Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘The Beatles’

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!

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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!

Pokémon Nicknames: Volbeat and Illumise

4977352.gross

Volbeat (in Japanese: バルビート  “Barubeat”) is the “Firefly Pokémon”. It is a BUG-type. It does not evolve, and so far there is no Mega-evolutionary form. All Volbeats are male.

volbeat plastic toy

You can breed it with a Ditto, to produce an egg that will either hatch as a Volbeat if it is male, or an Illumise if the hatchling is female.

Volbeat egg

Illumise (in Japanese: イルミーゼ  “Illumise”) is also a Bug-type, also is a “Firefly Pokémon” and also does not evolve from or into any form.

illumisecosplay1

I wonder if she knows TM 70?

All are female, and can be bred with either a Ditto or a Volbeat. Eggs would contain either Illumise or Volbeat.

illumise_and_volbeat_by_francescamisa-d4u35tl

I like to name Volbeat after members of the Beatles. I used to use combined names, like John-Paul or George-Ringo, but then I just gave them the individual names of the Beatles. “John”, “Paul”, etc.

I even used “Pete Best” as he was the original Beatles drummer. Did you know that there was another Beatles member — “Stu”? Stuart Sutcliff was one of the original Beatles, and was a big influence on John and Paul until his untimely death.

pauljohngeorgestuartpete

Paul, John, George, Stu and Pete.

I have also named Volbeat “Down Beat” or “Downbeat” after the Jazz musical style. I also like “Fahrvernugen” – after “Fahrvergnügen” the slogan for Volkswagen automobiles, but I would have to misspell it due to the 12 letter limit. Of course you can just name it “VW” or “V.W. Beetle”. There is also a Danish heavy-metal group called Volbeat, so if you are a Euro-metal fan, you could name Volbeat after one of their songs. “EnglishBeat” and “Bronski Beat” are 1980s new wave music examples.

Another possible name for this Beetle is “The Love Bug” or “Herbie” after the famous Disney movie. The name “Ocho” would be subtle play on Herbie’s racing number.

Herbies headlights

Herbie’s headlights as seen in the 2005 remake with Lindsay Lohan.

Illumise —  by contrast — is gorgeous. She has these most amazing eyes. This Firefly is a nocturnal beauty. I have used the name “NightLight“. You could name Illumise after any pretty girl with enchanting eyes. “Moon-in-June” or “Moon-Bug” may be OK. “Bedroom Eyes” anyone?

wasa eyes

Guess who!

It probably will not surprise you, but I named one “Iwasa Misaki” after the world’s most beautiful woman … er … I mean … um … er … second only to my wife … um … is what I meant to say. I named another one “Wasamin” and used the little heart symbols as part of the name. I leveled little, bright-eyed Wasamin up to Level 100 in a Luxury Ball, and also super-trained her.

wasa IMG_0167

What is the name for your favorite firefly? Please comment!

illumise.cosplay2

Use TM70 “Flash” ! … really, I won’t mind.

Maybe I should have named this night-lightning bug something like “Headlights” or “Highbeams” – after, well, you know.

References: Bulbapedia and Serebi.net. … and, although he hates you, you may find other example names on the Name-Rater’s website.

“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!  

They say it’s your EARTH DAY!!!

big_gaia_image_for_earth_day

Dear Gaia,

Happy “Earth Day” to Ya … I think that The Beatles said it best — take it away boys:

The “Gaia hypothesis” proposes that all living things (plants, animals, microbes, us, etc.) interact with all the non-living parts of Earth (rocks, water, gasses, etc.) to form a self-regulating complex system which maintains the conditions for life on the planet.  We are all parts of the same whole being!

Thus, we are the “cells” of one very large and complex organism – a being – just the same way that you and I consider ourselves to be a single being. For example green plants act as the “lungs” of our Earth.  You and I may be like the red blood cells in the circulatory system, and “The Kardashians”* are like the fecal bacteria in the gut.

Gaia theory can be extrapolated to say that planet Earth is not just LIKE an organism, our planet IS an organism!!!   

So Happy Birthday to Gaia! They say it’s your Earthday!

My vision of Gaia Goddess may actually be a little sexier than that envisioned by Environmental Scientist James Lovelock

* Insert your least favorite pop culture phenom here (does not have to be watching the Kardashians).

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