Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Pop Music’

Hanako Oku and Pokémon Ultra Sun

A l o l a   C o u s i n s !

I am currently playing Pokémon Ultra Sun as a character named “Hanako”. The name is based on one of my favorite recording artists Hanako Oku! Don’t worry — Denny from Sinnoh will appear in Pokémon Ultra Moon. When I buy a new game I usually like to differentiate the trainer character. This also helps in keeping track of Pokémon in the Pokémon Bank.

I thought it would be cute to play as “Hanako” to honor Ms. Oku-san.

I tried to style her in the way she looked when her music career was rising in the 2005-20011 period. She often wore boyish clothes — usually jeans and a t-shirt. Of curse, the delightful Ms. Oku is more sophisticated in her stage attire now, but I liked her early period. I used her short brownish bobbed haircut with bangs. I chose red frame glasses after Ms. Oku’s trademark red spectacles. I think that she would like the Pickachu t-shirt I gave her, and her boots are closest to what she wore in her early period. I also named her Festival Plaza “Oku University”.

I chose Rowlet as her starter Pokémon. It turned out to be a female Rowlet, so I named her “Olympia” after the forested mountain region in the Pacific Northwest.  A lot of owls live there. I have decided not to let Olympia evolve, at least not until the main story is finished. She is just too cute.

Hanako received the special event Pokémon Rockruff which is the only one which could be evolved into the special “Dusk form” Lycanroc. Little Olympia could sometimes be overwhelmed by higher-level Pokémon, so I gave her a strong wolf to defend her. I named the puppy/wolf “Roofies” after my previous post on Lycanroc linked here.

A little off-topic: I was very proud to see that my Lycanroc post gained 13,000 views! That one post gained nearly 7,000 reads on just November 17, 2017 — which was my most viewed day ever! It seems a lot of people were looking for nicknames for event Lycanroc on the Ultra Sun-Moon release date!

Other members of the team include a Yungoos I named “RikiTikiTavi” after the mongoose in the classic Rudyard Kipling story. Hanako had previously caught other Yungoos named “Youngblood” and “TRUMP2016“. I am also not letting little Riki evolve. It is just too cute, the little biter. He holds a Normal Z-Crystal for extra power.

Hanako’s Charjabug is named “EmergencyUse” except that the electric bug is often used. She never has to worry about her batteries running out. Her bug cannot evolve however, until it encounters the special magnetic field present in the Vast Poni Canyon or on Blush Mountain.  It is a slow bug, so it carries a Quick Claw.

Her Wishiwashi is named “Smells Fishy“. It is good to be skeptical on an adventure. Sometimes things do not appear as they seem. I can suggest many more Wishiwashi names from my old fish post linked here. It carries a Waterium-Z.

I wanted Hanako to have Alola-only Pokémon, and as it turns out, many are small-less powerful ones which still need to evolve. Her Comfey does not evolve. She caught one female Comfey named “Princess Lei” after the Star Wars character, but named another one “Lei Lady Lei after the Bob Dylan song linked here.

Regarding songs, which Hanako Oku song might be playful enough for a Pokémon adventure? Most Hanako Oku songs are emotional piano ballads dealing with unrequited love — or “break up songs” as is sometimes described on American radio. I thought that her song “Takoyaki” sounded playful enough. I could see the young trainer prancing through the tall grass singing this one.

“Takoyaki” is the name of a Japanese snack made like a wheat dumpling, but containing OCTOPUS!  If little Hanako catches an Octillary, guess what she will name it?

Hanako’s Rotom Dex is well meaning, but often questions his existence and always wants to be reassured. Likewise, I think that my Pokémon journey is coming to an end. I first started playing Pokémon with my son when he was in second grade. We always bought every new game on release day. He would get one version (Diamond) and  I would take the other (Pear). We did this all the way through Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I noticed that he had less enthusiasm for Pokémon these days. He is very much more into Fire Emblem these days. He still wants the new Pokémon, but mainly just rushes through the story to beat the champion. I on the other hand was always diligent about filling the Pokédex.(“Denny” finally filled the National ‘Dex in Pokémon Y, including all the event Pokémon.) My son is not at all thrilled about Ultra Moon, even though this is probably THE BEST GAME IN THE SERIES.

