Soil & “Pimp” Sessions and Shiina Ringo doing postmodern spy with high production value to a killer swing tune. LOVE. I wish it was longer. The song title Koroshiya Kiki Ippatsu actually translates to something more like An Assassin’s Close Call. Was humming the main hook all day today.
殺し屋危機一髪(The Assassin’s Assassin) by SOIL&”PIMP”SESSIONS and 椎名林檎
This was about the only good thing that came out of Top of the Lake, apart from the awesome pilot episode that was unfortunately not followed up well. Yes, I am that critical when it comes to dramas - Don’t use 7 episodes to tell a story if you can tell it in 3! Seriously, there was not enough to keep each episode interesting, don’t waste my time. Anyway, music. Was a great surprise to hear this nice cover of a Bjork classic pop up.
A lot happened over this last weekend. Great food was consumed, fresh sake drank, some people got rotten drunk, and I received the devastating news that my beloved Grandpa has passed away.
While I am saddened by the fact that I could not possibly go to China in time to attend the funeral, I am glad that I was able to see him one last time back in June before his departure. He was always so full of joy. Even when he was hospitalized in bed, he still tried to make jokes and pull silly faces to make the rest of us laugh. In fact, most of my memories of him are those of him being funny and lovable. This is why I didn’t want to mourn, but rather to celebrate the wonderful life that he led.
It’s as if the gods of the universe understood exact what I meant. As I walked out on to the roads of Shinmachi, I found myself in the midst of a festival full of yosakoi dancers and live music that came out of nowhere. In a way, this was better than the funeral I could not attend.
After wandering along the festivities, we sat and watched a small group of amateur musicians for awhile. There was something beautiful about their imperfect performances. It felt like a melodic eulogy, they ended the set with 花は咲く and Hey Jude, which brought tears to my eyes.
Further down the street, we watched incredibly energetic performances of yosakoi dances. The dancers had permanent smiles glued to their faces and makeup that criticised more than they complimented, but they were fantastic. After staying on the sideline for a long time, we were finally broken down and persuaded to join the dancing troops for the final song. It was a lot of fun. Then on the nice stroll back home, we saw a red sunset with a shooting plane leaving behind a comic like trail. Perhaps that was Grandpa’s way of telling me he’s really leaving us now.
The next day, I ate dumplings and decided to finally watch Zhang Yimou's To Live, perhaps to remind myself that no matter what, life goes on.
So obsessed with this song today, 20 replays and counting. For those that don’t know Chara, her voice is very unusual, you kinda have to give it a few tries before you can appreciate it for what it is.
How I would love to see Shiina Ringo live in concert, especially this series of 5 shows that she’s doing to mark her 15th anniversary as a recording artist - meaning she would be performing a lot of the older stuff. But unfortunately all 5 shows are in Tokyo (which I just came back from) and all on weekdays (WTF). Being incredibly low on paid leaves, taking 2 days off minimum to go to Tokyo just to catch the show is beyond plausible. WHY!? WHY!? WHYYYYY!? I wish I lived in Tokyo :( BUT, the fact that she is releasing new material means it’s very possible that she’ll have a real tour soon, and hopefully she will come to somewhere close to me! PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN!
This new single, very different to the Shiina Ringo we all know, but it’s really growing on me. Also, it’s the first time I’m noticing that she’s actually quite pretty.
熱愛発覚中 (Netsuai Hakkaku Chyuu) by 椎名林檎 Shiina Ringo
8 hours of beautiful traditional northern Indian music. An unique experience that gave me the opportunity to see one half of Gontiti, a guitar duo I really like, and also inspired a scene idea that I could use in one of my future films.
Yesterday I listened in as the 3rd graders at my large junior high school practiced their choir singings for the school cultural festival. I was pretty stunned, these were not just any old songs, most of them were really high in difficulty. One class sang a song called Devil’s Gluttony which was in some minor key with really strange notes that I find impossible to repeat. Each class did their own song, and then the the whole grade combined to sing Ode to Joy in GERMAN! And most of them were able to do the whole song without looking at the words which they remembered pure phonetically. WOW.
Here is the best recording I got from the session which is a rendition of Amazing Grace mostly in Japanese by the 4th Class.