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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Do I Know Anyway?

A couple of things are leading me to write this blog entry. Three things actually:

1. I had noted in my live review of Limited Express (Has Gone?) that I wasn't particularly sure of what was going on;

2. Earlier today I cycled through Graeme's previous entries and realised there is quite an amount of stuff there and clearly a good bit of knowledge built up over the years;

3. I'm drinking Chu-hi and listening to PM Dawn (no prizes for guessing where I bought that).

But for all my lack of knowledge of Limited Express (Has Gone?) and myriad cohorts, I do know a little bit about Japanese music and thought I would give a brief overview of the stuff I know about.

When I last lived here, my favourite Japanese album was Asian Kung Fu Generation's 君繋ファイブエム with its wall of sound guitars and the nod to Oasis' Live Forever (yep) on one of the tracks. It was pretty vital stuff to me, and then the follow up album which I picked up on a visit including the suberb "My World" and "Siren" - their finest moment in my opinion and a song that contends for my top ten tracks of all time. I was distracted by pop-punkers Charcoal Filter around this time and owned a compilation album of their best songs, which sounds on the whole a wee bit cheesy now, but still good fun. And these were the days of Dragon Ash's "Harvest" album, and a bit of Grapevine was never far away from the CD player.

I've listened to a fair bit of poppier stuff too. I love Spitz - having heard this brilliant music playing outside a mobile phone shop, and eventually finding out who it was by asking a few people. I now have pretty much a full discography of pure songwriting genius. Almost a Japanese La's perhaps, except ridiculously prolific instead of appallingly wasteful. I own of course a Brilliant Green greatest hits collection, favourite tracks being , oohh, "Goodbye and goodluck", "冷たい花”, "Enemy"... it's a superb collection actually.

I don't want to write too much so I shall just drop a few more names in: Bump of Chicken, Sekaiichi, Cool Joke, Every Little Thing, Rie Fu, Orange Range, Puffy (natch), the mighty Ringo Sheena and Tokyo Jihen, the wonderful Sambomaster, the excoriatingly sublime Tate Takako, and a few others are all on the i-pod nestling betwixt New Order, James Brown and JR Writer.

And of course I have been reading this blog! So I have at least heard of the bands within, have a couple of the albums reviewed (Bloodthirsty Butchers spring to mind) and in most cases listened to their tracks on MySpace. Which is a start eh. I did meet the fantastic Anchorsong in London, where he remains to increasing success it seems.

Next on the gig-going list is the Ok City Ok gig this Sunday. I am particularly looking forward to this as I note from the venue map that there is a branch of Mos Burger nearby and I haven't been there for ages. I'm definitely going to have the onion rings and dip them in the Mos Burger sauce. Further, I have been to see the band before, along with Graeme no less, whence I picked up a copy of the album "Made By Elaborate Process". It's a tidy rocker alright and I'm looking forward to seeing the band again.

And ahead of that I have pencilled in soundscapists Euphoria on 3 August, then perhaps a bit of Eddy on 10 August, and why not add a dash of NaLas on the 17th? Why not indeed.

You know this PM Dawn album is pretty good and we haven't even got to... ah, here we go...