Saturday, March 19, 2011
As the earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear disaster in Japan unfolds, we cannot help but feeling overwhelmed as we learn of the increasing death & injury toll, as we see the tremendous destruction. We have never before witnessed the magnitude of events taking place in Japan.
In the coming days & weeks, the Japanese people as well as many others of us around the world will be experiencing intense psychological feelings; extreme anxiety; depression; insomnia; bad dreams; flashbacks of the past horrible events; helplessness; numbing detachment; feelings of unreality; depersonalization; dissociative amnesia where a person can’t recall important aspects of the trauma; & tendencies to avoid anything or any thoughts to do with the trauma.
In other words, everybody will have the Japanese Blues.
The Blues may not be native to Japan, but there is one artist in Japan at the very fore-front of what he himself has named 'Japanese Blues'. That is the legendary 三上 寛 Mikami Kan. Mikami is a guitarist, singer & songwriter, a fixture in the Tokyo musickal underground, the master of twisted Enka Blues, Japan’s king of the surrealist aside & situationist duckwalk. Kan has been around for over four decades, playing his solo material in Tokyo live musick houses regularly. He is a mainstay of the Japanese countercultural underground, having over time worked with everyone from Shuji Terayama & his Tenjo Sajiki theatrical troupe to leading lights of the PSF Records Japanese noise psych camp via his work in Vajra with Haino Keiji & Ishizuka Toshi or the Haino/Mikami/Yoshizawa trio.
When Mikami arrived in Tokyo in 1968 he was overwhelmed with the feeling of violence in modern life as a result of American intervention in Japan. So, harnessing that universal emotion, a whole new species of Blues was born. The Japanese Blues... the 'Mikami mojo'. A unifying thread of violent emotion runs through all of Mikami's recordings. It's a thread composed of brutality tempered with tenderness, angst with empathy. It's a harsh yet graceful sonic melee sung in Mikami's singular silken rasp. Perhaps the most striking of Mikami's muses is his use of anger in a powerful homegrown blend of rustic wisdom & urban cynicism.
Most people associate the blues with depressing lyrics about loss or loneliness, but that’s not completely accurate. As the famous Bluesman Willie Dixon explains, "It's got to be a fact or it wouldn't be Blues." The Blues is about life, the good parts & the bad parts, but the Blues has always been a musick of hope & healing. It reflects humanity’s power to overcome adversity & empathize with others. Here’s hoping that Mikami Kan’s surrealist take on the Blues will ring a unifying note in these surreal days.
Year of Release: 1980
Label: Sound Marketing System SM20-4144
Genre: Japanese Blues, Folk Rock, Free Jazz
このレコードを私に下さい (wo watashi ni kudasai)
逢えてよかった (aete yokatta)
華麗なる絶望 (kareinaru zetubou)
密漁の夜 (mitsuryou no yoru)
なんてひどい唄なんだ (nante hidoi uta nanda)
赤い馬 (akai uma)
最後の最後の最後のサンバ (saigo no saigo no saigo no sanba)
Download: Mikami Kan - BANG!
Download Size: 109.91MB