Monday, December 24, 2012

Puffy 2010 Interview

Here is an interview Puffy did for the 2010 concert at Irving Plaza concert in NYC.  Nothing really groundbreaking information-wise, but it is nice to have subtitles for the interview.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ami Makes Her Debut... As A Guitarist

Ami made her debut as a guitarist at Yusuke Fujita's gig the past couple of nights.

One thing I have always liked about Ami is that she is pretty diverse in regards to her musical talents and it is great to see her branching out.  I am curious to learn if she is playing rhythm or lead.

I cannot recall if Yusuke Fujita has a tie to Puffy, but I'll try to do some leg work and figure that out.  Looks like Koichi Kawanishi is drumming, so there is another friendly face in this band.   

(H/T to Blazing Gunny for the find, this also was on Puffy's Facebook page)

(All images copyright their respective owners, so thanks

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Puffy On iTunes

Looking at the Puffy news on the right pane of Amiyumidas, Sony has finally made Puffy's albums available via iTunes. Why it has taken so long I am not sure, but there are plenty of anachronistic aspects of Japan (good and bad) and it looks like they have finally embraced more modern distribution models. Hopefully Amazon will be an option too as I am not an Apple person.

After snooping around the iTunes store it looks like the albums range from about 1000 yen for singles to 2000 yen for full albums. Definitely cheaper than their albums on CD (that said I like having the album, but I am old...). Now the big question is if the store is locked by region. I have never used iTunes so I am not sure what that answer is, but I will poke around unless one of you have the answer handy.

As an aside I am looking through my reviews and trying to figure out what album I want to do next. Does anyone have thoughts or requests for an album I have not yet reviewed?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cake Is Love

My wife and I were driving around and the song "Cake Is Love" popped up on the mp3 rotation.* She started singing it like she knew it, which earned a sidelong glance from me in the driver's seat

"How is it you know this song?" I asked.

"It was a popular song, not in my generation but my older brother's." She replied.

"How is that so? You grew up in Singapore?" I asked, but I also know sometimes songs cross boundaries in Asia and the rest of the world.

She answered, "I can't remember the singer, but she was very famous and moved from China to Japan."

"You're sure?" I asked, skepticism barely concealed.

"I am sure." She replied in a tone that closed the discussion.

So this is where you people come in. There is some possibility to this as Yosui Inoue did write the words and lyrics. He has been around a very long time and written a plethora of material for other artists.

I am crowd sourcing Puffy research and hopefully you all will find better answers than I did.

*I don't use playlists as I am not that motivated and I have a certain appreciation for randomness which is a tenant of pop (i.e. popular) music.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Album Review: Puffy Covers

The only Puffy album release this year is not by Ami and Yumi, rather it is a sanctioned cover album.  Cover albums I have always felt conflicted about.  On one hand I really like it when a band or artist takes someone else’s work and makes it their own.  On the other I hate it when a song is recorded the exact same way, a Xerox if you will.  Putting a wrinkle in this is Puffy has always mixed in material they have written and other musician’s songs.  In the case of Puffy Covers what is a cover and what is not is blurred on a number of tracks. 

Having only heard a smattering of Marching Puffy, I can’t say Puffy Covers is better or worse but I would have liked to heard Marching Puffy in its entirety as a point of reference.  Not that this always works well.   While not technically cover albums, the PRMX remix albums do not come close to setting the world on fire for me.  What I can say in advance is that I like Puffy Covers more than either of the remix efforts.

I am not going to go into any great detail about the tracks themselves.  Individual songs have been previously covered by Jeff or myself.  The direction I am taking in this album review is gauging the performance, the differences and what I liked (or did not) about the track.

Uncovering Puffy Covers is The Birthday’s cover of Dareka Ga.  The vocals are nicely whiskey voiced, the instruments feel just a nudge more in the background than I would like.  That said, I like the cover and feel it compliments Puffy’s version.

