Ryukyu Beatles, not an insect, rather, it’s the name of an album

Yup, Richie here at Karakui.com is a pretty big fan of The Beatles and it’s pretty cool to see their music redone with an Okinawan twist. The group of this wonderful album are calling themselves “Soul Gakudan” and they’re none other than Toru Yonaha (sanshin, fue), Kazunari Uechi (taiko), Yoko Onaga (koto) and Natsuko Morita (kuucho). (That’s Toru in the YouTube clip performing “Day Tripper” in Koza.)

The first pressing of the 10-track album—released on 6/18/08—comes with a kunkunshi (or kururunshi) booklet and is currently on sale for ¥2,000 at retailers like CDJapan.

ryukyubeatles.jpg

Track listing:

  1. NORWEGIAN WOOD
  2. TICKET TO RIDE
  3. EIGHT DAYS A WEEK
  4. YELLOW SUBMARINE
  5. OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA
  6. DAY TRIPPER
  7. MICHELLE
  8. IN MY LIFE
  9. NOWHERE MAN
  10. HEY JUDE

Rinken Teruya’s solo album, “Pause,” available on iTunes

We all know him as the leader of perhaps the greatest recorded O-pop group in history, Rinken Band, and Rinken Teruya is finally recording a solo album. Pre-released in a digital format exclusively at the iTunes Store in August 4th of this year (yeah, I missed it), “Pause” (link opens iTunes Store) is an instrumental, or BGM (as in background music) album. The 11-track solo album will have a CD version available—for those of you who must own the actual shiny disc with liner notes—on October 5, 2008.

I’ve always admired Rinken as he has the one of the best online presences of all the Okinawa-based artists I’ve come across and he’s been doing it for years.

Be sure to also check out other albums of the Rinken family of artists on iTunes (links will open iTunes Store) like Tomoko Uehara, Rinken Band and Mihanagumi. There’s actually a lot more available at the Japan iTunes Store so let’s hope the folks at Apple work in making them available at the US store too.

(Via Okinawan Music Net.)