The Merchants of Cool

Slashdot pointed to a Frontline documentary called “The Way the Music Died“. I went to go watch it but it wasn’t up at the time so I looked over the list of stuff they have online and ended up watching “The Merchants of Cool“, a very good program about how nearly everything kids are into today is manufactured or promoted by big business.

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I decided to try If you don’t know about it it’s a new music service that provides legal MP3s of famous artists for like $10 a month. No limits, download as many as you want, no restrictions. Since they are MP3s you can burn them to a CD, copy them to your iPod, NetMD etc.

So far I’m mixed because I’m having a hard time finding good music. It’s not that there is not a ton of good stuff it’s just I don’t know what it is. Imagine walking into a record store with no radio. Meaning I guess most people hear something on the radio or somewhere then to get it at the CD store but here, since they carry mostly slightly older titles, what should I be looking for? At least you can sample pretty much every song on there.

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This crazy guy is the GAMEBOY MUSIC KING!! ;-).

Back when the Gameboy Camera came out in Japan he had to have one but more than the camera, the system came with a music sequencer. He went crazy with it and now he does live music performances with his Gameboy and other custom equipment.

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Search for a CD

When I was at Big Grub I stumbled upon my first Lounge CD at the now closed Tower Alternative. A Tower Records store that sold mostly imports and lesser known bands located at “the Lab” (anti-mall) as they call it.

Since then I’ve lost the CD. I may have left it at Big Grub or Maybe our music guy has it (or maybe he destroyed it) or I may have just lost it though I don’t really see how so I’m guessing the CD goblins took it. Probably out with their buddies the sock monkeys that steal only one sock of a pair.

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Band Names

What’s the strangest band names you’ve heard of? Here in Japan some recent ones are Bump of Chicken, Pizza of Death, BBQ Chickens and of course 2 years ago there was the ever famous Hide with Spread Beaver.

Learn to play the guitar

While looking for some websites on how to play the guitar I found this site. I guess by his definition I already know how to play all instruments ;-)

Mixed Up Music

I couple of interesting songs have gotten the big *push* as they say here in Japan. On of them is by an artist named Faye Wong. She’s Chinese, singing in English and Japanese in an Irish style in her current hit which you can check out here by clicking on the RealAudio icon.

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I just thought it was intersting that I guess they are trying to promote Puffy in the states. Puffy is pretty big in Japan. On top of having several hit albums they have a weekly TV show and represent a few different brands off stuff on TV. Sadly I don’t really think they stand a chance it the U.S. unless they some how become a fad.


For you Bjork fans she has a new album coming out on Aug 28th in the states, Aug 18th here in Japan ;-) As always her videos are interesting. Check out this new one if you haven’t seen it.

Rainbow Connection

There’s a popular drama on Japanese TV that is using Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams as their theme music. This version is sung by Karen Carpenter which I hadn’t heard before. Anybody know who sung it first? The first version I heard was the version sung by Kermit the frog in the first Muppet movie. Just curious.

One problem with Japanese dramas and music is once they’ve picked a theme song it gets played for ALL music needed in the drama. There may be a few different versions but otherwise you’ll here the song 5 to 6 times in a 30 minute episode. Ugh.

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