Mother sounds a little too much like a Tamio Okuda impersonator singing it.  This is not a bad thing per se, but Low IQ 01’s effort is nowhere near as good of a delivery.   I have heard one of Tamio renditions and this is nowhere near as nuanced as Puffy’s version; it lacks the emotional depth or bitter.  This  cover feels rushed which may explain why it is kind of a one note delivery that could be performed by any number of lower tier bands.  

Circuit no Musume which is covered by Tamio Okuda has demo tape written all over it.  Not a bad thing, but this rendition probably was not meant for people like me (or you, i.e. us) to hear and the rough performance and production shows.  I imagine this was done about a decade ago, then put on the shelf and pulled off for Puffy Covers.  No dusting off in the process. 

Kuchibiru Motion  is one of my favorite songs from honeycreeper and for the most part Yoshii Kazuya’s cover falls into the emulating Puffy’s version.  Which by my general rules governing cover songs would make me dislike it… just the opposite. He nails it, though in regards to execution it is a slight notch down from the Puffy’s take.

Saito Kazuyoshi delivers an overly nasally version of Hare Onna with instruments that sound a bit mushy.  Maybe this song is more popular than I know, but Puffy has enough proven songs (either commercially or critically) that choosing Hare Onna seems like a weird selection.  It does not work for me.

Ai no Shirushi, the lead singer of Spitz wrote this and Puffy released the song first then about a year later Spitz released their version (or original…. see what I mean about lines blurring?).  This version is one of the more polished tracks given it was a release by Spitz, so it sounds great.  I like it better than Puffy’s version.  

Rolly doing Tararan is definitely different and unlike other tracks the vocals at times are behind the instruments.  It is also a fun (and at times weird) cover and another I probably like a touch more than Puffy’s version which was a paint by numbers effort.

Fujifabric’s rendition of Bye Bye is polished and I believe they also released the song.  Again this was probably one that could be pulled off the shelf with ease, but in Puffy’s catalog would this be one that leaps out as one which must be covered?  That said as compared to Puffy’s, I don’t like it as much but there is nothing wrong with it.

My Story as covered by Kishidan has cleaner sounding instruments, but also does not have nearly as many layers in instruments or vocals.  As mentioned in the Bring it on! Review comments, it is a lyrically cheap song, but when Puffy delivers it they deliver it well.  Kishidan falls well below the mark Puffy set with a slightly more rock version (which I should like as I tilt that way…).  It is okay, but it doesn’t garner the same reaction from me that Puffy’s version does. 

Nagisa Ni Matsuwaru et cetera goes along the lines that one track on recent Puffy albums must be unforgivably bad (e.g. Wake Up, Make Up).   The opening is reminiscent of Yokai Puffy as delivered by what sounds like puppets.  It kind of sounds like Ami and Yumi in the lead up dialog, but that just might be an affect by the performers.  On the plus side if you thought the lead up to the actually song was horrible… there is the cover itself which consists of the same people yelling out the lyrics and often out of tune.  It. Is. Hideous.

After the previous track anything would sound better, but Hasanjauze is actually a fun rhythm and blues (of sorts) cover that I give The Cro-Magnons high marks on.    It captures the spirit of Puffy’s version but manages to be different at the same time. 

Oriental Diamond, another demo tape from Tamio Okuda… though in this case I heard it years ago and really liked it then.   Apparently he liked it so much he used it as a b-track, so I think everyone can agree this one is a winner.

Umi he To, again a pretty stereotypical rock cover this time by The Pillows… It doesn’t really go outside of the box Puffy sang but it is better executed than Low IQ 01’s cover of Mother.

Kore Ga Watashi No Ikiru Michi is a more electronic version by the Magokoro Brothers.  It is probably on the lower tier of songs on Puffy Covers, but there is nothing outright bad with the track.  It just didn’t work for me.

Onna Machine Gun is a completely exploded version by Guitar Wolf.  I won’t say it is good, but I appreciate it even though it borders on the unlistenable.