So … without a kid interested, should I continue to play Pokemon games? … at my age? … with my responsibilities? I still enjoy writing “Pokémon Nicknames” as the series is less so about naming Pokémon, and more about being a jumping off point to discuss unrelated aspects of Popular Culture.

I am hoping that she will finish her adventure. Are you interested in what she will name her Alolan Pokémon? Please comment!

Starlight: Looking back through the telescope at 2010. 

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Growing up with Tsuri Bit: A thousand days of happiness.

Thanks for the photo, girls. Please make it out to “Uncle Denny” and write: “Thank you for all your kind advice and aged wisdom!”

A teenage girl can do a lot of growing up in 1000 days. They can make the journey from awkward teen to sophisticated young woman. About three years ago (a thousand days ago?), I discovered the Japanese Idol group Tsuri Bit. The name loosely translates as “fishing lure”. No, not “bait” mind you! (Denny looks at reader sternly.) The first music video of theirs I watched was “Odoroyo Fish” (踊ろよ、フィッシュ “Odoroyo Fisshu” or “Let’s Dance Fish” ) This fun song was a hit for Japanese singer Tatsurō Yamashita in 1987. The Tsuri Bit girls update it – and “idol” it up. They capture the spirit of the song.  They retain the original’s warmth, charm and FUN! They make it their own. Lyrics are linked here. Please SING with me!

I always wanted to be an Ichthyologist!

This might be one of the the cutest Idol videos I have ever seen — certainly the girls could not be any cuter. I used to play this one on my iphone in the grocery store. You should have seen me there in Produce, through the Dairy and Seafood isles — headphones on — movin’ and grovin’.. Imagine me spinning my cart around almost like I was dancing with it! I was trying to just  hum quietly to myself, but I probably let out a few audible sounds  … Odoroyo FISH! … O-do-ro-yo BAY-BEE … Ha. The other shoppers would think I was crazy if anyone would notice. The song starts about 59 seconds into this YT linked video from 2014. Enjoy in 1080 HD.

From there you can find links to many of their videos. KISSPOINT Records has recovered from that “Ban in America” thing. Here is an idol group you can enjoy. Tsuri Bit’s shtick is that they are the “Fishing Idols”. They have made several songs and videos about going fishing. In fact, Tsuri Bit has meet-and-greet events with fans that are FISHING TRIPS! If AKB48 are “the idols you can meet” then Tsuri Bit are “the idols you can go fishing with“!

“Scales of Clouds and Orion”

I can relate a lot to this next music video, even though I was not liking the actual song all that much at first. Sometimes with music videos I like the song but not the video, or vice versa. The Tsuri Bit girls must have been thinking about me in this next video from 2015. This early 2015 MV is about a sad “Salaryman” who is stuck in a dead-end job that he hates — just like me! He is berated by bosses — just like me!  He is not respected by coworkers or clients — just like me!.  He is behind on the technology and frustrated, he’s slow and fat and … just … like … uh … heh … heh ….. oh. (Denny slumps) Dang, this guy even LOOKS like me.

He might have to work for A-holes, but Tsuri Bit believe in him.

The good news that the Tsuri Bit girls are there wearing cute cheerleader outfits.  (I wonder though if they are there only in his imagination.) The girls remind him of all things that are good in this world. The things worth fighting for!  They cheer him up, he gets motivated, goes back to his job, applies that fat ass to work … and he succeeds! All it took was the cuteness and encouragement of his favorite idols. Tsuri Bit are so wholesome and good, it is like they have magical girl powers. The song itself?  Well, it had to grow on me — but look how much the girls have grown.

This next one is my FAVORITE Tsuri Bit music video. I LOVE this power-pop song.  Here they are in late 2015, perfecting their idol moves on the beach.

Several months later, the girls are on a beach vacation again. This next MV reminds me of the Beatles’ movie “Help” where the fab four all live together in the same house. There is an amusing part near the start of this video where the girls are sorting through their beachwear. They are trying to gauge which swimsuit top belongs to whom.  Since the last video, it looks like Mizuki (the 19 year old) grew some BOOBIES! Somebody needs a bigger suit. The sweet little fish-scientists have a lot of fun singing, dancing and just idol-ing on the beach.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny, you are a dirty old man.”

