Friday, July 17, 2015

Ken Yokoyama: Won't Turn Off My Radio

Back when I taught Junior High School in Japan, I had some students who were way into punk music. They introduced me to Hi-Standard and its lead singer, Ken Yokoyama and the record label Pizza of Death. One proudly wore a "Fuck Ken" t-shirt, which I can assure you they and Ken Yokoyama both understood.

I chanced to see Ken Yokoyama on Japanese TV playing his new single:

It's good. If you like that, you'd probably enjoy the rest of his songs, such as How Many More Times or Ricky Punks. Or this cover of Basket Case by Green Day.

Actually I had an interesting discussion about him and his English. I said he speaks English well - but with a very strong Japanese accent. The person I was talking to said it wasn't good, because it sounded so Japanese. I think both are good points. Ken's English usage is correct. He doesn't just sprinkle random English words into a song ("Let's Fighting Love!") but uses English correctly and well. Yet there is the accent. You decide.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Covers: William Shatner / Common People

Until this morning I have no idea this cover existed:

William Shatner, off of Has Been.

That's the album he did with Ben Folds, and this song partners him with Joe Jackson. I love how much this reminds me of The Nails "88 Lines About 44 Women", and a bit of People Who Died.

But yeah, until today I'd never heard this song. I didn't even know the original existed, either. This song didn't hit where I was in the 90s, I guess. It rocks. The cover though, that's just awesome.