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What I Musically Love about Japanese Music

I may be able to extract a post for Texihabara on this subject from this, but I kind of want to be a little freer here. There is something about Japanese music that fascinates me.  Well, several things, really. Babymetal has a song, “Da da dance”.  It’s an extraordinarily high energy song with lots of flaily dancing and mostly meaningless words.  Basically somewhere in the techno genre – I’m sure nerds out there will have a better name for it.  EDM?  But there’s this part in there that really fascinates me… Read More »What I Musically Love about Japanese Music

Mikan – A Redux

Now that I have made clear what the purpose of this blog is going to be moving forward, I feel like I am a little freer to make the posts I want to make, here. So that’s a good thing. Today I’m going to try to put words to something I don’t have a word for. You won’t know, but I think it’s going to take a very long time to write this post. I think that logic and reason really drive very little about what we do. Oh, we… Read More »Mikan – A Redux

Memories: College

This is the second in a series of posts where I recall some memories of earlier in my life. Think of it as memoirs no one wants to read. The memories are as accurate as I can make them, though they may be slightly embellished due to faded memory, and may merge several related memories together. I mentioned a while ago that I was home schooled throughout my high school years. The only social interaction I had was with those in the church I went to. In that church, there… Read More »Memories: College

Matsuri

My formative years were troubled.  I have many horrible memories, of which I refuse to go into here – they’re personal, and it’s not appropriate.  But the memories were not all bad. Every year we had a religious festival – we called it the Festival of Tabernacles, or the “feast” for short.  It was in some ways a rather staid affair – but it was a festival, and it was a celebration.  Some people treated it as an excuse to get wasted for seven days, but for the most part,… Read More »Matsuri

J-Pop vs K-Pop

I will not say that I am a huge fan of K-Pop, nor am I a huge fan of J-Pop, but I am more familiar with J-Pop than K-Pop.  But I find myself very impressed with the K-Pop groups I have seen.  The other day I saw a “Girls’ Generation” cover of “Dancing Queen” – they did it in English, and without a discernable accent.  It was extremely high quality.  Frankly, it was much higher quality than I would expect out of a J-Pop group.  More frankly, any J-Pop group save,… Read More »J-Pop vs K-Pop

Karate – Babymetal

I’m not going to review this song.  We’ll just say I rather like it and leave it at that.  But I do want to point out something interesting about it. One of the central musical themes of this song is a contrast between staccato and lyrical.  The part of the chorus that starts “hikasura seiya soiya” are very sharp, cut off, and aggressive, while the part that is “wow” is very lyrical.  These two things contrast off of each other to make the music more effective than it might otherwise… Read More »Karate – Babymetal

5 Reasons J-Pop sucks

I’ve posted previously about what I like about J-Pop, but I don’t like everything about it!  As with everything, it has its good sides and bad sides.  Here, in my opinion, are the bad sides. The Music Can Be Uninteresting I’ve posted previously about how I think that J-Pop is far more interesting than western pop – but that doesn’t really mean it’s interesting.  At the end of the day, it’s still pop, with all of the insipidity and appealing to the lowest common denominator that that entails.  I love… Read More »5 Reasons J-Pop sucks

Why J-Pop?

I was actually trained as a classical pianist. Yes, it’s true.  I went to college and everything.  I learned how to either play or appreciate much of the repertoire – in point of fact, if I put my mind to it, there are piano concertos that are not out of my reach.  I am very, very familiar with many very complex pieces, even if I can’t play them yet, and I find composers such as Rachmaninoff to be quite sublime – even if the lay person might hear it as… Read More »Why J-Pop?

Wotagei

If you ever see an idol concert, don’t only pay attention to the performers – if you do, you’ll be missing out on what is perhaps the most unique aspect of Japanese concerts.  That is wotagei. It seems that wota, or people who are devoted fans of a particular idol group, coordinate very advanced dances for particular songs, using glowsticks, and then perform them in the audience while the performers are dancing on stage.  Let me repeat this:  there is an entirely different performance, synced to the stage performers, happening in… Read More »Wotagei