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.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Mari Kaneko & Bux Bunny -- Aru Toki(あるとき)

About an hour ago, I just finished writing about that latest anison earworm sung by MIYAVI and KenKen titled "Flashback". Well, I was reading about the latter musician, I found out that the bassist's parents also have a music pedigree. KenKen's, (aka Kensuke Kaneko/金子賢輔), father was the late drummer Johnny Yoshinaga(ジョニー吉長)and his mother is singer Mari Kaneko(金子マリ). For some reason, his mother's name rang a bell although up to tonight, her name had never been a part of "Kayo Kyoku Plus".

However, J-Wiki simply labeling Mari Kaneko as merely kashuu(歌手), or a singer, is a bit of an understatement, albeit I'm just judging on one song. The native of Shimo-Kitazawa in Tokyo has been given the title of being the Japanese Janis Joplin, and I can understand why after listening to her one and only single, "Aru Toki" (One Time) with her band Bux Bunny.

Released in 1976, Kaneko has got one barnburner of a voice. But while I've always seen and heard Joplin as a rock singer, "Aru Toki" has me thinking of Kaneko as an R&B songstress. There is that fine strut-worthy funk, that instrumentation with the bass, drums and especially those keyboards which fairly scream 1970s urban contemporary, and of course, the singer herself. Memories of bell-bottoms and platform shoes come back to mind.

Kaneko and Yasukiyo Taniguchi(谷口康清)took care of the lyrics while bassist Yoshihiro Naruse(鳴瀬喜博), who had worked with Kaneko and Char in the Japanese rock band Smoky Medicine and would later participate in the fusion group Casiopeia, handled the melody.

Kaneko's other son is Nobuaki Kaneko(金子ノブアキ), the drummer for the band RIZE. Also, I found out that she has taken part in other artists' songs as a backup singer such as Masahiro Kuwana's(桑名正博)"Sexual Violet No. 1" and Kome Kome Club's(米米クラブ)"Sure Danse". Perhaps that's how her name rang a bell as someone who does read the liner notes for tunes.

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