mbarker: (Default)

That was amusing. Someone on TV started singing a childhood favorite about bubbles, in Japanese. I started laughing, and joined in with Jesus loves me, this I know... Mitsuko looked at me in amazement and asked how I knew this Japanese song. I said it is an old time American song for children at church. Then she said, "Oh, someone stole it." But... I mean, it is probably public domain, and old as the hills. If you take the melody from an old song and put new words to it, I don't consider that stealing. But what is it?

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mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
On NHK (Japan Public TV) there was a transition just now to a short piece about an artist's eco residence... and during the intro, the background music had a few recognizable phrases, and I found myself humming along...

...he shaved his legs... take a walk on the wild side...

I have to admit, I laughed long and hard. Then I went and found the words, just to check my memory. Right, Quincy Jones, Walk on the Wild Side... and... oh, yeah, those lyrics... I'll bet they didn't translate all of those into Japanese. They used the English lyrics, just a couple of clips almost inaudible behind the announcer, but... I heard it.

It does sound nice, though. And for those who recognize the tune or words, it is kind of a nice break to hear that kind of a song on public TV. We are the people our parents warned us about, I guess...
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Probably the top story right now in Japan is not the US election -- it's Komuro. Who is that? A rock producer who apparently played fast and loose with contracts and money, and has now been arrested for a little $5 million dollar mistake (rough conversion, based on 100 yen to the dollar).

Some of it is a question of copyright, oddly enough. Did he have the copyright to sell some songs or not? If he did, then the "victim" may still owe him some $5 million (although this is where things get confused -- at one point apparently the victim claimed he only owed him another $1.5 million, based on sales?). However, since Komuro apparently didn't own the copyright, then he's apparently trying to defraud the investor.
Not everyone can play fast and lose with millions . . . )
The fun part, to me, is how avidly people seem to be hanging on the stories of this lifestyle. Does it make us feel better to know that someone can spend money on that scale? And that he's going down in flames? Is there a feeling that he's being punished for his excesses?

I was also intrigued to realize that among all the stories, this 49-year-old music producer seems to have spent almost all of his money on himself and his business. Have to wonder if the guy even knows there is another world outside the music scene -- and that for most of us, that kind of pocket change is a lifelong ambition, not an evening gig.
mbarker: (Burp)
Let's see. The Japanese is oshiri kajiri mushi (おしりかじり虫)and you can listen to the droning whine over here  or you might have heard it on the New Year's Show on public TV. Aha! And here's a version with English subtitles!

It's a kid's song about the ass chewing bug - and the kids have a whole dance routine and stuff that goes with it. Costumes, etc. Incredible - who would have thought that something like that could be a cuteness hit?

I'm waiting for the video "Oshiri Kajiri Mushi meets Hello Kitty."
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
We just caught part of what I think was an experimental sort of piece. A mix of music, setting, and playing with viewing and auditory POV?
The nitty grits . . . )
Quite unusual, and very pretty. I shudder to think of the logistics involved in setting up such a performance, and of course you can't really tell what it is like until you put all the parts together - so it more like a movie than a live performance, but still . . . Nice.

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