Monthly Archives: May 2008

Sigur Rós releases new album in June

Here’s something funny: I actually learned about the new Sigur Rós album on before I saw the article in Billboard. I was nearly tempted to translate the Bounce article, but that would be silly.

I did download the pre-release track, "Gobbledigook", from the band’s promotional website, and I wasn’t prepared for what I heard. The percussion is all over the place, and the tempo actually breaks into a triple-digit metronome reading. I won’t go so far as to say it’s 120 bpm, but it’s quicker than just about everything on Takk …

Billboard mentions Flood co-produced the album. That would explain things.

And if you had problems pronouncing Ágætis byrjun, the title of the new album is Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. According to the band’s press release, "The album title is translated into English as ‘with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly’ with the English spelling of the Icelandic album title being ‘Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust’". The Sigur Rós pronunciation guide indicates it should sound like, meth suth ee ayreum vith spileum endaloyst. Say that five times fast.

The album has an international release date of June 23, which means June 24 in the US and most likely June 25 in Japan.

It’s all about me

As a matter of editorial propriety, this site focuses on the music of people who are not me, the people whose day job is, in fact, the creation and performance of music.

In short, the people who are way better at it than I am.

I only ever mention my music project, Eponymous 4, in passing, usually as an excuse for not posting for long periods of time.

This entry will be no different.

This time, however, the distraction isn’t purely creative — there’s a bit of commerce involved as well. Go on and head over to the Eponymous 4 web site for the official announcement, to which I alluded a few weeks back.

I’m putting out a CD.

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Rarities album, DVD marks Shiina Ringo 10th anniversary commemoration

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of her 1998 debut, Shiina Ringo releases a new compilation album and a DVD of video clips on July 2, reports The album, titled Watashi to Houden, includes b-sides and rarities in a two-disc set. The DVD, titled Watashi no Hatsuden, compiles her video clips starting with her first single, "Koufukuron", to her recent collaboration with Saito Neko, "Konoyo Kagiri".

Shiina will also embark on a tour under her own name and not Tokyo Jihen. On May 27, a special site,, launches to anticipate the upcoming releases. (As of May 14, the site doesn’t even resolve to a name server.)

Even though I already have all the singles, it would be nice to have the coupling tracks on one disc. It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m hoping some of those rarities include her songs for Hirosue Kyoko and Tomosaka Rie. I’m very much fond of "Cappuccino", "Shampoo" and "Mokuren no Cream". I managed to snag Tomosaka’s "Shoujo Robot" single from eBay a while back, and those are some of Shiina’s best songs. The video is pretty neat too. I dig the Band of Ringo.

Favorite edition 2004

The weblog you see now did not really exist till 2005.

The previous incarnation of was far more extensive, remnants of which can be found over at the archive. I did a lot of data entry for that site, developed the entire administrative backend and wrote all the content. The site had gotten somewhat popular, and I could have asked for more help to expand.

At the same time, all the Japanese music coverage pigeonholed the site. I had wanted it to reflect my own music tastes, and that was getting lost. So in 2004, I expanded the editorial scope of the site to include more catalog and classical releases. (Sound familiar?) It would be another 3/4 of a year before the weblog you read now was launched.

This list shows a shift in my listening. The Japanese titles started to make room for more domestic acts, a growing number indie in nature. With the 2005 relaunch, the Favorite Edition lists were introduced, so this list also concludes a 20-year exploration of listening.

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Remote dispatch

So far, this trip back home to Hawaiʻi has been a wash where CD shopping is concerned. I dropped a ridiculous amount of cash on ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION’s World World World just because it was convenient to buy at a cash register. Had I exercised restraint, I could have ordered it online for $15 cheaper.

I did find Ann Sally’s Moon Dance and Fuji Fabric’s Ala Carte over at Book Off in Shirokiya, but I don’t think I loved those albums enough to spend money on them.

Last year, I made off with some ACO, bloodthirsty butchers, Quruli and SUPER JUNKY MONKEY. This year, no such discoveries were found. And it was a pipe dream to think I could find BUGY CRAXONE, Fuji Fabric’s TEENAGER, the Port of Notes best album or DVDs from Cocco, Supercar and Tokyo Jihen.

Had I wanted to spend cash on Do As Infinity, Hamasaki Ayumi or even Remioromen, I would have been well supplied. But for the usual favorites, I would need to resort to my usual online avenues.

My trip ends Monday night. I’ll be back in Austin on Tuesday noon-ish.

What’s age got to do with it?

One of the better assignments I was given back when I worked for Austin 360 was covering Tina Turner’s San Antonio concert on what was then billed as her final tour. I appreciate Turner, and I grew up listening to "Private Dancer" and "What’s Love Got to Do with It?" on the radio.

But even without much insight into her work — aside from what’s commonly known by legend — I dug the show. She was damn energetic, and if the large video monitors at the Alamodome were any indication, she has better biceps and triceps than I do.

I don’t know why it crossed my mind a few weeks back, but I thought it would be nice if Turner came out of retirement and did a few more shows. Well, she is.

It’s shocking to think it’s been eight years since that concert. If she’s in as good a shape as she was eight years ago — and by most conventional reports, Turner takes excellent care of herself — audiences are going to get their money’s worth from a show that will most likely be exorbitantly priced.

Favorite edition 2003

I had to rearrange this list and the 2004 a list a bit. Two titles from 2003 made it on to the 2004 list, so I’m putting them back to where they’re supposed to be. Likewise, a few 2004 titles showed up on the 2005 list, et cetera.

Honestly, Shiina Ringo’s Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana just about overshadows every other title on the list, which is a big deal given the number of really quality releases that came out in 2003. I’m almost wondering if 2003 is the pinnacle year of this decade. It sure isn’t 2005.

In 2003, I made way back to the corporate world, taking a job with another technology company, while still working at Waterloo Records. If anything, the next two years would be dominated by work.

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I received an e-mail from CD Japan announcing the debut single from a new project by L’Arc~en~Ciel’s hyde and OBLIVION DUST’s K.A.Z. The pair are calling themselves VAMPS, and the single is titled "Love Addict". It comes out on July 2.

hyde’s nü metal solo work isn’t very impressive. Rather, it sounds like he’s been slumming since releasing the incredibly moody Roentgen back in 2002. But his teaming up with K.A.Z. is intriguing. hyde is no Ken Lloyd, though, and I wonder whether K.A.Z. can really beef up hyde’s emotive style.

Reading between the lines: the lost Duran Duran album

Duran Duran works with Mark Ronson yadda yadda Duran Duran North American tour yadda yadda upcoming picture book yadda yadda …


Here’s an interesting final paragraph from this Billboard article:

And further on the horizon Rhodes says the group hopes to release "Reportage," the album it scrapped in favor of "Red Carpet Massacre" that features the last work original guitarist Andy Taylor did with the band. "We want it to come out one day," the keyboardist says. "It’s a really interesting record…more of an edgy, indie rock album, obviously going back to our earlier roots. There are a lot of songs I’m very proud of that I’d like people to hear."

Here’s what my cynical-colored lenses see:

We’re trying to figure out how much to pay off Andy Taylor to let us release an album that was probably better than that tanking piece of crap "Red Carpet Massacre" turned out to be.

Justin Timberlake and Timbaland did far better with the new Madonna album than with Duran Duran.