シンガー・ソングライター:Matt the Electrician

昨日の晩南金沢のBig PinkでMatt the Electrician(ホムページウィキペディア)のコンサートを聴きに行った。小さいBig Pinkは空気がなくなる程満席と「満立」だった。やはりいいライブ・パフォーマンスを聴きたい人が多い。特にこの様なライブ・コンサートが少ない金沢に。
Matt-the-Electrician

シンガーソングライターが大好きで、はじめてにMatt the Electricianを聴く僕はめちゃ楽しんでいた。ギターとバンジョーだけ弾いてる彼は特にちょっと寂しい曲を演奏したけど、その中冗談ばっかりの曲もあった。

時間はすごくはやくたっていて、いつの間にか最後の曲になった。よいコンサートだった。金沢に来てくれてありがとうございます。そして、僕らを誘ったCさんにも感謝してる。 ここに動画がある!

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Music check: Google versus Apple – Is that all? You can do better, Google!

Ok, I have been an iPhone user since I moved to Japan and got my first smart-phone ever. First a 3s, then a 4s, then a 5s that I dropped into the toilet, so I switched the SIM back into the 4s to have a working phone. Furthermore, I am a heavy music listener and used iTunes Radio for 3 months. Since I am planning to change phones to an Android phone (being fed up with Apple’s super-closed environment), I tried out Google Music Plus for about 3 months, too. Here is my verict – Google Music is a big pain, far from iTunes in comfort and user friendliness.

music-check-google-vs-apple

My move to Android is not very much in danger. Read on for more details

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Two videos that make you happy

Sometimes one feels down and troubled, and instead of a helping hand, watching videos that cheer you up can get you a long way. Two of my favorite videos are one of the “crazy Korean drummer” Kwon Soon Keun (search on youtube), and the election campaign video of Iceland’s Best party, founded by the musician and comedian Jón Gnarr, which won the election of the Reykjavík City Council in 2010.

Both pieces always make me laugh out loud, even after having seen them many times.

Kwon Soon Keun

Besti flokkurinn

Let me know what you are watching/listening when you need a cheer-up!

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김두수 (Kim Doo Soo) – 自由魂 (자유혼, Free Spirit)

On the recently reviewed album International Sad Hits Vol 1 I wrote that Kim Doo Soo was the great surprise of the CD for me. So I went ahead and bought (not that easy, import from US!) one of his most recommended album, the Free Spirit.

Kim_Doo_Soo-Free_Spirit

Sad songs, full of melancholy, speaking of desperation, isolation, destroyed love. The music and singing is simple, mainly based on guitar and voice only, at times harmonica, strings and others are added. In contrast to the Crying Philosopher Tomokawa Kazuki, the songs are all very melodic and easy to listen, but still carrying a strong impact. After listening to these songs, the melodies wander around my brain resonating again and again, like (mis)guiding lights in a dark forest. 続きを読む

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International Sad Hits Volume 1

I stumbled over this CD a few weeks ago, and immediately ordered it from some second-hand dealer in the US: International Sad Hits – Volume 1: Altaic Group. Four artists from different countries (2x Japan, Korea, Turkey) and very different music style, but connected in one thing: That they don’t fit into the happy-peppy culture of AKB48, JPOP, KPOP and the like, but singers and songwriters that probe the depths of sadness. With two of my favorite Japanese appearing in the list (Tomokawa Kazuki and Mikami Kan), there was no way I could not buy this CD.

international-sad-hits-volume-1

The four artist combined in this excellent CD are: Fikret Kızılok, a Turkish musician, singer and songwriter. Quoting from the pamphlet:

However, in 1983 Kızılok returned with one of his most important and best albums: Zaman Zaman (Time to time). […] These albums presented an alternative to the horrible pop scene emerging in Turkey — they criticized the political situation, the so-called intellectuals, and the pop stars.

The Korean artist is 김두수 (Kim Doo Soo), who was the great surprise of the CD for me. The sadness and beauty that is transmitted through is music is special. The pamphlet of the CD states:

The strictness of his home atmosphere suffocated him, and in defiance against his father he dropped out, and walked along the roads. He said later that, “Hatred towards the world, and the emptiness of life overwhelmed me. I lived my life with alcohol every day.”

After some problems due to political crisis, and fierce reactions to his song “Bohemian” (included) made him disappear into the mountains for 10 years, only to return with even better music.

