March 30, 2010
I started writing this a couple of weeks ago then forgot about it so I will finish this post now!
March 29, 2010
So..Goldfrapp. I am quite addicted to their new single, Rocket. I’m not a huuuuge Goldfrapp fan, I really liked Felt Mountain but I never actually owned it (although I feel like I DID! There are a lot of albums that I occasionally get the feeling I own only to realise that I don’t). Anyway..the video..I half like and half don’t like it. For one, I don’t usually like totally literal interpretations of song lyrics. Also when I first heard the song I’d interpreted the chorus as meaning something like.. ‘I am high on love aaaand you are coming with me on this high’ so to see it interpreted as ‘I am going to tape you up and stick you on a rocket’ didn’t quite match up to what I was thinking and added a sinister level that I hadn’t even thought of! I do like Alison Goldfrapp’s look though, and the dancing and the brightly coloured cloudy sky. Pitchfork mentioned the ‘Van Halen synths’ in their review and it’s true, Rocket does use them which means I should hate this song but I don’t, the synths sound pretty cool! Anyway, I am a bit addicted:
March 28, 2010
Look at him!
I love Bagpuss. this toy comes from a lovely website:
It’s full of cute, cute and more cute!
March 22, 2010
I’ve wanted to buy a discman for ages. I buy quite a lot of CDs and it’s too much effort for lazy me to copy them to my mp3 player. Or maybe this is just an excuse. Much as I like records, I grew up buying CDs so…all my music nostalgia is wrapped up in disc format. I love my mp3 player, I really do but I also love buying CDs and staring at the album art and (hopefully) reading the lyrics. And in Japan of course there’s the added fun of extra tracks, lyric sheets in Japanese and in the case of the Alisha’s Attic CD I just bought (I am lame, I know), the artwork translated into Japanese!
So in order to let me do all of this stuff again, I bought a nice pink discman in Bic Camera. It’s already great. I’ve spent the last hour and a half listening to CDs I’ve picked up and forgotten to listen to. Here are some not terribly good photos of some of them:
The Miki Imai album is very…adult contemporary…listening to it made me feel very, safe! The ACO album is heartbreakingly beautiful…it makes me want to cry a little and the Alisha’s Attic album is similar to Alisha Rules the World so it reminded me of being twelve and made me happy! Wow, definitely an amazing purchase!
March 19, 2010
It’s sad..Alex Chilton died. I have to admit, I found out about Big Star through the covers by This Mortal Coil and Jeff Buckley. Kangaroo is such a beautiful song. Anyway, he really did make some gorgeous songs, they make me feel like I’m in some imaginary hazy seventies America falling in love and driving around in cars feeling sad but excited.
Bask in the faded seventies sunshine and loveliness.
This is just awesome. I love how he starts laughing, I love how scratchy and sulky/menacing his voice sounds.
Here’s a link to a piece in the Guardian about him, it’s quite touching:
Keep an Eye on the Sky
March 19, 2010
Sometimes it’s fun to be a Pokemon…
March 19, 2010
Look at this awesome album! It’s Blur-Live At The Budokan. I found it in a really cool record shop in Nagoya that we went to when we went out the wrong exit at Kamimaezu. It cost 525 yen!! When I saw it I thought ‘Wow, I would have been so impressed by his when I was 15′. Then I thought about it a little more and realised that I was impressed now! It’s great! it reminds me of being in high school and spending hours and hours in Platekompaniet. I remember buying Bustin’ + Dronin’ there. (It was a special import so twice the price!)
Anyway, the album packaging is great, lots of the pictures would make lovely posters.
Sorry, not the best pictures ever! On a side note..I love airline style….tickets, airline magazines etc. Very lovely album.
March 17, 2010
From Danny. I have a toy of the Softbank dog (of course). It shouts things in an angry voice when you press its tummy!
March 15, 2010
March 11, 2010
So I just finished reading Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami. I’ d been waiting to read it for years. It didn’t used to be available. It was part of the same Kodansha English Library series as Hear The Wind Sing (ie. intended for Japanese speakers learning English) and although Hear The Wind Sing was made available again (in Japan) a little while ago I never saw Pinball, 1973 onthe shelf next to it. Until me and Danny popped into Tower Records in Shibuya last month and suddenly it was there! We both noticed it seperately so it ended up being a birthday present. (I guess if you really hate spoilers then don’t read the quotes in this post but..honestly…it wouldn’t matter, this isn’t really a plot driven book and the quotes don’t really give much of anything away).
Even when Murakami is writing about nothing it affects me. Tiny things are heartbreaking. And it’s not because he describes them in exhaustive detail or anything. It’s as if he chooses exactly the right things to mention and exactly the right order to mention them in for maximum impact. Maximum because the things he writes about aren’t necessarily sad. Somehow the things he writes about make me feel sad for his characters and sad for myself and for what I’ve lost over the years. Not huge things but tiny things, moments, brief thoughts, that kind of thing. Series of things his characters do, like coming home, having a coffee, washing the cup, pouring out a glass of beer, lighting a cigarette and putting a record on seem sort of important somehow. It’s all nothing but I’ll sit there and read it almost in tears.
‘A friend of mine and I leased a condominium on the slope from Shibuya to Nampeidai and opened a small translation service. My friend’s father put up the funds, which is not to say that it took any astounding sum of money-just the deposit on the place, and the money for three steel desks, some ten dictionaries, a telephone, and a half-dozen bottles of bourbon. We thought up a suitable name, and with the rest of the money had it engraved on a metal sign and hung it out front, then put an ad in the newspaper. After that we waited for customers. The two of us, with our four feet propped up on the desks, drinking whiskey. It was the spring of ’72’ (Murakami, Haruki Pinball, 1973 p.31)
Sometimes upsetting things are mentioned in passing and never mentioned again:
‘On the train ride back, I told myself over and over again, it’s all over with now, you got it out of your system, forget it. You got what you came for, didn’t you? Yet I couldn’t get it out of mind, that place. Nor the fact that I loved Naoko. Nor that she was dead. After all that, I still hadn’t closed the book on anything.’ (p.23)
And the idleness! His characters frequently do nothing. They just drink coffee and sit and stare and fall asleep. They listen to classical or jazz records and tapes that have no meaning to me but hearing the names of the composers and their albums (Handel, Bix Beiderbecke, Woody Herman) still feels comforting. I can’t write about smoking and listening to classical music. Not convincingly anyway. The only classical albums I might possibly own would be ones I found in the backroom at Oxfam (I used to volunteer in one of their book/record shops) and only bought because they had silly names and covers or pretty covers. Attachment to album covers, there’s another thing I don’t quite understand. I often buy albums just because I like the covers. In fact, I think I’ll take some pictures of ones I’ve bought in Japan and post them here!
Since I don’t know how to finish here’s one last quote:
‘Occasionally, though, tiny ripples of emotion would be set off, as if to remind him. At times like that, the Rat simply closed his eyes, sealed off his mind, and sat tight until the ripples subsided. By then it would already be getting a little dark, toward early evening. The ripples gone, that same hushed tranquility would come over him again, as if nothing had happened.’ (p. 45)