This Is A Song About Kitahara Sayaka

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The lessons from Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)” and “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)” could just as easily be applied to Japanese idols as to rock music.


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9 Responses to “This Is A Song About Kitahara Sayaka”
  1. jim says:

    Lost me a little there…but I’m still honing my stock answer to why I hate nearly all new western rock…”rock” is just the energy of youth. Some people are better than others at holding on it and that’s all there is to it. “Burning out” is ok. It’s not killing yourself or giving up everything, just what you’re not as into anymore so you can do something else. The whole attraction to idols and Japanese music is these people giving 100% energy to it. We don’t really want Aibon or Mari back if they’re gonna fake it, right? American music now seems based on they’re not being a reality anymore of genuine fun. It’s either about stupid, base negative emotions without purpose or being made for people to smart to be entertained by actual effort.

    Post-whatever used to have a point. Now the bands that used to be relevant have just slid into it out of laziness or cynicism and nobody’s calling bullshit. I hate it.

    I’m not very fun at parties lately.

    Ok, I’m putting Gatas on….

  2. Kuri says:

    On Neil Young lyrics and applying them to j-idols: Fuck yes.

    Why are not more connections made like this?

  3. Radicalipton says:

    @Jim: Amen. J-pop = energy. J-rock = energy. Western pop/rock = boredom and zero.

  4. CJ Marsicano says:

    I do comparisons between J-Pop artists and western ones all the time – not in the style of “Oh, Hikaru Utada is the Japanese Britney Spears” but more to describe the sound or feel of a particular J-Pop song using Western examples for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with J-pop acts (i.e. referring to Ohio Players and P-Funk regarding “Resonant Blue”).

  5. jim says:

    I always regret making statements like that…it’s kinda true, but I’m trying to not make generalizations at all anymore. Like, I know exactly what J-pop vs. what type of new western rock I mean there. It’s not worth getting into, but it sure doesn’t apply across the board.

    But the “burning out” thing is true for most things. (Unless it’s romanticizing suicide, I’d rather have Kurt Cobain around as an author or visual artist, being burnt out as a musician is not the end of your life.) Except…I have no idea what this has to with Sayaka. Did she quit and missed it?

  6. jim says:

    Is it THAT random a thought? It’s bugging me now!

  7. Ray Mescallado says:


    Mostly, I was thinking about how pop music – including rock – is all about immediacy, which means that ephemerality becomes a VIRTUE and not a drawback. Japanese idols are especially good examples of this, as in the Golden Age of Idols they would often appear, make an impact, then disappear. And I wonder if that ethos – of emphasizing the now, and of accepting a short lifespan as an idol – has been lost, or if the thinking around it has changed.

    As for naming Sayaka – well, she’s a current favorite now and is about to enter the big time with Milky Way. So I was wondering how her career would turn out.

  8. jim says:

    Oh I thought it was a specific thing about her I was missing. A lot of old scenes are based on one-off groups with one great single each. I think it’s a romantic thing to attribute just that to the quality of the output tho. A lot of those groups were exploited by the record companies and might have had a lot more songs in them. You like to think they were all happy with their one hit, but might be bitter about it. In Japan, I think it was more common with the girls because it was just a thing you did before you were married. It’s become acceptable now to continue working mostly, but it’s weird how H!P has held out. It seems set up initially to let girls go into adulthood, like they graduate and that’s it. Now those girls are in a weird limbo. I feel increasingly uneasy about that, for their sake. I like watching a long-term career myself if they can sustain the energy. That’s what their kinda for, to look at and be amazed. You definitely wanna look at these people and say “wow they still rock”, not “oh they’re still there”. Becoming boring is worse than becoming old, that’s how I would say it.

  9. Radicalipton says:

    @Ray: It seems that timing is everything with idols, and Tsunku and his associates have gotten very, very good at this. Sayaka and Manoeri are the stars of the soon-to-come future and are groomed to fit the inevitable gaps (i.e., Gomaki, Yossie, Miki). This sustains the immediacy, a perpetual cycle.

    @Jim: You’re absolutely right. It is weird how H!P has held out. I’m always eternally grateful for DVDs because, sooner or later, it will end for these sensational performers, so enjoy them while you can! That is why is was so tough on everyone when Aibon crashed and burned, when Megumi staggered out, when Maiha left Berryz grinning (glad to be off the hot seat) while the remaining Berryz members melted down.