Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘YouTube’

“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!  

Hanako Oku footage resurfaces …

hanako oku as mouse

Guest Mouse: Oku Hanako

I was happy that a YouTube user re-posted this interesting performance by a young Hanako Oku!

Hanako Oku makes a cameo appearance on this (unknown) Japanese Television show from several years ago. Although I do not understand much of what is said, it is still fun to watch. She plays some snippets of her commercial jingles and other songs, then laughs and jokes with the other two performers.

Notable:

  1. Well, Hanako Oku dressed as a mouse.
  2. Hanako Oku wearing a SKIRT. Note that because she is a LADY MOUSE she is wearing a mini-skirt. Only time I have ever seen her in one (… at least a skirt that short)!

I had seen this a long time ago, when I was first falling in like with HO songs. It was taken off — and I had to wonder why. What possible harm was there to the other performers, their companies or their lawyers?  I have to credit YouTube user サバイデサバイ for recently posting several PRICELESS videos of early Hanako Oku performances. There are several  rare live clips which show Hanako Oku early in her career. Thank you sir (or ‘mam) … I bow respectfully to you. You are making it very enjoyable to participate in Hanako Oku’s 10 year anniversary! (I hope I don’t get them in trouble by posting this.)

Just enjoy it for now, all Hanako Oku fans … all three of us in North America, I guess. If you are not a fan, you don’t know how much we enjoys clips like this. She endears herself to us. To us, it is instant joy to see The Little Great One. I feel like buying her records all over again.

Starlight: I do not have a date of origin … does anyone know?

Image

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.

Hanako Oku and the Record Industry Weasels

How long is this one going to last?

As I wrote in my previous post … I have a special talent I had no idea that I had! When I share a YouTube video on my Pinterest pages or on WordPress, etc. it gets taken down right away by “Record Industry Weasels” — sometimes in less than an hour.

I am a YouTube video sharing jinx!

Yes, I know what you will reply, “Denny, these things are always getting taken down due to copywrong violations”.  True they often do. However I have shared videos originally POSTED WAY BACK IN 2007 which as soon as I shared them — GET TAKEN DOWN.

This has been especially true of so many of the Hanako Oku videos I loved. My YouTube playlist for her is now all grey boxes.

For example … There was this one video where she was on a TV talk show early in her career (about 2008). She is wearing her famous Ford Mustang jacket on this show – I do not know what the name was – but the comedic host looked exactly like a Japanese Soupy Sales. She is talking to him, joking and laughing uncontrollably, covering her face the way Japanese women do when they laugh, and completely endearing herself to me. She then plays “Kaette Oide”, which the host also tries to sing along with. There are a lot of great, funny moments. The RIW took it down to their Copywrongs. NOW THIS WONDERFUL MOMENT IS GONE FOREVER!!!

WHO THE HELL WAS THIS VIDEO CLIP HURTING?  What, someone will not buy Kaette Oide  because they can just watch a little bit of it on the clip? The TV station was getting a good plug as well.  Did they just not want it shown because “Dammit we own it“. 

Record Industry Weasels want to protect their property of course, but they can go too far. If I could talk to those weasels in the legal department at PonyCanyon Records I might say this:

Look, I found out how much I like Hanako Oku by watching her various video performances on YouTube. I loved her music, so I sent for and bought all of her CDs from Japan! Had I not seen these videos – which have now been taken down – I probably would not have been inspired to purchase all of her CDs. (“…You idiots”, I might add if I were face-to-face with the weasels .)

Ok, if the studio song is removed, that is one thing I understand – but not the unique TV appearances and shopping mall concerts. So, by removing these unique videos – which are basically ads for your product anyway – you may be making LESS money. Weasels, please think again.  Maybe someone wants to compile a history of Hanako Oku. These hard to find videos are a unique way to appreciate the artists.

I have now lost so many adorable Hanako Oku videos where she is creating a unique performance, and is just being herself, and …. AAARRRGHHH … I’m an idiot.

I know, you readers are saying — I should have downloaded those videos as soon as they were posted. You are correct, I should have snagged them. My thinking was that since the videos had been there for years that they would be there next week when I have time to do it – then AAARRRGGHH.

Now look, I thought that rock stars (at least from my generation) expected music to be wild and free and to really stick it to big business and “the Man” who keeps us down.  Today’s rock stars and their Record Industry Weasels are way too hypocritical. Music companies sell music which glorify independence and revolution, yet get very territorial if the French revolutionaries actually show up at their Bastille.

I will not criticize Miss Oku. I am sure that she does not want her music stolen. However, I have to believe that she would come to understand that these “promotional videos” of her appearances  on TV shows and the like, are actually good for driving up sales, because they increase interest in the artist. Even grainy out-of-focus fan cams increase my interest, but these do not replace my CD buying choices.

I do not create illegal videos. Actually that is mostly because I’m a tech idiot. I actually own Hanako Oku DVDs, but I would be too stupid to figure out how to convert a Japan-only disc to a file that would work on my computer, much less uploaded to YouTube.

Full disclosure: I did not coin the term “Record Industry Weasels”. The concept was named by TV talk show host David Letterman. I can remember that one time Dave wanted to get The Go-Gos on his show, but due to music publication legalities, he could only have two of the five members on stage. Letterman also told stories that he talked to a “weasely guy” from the record company about booking musicians on the show.

Starlight: 33 years since Mr. Letterman introduced the concept.

See more Hanako Oku on my Pinterest page linked here.

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