Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Dia De Los Muertos

Once upon a time, Tokiwa Takako was on television interviewing Sakamoto Ryuichi. The subjects of the hour-long conversation were music, stardom, the Yellow Magic Orchestra – all the subjects one want to hear about from Sakamoto-san save his views of Japan’s divorce laws.

Offhandedly, Sakamoto asked Tokiwa about the kinds of music she listens to.

"Well, mostly I listen to The Grateful Dead," she replied.

At this, Sakamoto had jerked upward with such force that he nearly tumbled out of the armchair he was sitting in (he walks now with a cane).

A startled Tokiwa cried out, "That's all right, isn’t it?"

"No, no," replied a now calmer Sakamoto, "It's all right. In fact, I think it's great. It's just that it was the last thing I thought you might say."

Well today, November 1, is the Day of the Dead in Catholic countries. So for Tokiwa Takako and Paul Scalise, the go-to man on TEPCO who rubbished The Dead on Facebook the other day, a list of links to easy-listening favorites:


Box of Rain

Casey Jones

Sugar Magnolia

The Wheel


Uncle John’s Band


Franklin’s Tower


Scarlet Begonias

Touch of Grey

Live Covers

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Not Fade Away

Quinn the Eskimo

Satisfaction (Image is of Bob Weir, but may be NWSF)

The Star-Spangled Banner

The Weight

Werewolves of London



1) Tokiwa Takako is appearing on NHK as the improbably beautiful and perfect wife of an impossibly handsome Matsushita Konosuke in the pretified biopic Kamisama no Nyobo. This is one of a mini-explosion of NHK programs on the wives of famous men, the most prominent being the current Taiga Dorama on Go, the wife of Tokugawa Hidetada and her equally prominent sisters, and last year's NHK morning 15 minute drama series Ge,Ge,Ge no Nyobo on the wife of cartoonist Mizuki Shigeru (Not such a bad deal, really. The NHK series on Mizuki's wife earned him and his wife an invitation to the Emperor's Autumn Party this year. Not that having a TV drama on his wife will do Matsushita-san any good, since he died in 1989.)

Sakamoto Ryuichi has his own program on NHK, Schola where he is shown each week teaching the fine points of various styles of music to students.

2) If you should ever go to Tokiwa Takako’s incredibly fey official website, you will mutter, "Yep, this is exactly the kind of site a Deadhead would dream up." Her production company must love her.

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