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, October 1, 2016

80kidz -- Esquire

One of the things that I like about a city is not only its night life but also its nightscape. The neon dancing around, the tall towers filled with lights and the cars buzzing around everywhere lend a punch to the urban sight.

Now I don't drive a car. As I may have pointed out in another article, knowing what kind of person I am, my dread (or phobia, if you will) is that if I ever get behind the wheel of a car, I would weaponize it immediately. As such then, I don't get much of an opportunity to see the wonderful bright lights of my city of Toronto at night from a car on the Gardiner Expressway unless I'm a passenger in a friend's automobile. These days, it's only my anime buddy who drives us around and that is almost always in the northern part of the city so a view of the downtown nightscape will probably remain a rarity.

During my 17 years living in the Tokyo area, getting that grand view of the megalopolis at night from a car never materialized for me...not that I can remember anyways. And if I were to harbour a regret about not driving, it would be that I never got to see how wonderfully lit Tokyo is. In fact, it wasn't until that trip back to Japan in October 2014 that I could finally get a car ride at night, and that was only because I was so tired after a late arrival at Haneda Airport that I just said "Screw it! I'm taking a taxi to the hotel!" It was a nice ride....and expensive, too, at 10,000 yen, but heck I really wanted to get to my accommodations in Asakusa after that delay.

One of the great things about seeing Tokyo at night while bombing down the highway (provided that it's not rush hour) is that the highways don't just run along the city but they permeate it. They criss-cross among and curve around the buildings which encourage the upload of videos like the one above. Watching that video, I was re-acquainted with the electro-rock group 80kidz via the first song, "Esquire".

One day, when I visited the Shibuya branch of HMV which struck me as being the cooler cousin to my other favourite CD shops of Tower Records and Yamano Music (could have been the pink-and-black colour scheme), I saw the display for 80kidz and their very first album, the bluntly titled "This Is My Shit" from 2009. I had a listen to a couple of the tracks from the album and thought it fun and funny hearing the title track with the title repeatedly being said over and over to a techno track.

"Esquire" which is a track on 80kidz' 3rd album "Turbo Town" (2012) isn't quite as scatological (never thought I would ever use that word in this blog), and it makes for a nice driving song on Tokyo highways such as the Wangan Expressway. Those guitars provide some added horsepower to those synths.

Although 80kidz started out as a threesome consisting of Ali&, Jun and Mayu, it's now just the first two as a duo act, and they seem to be rather camera-shy. They have helped provide remixes for other Japanese singers such as Ayumi Hamasaki(浜崎あゆみ)and Orange Range and also overseas acts.

Aw, heck...I'll leave you with "This Is My Shit" since I also like the cover of that album.

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