Summoning The Who and Tamio Okuda the Okamotos nail this version of Jet Keisatsu.  It sounds like a song from the 60’s that Puffy then reassembled and covered themselves. It blurs the genres in some weird reverse manner that I love (also a reason why I adore Puffy…).  Instrumentally it is sans keyboards and boiled down to some nice guitar, bass and drum work.  The vocals have a slightly washed out feel, but again this works.

Asia no Junshin… one would immediately assume something re-covered by two legends of Japanese music would be awesome.  Tamio Okuda and Yosui Inoue’s take on their own song is a slightly more drawn out rhythm and blues version.   Yosui Inoue’s vocals are admittedly very different as a rule and do not work for me here.  Tamio has done better.  This is not the first time I have heard them perform Asia no Junshin as there is a live clip on YouTube.  I did not care for that and I have to say I did not care for this version either despite enjoying the work both have done as individuals.

The end result of Puffy Covers is a mixed effort consisting of songs taken off the shelf and ones recorded for the album.  Given Puffy sanctioned and marketed this album I was hoping for more of a work of love than a space till fill, but ultimately the weak points of this album make it more the later than the former.   That said of the clunkers Nagisa Ni Matsuwaru et cetera is what weighs down Puffy Covers.  It is the most singularly awful song ever attached to Puffy and that is counting Wake Up, Make Up and All Because Of You.  Were this track salvoed my opinion of Puffy Covers would significantly improve.

I decided to grade Puffy Covers by track and then as an album.  I think the granularity is important but also the overall effort is important especially as this album (like most others in Japan) is not cheap.

Here are my grades per track (vocals / instruments):
Dareka Ga  (The Birthday): B+/B-
Mother (Low IQ 01): B / C-
Circuit no Musume  (Tamio Okuda): C-/C
Kuchibiru Motion  (Yoshii Kazuya): A+/A
Hare Onna (Saito Kazuyoshi): C+/C-
Ai No Shirushi  (Spitz): A/A
Tararan (Rolly): C/C
Bye Bye (Fujifabric): B-/B
My Story (Kishidan): B+/B
Nagisa Ni Matsuwaru et cetera (Group Tamashi): F-/F
Hasanjauze  (The Cromagnons): B+/B+
Oriental Diamond (Tamio Okuda): A-/A-
Umi He To (the pillows): B/B
Kore Ga Watashi No Ikiru Michi (Magokoro Brothers): C/C-
Onna Machine Gun (Guitar Wolf): C-/C
Jet Keisatsu (Okamoto’s): A/A+
Asia No Junshin (Tamio Okuda, Yosui Inoue): C-/C+ 

Overall I would give Puffy Covers the following marks:
Singing: B
Instruments: B-
Production: C+

While I think Puffy Covers is a serviceable release given the events outside of music with Yumi, it is not an album I would say you should immidiately buy.  I have to because I run this site (though if anyone from Sony/Puffy haunts this site...).  I would not call Puffy Covers an essential Puffy album to have in your collection but I don't regret my purchase either.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Puffy x Porter

Been kind of quiet in regards to things Puffy. I see snippets of Ami doing interviews and such so hopefully the gears of the Puffy machine are just turning slower while Yumi enjoys her new (and hopefully joyous) experiences with motherhood.

Anyways Ami is helping market the Puffy x Porter tote-bag-type-things...

...which I only thought interesting as Ami is of a size that she could probably fit inside of one. :) 

I have been listening to Puffy Covers as I finally broke down and got a copy.  I will put my thoughts around that in the next week or so.  Hopefully team Puffy will get back in the swing of things in the months ahead.

(Images courtesy of Puffy / Rocket Express)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's A Boy!

Huge congratulations to Yumi and her husband on the birth of their son, who was born August first and weighing in at 7lbs 7oz.

May the start of Yumi's family be joyous!

