Sunday, October 21, 2007

Music Lovers 10/21/07

Last night, Puffy appeared on the KDDI-sponsored music show "Music Lovers". I confess I don't know a huge amount about this show - like a lot of the Japanese music-related media, I learned about it through Puffy and not the other way around. I previously posted about Puffy's call for an audience of 200, and that was pretty much the first I'd heard of it. But it seems like a pretty fun show, and hey, it is a Puffy promotional appearance - another excuse to post some pics and video!

The hook to this show seems to be that they feature two people who get to be on TV with Puffy in a studio interview that airs in between performance clips. The two "music lovers" get to pose their own questions to Puffy in this segment.

I don't think these people are picked completely at random, as neither of the two guests were at all camera-shy, as you'd expect any two given random people to be. Of course, I can't understand much of what they're saying, except that one of the girls apparently thinks Ami and Yumi are really cute. (Update: read the first comment in the comments section below - seems these most definitely are not random people! Thanks for the info, anonymous commenter!)

These people also get to be in the front row of the crowd, and they get the cameras put on them for reaction shots all throughout the show.

Here's the set list for the live performance segment - and keep in mind it's really a 19 minute show with an interview in the middle, so it's pretty abbreviated:

Hataraku Otoko

Wild Girls on Circuit
Electric Beach Fever
Ajia no Junshin

Oriental Diamond

Encore (played over the credits):

As usual, the older stuff got the biggest ovation from the crowds - though really, what else would you expect with any band? The older songs have familiarity on their side. Eventually, the new songs will be old standards too. I will say that I think "Electric Beach Fever" is one of their all-time best live songs, and I really hope they leave it in for the US shows this year - they have a habit of pulling it in and out of their sets seemingly on a whim. I've actually never seen it in person myself, even though they supposedly played it on their last US tour at most dates.

The backing band was, as some have reported from the Honeysweeper tour, completely different from their regular band. This guy is not Furuta!

One of the guitarists was the same guy from their US Splurge tour - I don't actually know his name or any of the rest of the new band. They do seem pretty into it and totally competent, though, so I don't think it makes a huge difference. Puffy themselves have called Furuta "the heart of the band", though, so I wonder how they feel when they play without him.

The audience was kind of strange - I don't know if this was intentional or what, but it was about 90% women. Is it always like this? Is this a show "for women"? I have no idea.

One thing that struck me when listening to the interview segment is just how low Yumi's voice is getting. She's always had a lower speaking voice than Ami, but it's getting crazy low these days. You can sort of hear it in the beginning of this clip - this is the "special medley" from the show:

Compare her speaking voice at the beginning there with her voice in this clip from 2000:

I sometimes worry a bit about her smoking, so I hope it's not related. Singers who smoke often lose their range as time goes on - that was one of the first things I learned when I had a band and took my own vocal lessons. I'd hate to see that happen to her. Yumi-chan, do yourself a favor and quit smoking! (Of course, the health issues go without saying - I don't mean to sound like a person's singing voice is the main concern with smoking. I've had major lung problems myself, so I know how much it sucks.)

Here are a few more stills, both from the performance and the interview - again, I don't want to post the whole video here out of copyright concerns.

It's actually hard to get good stills of them from video - they never stand still on stage!


  1. The "guest lovers" are TV personalities who have relation to PUFFY in some ways.

    The girl sitting near Yumi was Emi Hashino (reporter/MC/actress), who frequented Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy and is Ami and Yumi's close friend.
    (You can find her on p.101 of Ayumi book.)
    In the show, Puffy and Emi were asked to describe each other's personality, and Emi described Puffy as "vipers" and Ami described Emi as "a bad guy", because their words are often (jokingly) caustic. (Yeah, we can see they are.)

    The other two, sitting near Ami, were Harisenbon (comedy duo). They recently released a single CD "Tomodachi no Uta", and, in the video for the song, they mimicked Puffy.
    In the show, Harisenbon apologized to Puffy for doing so without their permission, but Ami disclosed the fact that they were actually asked for permission beforehand by Harisenbon's staff, which apparently Harisenbon didn't know.

    The band members were:
    guitar: Goro / Shigeo Naka (from The Surf Coasters)
    keyboard: Shunsuke Watanabe
    bass: Hiroharu Kinoshita
    drums: Koichi Kawanishi (from Jet-Ki. ex-Unicorn)

    Apparently, they will be the tour band members during Honeysweeper tour.
    The live in Shibuya C. C. Lemon Hall was done by the same members.

    I heard that Kawanishi on the drums is temporary only while Furuta is not available, but don't know when he will be back.

  2. Hey, thanks for that info, that's really helpful.

    I had a feeling those guests had to be actual personalities rather than random people. (I'd been reading on some Japanese forums about how "lucky" those people were, so I was a little confused.)

    I'll update the post telling people to read your comment for more info.