Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Songwriters’

“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have”

“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have …”

That’s right Mariya! Although my blogging pace has slowed down the past couple of years, I have noticed from my click counter that “Denny Sinnoh’s Akihabara Starlight” is now up to close to a HALF-MILLION reads!!! It should go over 500,000 this weekend. Look to my sidebar to the right under “blog stats”. See if YOUR CLICK is the one that pushes me over 500 K!

Thank you WordPress readers! Of course some bloggers have millions of reads, but I am happy whith what I have counted here, thus I want to share this song. At my “day job” of processing agricultural chemical request orders, I sometimes have to write up technical reports. These tech papers are only read by about maybe five people or so. I have to feel good that my writing has been seen by half-a-million humans and their bot minions. Special Thanks to YT user Artzie Music for sharing this song.

“Shiawase no Monosashi” Music, lyrics and vocals by Mariya Takeuchi

LYRICS:

(One, two, three & four)

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

 

ganbari sugiru jibun ni tsukarete futo nakete kita mayonaka no basu ruumu de

mada te ni shita koto no nai shiawase ga dokoka ni aru ki ga shite aseru no wa toshi no sei?

hitori tanoshiku ikite kita no nani hitotsu kuyande nai kedo

kumotta kagami no you ni ashita ga mienai

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

jiyuu to kodoku wa futatsu de setto kimama na hodo sabishisa mo tsuite kuru

(Don’t you know? Don’t you know?)

tonari no shibafu ga aoku mietara kono niwa ni hana o uereba ii

 

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

 

naimo no nedari shinagara minna mayotte ikiteru otona ni natte kara mo

ashimoto ni saita kirei na hana ni kizuku dake de hito wa ureshii kimochi ni nareru noni

itsuka mune no oku ni kakaeta jirenma no meiro nukereba

hontouni daiji na mono shiru hi ga kuru darou

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

donna michi o eranda toshite mo nayami no kazu onaji dake tsuite kuru

(You can choose You can choose)

watashi ga kimeru watashi no puraioriti nani o totte nani o akirameru no

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

shiawase no kijun hakaru monosashi jibun no kokoro no naka ni aru no sa

You can find You can find

tarinai mono kazoeru kurai nara tariteru mono kazoete goran yo!

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

 

Count what you have now

Don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

———————————————————————————————————

REFERENCE:

https://www.reddit.com/r/japanesemusic/comments/9kr88x/%E7%AB%B9%E5%86%85%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A%E3%82%84_%E5%B9%B8%E3%81%9B%E3%81%AE%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%95%E3%81%97_mariya_takeuchi_shiawase_no/

Starlight: Mariya owns it – go buy your own copy!!!

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My favorite Mr. Children song — “HANABI” — covered by my favorite children!

Mr. Children or “Misu-Chiru” is one of the most popular rock groups in Japanese pop music history. Today I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE Misutā Chirudoren song called HANABI.

There are a number of good live performances of the song on YouTube. It was hard to choose just one to share,  but I settled on this one from late 2017. It does beg the question, how is it Thanksgiving, when the performance is in Japan?

The song was written by Kazutoshi Sakurai. It is from their great 2008 album called Supermarket Fantasy* .

* … and I thought I was the only one who had this grocery store fantasy!

Mr. Children’s web site is linked here if you want to learn more about the band, the albums, upcoming tours and so on. My WordPress Jpop mentor, Morningberryz48, had written a great article about the band — linked here.  Another of her articles is linked here. Lyrics and English translation are linked here.

After I viewed a few of their live performances, I came across some interesting covers of the song. Some of the covers were by professional singers. Others are karaoke-like. Let me share some of the pretty ones. Each cover adds a little bit more to an appreciation of the song. I’m sure you will be drawn in the same way I was. Which one do you like best?

This is a very sweet and beautiful cover, by the very sweet and beautiful Minami Sakuma, from her YouTube Channel.

This next cover by the YouTube duo  kobasolo This cover includes the lyrics in Romanji and an English translation. Make sure to have your CC on!

Nice job kids!

More? “mou ikkai … mou ikkai!” …There are so many good, heartfelt covers of this wonderful song out there, but I think this next one is my favorite cover:

This is by Hitomi Sano. See and hear more of her on her YouTube Channel. I love how she sings it while playing solo piano. She sings it with the perfect blend of LOVE and URGENCY. Her hair, her lovely face, give the appearance of windswept emotions. Like the “Hanabi” or “Fireworks” which are ephemeral. They are a joy, but they are bittersweet because although they are a climax, they cannot last. We wonder about our own imperfect perceptions. Are we wrong for feeling this way? We deal, and we make our way … but I see that I have digressed.

There are too many to share here, but I think that this next one will be popular with anime fans.

Mari Channel, another YouTube user, has presented this interesting, amusing and passionate music video as Kashiko Mari. The playback works best if you enable your CC , as you get the sing-along Japanese lyrics, plus the English translation. True, you are watching an animated sprite, but the little cartoon lady really BRINGS IT! Note her very emotional face, mouth and hand gestures.

Thank You Kashiko! Of course you can find other covers through the suggested links on YT. If you need just “one more time — one more time –“

Just for you, Bob: The guitar chords for the song are linked here

Thank you YouTube user Ryuzo.

Starlight: It took nine years for “Hanabi” to reach my world. It bounced around in my atmosphere for a while, until I could perceive it.

“… 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 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!  

Image

“Spanish Was Her Loving Tongue …”

tt mexicanpin-up

“… but She she never spoke Spanish to me …”

texas tornados cd cover thanks bob

I want to share a great song from 1990, by a very good –but not well known — Texas-Mexican group the Texas Tornados.

The members were Freddy FenderFlaco JiménezAugie Meyers, and Doug Sahm (wiki links there).  I love this song. The original music and lyrics were by Texas singer-songwriter Butch Hancok. Please enjoy the accordion, the simplicity, the beauty, the mysticism, and my forlorn regrets of a lost love from long ago …

I met her in old Mexico
She would live in sad and young
This smokey room where no one could see
Her favorite poets all agree
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me

She was born in Monterrey
And all the Christmas songs were sung
Padres knew what she would grow up to be
Saints and sinners all agree
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me

Like a lion screaming in the jungle low
She’d never fool with things she couldn’t see
She spoke to all the shadows in her bungalow
But she never spoke Spanish to me

She said if you’re from Texas, so
Where’s your boots and where’s your gun
Well, I got guns that no one can see
Well, after that we both agreed
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me
Well, she never spoke Spanish to me

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

——————————–

When I first hear this, I thought that the part about the lady “speaking Spanish” was a metaphor about how she would … ahem … moan words in Spanish when she was in the “moment’ … ah … if you know what I mean. If she was not just faking, and … um … er … having a REAL ONE, she would let loose in Spanish … at least according to what the other “poets” claimed.

The poor guy, he never got to hear her speak Spanish. She could never truly love him.

I like the Tex-Mex-Native mystical aspects of that line “She spoke to all the shadows in her bungalow” but never to him.  On the surface it may seem like a simple song, yet it does have its mystical qualities.

Like the protagonist in the song, I also feel that “I got guns that no one can see” — even if I do not look the part of the Texan.

Starlight: My amigo Roberto — “Ella Tiene Dos Sillas Grande!” — Los Gatos de Jacobs gave me this great record (CD) for my Birthday in 1990.  Buenos Nachos Bob!

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