Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fiddle and Violins: Rest In Peace & Fly Away


Sugizo: Rest in Peace & Fly Away


Like a lot of the other SMMers last week, I had a hard time coming up with songs about Truth, Veracity, Honesty, or even Truthiness that I really enjoyed.

Not so with this week's theme.

In fact, I've almost come full circle with this post – it was nearly a year ago that I joined the group here (thanks for inviting me!) and I posted a near-twin of this song, a similarly slow, moving instrumental by the Japanese rock star, Sugizo. He wrote this as a theme song for the movie "Soundtrack," in which he also starred.

Sugizo is kinda like the Ry Cooder of J-Rock, with his capable fingers in many pies. He's currently a member of not one but two of the foremost bands in Japan (Luna Sea and, most recently, X-Japan). If that doesn't keep him busy enough, he's a featured musician on numerous other bands' songs, writes soundtracks, and contributes to many ecological and humanitarian causes. He's primarily noted as a guitarist, but as you can see, he also plays the violin quite well.

So check out the song, but you won't get the full effect until you watch him perform with X-Japan live in Tokyo in this YouTube clip. If you want to know why I'm so hot for J-Rock, then this clip might give you a hint. It's got it all: the long-awaited hometown resurrection of a hugely popular band whose members went through more trials than Britney, Mariah, and Tina Turner combined, the emo-classical intro—a duet with Sugizo and J-diva Yoshiki playing matching clear acrylic instruments and wearing matching frilly waistcoats, joined by their clearly overwhelmed vocalist who'd just had the scales fall from his eyes about a cult he'd been entangled in for the past ten years, a duet which then segues into an over-the-top uber-rock-band anthem, complete with enough flashing lights and fireworks to trigger epilepsy, where Sugizo swaps his violin for a clear acrylic guitar and Yoshiki mounts his drum kit and never holds back even though everyone in the audience knows he's nearly been paralyzed from repetitive stress motion and could still succumb…. Whoa. This needs to be a reality show, you know what I'm saying?

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