I knew the day was likely to be this month, however there can be a large window as to the exact day. Anyways, there was apparently an announcement on the website of Yumi's agency, a blog entry by Ami and a tweet by Taru to boot... and I missed all of them.

(h/t to Tokyo Hive for the story)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Tomodachi no Wao!" Single Review

As I am still in a holding pattern for getting "Puffy Covers," I decided to circle back and review Puffy's most recent single "Tomodachi no Wao!" I can, however, promise this is not going to be a long review as all four songs are variants of the title track, which are as follows:

Tomodachi no Wao!
Tomodachi no Wao! (Shimajirou to Asobo! Version)
Tomodachi no Wao! (Instrumental)
Tomodachi no Wao! (TV edit)

It took a little while for "Tomodachi no Wao!"* (to grow on me. It is not exactly in my round house so far Puffy songs as there is not a guitar anywhere in site and all instruments are synthesizer or programmed. This includes Ami and Yumi's vocals at times (specifically when they sing "wao"), which is an effect I do generally like. To me the instrumentals at times drift towards a Caribbean sound and the song has a playful and nice feel.

Over all the production is polished with Ami and Yumi delivering the good vocals I come to expect. This might be one of those songs you will never hear live or it will be heavily tweaked for a concert. The later piques my interest, the former would not surprise me. Whereas this is good, the rest of the singledoes not deliver the same kind of satisfaction.

Remember how I said "Wake Up, Make Up" was the absolutely worst thing Puffy has ever done? I stand corrected. "Tomodachi no Wao! (Shimajirou to Asobo! Version)" is abysmal and arguably the wrost thing I have ever heard credited to Puffy ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" cover also eclipses this track). For whatever reason someone thought it a good idea to have Shimajiro** screaching/yelling/singing into Ami and Yumi's vocals along with random sound effects interspersed throughout the song. To top of all this, the track is a remix, which to me is always a dubious prospect. While some guitars are added in, that is not enough to sway my opinion.

Maybe "Tomodachi no Wao! (Shimajirou to Asobo! Version)" was only included as a cross marketing effort for the TV show and to appeal to kids... and that is what I have decided to tell myself... and Ami and Yumi had to take one for the team. Which happens as Japanese media is far more amalgamated than the US.

Padding out the album is the instrumental version of "Tomodachi no Wao!" which is a common add on to Japanese singles. It plays fair-to-mid on its own, but a hook is missing as the instrumentals are not to the compelling part of the title track.
The final track is "Tomodachi no Wao! (TV size)," which is to the title track as to what fun size candy bars are to regular candy bars. All the basic goodness is contained within, it is not enough to be satisfying.

I had a difficult time with "Tomodachi no Wao!" once the title track was over. It is a good song and definitely a different song with it being backed entirely synthesizer and a vaguely Caribbean feel at times. The rest of the single comes off feeling like a forced and padded effort. Puffy has had better singles in recent years. If this is what we are left with while Yumi is on hiatus, it is something of a down note that makes me eager for the day Puffy kicks it back into high gear.

Overall Scores:
Singing: B
Instruments: C
Production: C

* per my friend Noriko-chan this translated to to circle of friends)
** from the show ‘Shimajiro no Wao!‘ of which "Tomodachi no Wao!" is the end credits music

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jet Album Review

Puffy fans waited almost two years for "Jet" after the release of their EP "amiyumi". Certainly "solosolo" filled the gap, but what was Yumi's solo tracks bolted onto Ami's Sony demos. Jet is different that the prior Puffy efforts and is the fulcrum in which thier careers have been hammered out.

The entirety of Jet is produced by Tamio Okuda, whose unique relationship with Puffy is illustrated on "Jet" as he also had a hand writing the music or lyrics for a majority of the tracks. Yosui Inoue is also in the mix, who in his own right is a legendary musician and his work with Tamio is also very notable. At this stage Ami and Yumi are not credited with much of the writing on Jet.

