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05-03-13 Footnotes
Show 388: Sound Opinions World Tour: Japan, Jessie Ware Review, Greg's DIJ

1 George Jones was one of the greatest voices in 20th century music. Period. So even non-country fans will miss Texas singer, who died recently at age 81. “No Show Jones” had a long, very public battle with alcoholism. And he was no stranger to divorce. But when he sang about these issues, it was never corn pone clichés. As Greg explains, George was nothing if not authentic. And that’s what made his relationship to fans so strong. To say goodbye to George Jones, Jim and Greg play what many believe is the best country song ever written: “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

2a Two months ago, Jim and Greg kicked off the Sound Opinions World Tour with a musical survey of pop powerhouse Sweden. This week, our series on global rock and pop continues with a stop in Japan. Jim and Greg recruit Tokyo-based music journalist and podcaster Daniel Robson to be their guide through the contemporary Japanese music scene. As Daniel explains, it’s a scene that’s at once similar and very different from that of the Americans and Europeans. Consider this: the Japanese music industry is still profitable, and physical sales still outpace digital. That’s in large part to the stranglehold J-pop production companies have on the domestic market. But for every saccharine commercial confection like AKB48, Daniel says there’s an underground group sure to thrill indie ears. Mamadrive and Shinsei Kamattechan are just two bands poised for Western success in the tradition of Japanese experimenters like Boris, Melt Banana, Acid Mothers Temple, and The Boredoms. Another point of difference with the West? Japanese musicians are roughly 50% women. Today singers like Shiina Ringo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu carry on the tradition of eclectic rock and J-pop pioneered by all-women groups from Shonen Knife to Puffy AmiYumi.

2b Want more Japanese tunes? Check out Daniel Robson’s podcast, It Came From Japan.

And here are the Japanese artists featured in this episode:
Puffy AmiYumi
Shonen Knife
Happy End
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
MoMoiro Clover Z
Melt Banana
Shinsei Kamattechan
Shiina Ringo
The GazettE
Judy and Mary
Number Girl

3 UK singer Jessie Ware has slowly been making her way stateside, first with buzz from tracks like “Wildest Moments” and then with a U.S. tour. Now her album Devotion is getting a proper American release with bonus tracks. Greg loves the shadow play of her vocals and chiming keyboards and hears a little reggae in the mix. But for him the key is restraint, with Jessie demonstrating that it’s a choice, not a limitation. She can belt it when needed, but overall it’s a beautiful, subtle record. Jim loves the new R&B palette and is excited by this trend that also includes The Weeknd and Rhye. Devotion gets a double Buy It.

4 Greg has traveled by “bathysphere” to the desert island to pop a quarter in the jukebox. And right now he’s in a Miles Davis kinda mood. Specifically, Greg has been going back to Davis’ jazz-fusion period and his 1971 release A Tribute to Jack Johnson. He had perfected his studio language with Teo Macero, and you can hear that in just a snippet of the almost half hour track “Right Off.”

Songs Featured in Show #388
Goose Island Credit Music: Pure Sunray, "Caramel," Pure Sunray, 2013
George Jones, “White Lightning,” White Lightning and Other Favorites, Mercury, 1959
George Jones, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” I Am What I Am, Epic, 1980
Puffy AmiYumi, “Planet Tokyo,” Nice., Epic, 2003
The Tigers, “Smile for Me,” Smile for Me (Single), Polydor, 1969
Happy End, “Kaze Wo Atsumete,” Kazemachi Roman, URC, 1971
Shonen Knife, “Riding on a Rocket,” Let’s Knife, Virgin, 1993
Puffy AmiYumi, “Thank You,” Nice., Epic, 2003
AKB48, “Manatsu no Sounds Good!,,” Manatsu no Sounds Good! (Single), You, Be Cool!, 2012
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, “PonPonPon,” Moshi-Moshi Harajuku, Warner Music Japan, 2011
Boris, “Statement,” Smile, Diwphalanx, 2008
Momoiro Clover Z, “Fierce Space Symphony. 7th Movement (Infinite Love)," 5th Dimension, Starchild, 2013
The Boredoms, “*,” Vision Creation Newsun, Birdman, 1999
Acid Mothers Temple, “La Le Lo,” Mantra of Love, Alien8, 2004
Melt Banana, “Spider Snipe,” Bambi’s Dilemma, A-Zap, 2007
Shinsei Kamattechan, “Otoko Ha Roman Daze! Takeda Kun,” Minna Shine, Perfect Music, 2010
Shiina Ringo, “Marunouchi Sadistic,” Muzai Moratorium, Toshiba EMI, 1999
The GazettE, “Filth in the Beauty,” Stacked Rubbish, PS Company, 2007
Misora Hibari, “Sad Whistling, “ Sad Whistling (Single), Columbia Japan, 1949
Judy and Mary, “Brand New Wave Upper Ground,“ Great Escape, Sony, 2001
Mamadrive, “Hebi No Onna,” Mousou Tengoku, Third Stone From the Sun, 2012
Perfume, “Dream Fighter,” Triangle, Tokuma Japan, 2009
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, “Fashion Monster,” Fashion Monster (Single), Unborde, 2012
Number Girl, “Urban Guitar Sayonara” Sappukei, EMI, 2000
Jessie Ware, "Wildest Moments," Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Jessie Ware, "Still Love Me," Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Jessie Ware, "Something Inside," Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Miles Davis, "Right Off," Tribute to Jack Johnson, Columbia, 1971
Nick Drake, “Pink Moon,” Pink Moon. Island, 1972
Nick Drake, “Place to Be,” Pink Moon. Island, 1972
Nick Drake, “One of These Things First,” Bryter Later, Island, 1970

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