To that I say “OH YEAH … well is that YOUR NOSE, or are you eating a TOMATO?” Then I would start throwing punches.  Uh .. Ok … er ..  maybe I should take the high road and try to explain. The Japanese Idol culture/subculture is a very difficult concept for outsiders to grock.

Idol culture offends many (stupid, American) women because Japanese Idols start out so young — and that their audience includes many middle-aged businessmen. Despite what the hags think, the middle aged fans are NOT perverts. Look, an idol show is pure entertainment. Just like that Salaryman in the video above —  Japanese men have to work many long hours for relatively pay. Being a fan, and/or going to an idol show is pure escapism. It is fun to support and cheer for your favorite idols.

That is how wota feel about their Idols. When idoling is done correctly, it becomes pure happiness. Happiness which transcends age, ethnicity and gender.  They remind us that there really can be something pure in this harsh universe … like at my work.

Older male fans are cheering the girls on, not lusting after them — Jesus.  Look, if all someone wanted to do was “look at young girls” then there would be a lot of other ways to do that.  Dirty old men, are not buying singing-and-dancing DVDs. Wota LOVE our idols because they bring HAPPINESS with their presence. There may be some perverts among the fans, but they are not the norm. Just like the pundits on the CHH news channel who are always saying that “not ALL Syrian refugees are psychotic terrorists and rapists.” Well … and … OK, maybe that’s not a very good example.

I once had an Internet feud with an anti-AKB hag. She said on her blog that wota are bad people. What was surprising was that she followed various homoerotic Korean boy-bands! So it is OK for a bitter, dried-up, middle-aged hag to follow boy idols, but a middle-aged man cannot follow idol groups? Talk about your hag privilege.

Next video — here the girls are in Shibuya — growing up, and heading out on their own. They look very sophisticated and mature in the outfits they wear here.  The music is upbeat, jazzy and sophisticated. Their concerns are that of an adult, but they can still go for a good ice cream sundae.

(Denny’s reverie:) So … it looks like my girls grew up and turned out all right. Soon they will be off to college and living on their own.  I will worry about them, but I really shouldn’t worry about them. They are fine young women now. Pure of heart and of high moral character. If aliens visited Earth and asked me to show them the best part of humanity, I would lead then to that karaoke party with Tsuri Bit. Pretty idols and ice cream.

If you want to learn more about this idol group, the official Tsuri Bit website (in Japanese) is linked hereA great fan site IN ENGLISH is linked here. The site has a lot of useful statistical information about the girls — including which species of fish they would most want to catch. 

Starlight: A thousand days of happy.  Traveling at the speed of light, Tsuri Bit’s earliest broadcasts should now be nearing the Centauri system.

Imagine the alien boys living on a planetoid which orbits Beta Centauri. They are monitoring signals from space … and then receive this devastating cuteness:

Here is how I imagine the conversation.

Alien Boy 1: “Beezit — wabba wabba zoop beena beena!”

Alien Boy 2 “Shazzbat!!! wabba wabba zoop beena beena — hoo HOO!”

“… I’m certain as a lost dog … pondering a sign post…”

… Which is probably another way of being … not very certain?

Those words are a nice lyrical image from the song I would like to share today —  “I Want to Vanish” by Elvis Costello. The version provided here by a YouTube user is a clip from his special concert called “The Case for Song”.  Indeed it was a great VHS tape from the mid 1990s, however Netflix has the DVD if you are interested. Please let me know if you ever find it in a bargain bin.

The song is from his 1996 album “All This Useless Beauty” — one of my favorite records by him – (cough) — although this particular tune was NOT one of the ones which I liked on the album (The full album is linked here). I usually would skip this particular song. There were others — Distorted Angel, You Bowed Down and the title track which I liked a lot more.

EC 320px-ATUB_album_cover_large

The other day however, I caught the song, thought about it and … well … I finally got it. (Denny slaps head.) My friends know that I can be that oblivious, insensitive lout.