Two years is a very long time in the entertainment industry, double so for the Japanese music industry. What took so long between "amiyumi" and "Jet"? Perhaps it was the suddenness of Puffy becoming popular and Sony being caught out of position. I think there is more to it than that. My hunch is it took two years for Yumi to learn how to sing. Listen carefully to "amiyumi" and "solosolo"then listen to "Jet". I can mark her progression as a vocalist. Ami did a lot of the heavy lifting in amiyumi and Yumi still had some rough edges in "solosolo". Ami could always sing given her talent level from the start has been at a higher technical level, but "Jet" is where Yumi begins to shine and combine the two... and that is Puffy.

Here is the track list for "Jet"

Jet Keisatsu (l & m: Tamio Okuda) (3:45)
Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi (l & m: Tamio Okuda) (3:22)
Cake Is Love (l & m: Yosui Inoue) (5:10)
Ai no Shirushi (l & m: Masamune Kusano) (2:48)
Haru no Asa (l & m: Kaori Okui) (4:19)
Lemon Kid (l: Ami Onuki / m: Tamio Okuda) (4:04)
Kobijin (l: Okuda Tamio/music: Dr. Strange Love) (5:48)
Nehorina Hahorina (l & m: Tortoise Matsumoto) (4:25)
Tetsugaku (l: Yumi Yoshimura m: Tamio Okuda) (1:45)
De Rio (l: Masato Inami & Katsumasa Mototani / m: Masato Inami, Katsumasa Mototani Katsumasa & Harutoshi Inagaki) (4:37)
Circuit no Musume (l & m: Tamio Okuda) (3:18)
Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera (l: Yosui Inoue/m: Tamio Okuda) (4:00)
Mother (l & m: Tamio Okuda) (3:46)

There is a reason why "Jet Keisatsu" has been on virtually every concert set list of Puffy's since "Jet," and that is because it is a sing that fire on all cylinders. The sythesizer solo in the intro and the rolling wave sound followed by guitars kicking in and then Ami and Yumi's remarkable vocal delivery. Everything works and almost 15 years later that remains the case. It is also notable that "Jet Keisatsu" plays incredibly well live... which leads us to the next track which was alos written entirely by Tamio Okuda.

"Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi" is a throwback track and showcases Ami and Yumi differently as they spend a lot more time taking turns singing at the start and singing in harmony for the back half of the track. As with many of Tamio's tracks, Tamio can make something new sound familiar, something that on the surface sounds like it was written a continent away that upon a scratch bleeds Japanese. "Jet" is stacked with two very solid tracks... but do good things come in threes?

No... "Cake Is Love" is a song to me that falls a little flat. Vocally it is delivered well and it is composed of material that Shonen Knife seemingly made entire albums. I realize I am more of a fan of Puffy's guitar driven songs, but "Cake Is Love" feels like layers of synthesizers from drums on up. Ami and Yumi deliver with their vocals, but the song is too sweet for my taste.

"Ai no Shirushi" was written by Masamune Kusano of Spitz, which in turn released the song about a year later. It is interesting to note, that while both versions are arranged differently... they are both great. Puffy's is heavy with the bass drum and Spitz' is more guitar driven. Where "Jet Keisatsu" is a song I love live or in the studio... "Ai no Shirushi" is one that is a great studio track, but to me it never plays well live... especially in a large venue. I would like to see Puffy perform this in a more closed in setting if given the chance as I think it plays better for a small room than an arena.

"Haru no Asa" is kind of a stereotypical slow tempo Japanese song, but Ami and Yumi deliver really strong vocals and save the song.

The first solo track, Ami's "Yellow Kid" is a jazzy effort that shows off her singing skills. It is not my cup of tea, but there is no arguing how talent Ami is.

" Kobijin" is a weird off tempo song. It feels rollicking, experimental and progressive that mimics some of the (very few) prog-rock albums that I own. I probably appreciate "Kobijin" more than I like it...

