I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ringo Shiina -- Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri (長く短い祭)

As I was commenting to Noelle on her fine opinions on the 66th Kohaku Utagassen a couple of days ago, the most recent version of the NHK New Year's Eve special had quite a bit more meat to chew on. Although I read that the special experienced even lower ratings overall than for the program in 2014, I actually enjoyed the Kohaku for the first time in several years, and this is somewhat of a reversal on my more dour feelings on the show, but in an age in Japan when there are so many more things to do outside the home on December 31st and people can just as easily record the program for later viewing, managing a 39.2% in the Kanto area and a 43.0% in the Kansai area during the 2nd half of the show is not too shabby. But yeah, the glory days of the Kohaku are pretty much a part of history now.

For me, one of the highlights of No. 66 was the appearance of Lady Shiina. It wasn't so much seeing singer-songwriter Ringo Shiina(椎名林檎)come onto the Shibuya stage as it was witnessing a sliver of a Ringo Shiina concert appear magically in the middle of the Kohaku. She performed her latest single from August 2015, "Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri" (A Long Short Festival), and it's obvious that she has cornered the market on sexy and sultry Neo-Japaneseque fashion.

"Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri" brings a bit of club and a bit of fusion for a nice aural evening on the town accompanying Shiina's purring vocals with vocal assistance from guitarist Ukigumo(浮雲)who used to perform on her old band, Tokyo Jihen, for several years. The song strikes me as being more reflective of her more recent jazziness than her early jangly rock roots, and it would make for some good musical accompaniment on some bar hopping in either Shinjuku or Shibuya. The single managed to peak at No. 6.

The music video has got its own story. As the song is playing on with Shiina and Ukigumo popping up in excerpts, the main scenes deal with a young woman having one final fling in the city before unrepentantly facing her fate following dealing with some ugly business at home. Not a lady to cross.

(Sorry but the video has been taken down.)

"Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri" even became the summer campaign tune for Coca-Cola as well.

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