Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's not so bad after all. (思ったよりいいかな。)

Just a quick little life update before we get down to business.

I submitted my thesis this afternoon, which is an accomplishment. Point one. I also, however, found at least two typos on it after it had been printed and bound... why is it that we never see our mistakes until there's absolutely NOTHING we can do about them? ...I think that speaks about life in general, really. Damn.

Regardless. I have also discovered that, despite my MAD stressing over the fact that I currently do not have a job, I am a little relieved to discover that, hey, what do you know. I have a life plan. And guess what? Apparently, that's not exactly common among my 20-something age group.


Despite my being rejected from one job and alternate-listed for another, I know exactly (a) where I want to go and (b) how to get there (theoretically.) I am making connections whenever I can and scrounging around for as much information as can fit into my college-fried, stressed-out brain. My goals are not unrealistic, and I have at least a rough plan of what I should be doing five, ten years in the future.

And, most importantly, I KNOW this because I've ASKED people.

Why doesn't anyone think about that anymore? Just ask. What can it hurt? The worst anyone can ever say is "no." (Ok, ok, technically they can also say "BEGONE FOUL BEAST" and file a restraining order while flinging various holy symbols in your general direction, but...) And for goodness sake, don't you think the people actually doing it are better with the advice than just the people who want to do it?

Sometimes, I freak out, and then I realize. I'm grounded. (You are a good influence on me, Melon.) And heavens to murgatory. I'd rather be grounded than just lucky (although admittedly I'd LOVE to be lucky too. Damn my fate.)

Er. I guess that wasn't as quick as I had originally intended. Oh, well. Such is life.

ANYWAY. Back to your regularly scheduled Japan blog. (I wonder what it means that "Japan blog" is almost a category in and of itself lately...)

Today, we will be talking a little bit about スガシカオ, or Suga Shikao for all you English speakers out there. (I guess I do write my blog in your language after all, I shouldn't be surprised that you read it.)

According our dear friend, the wondrous and many splendored (Firefox thinks that's not a word, but I disagree heartily) Wikipedia:

Shikao Suga (スガ シカオ, Suga Shikao, born July 28, 1966) is a Japanese musician and singer-songwriter from Tokyo. Though he uses katakana for his recording name, the kanji for his name are 菅 止戈男, but the romanization is the same. Suga is his family name and Shikao is his given name.

After graduating from Tokyo Keizai University, he worked as a "salaryman" for four years in the advertisement industry. Debuting with a major label EP album release in 1997, his J-Pop music has jazz, funk and soul influence, coupled with beautiful and moving lyrics.

...I did not know he was 43. Hooo. What is it with me and these old guys? Does my generation simply not produce quality music like those of the past have? (The answer: no.)

But yes, quite an interesting past for a musician, no? I suppose luck hits you no matter where you are, even if your soul is being gradually chipped away by your mind-numbing corporate drone job...

But I digress.

I only discovered スガシカオ by accident, as is my wont with bands I then grow to like/love/obsess over (Dir en grey, anyone?). Back in 2007, when I was a wee ickle underclassman spending my summer in Hokkaido, he had just come out with this single:

which was popular enough to have the video playing in the Karaoke venue where I was spending the afternoon one day. Really, it was very accidental, considering the fact that usually, such venues are so loud with music blaring over the speakers that you can't hear a word of what's being sung in the actual videos they have playing everywhere you look.

Anyway, I was intrigued. I wrote down his name from the video, was told the next day by a guy I was chasing at the time that he was a solo artist, and not a band as I'd thought (hey, I see all katakana, I get confused), and eventually found my way to his music through the glorious internet after I'd returned home.

(Side note- Who ARE these random white girls that pop up so often in Japanese music videos? Where do they come from? do I get their job?)

I remain dubious as to his style, regardless of Wikipedia's inclination to label him "funk" (what IS funk anyway?), and really like him mostly due to his intriguing vocal style.

Remember, a few days ago, how I mentioned something about singing so quickly that it seemed you were bound to trip over yourself? Yea, like that. It's also partially breaking words up in different places than you normally would... but I'm horrible at explaining it, because I really don't know what it is myself... all I know is that I like it. Perhaps it would be best with a demonstration:

As soon as he goes into the verse. See? Not that beginning part. No, no, the middle. See? Yea, that's it.

I'm sure you, hear exactly what I mean.

Regardless, this is the reason I like スガシカオ. You, I'm sure, may like him for an entirely different reason, as is your right. I was simply being a good blogger. And then you had to be all judgmental. Sheesh.

(And does he look to be in his 40s to you? No, I didn't think so. How do you say... oh yes, "homina homina.")

This is Edo, signing off while wondering if スガシカオ would harmonize well with Kimutaku...

No comments: