Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Fuji Rock

Anyone off to the Fuji Rock Festival, which kicks off today at Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata? It doesn’t seem to have been affected much by last week’s earthquake.
I’ll have to get to the festival one year; the setting is supposed to be stunning. By the way, yes, it was originally held near Fuji but was relocated to Naeba in ’99.

Too early death for famous Japanese singer… ZARD (Izumi Sakai)


Shocking news in Japanese music society suddenly crossed the nation two days ago. Izumi Sakai known for the leading vocal for ZARD passed away from slipping from the hospital slope on the 27th resulted in death. She was originally hospitalized for the treatment for cancer, but from the unfortunate event that took place early Saturday morning, it ended her 40 years of short life.

ZARD was extremely popular during the 90s and still very close to many Japanese people’s hearts. Izumi Sakai had such clear smoothing voice that was favored by wide range of age groups both men and women. Her most famous song 「負けないで/makenaidewas even used for the song for annual high school baseball competition as well as many other songs were used for dramas and TV anime. Although ZARD was most popular during the 90s, the songs are still very popular today that many people often sing at karaoke. I myself also just sang her songs two weeks ago, when I last went to karaoke.

According to Oricon today, ZARD’s 「Golden Best 15th Anniversary」that was released Last October has risen its ranking from outside of 100 to top 6 for the past two days since her death was announced. Not only have those, many fans gone to her memorial service to her office with tears in their eyes, disappointed about such early death.


As well as those many fans, I am personally a big fan of ZARD. I am also very shocked and sad about such unfortunate event. I hope that she will remain in Japanese music and Japanese people forever.


Coldplay at the Tokyo Budokan, 2006

I caught Coldplay at the Budokan in Tokyo this week and it was great. They are always good live and gave an impressive performance, full of energy: Chris Martin was jumping around all over the stage and ran round the Budokan arena at one point.
I took a couple of photos on my mobile phone (sorry about the image quality!):

My favourite: Pizzicato Five

Do you know Pizzicato V ?

I really love the voice and attitude of Maki Nomiya, who was a vocalist of that group. So always checking her weblog.
And, yes, it was updated with some pictures :)

Of course, Yasuharu Konishi, who also was a member of Pizzicato five, is a great composer/ D.J. and etc, definitely.
It’s a pity that Wiki’s article about Konishi is very poor :(

The making of a music video ~ Part 2 ~


I had a music video shoot for a Japanese airtist on the 23rd of June. It was in the middle of Shibuya, everyone worked so hard to make an awesome music video that will be released on the 16th of August.

I danced for the same artist back in March, and their single has been selling really well. In the photo, you can see the artist, a pretty girl and a guy with sun-glasses with colorful dancers. As they liked me for the previous shoot, they asked me to be in their summer song, as well as asking me to find some dancers who can be in it. I hooked many of my friends who are also amazing dancers.

Unfortunately, many music video shoots in Japan pay almost nothing for dancers…. However, I did indeed have a great time as many of my friends were there.

I have been living in Japan for the past six months, finding this harsh reality of dancers in Japan. In actuality, although there are more recognition for dancers than two decades or a decade ago, dancers are still not respected enough for what we do. It is also true that some dancers have poor manners dancing of the streets,
but in general, those who love to dance do respect the space and others who are out in the public, that those who say they are dancers, but are really “fake.“.

I believe that many of those negative things reflect in the no or little pay for being in a music video. It is also the population of dancers in Japan is so huge that there are many who are willing to do anything to spread their name. As for me, I get paid for instructing lessons and also get paid for some other gigs, so I still this this music video shoot. On the other hand, I do wish to have more jobs that pays me for what I do, respecting my ability and dedication.

Working for a Music Video !!!

So being a dancer in Tokyo allows me to do quite few things.
As well as working as a dance and fitness instructor, I also do few other things….
such as working as a party staff and being a back-up dancer for some Japanese artists.

The first music video that I worked in Japan is released today, on the May 3rd.
As I just returned from the States in December, I hardly know any Japanese artists….
They are not so major, but are out there.
Mihimaru GT is their name. Their song, titled `Kibun jo-jo` is out today.
Their song is used for a TV commercial for hair products, and I`ve also heard at a convenience store.

The video was filmed back in Feb or March… I forgot >.

A composer of Godzilla passed away

Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭)
It was yesterday’s night.
May his soul rest in peace.

If you don’t know his name, you may listen to roar of Godzilla, or a soundtrack of Godzilla film.
I think, most of Japanese people love Godzilla.

Not Your Father’s Convenience Store.

Via kungfootv’s flickr photostream

iPods on sale at the local combini (how they call convenience stores here in Japan). Well, this is something I can get used to:

iTunes Music Store (iTMS) Japan.

This is the unofficial What is the iTMS Japan Missing post.

1: The Clash
2: New Order
3: More than one song from Joy Division, please.
4: The The
5: Midnight Oil
6: Interpol
7: Bauhaus
8: X (The L.A. band.)
9: Oingo Boing
10: The Supreme Beings of Leisure

Has the iTMS “done it” for you? No? What’s missing?

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