusion?

Oh … (Denny takes off glasses, slumps slightly into bench, considers landscape.)

(Exhales again) …Watanabe (Denny sits back up and continues.)

As one can see, the other members do a good job at their amateur-gravure.  There were 468 great shots from many different angles. (I was pulling for Yukirin to win.) I love this clip, because it not only shows how physically beautiful Miss Watanabe is, but this clip also captures the high quality of her character.  Her positive and friendly attitude is very attractive. She is a lovely young woman — inside as well as out.

With so many great photos, it was hard for Milky to choose!  Do you agree with the winning choice?

Please enjoy another Watanabe slide show (captions by Denny).

One last treat for Milky fans: This is a Panasonic commercial which includes a few old photos of Watanabe-san as a little girl! So adorable!

Starlight: varying lengths from the outer arm of the Milky Way.

PS: Inside joke aimed directly at you Bob!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

UPDATE: 01/07/2015: I added the following to this post yesterday. Some bloggers had already commented, so I want to be forthcoming that I have added content here:

Perhaps I could explain my “She is beautiful both inside and out” observation. If you view that clip of the other girls taking the photos, it strikes me how NICE they are to each other. Milky is humble, and respectful. The Japanese girls respect and encourage each other.

What if a similar thing were on an American TV show? The people involved would probably not be so nice. I flip through channels sometimes and see these vulgar American “reality” TV shows (Mtv, E!, etc). You can fill-in the names. These shows always have the chicks giving us — and each other — a lot of “attitude” and they would “dis” each other. There would be no sweetness. On these American shows, the ladies might look hot on the surface, but I estimate that their emotional juices would be very sour. Very nasty. Perhaps good looking on the outside, but very ugly on the inside.*

Not so with Milky and the others. Much more feminine, and full of goodness.

I have this problem where sometimes I have to put something else down (ex. American pop culture) in order to build up something that I like (ex. Japan pop culture). I don’t want to do that. Sorry about that, but I see no comparison (although I know that this is just one example).

*Just another reason why I have given up on American pop culture.

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