Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Girl Group Sound Spectacular

Eight years after Rhino Records’ release party for girl group box set, One Kiss Can Lead to Another brought members of Reparata & the Delrons, the Cookies, the Exciters, the Toys, the Jaynetts, Beverly Warren, and Toni Wine to the Cutting Room (it was also the night Russ Titelman kissed my hand….oooooh! ), B.B. King Blues Club will be hosting the very same ladies (with soul queens Maxine Brown and Baby Washington also in attendance!) in “The Girl Group Sound Spectacular” on Sunday September 8th, 2013. If this comes even close to the magic of the Cutting Room night, it will be an extraordinary evening. Tickets are available here:

Nippon Girls: Japanese Synth-pop, Bubble-gum, and Ballads Mix (1971-1985)

Disco, new wave, punk, power ballads. Japan continued to mimic the musical moods of the West into the ’70s and ’80s, albeit with a larger helping of sugar. Japanese chart pop came heavily candy-coated, melodies almost extreme in their sweetness, back by ultra-corny synth sounds and super-slick productions that require treble adjustment. It’s a genre that has yet to garner interest outside of Japan, and has little of the cool lavished upon J-pop from the ’60s. I can’t think of many Western records that sound as un-hip as say “Sentimental Journey,” and I sometimes find myself dashing for the volume control, worried about my neighbors over-hearing such peculiar selections. But if you’re a sucker for magic melodies and quality pop songwriting, no matter if delivered via a wall of sound or Casio keyboard, I think you’ll be surprised by just how damn catchy synth-driven J-pop can be. Tsutsumi Kyohei, master songwriter and producer, is behind a good majority of the best pop written in Japan from the ’60s through the early ’90s. I’ve starred all the songs with Tsutsumi Kyohei’s involvement. And have also noted songwriter Eiichi Ohtaki, another songwriting prodigy who had … Read more