Two days ago I blogged about BEGIN’s plans for 2007 and one of the artists that I mentioned on that post caught my attention. Orange Clover is a relatively new J/O-pop duo from Ishikagi-jima who released their first album “LaLaLaLaLa” in 2004. Female lead singer/lyricist Shinobu Nakasone and male guitarist/composer Nobuhiro Miyara only have that debut album to their credit but through their website you can download samples of the duo’s music (and that’s where they get it). Also available are the lyrics to each song and while only one is available as a full-song, the others are 1-2 minute samples which leaves you wanting to listen to the whole thing! It looks like (at least according to their website) the only place to find the album in Naha is at cool record store, Get Happy Records. Other than that store, you’ll only find it for sale in Ishigaki-jima record shops. Orange Clover is definitely worth a listen and I’d buy it in a snap if it were available through the iTunes Store.
We’re about 12 hours away from a new year, 2007! Since I’m off from my real job, I’ll post a few things here before the year is over.
Got wind of this little gem from Deckman. The song is called “Christmas Melody” and is performed by Takano Uehara with composition by her friend H. Tanahara. According to Deckman, Takano is an amateur singer from Itoman and the video was put out on the web to see if there would be any interest in it. Personally, I think the song is quite catchy and kind of cool. I definitely like it and would like to hear more from the singer. Although I couldn’t find much info on Takano, she is on MySpace. Check out the video, check out her MySpace page and let’s hope to hear more from her in 2007.
Our favorite O-Pop group from Yaeyama, BEGIN, is back as a trio after taking a break and taking on solo/side projects. October 2006’s single “Sanshin no Hana” (TECI-109) marked their return as a group and in 2007 they’ll go on tour, see the release of their autobiographical movie “Koishikute” (the theme song to the film, “Miifaifyuu” [TECI-110], is set to be released on February 7, 2007), and a new album (kind of). While it’s not an original full-album but rather a cover album called “Sanshin no Hana Utagassen” (TECI-1152), it’s a new release nonetheless. The album will feature four (NOSE WATER, Orange Clover, SOUNDER BIRDS and Born ti Cafta.) of the group’s kouhai from Yaeyama and will be released to the wild on March 7, 2007.
Hah, almost forgot an important detail. I’ll probably have some new visitors finding their way to Karakui since I’ve joined the WordPress community, so let me say Haisai (welcome in the Okinawan language) to you! While the old site is still up, feel free to visit the older posts at Karakui.com. Thanks for visiting!
Okay, so it may not really be a scoop for Karakui but it’s good news nonetheless. As reported on nikkansports.com and on Jake’s Japanese-language website KLUB (it’s not on his English-language site yet), the Hawaii-born ukulele virtuoso will be performing as a special guest with Rimi Natsukawa at this year’s Kouhaku Uta-gassen. Rimi and Jake will perform Shoukichi Kina’s “Hana”. Yay!
Known for his amazing technique on the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro (30), recently took part in this year’s Honolulu Marathon – the first for the Hawaii-born musician. According to an article on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin the marathon was one of the hardest things he’s ever done – changing his lifestyle which has in turn, affected his music too.
Shimabukuro is known for his hyperkinetic performances in which he bounces around the stage as he rapidly strums his ukulele. But as he approached his 30th birthday in November, he moved into a more mellow and what he views as a more mature style.
Also in the same article, there’s mention that his latest album from his own HITCHHIKE RECORDS label “Gently Weeps” (link will open iTunes) – released in September of this year and includes 11 tracks penned by him, has been on the Billboard’s World Music Chart for 12 weeks and ranked as high as number two. My personal favorite off of the album is “Wish On My Star (Vocal Version)”.
J-Pop Dance/Vocal trio DA PUMP treated 300 of their lucky fans (out of 4,290 that tried to get into this event) to a special Xmas live event at Fuji TV (Odaiba, Tokyo) on December 25, 2006. The group performed a total of 13 songs including their latest single “Christmas Night” (AVCT-30122) – the trio’s first Christmas song.
Happy Xmas everyone!
Here’s a story that’ll make you feel all nice and tingly inside (just in time for Xmas too). Miyakojima-born Erika Sunakawa (29), a care worker by trade, recently released a debut single called “Heart Drops” (YRCN-10178) on December 20, 2006. It all started from an appearance on the wonderfully entertaining karaoke show from NHK called “Nodo Jiman”, and later as a contestant in an audition show called “Uta Sta!!” she caught the attention of songwriter Yoshiyasu Ichikawa (SMAP, Naohito Fujiki, Shunsuke Nakamura). The rest is showbiz history. According to earthhopper, Erika’s EP is highly recommended at every CD shop in Okinawa. Tracks from the EP “Heart Drops” can be sampled at the Japan iTunes Store (clicking on the link will launch iTunes) and she has a blog too. 🙂
[Thanks to earthhopper for the scoop. Click on that link for the original story.]