Sunday, September 14, 2014

Every Great Japanese Guitar Pop Band At Shindaita Fever (...Well, Almost)

Hi. I'm still here.

But I haven't been going to as many shows. I'm less willing that in the past to spend hours at night trying out the music of new bands I've never listened to before.

There was no worry of disappointment at last night's show at the Shindaita Fever--the program was like a list of my favorite Japanese bands: advantage Lucy, Contrary Parade, Risette and Swinging Popsicle.


Lucy was playing their first Tokyo show in two years. Vocalist Aiko gave birth last year, and had been focused on bringing up the boy.

Now, they were back, and it didn't feel like all that time had elapsed. Advantage Lucy is still such a good band on stage, creating together that distinct sound, and standing at the center Aiko closes her eyes and weaves her body as she breathes in the music.

They did an old song called 'Memai' (above is a video of a past performance of the tune). Meaning something like 'dizziness', it's a sweet love song about a girl feeling dizzy when she hears the low, kind voice (hikuku yasashii koe) of her guy (but then the lyrics imply that they split up and are meeting again, though I'm not sure--maybe I'll ask one day... By the way, a lot of the words in the song are hard to translate, like 'memai' as dizziness, but I don't think it's meant to be the sort of dizzy that incapacitates you. Or, there's a line, 'futari no kisetsu ga modoreba to omotta watashi wa zurui' which I would translate to something like, 'is it wrong for me to wish that we would once again have a season together,' but that word 'zurui' is strange. It usually means sly, or cunning, or dishonest, but I think in this case a Japanese would hear it as meaning more, maybe something like, being selfish to the verge of being wrong, but it can' t be helped because of the emotions. End of digression...)

It was touching to hear this song now because, well, the singer and guitarist of this band are married now and have a child, but, making the assumption that the song's words at least partly reflect lyricist Aiko's feelings, does it mean that there's still that low, kind voice that can make her pleasantly dizzy?


There's also the matter that many of us in the audience grew up listening to Lucy songs like 'Memai', so they've now been weaved into our memories, things that happened, places where we spent time.

Mayu Tanaka, a keyboardist-vocalist who has a one-girl unit called Contrary Parade (it used to be a band with three members, I think, but it shrank), listened to 'Memai' in school too, and she said she once wrote a song imitating it. The music is passed on...