Snapping us back into more familiar Puffy territory is "Nehorina Hahorina." If I recall from Puffy's old site for the launch of "An Illustrated History" that the title is completely nonsensical. Mostly pop, but with enough horns to tilt slightly towards ska. "Nehorina Hahorina" is a fun song.

"Tetsugaku" is Yumi's solo track and I do not believe it is one she could have sung previously. Her skill as a singer was dramatically coached up over the prior two years. Of the two solo tracks, I like this "Tetsugaku" better but it is a very brief song almost acting as a bring for the back third of "Jet".

Rounding the corner is "De Rio" which I is a mid-tempo rocker that I have always lied because Yumi sounds like she is doing most of the singing, which again is something that would not have happened in the first two smaller installments of Puffy.

"Circuit no Musume" is another track written by Tamio (who also recorded the song himself, I think as a demo or b-track). Ami and Yumi deliver fun vocal performances with the music having a beach-throwback sound.

In some ways "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera" makes up for "Cake Is Love". It remains a pop song, but the arrangement is a lot less synthetic, perhaps courtest of Tamio pitching in for the music writing. It is a very poppy affair, but a nice effort.

There are some songs one wonders why the original writer let get away and "Mother" falls straight into that camp. Ami delivers vocals that are ridiculously good, but Yumi's vocals show how far she had come as a vocalist. Both are well balanced against the other, which with "Jet Keisatsu" bookends "Jet" with its two best tracks. There is so much to love about this song outside of Ami and Yumi's vocals, the country undertones and the fact that it is "life is a mother" and not "I have a very nice mother" has always amused me.

I have said it before, any effort by Puffy with Tamio in the mix is likely going to be one I like. A lot. "Jet" being produced by Tamio who in turn was instrumental for most of the tracks makes "Jet" an incredibly focused and consistent album. A few tracks fall flat, but those are all but overwhlemed by "Mother" and "Jet Keisatsu" which are arguably not just the best songs on "Jet" but in Puffy's entire catalog to date.

For someone wanting to get to know Puffy via one original album, "Jet" is the one to go with. We can head Ami and Yumi at the top of their game but also know that the music in this album all but sets the tone for their successful and lengthy career in the often unforgiving Japanese music scene.

Overall Scores:
Singing: A+
Instruments: A
Production: A+

(As always I remain grateful to Peace. Pop. Puffy. for track information)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Puffy Covers Redux

Puffy Covers is a little more than a week away... and in the spirit of celebrating it's upcoming release; more covers!

My hunch is this is from a secondary school's annual festival (as seen in the film Linda Linda Linda... which if you have not seen... SEE IT!)... and neither are really well executed. But I do like the fact that there are two vocalists and they seem to have a bit of fun with their stage routine.

And this is not even the end of covers to come!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Play You. House: Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi

Not a lot going on at the moment (that should be a hint for me to bang out some album reviews... but I am beat). However I stumbled across this little gem on Youku.

While great news about Yumi's forthcoming child, I suspect this might be a quiet year unless Ami goes into over drive with her side work... or like Yumi did and shoulder the load for the duo until the duo is back on the same page.

Also in this lull, I am probably going to spruce up Amiyumidas with a redesign... but I do have the layout backed up just in case. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Puffy Covers Cover

Straight from Puffy's website, here is a look at the cover for Puffy Covers*.

My initial take was that it reminds me of a Donna's album cover. Maybe a little like a comic book, but to me it is a cross between underground music magazine and velvet black light poster.**

Here is a bigger alt from Puffy's site...

* uhg this sounds so meta...
** from when I was young, so anyone born after about 1980 this may be lost on you :)

Friday, June 1, 2012


Was scrounging around the web today for Puffy stuff (and it is pretty quiet...) and came across some new information for PUFFY COVERS via Tokyo Hive.  So credit to them for the news, which to me was interesting as a significant number of the Puffy cover songs are new recordings. 

