Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Ringo Shiina & Junpei Shiina & Neko Saito -- Kono no Yo no Kagiri （この世の限り）
"Kono no Yo no Kagiri" (Memory) was not only Ringo Shiina's（椎名林檎）17th single from January 2007, but it was also the ending theme for the movie "Sakuran" whose soundtrack, "Heisei Fuuzoku"（平成風俗）, I profiled several months ago.
I guess if I ever dreamed of an old Steve Lawrence-&-Eydie Gorme showstopper filtered through Harajuku, the official music video for "Kono Yo no Kagiri" would be the result. I have been around long enough to remember some of the last hurrah of the prime-time US variety shows back in the 60s and early 70s, and violinist Neko Saito's（斉藤ネコ）arrangement of the Ringo-created song had me reminiscing a bit of those double acts doing the ol' softshoe on the TV before my brother and I were scooted off for our nightly appointment in the bathtub.
Mind you, neither Ringo nor her brother, R&B singer-songwriter Junpei Shiina（椎名純平）, tripped the light fantastic in the video but there was a lot of weird clothing, shiny bright balloons and food-as-musical instruments to generate enough Willy Wonka whimsy to fill up an NBC studio. I guess Neko Saito would be the Les Brown to the Shiinas' Steve and Eydie. And to finish up the old-time American telly analogy, Ringo and Junpei finish up with an "OK, let's bring it home!"-finale which would have meant bringing out The Rockettes onto the stage if this had been performed during "The Ed Sullivan Show".
I loved the song and on the video, it was all-so-adorable to see the usually oh-so-serious Ringo shaking her hands up at the camera like an elementary school kid. A nice little surprise there. Maybe the skyview camera was meant to represent those variety show icons like Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason and Ed Sullivan looking down with some appreciation at a sibling act from Japan doing the old-school.
The single, by the way, peaked at No. 8 on Oricon and hit Gold.
And to give a bit more information about some of the people I was talking about, here are Steve and Eydie.
As for Les Brown, he and his Band of Renown would always provide the musical support during the Bob Hope specials.