Notable here is how Costello’s (or McManus’) voice breaks at various points during the song. One of the enjoyable attributes about Elvis’ (i.e. Declan’s) many emotional songs is that “his voice always breaks at just the right time.”  Unfortunately, in the year’s following the this album, especially in the late 2000’s his voice started to become ALL BREAK. His recent records all sound terrible. His singing has gotten pretty bad, and the songwriting is just not there anymore*. I used to have a lot of respect for this washed-up, overly opinionated, fat bastard, but he has made it rather difficult in recent years.

… oh … Ahem … Yes, I can be an insensitive lout … but from where, and from who — did I learn that? Another coincidence — I actually owned the same polka-dot pattern shirt he wears here. Some amazing toss of the cosmic dice. Wait … I wonder if there is such a thing as a “cosmic” tossed salad? No matter … and yes, I have digressed, as per usual.

The studio version (linked here) is a little clearer, but I prefer the more emotive live performance above, mistakes and all.

If you like puzzling song lyrics, please enjoy “I Want to Vanish”

I want to vanish
This is my fondest wish
To go where I cannot be captured
Laid on a decorated dish
Even in splendor this curious fate
Is more than I care to surrender
Now it’s too late

Whether in wonder or indecent haste
You arrange the mirrors and the spools
To snare the rare and precious jewels
That were only made of paste

If you should stumble upon my last remark
I’m crying in the wilderness
I’m trying my best to make it dark
How can I tell you I’m rarer than most
I’m certain as a lost dog
Pondering a sign post

[Chorus]

I want to vanish
This is my last request
I’ve given you the awful truth
Now give me my rest

To leave on a positive note, here is a non-Costello version of his song sung live by what looks to be a high school band in this 2015 YT video.  This is a rather obscure song choice for cute teenage girls to sing.

Really odd.  I can verify that in the 1970s and 80s, being an Elvis Costello fan was a very effective girl repelent . Admittedly, not as foul of a girl repellent as being a Star Trek fan however. The girls participating here could not be any more endearing. I have to wonder how they were put up to it. Perhaps their music teacher was a Costello aficionado … or maybe they just lost a bet. At any rate … good work kids! Better you should bring the lyric sheet next time though.

————————————————————————————————–

* or perhaps I have just moved on to Hanako Oku to take care of me emotionally. She looks better in the glasses anyway.

ho glasses dark de7f00abf46a102b8f44db3c07e8f963

Starlight: Giving you “the awful truth” for a thousand days now. 

“… I just can’t contain, this feeling that remains …”

“There she goes …”

original version

Well I am feeling no pain. Last month I had to replace a body part which was no longer functioning as it should. Oh? … well, just a knee. So yes, I am part robot now. I am happy to report that my surgery was successful and my rehab is way-ahead of schedule. I will finally be able to start that Major League baseball career! I will be able to — not just chase after Sakura Miyawaki — I will be able to catch her as well.

sakura and haruka running zKH5Kik

I might need a few more weeks rehab before I can catch Harrupi however!

I owe it all to a certain lady. Am I rambling? It may be because of the medication. I was prescribed Oxicontin for my pain. I told my doctor “Pain pills —  no way – I can work through pain.” I never liked taking pain pills. In general I am anti-drug use, and I always thought these things were over-prescribed. Plus, I thought I would be able to work through the pain. Turns out I needed them.

… and Oh, it has been wonderful. One tablet relieves my pain. Two tablets are a party. Lady Oxi as I will call her, provides the relief I need as I am doing my rehab exercises, but there is one other unexpected benefit she provides. She makes me happy. I mean, er… the pills adjust my mood.

She makes me happy  — and I was not expecting that. How are you doing today? Have I told you how great you look these day?  I think that you are a really cool person. I feel great just being around a friend like you.

I want to share a great song with you today. The song is “There She Goes” by The La’s. The song is about a girl I guess, but it could just as well be about how I feel about Lady Oxi. When she touches me, there is a noticeable difference in sensation … there she is now …welcome back … it has been hours and I have been missing her terribly … no one does it for me like her …

Please enjoy the music video below for this addicting little song. Lyrics are linked here.

There was also a good cover version by the band Sixpence None The Richer. They also do a great version of the song (linked here), but the music video is terrible, and kills my mood.

Would you like to learn how to play it on guitar? Please enjoy this guitar tutorial video Bob (and everyone).