Here are the tracks that are new recordings:

     Jet Keisatsu  (OKAMOTO’S)
     My Story  (Kishidan)
     Onna Machine Gun  (Guitar Wolf)
     Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Etc. (Group Tamashii)
     Hare Onna (Saito Kazuyoshi)
     Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi (Magokoro Brothers)
     MOTHER (LOW IQ 01)
     Tararan (ROLLY)
     Umi e to (the pillows)

PUFFY COVERS will be released on July 4th, 2012.  So it may be possible for anyone using the FedEx options we might be delayed by a day.

P.S.  For Amiyumidas readers, if you buy from CD Japan, please use the banner links on the right, it helps support the site at zero cost to you!

P.P.S.  Put a new version of "Tomodachi no Wao!" in a blog a few back... Sony applied the hammer to the one from Daily Motion... never mind how dumb is it a promotional video  gets pulled for a copyright complaint as that sort of defeats the purpose... anyways Youku once again came through, which even with short ads it remains a very useful video site for amiyumidas.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Due out July 4th 2012 is "PUFFY COVERS"

Here is the artist / song list:

Yosui Inoue/Tamio Okura "Asia no Junshin"
Tamio Okuda "Circuit no Musume" "Oriental Diamond (DEMO music)
OKAMOTO’S "Jet Keisatsu"
Kishidan "My Story"
Guitar Wolf "Onna Machinegun"
Group Tamashii "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru etc"
Kazuyoshi Saito "Hare Onna"
The Cro-Magnons "Hasanjyauze"
The Birthday "Darekaga"
Spitz "Ai no Shirushi"
Fuji Fabric "Bye Bye"
Magokoro Brothers "Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi"
Kazuya Yoshii "Kuchibiru Motion"
ROLLY "Tararan"
the pillows "Umi e to"

More info to be announced.

I will kind of take some exception to what they are calling a cover of Puffy songs.  In the case of "Oriental Diamond" and "Ai no Shirushi" (by Tamio Okuda and Spitz respectively), those were released by the original composers outside of the context of Puffy.  I have heard Tamio's cover of "Oriental Diamond" and even in that rough form, he does something really nice with it.  Spitz version of  "Ai no Shirushi" is also interesting as it it guitar driven and less polished. 

Nitpicking aside it is an interesting line up.  As miuch as Puffy has done well with covering other artists it might be fun to see how "PUFFY COVERS" turns out.  On the flip side, unlike "Marching Puffy" this should be more readily available to us, should we want it.

Beyond a handful of artists, I have little knowledge of the acts appearing on the release, so I am not sure where my hopes are at beyond a general optimism. The big question is what will Puffy themselves be doing as Yumi's maternity leave is looming?  I expected a quiet front half of the year, but news is happening so with that I am encouraged.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Puffy Playing Puffy

Just a quick update. I stumbled across Ami and Yumi checking out the Puffy branded pachinko machine.

None of this is new, we covered the machine release last year.... but here is a reset.Here is the advert for the Puffy pachinko machine:

Lastly here is what I guess is a game or variety show featuring the pachinko machine.

I do not know about you, but this is going on my want list down when it cycles out of Pachinko parlors... Realistically speaking from other modern machines I have seen come on the market, this will probably be between two to five hundred dollars. Also assuming some make their way out of Japan...Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Tomodachi no Wow!" PV

Here is the promotional video for "Tomodachi no Wow!"

I like the video quite a bit, it is the fun style of video Puffy has done well with over the years. The vocal deliveries are really quite exceptional and I do not mind that they are slightly over produced. "Tomodachi no Wow!" is a synth heavy song... to the point I am not sure if a drum machine is being used. While it makes "Sunrise" seem organic by comparison, the track is solid yet cute.

I am not sure when the video was shot, but my feel is that this was fairly recent as Yumi looks pregnant, thought the costumes do quite a bit to hide this. I really admire that, entertainment is a business that (for better or worse) based on looks, luckily she is positively glowing as a mom to be.

Over all I guess I like "Tomodachi no Wow!" which given I eschew towards the more rocking Puffy songs probably says quite a bit.

