Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sadistic Mika Band in UK TV show “Old gley whistle test “1975 サディスティック ...

This band brought me into the world of Japanese bands/ singers/ music. I've got several records by this group. Pizzicato 5, FPM, and Shibuya-Kei in general have been my jam since the late 1990s. I've lived in Asia for about twenty years now (almost exactly). Most of the local music is either syrupy sweet love/ pop or morbid traditional songs about longing. Canto-Pop, etc. Japan really is a world apart. Tricot, Elephant Gym, the new stuff is really amazing. They are the funky Asians. 

I have a guess about how this happened, but I fear it ain't woke enough to mention in todays boring cancel climate. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Tired of Trying, Bored with Lying, Scared of Dying

Almost all of the English Invasion bands started out as cover bands. That includes the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. A lot of those bands, however, were very talented, and quickly moved on to writing material for themselves. The Manfred's singer, Paul Jones, wrote this one. 

I'm starting to think that bands that got the best advice were the ones who moved up into the "making money zone." The Beatles had Brian Epstein and George Martin playing big roles. The Stones had Andrew Oldham, whom I am beginning to think was smarter than he's gotten credit for. 

Maybe it's just a tough business. Certainly the Kinks, the Who, and the Hollies had talent to spare. All three of them had as much entertainment value as the two big winners. They also had good writers. So, weak management? Poor planning? I don't know enough of the details to sort that out. 

Bad advice was definitely involved in some dramatic crash-and-burns. Paul Jones decided to go solo, and so did Wayne Fontana ("Game of Love," with the Mindbenders). Both of them were leaving bands consisting of very talented musicians and some reason to expect further success. Who advised them on that move? Both singers went off the radar immediately, and the only subsequent material that I've heard was very weak. Both bands went on to greater success than they'd had with their original singers. 

Want to have some fun? Get ahold of the WF and the Mindbender's Game of Love LP. It's hugely entertaining, and musically excellent. Those fellows could really play.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

New Challenges For Travelers

There is a remote chance that I will return this year for a visit to the country of my birth. That would be America, specifically California. Six years have passed since my last visit, and it appears to me that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically. The changes have not run in favor of an easy and comfortable trip.

The new COVID variant, Omicron, is statistically significant and obviously dangerous. Every day, people are contracting the disease. People are being admitted into the hospital. Most impressively, people are dying. In spite of that obvious threat level, I don’t see a lot of masking going on. Instead, I hear a lot of yelling about not wanting to wear masks, and freedom, and you can’t tell me what to do, and take off that mask you fucking commie. Has any work been done about the possibility that COVID has a potential psychological impact? Subtle, perhaps, but acting to make sufferers irritable and unreasonable?

If, indeed, I do travel to the indispensable country this year, I will be masking. Probably double masking. I have seen examples of masked people being accosted in retail establishments or travel situations for having the freedom-hating temerity to wear a mask. As though, perhaps, the only possible explanation could be that the masked individual was a libtard, or under the spell of ex-President Obama and his puppet, Joe Biden. I have formulated a strategy to use if I am faced with this behavior in a convenience store or something.

My play will be to feign weakness, cough into the mask, and say in an unsteady tone, “I’m sorry. I was in Africa for six months (cough) and my doctor thinks that I was exposed to Ebola. He says I must wear (long, wet, wheezing cough) this mask to protect (cough) other people.” (Reaches out to lean on something, holding chest and coughing.) “Oh, shit! I forgot my rubber gloves!”

It was a lot of fun to run this strategy past a couple of friends of mine, but I know that in reality it would only make someone want to shoot me. A lot of the unreasonable Americans are now strapped.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Proof Of Life


Alive, although that condition is subject to change. I am typing on a new laptop, using a version of Word called, “Home and Student.” I am finding it very peculiar in many ways. Things tend to disappear. I am finding that as time marches on, computers in general become more difficult to use, less functional, and less intuitive. It’s annoying. Or perhaps it’s just that life is passing me by, which is true one way or the other.

Blogspot is full of moribund blogs. The reasons are many, and the phenomenon is interesting. Many people set up a cute blog and post two or three times about the wonders of cats. And that’s it, the blog idea expends itself. Perhaps they were killed by their cats. Many people, like Doghouse Reilly, set up a blog and write fantastic posts for years about mostly politics, with some culture and a little sports thrown in for variety. His blog disappeared. He was ended not by cats, but by the human condition, which stalks us all. I still draw breath, but I have reached the age where the entire horizon is sufficient only for a vague terror of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The nearness of death inspires some people. Others, like me, are merely paralyzed by dread.

Best wishes to all. I should be writing more soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Peter Laughner - Baby's on Fire

This fellow is a wonderful surprise for me. He was an important part of Rocket from the Tomb, and then briefly in the band that they morphed into, Pere Ubu. Then he checked out. Boy, he must have been leaning on it. His body said, "we're done, bon voyage motherfucker" when he was only twenty-four. 

This is a wonderful cover of a wonderful song that doesn't draw much interest as cover material. Eno would approve, I think, due to his strong preference for guitar slingers who really pushed the envelope. 

It's miraculous to find new fifty year old stuff as I quickly approach the end of my time. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Al Green - Perfect Day (Official Lyric Video)

Another, more recent, great cover. Another home run? Well, I think it cleared the fence in fair territory. Lou still takes the cake and keeps title to the song. Mr. Green does a great job though. 

Ms. Simone's cover of "Here Comes the Sun," right below this one hereon, is one of those rare covers that clears the fence in center field, sails over everyone's heads, leaves the ball park far behind, and they're still looking for the ball out in the parking lot somewhere.  

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Here Comes the Sun

Is it a triumph or a tragedy for the singer/ songwriter when a truly great artist covers one of your songs and completely takes it over, elevating it above everything that has come before?