I must feel good, because I don’t mind this exercising. It has been great talking with you. You are a super, super person! You know I love you. Give me a hug before you go.

Starlight: Yikes! There are only 8 tablets left!

 

Denny’s top ten digits: Favorite members of the AKB48 family (pre-Senbatsu election).

half sakura 8b80d1e4664beaade6681d457363273c

I’m just counting Sakuratan.

The AKB48 election is ongoing, and the votes are being counted. I would not even attempt to PREDICT the results …  however I want to make my top picks of who I think SHOULD be ranked.

Several of my favorites have recently graduated, or have announced graduation. My oshi – Iwasa Misaki – left AKB for a solo career. Former-Favorite Members such as Miyuki Watanabe or Haruka Nakagawa have not officially graduated yet (as of this writing), but they are not in the running, so I will not consider them for my top-ten.  Members I love like like Aika Ota have also announced that they will not run this year, in order to support her teammates. Also, I have been a little out-of-the-loop in my fandom. The AKB legal department has blocked my usual sources of music videos and  information. There are some members I still like, but I’m not sure about their status. Please excuse my ignorance, if I missed something obvious.

Coming up with ten digits should be as easy as counting toes. Here goes …

Slide1

Ichi. Yuki Kashiwagi. Yukirin has always done everything right. Perhaps this will be her year to reach #1. She certainly deserves it. I think that after her next big solo concert tour this year, she will announce her graduation. I would like to see her go out on top.

Slide2

Ni. Mayu Watanabe. I was very happy when she was elected #1 a couple of years ago. I have always liked her solo songs, and she was so great in the WH7, and well … IS so great at everything.

Slide3

San. Sayaka Yamamoto. She’s beautiful – she’s sexy. The dark-haired beauty is so much more than a pretty face. She is a good singer, and it is enjoyable seeing her develop as a musician. Sayanee is an adept guitarist in everything from punk to folk. Could she play any Todd Rundgren?

Slide4

Yon. Sakura Miyawaki. I might rank the young goddess higher – but for the problem of where to put her. She will, of course, take the #1 position someday. Sakuratan is adorable in all dimensions of the multi-verse. Although SHE is flawless, I am disappointed that the AKB/HKT48 have not let her perform more solo songs. The recent B-side duet with Haruppi was a good step in the right direction.

Slide5

Go. Haruka Kodama. OK, you have got me. The young lady is strikingly beautiful and she makes me wish I had majored in podiatry. I try to keep my lust for her in check … but her modeling work is very, very good. I feel guilty about ranking a member so highly based more on looks rather than singing.  I can’t really judge Haruppi on singing-talents alone, because when I see her sing, it is usually part of a group effort. She was amazing in “Sayonara Surfer” last year however. More please.

The next few might be the “Are you still here” category. ? Ha Ha. No …

These are still my old favorites, but are interchangeable to some extent. I love all of them, but I don’t think that these would crack my top-five.

Slide6

Roku. Yui Yokoyama. I always jump to attention when commanded to by Yuihan. If there were more bosses like her I would not mind so much being “called on the carpet”.

Slide7

Nana. Haruna Kojima. Or is it “Nyan Nyan Kamen”? I’m still not sure about this marketing scheme. Why does the world’s most beautiful woman need a secret identity? Kojiharu – I would still recognize you, even if you were in your underwear!!!

Slide8

Hachi. Minami Minegishi. I think that Miichan said that this is her last election. She has been one of my favorites, ever since I discovered and started following AKB48 way back in in 2011. She looked like a baby then. She still looks like a baby, but this baby can still deliver the goods.

Slide9

Kyuu. Haruka Shimizaki.  Paruru will rise to meet any challenge. If the haters get to you, I’m here for you sweetie.

Slide10

Ju. Rino Sashihara. I do not rank her as high as many fans will, but I still love this Irishwoman. I may disagree with her, but she still has the legs to win any debate. I concede to you Sasshi.

Well, those are my 100 reasons. Certainly, all ten of these are deserving of being the #1 in AKB48. Argue with me in the comments.

Starlilight: Hmmmm … It looks like I will need more digits in order to get Jurina Matsui and Mako Kojima on my list …

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!

“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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