P.S. My friend Noriko-chan was over tonight and her interpretation of the song title was "Circle of Friends"

(h/t to the always resourceful hareonna20)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shimajiro no Wao! Credits

Here is "Tomodachi no Wow!" from the end of "Shimajiro no Wao!"

Considering how "Tomodachi no Wow!" is being used, it makes total sense as a song and its timing is also good as Puffy is due for a hiatus. Also "Tomodachi no Wow!" kind of goes against my Puffy sensibilities too, but it is catchy.

I will have to see if it grows on me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tomodachi no Wow Single

Still a month away from the release of "Tomodachi no Wow!" on 5/23. As has been mentioned in comments the single is being used for the end credits for the children's program "Shimajiro no Wao!" (rather good timing considering Yumi is due to be a mom).

I did some scrounging and translations for the track list (and will correct this as better information becomes available):

1. Tomodachi no Wow!
2. Tomodachi no Wow (Let's play, Shimajiro! Version)
3. Tomodachi no Wow! (Karaoke)
4. Tomodachi no Wow! (TV ending)

The deluxe edition comes with sheet music and a DVD of the video. The sheet music is an interesting touch, but to me this is somewhat lackluster deluxe single.  I think the best deluxe singles Puffy has released have been with songs from concerts.  The price delta is about 335 yen (or a touch over four dollars), so there is not much of a push to pick the deluxe over the single based on what I see.

On first blush I am not sure if four versions of "Tomodachi no Wow!" are enough to get me excited about the single. However I am willing to be proven wrong and I am looking forward to hearing the song.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Big Yumi News

Great news from Puffy! Yumi is going to be a mother this summer!

Having children is perhaps the most challenging thing we can do in this life, it is also often the most personally rewarding. I am overjoyed for Yumi and her husband and wish then all the best!

Yumi is well along and looking quite healthy via the fitness blog a guest posted shared in comments.

I figured this would be a possibility in the very near term, and according to jpopasia Yumi is planning on doing all things Puffy for the time being. Ami showed that parenting and Puffy can operate in harmony, so I am not too worried about the future of Puffy.

P.S. I can surmise so many people know about my being a fan of Puffy that several people threw this news item my way today!
(photo credit to Curvy Body)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Asia no Junshin Karaoke

Just a quick update before I get the new single info posted up. I stumbled across this karaoke version from the film Boat on YouTube today and was chortling through out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tomodachi no Wao!

Puffy has a new song, "Tomodachi no Wao!", coming out in April for the new show "Shimajiro no Wao!" which airs Mondays on TV Tokyo. Looks like it was written just for the program and I am not sure if a single is being released. I will follow up on that, but I would suspect that at the least "Tomodachi no Wao!" will show up on an album or as a b-side. Takkyu Ishino has written the music and collaborated with Puffy for the lyrics.

Also Puffy will appear at the end of episodes with the "Kodomo Challenge" characters. (I could use some more information about that...)

In April, Puffy will take to the stage for a concert celebrating Ki/oon's twentieth anniversary at the Liquid Room in Tokyo. More info can be found at

P.S. Sorry for the lackluster updating for the site, I have been busy with a career change and that has shifted my time and energy around in ways that are not very conducive to writing. I am getting back in the swing of things, so bear with me and thanks for all the great comments and news.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ami and Yumi Recording

Not much to say, right at the moment. Will hopefully start banging out more album reviews but I have a few ideas percolating in my brain for the months ahead... in the mean time via Puffy's Facebook account was news they are recording. As to what... that is a good question.

I know... not much.

We will have to see what this year brings for Puffy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Okuda and Inoue: Asia no Junshin

Stumbled across this video of Tamio Okuda and Yosui Inoue performing Asia no Junshin. Neat stuff, even if the performance itself is a little uneven.

I hope everyone had a great New Years and I look forward to doing more writing about Puffy, which of all my projects is the one I have the most affection for.