The third artist is one of my big favorites, Tomokawa Kazuki (Official site, Wikipedia) from Japan. I have written often about Tomokawa, but found a very fitting description in the booklet:

Author Tatematsu Wahei has described Tomokawa as “a man standing naked, his sensibility utterly exposed and tingling.” It’s an accurate response to a creativity that seems unmediated by embarrassment, voraciously feeding off the artist’s personal concern.

The forth artist is again from Japan, Mikami Kan, a well known wild man from the Japanese music scene. After is debut at the Nakatsugawa All-Japan Folk Jamboree in 1971, he was something like a star for some years, but without a record deal his popularity decreased steadily.

During this period his songwriting gradually altered, becoming more dense, surreal and uncompromisingly personal.

Every song on this CD is a masterpiece by itself, but despite me being a great fan of Tomokawa, my favorite is Kim Doo Soo here, with songs that grip your heart and soul, stunningly beauty and sad at the same time.

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ビニチョー カポッセラ:スタンコ・エ・ペルデュト

昨日短時間帰国してる心に近い友人は自宅に来てくれた。今年カナダで新しい生活を初めた彼と昔いつもいっつも興味深い話した。今回も深夜までいろんな話になった。宗教など孤独感など正反合など。その様な人は僕に対して珍しい。その様な話出来る相手はなかなかいないから、感謝してる。一緒に朝食を食べてから、彼は行ってしまった。次の出会いはいつだと誰もしらない。切ない。大学行く時、今日紹介する歌をずっと僕の頭の中に回っていた:ビニチョー カポッセラのスタンコ・エ・ペルデュト。イタリアの住んでいた時、いろんなイタリアの音楽を聞いて、だんだん好きになった。ファブリツィオ·デ·アンドレはもちろん、他の好きな歌手もいっぱいいる。その中にビニチョー カポッセラ(Vinicio Capossela: 英語のウィキペディア公式サイト)も入ってる。

capossela

この歌をよくイタリアの友人と一緒に歌っていた。切ない話、複雑な話なんだけど、心を触れる話だと思う。Rさん、昨日来てくれて、ありがとう! 続く

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ミア・マルティニ ー ミニュエット

昨日フェースブックで友人がアップした歌だ。昔から大好きな歌だけど、久しぶりに聞いた。聞くことだけじゃなくて、全ての歌手まだ覚えていて、一緒に歌った。(他の人いなくてよかった、僕の声がひどいぞ。)好きな歌なので、日本語に翻訳してみよう!彼女は日本語がめちゃうまいから、実は翻訳して欲しかったけど。。。

イタリアの歌手「ミア・マルティニ」(Mia Martini)は1947年にイタリアの南の「カラブリア州」に生まれて、3回イタリアのユーロビジョン・ソング・コンテストの代表者だった。 続きを読む

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シンディ・ローパー:金沢公演

今日シンディ・ローパーの公演を見聞きに行ってきた。実は、まだツアーをやっている事を全くしらなかった。昔そんなに大きいファンじゃなかったけど、妻はシンディが大好きなので、(高い)チケットを買った:

cyndi-lauper-japan2015

思ったより楽しかった。思ったより知っていた歌が多かった。61最のシンディ・ローパーはまだめっちゃ元気で、ピチピチなペルフォーマンスした。有名なヒットが全部出ていたし、僕が知らなかった歌もあった。少し日本語も頑張っていた。まるで、面白くて、行ってよかったと思う。

2つの事だけちょっと文句を言う:シンディ・ローパーの仮装は『ハリー・ポッター」の「ベラトリックス・レストレンジ」を覚えさせた。自分で確認したかったら、ここにクリック!他の文句は、公演は短すぎた!スタートの6:15から7:40までの公演は、ちょっとね、足りない感じだった。

でも、行ってよかった。

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Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

Since long it is one of my favorite songs, and these days I feel it more and more. Originally written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas in around ’63, the version of Nina Simone, released in 1967, is (probably) the best rendition of this song. Apparently it was used – and rightly so – by the civil-rights movement in America in the 1960s.

Looking around me, near and far, timely and geographically, too many things make be feel to cry out, burst out. Freedom is more than just the freeness to switch TV channels, the freeness to select the next shopping center. Freeness implies involvement, action, activity to preserve this freedom. Even if we haven’t achieved the freedom we are longing for, we already need to defend the small part we have achieved against the scrupulous political and economic pressure.

Read on for the lyrics

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