Monthly Archives: October 2005

‘Cause you’re all grown-up now …

Tokyo Jihen is set to release its second album, Otona (Adult), on Jan. 25, 2006, reports. A special edition pressing of the album — the HOMME edition — includes a live DVD and samples of an original fragrance enclosed in the booklet. Perfume samples in Rolling Stone back in the early ’90s forced me to stop reading that magazine, so I guess I’m sticking with the regular edition, or the FEMME edition.

Here’s the track listing:

  1. Himitsu
  2. Kenka Jootoo
  3. Keshoonaoshi
  4. Superstar
  5. Shuraba (adult ver.)
  6. Yukiguni
  7. Kabuki
  8. Blackout
  9. Tasogare Naki
  10. Toomei Ningen
  11. Tegami

“Toomei Ningen”? Is that like “Toomei Shoojo”?

The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan

I wasn’t convinced that the White Stripes’ Elephant was as good as other pundits believed it to be.

The state of music in 2001 — dominated by nü metal, with teen pop well into its decline — fostered the kind of desperation that made said pundits cling for dear life onto something that sounded genuine.

So when the White Stripes released the follow-up to the surprise 2002 hit, White Blood Cells, critics made sure to shower the album with praise, perhaps unconsciously hoping the good press would mean never having to listen to another fucking Linkin Park album ever again.

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Number Girl rarities in December

Oops Music has a one-sentence blurb about the next installment in Number Girl’s Omoide In My Head Project. One sentence is all that’s available for Omoide In My Head 4 ~Rare Tsudoi~, a collection of rare recordings. I imagine this edition will include early demos and compilation tracks. “Samurai”, “Tokyo Freeze” and “Zazenbeats Kemonostyle” weren’t included on Best and B-Sides, so we’ll see if they show up on this release.

What is it you want God to do?

Bugy Craxone is releasing a new album — self-titled — on Nov. 23, reports. So I went to the band’s official web site to see what other information is there. Tower Records Japan is selling the album, as it did with their previous album, Sorry I will scream here. And the 10-track album contains the following songs. I wonder if track 4 has a typo.

  1. Watch Your Step
  2. Taiyoo ga Ippai
  3. Yuuutsu no Suiyoobi
  4. Hey God, shit down please
  5. Burasagare
  6. glory’s lunch
  7. job!
  8. Basketball
  9. Good day sunshine
  10. City Girl

Missy Elliott: The Cookbook

It’s probably not a good sign when the track that stays with me the most is a skit.

The opening of “Joy” finds Missy Elliott donning the persona of a Jamaican cook, expounding to some “boy scouts” the “perfect recipie for a delicious meal”. Her ingredients include (but aren’t limited to) a “half a teaspoon of Mary J and Ciara”, a “tablespoon of Timbaland”, a “dash of Slick Rick” and “half a Neptune”.

Thus starts The Cookbook, Elliott’s follow-up to 2003’s tight but relatively unsuccessful This is Not a Test!. It’s a clever introduction for an album with a clever creative direction.

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Yaida Hitomi: Here today-gone tomorrow

Five years ago when I began exploring Japan’s music scene, I got behind Yaida Hitomi as fervently as I did Cocco and Shiina Ringo.

Yaida started out quite maniacally — her exuberent debut daiya-monde burst out with a confidence that was infectous as it was exhilirating. And the listening public in Japan agreed — Yaida catapulted to the top of the charts.

As she released subsequent albums, it seemed like she catered more and more to pop tastes, toning down the exuberence and smoothing out the rough edges. She worked with the same backing band and producers — a unit named Diamond Head, after the signature volcanic landmark in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi — for four albums, and she got into rut.

The two years she took to write and record Here today-gone tomorrow perhaps indicates she recognized it too.

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But how does Big Boi feel about the new Kate Bush album?

More release news: OutKast has set Dec. 6 as the release date for its next album, Idlewild, which serves as the soundtrack for the duo’s film My Life in Idlewild. The film, scheduled to hit theaters in early 2006, is set in 1930s, which had an effect on the album’s sound.

Big Boi insists its an OutKast album, not a soundtrack compilation, nor, by implication, some solo album gimmick to make up for the fact Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was not an OutKast album per se.

To quote Tim Grierson: “Best Marriage-on-the-Rocks: OutKast. Big Boi is all, ‘Don’t listen to all those rumors! Me and my man are gonna last forever!’ And we’re all, ‘Damn, girl! He’s cheatin’ on you!'”

Idlewild is also the title of an album by Everything But the Girl. The Scottish band Idlewild recently released Warnings/Promises in the US.

I still want to know how Big Boi feels about the impending release of Kate Bush’s Aerial. I really hope he gets to work with her. That would be cool.

In other news, the Flaming Lips are steadily working on its next album, At War with the Mystics. Billboard has been pretty good about getting updates from Wayne Coyne about the progress of the album. Coyne says the album will feature a harder sound. Would it be too much to hope it sounds like Number Girl? The album is scheduled for a spring 2006 release.

Return the gift reports half of the 20,000 copies of Gang of Four’s Return the Gift contains a crisp $1 wrapped in the CD booklet and will not be visible from the case. But the copy of the album I bought today had the $1 wrapped around the booklet, and it was as clear as day.

Being the anal preservist I am, I did not put the dollar bill in my wallet upon opening the CD. In fact, I’m going to keep that dollar bill as part of the album art for as long as I can. Because that’s a really cool way to return a gift.

P.S. I’m going to the band’s show at Emo’s tomorrow!

Onitsuka Chihiro: Singles, 2000-2003

Japanese pop releases follow a pretty predictable schedule — three or four singles, then an album. Back in 2003, Onitsuka Chihiro looked like she was following that path, with four single releases after her hastily recorded third album, Sugar High.

Not being a total fan, I was waiting for the album that would collect those four singles. It never came.

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A first — no 2005 list

There’s a reason the list-making record clerks in High Fidelity — the Nick Hornby book and John Cusack movie — are comic relief. Music geeks love making lists.

And I speak from experience.

Usually by June, I’ll have a preliminary list my favorite albums from the year. I not only have 10 items, I’ll usually have a few leftover. Around this time of year, I’ve just about settled on 3/4 or the list.

This year, I haven’t bothered.

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