Foreign Music

Hello, internets! Rando here. Been a bit busy, gang.

So in our beloved Show 17, we talk about international music (for us, music not from the US or England). So I thought I’d post some links for you to review some of the music I enjoy listening to. If you like the music, please support the artists by buying a copy for yourself.

As a disclaimer: All works are those of the original artists and copyright holders. I make no claim to these works nor am I the original poster.

So what do we start with first, eh? How about the Mexican band Chingon:

Pretty kick-ass, no? It’s from a release called Mexican Spaghetti Western. You can get a copy here. (We’re not affiliated.)

Where else on our tour? How about Germany with the band Trio:

Odd little song with a catchy beat. It’s called Da Da Da if you couldn’t tell. Well how about that? CD Universe has the exact disc I got. Get yerself a copy. (Again, we’re not affiliated.)

So a short hop from Germany to Finland. “Finland, Finland, Finland. The country where I quite want to be.” goes the Monty Python lyric, but Loituma goes like this:

I heard about this song when I stumbled on this ‘net meme featuring Orihime Inoue from Bleach:

It’s called Levan Polka from a release called Things of Beauty. And looking around, Yikes! It’s out of print. But you can get better marketplace prices here or here. (Guess what? We’re still not affiliated.)

And now for some Japanese music. A lot of this is from Anime which is how I get most of my exposure to Japanese pop culture so take my knowledge with a grain of salt. But they do create some really great music.

I’ve tried to get links to the original music videos from YouTube, but, as is often the case, there’s a lot of iffy content out there so sometimes this stuff gets taken down when the copyright holder or original artist (rare) protests. So hopefully these links are OK.

First off, there’s the Seatbelts. A jazz band responsible for the iconic music for Cowboy Bebop. Here’s the opening credit sequence:

Wow! Those horns! The song is called Tank! and the full version is even more amazing! And there are FOUR soundtracks for your listening pleasure: Three official ones from the TV show and one from the movie. Unfortunately, the TV show is out of print right now.

You can enjoy all of it here, and here. (And we’re still not affiliated.)

Next is a haunting melody from the second Ghost in the shell movie: Innocence. It’s called Follow Me:

It’s a reprise of another work according to Wikipedia, but I’m calling it Japanese since I heard it on Innocence. That’s my story, I’m sticking to it! And, Gah! it’s out of print too. But you can get imports here. (No affiliation.)

Next I’m featuring a lovely singer with a lovely voice, Nakashima Mika. This song is called Love Addict:

The above is a short version (original is some seven minutes long) but it’s very good. She’s not just Jazz, either. Her album Love will showcase here talents nicely. And you can get an import here. (You know the drill.)

So off we go to Ayano Tsuji. She’s a petite singer and musician who is unapologetic in her devotion to Japanese culture. She plays ukulele because here hands are so small that a guitar is pretty difficult for her. I first heard her song Kaze ni Naru on the closing credits of The Cat Returns .

Note the lilting sound of the ukulele and the simple accompaniment. There’s another version with much more production and it just ruins the song. This one’s way better. This song is available here as a single and it’s pricey, but her music is very good. There’s also a short program about her music from NPR.

And here we go to Rei Fu. Her voice is amazing! Here she is singing Life is Like a Boat which is the first ending theme to Bleach and is how I got exposed to it.

What a voice, eh? You can get a copy here. It’s worth it!

Did you think you’d get away without hearing some Japanese Rock ‘n Roll (or J-Rock)? Here are two bands I like a lot.

First, there is The Pillows. They generate great beats and rhythms along with a signature buzzy guitar sound. Check out Ride on Shooting Star which was used in the ending credits for FLCL, an anime from Gainax.

This was the official music video. They’ve had a couple of US releases along with their soundtrack work. Available here.

And, finally, a band called Theatre Brook. I got turned onto their sound from the first opening to Durarara! called Uragiri no Yuuyake. Check it out:

What a great driving beat. And the singer can really belt it out! Available here.

So please check these artists out and buy the music you like to support them. The Mid-Life Crisis Taskforce isn’t affiliated with any of the sellers or services linked here.

Rando out!

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