Takeshi Shimizu

Making a 2nd appearance (of I hope many more) DJ Takeshi Shimizu joined for another Tokyo Record Style Day. I was delighted that he managed to recruit a partner in crime for the occasion, 70’s UK Punk aficionado Kae san who somehow managed to evade my camera excepting the “grouphies” we took. Well, Shimizu san’s Smiths’ The Queen is Dead score and Marlene’s Just a Woman album (a version I couldn’t find on Discogs) didn’t meet the same fate, nor did Shimizu’s beaming smile, which I have to say, it quite contagious.

We all might have that one friend that is a diehard Smiths fan, or you might be that fan yourself, whose soul was spoken to by this music, whose heart was turned lovingly black for the emotional isolation, sexual longing, self-deprecating dark humor, and anti-establishment stances crooned from Morrisey’s baritone voice, those who essentially live their lives by the Smiths ethos …or pathos. Frankly speaking, they’ve never been my jam. HOWEVER (…and this is a somewhat debatable, even thorny topic, I’m finding), I was inspired to put this very record on today, not to force myself to like it per se, but to try to expand my musical horizons. It could be asked, “Why waste time listening to music that you decidedly don’t particularly love? Nobody has to like everything.” Well, I realized two things trying to answer that question to myself: 1.) I’m listening because it connects me to Shimizu san, more than it connects me to the Smiths. I want to know Shimizu san better, and it’s a sorta way to speak someone’s language, to know what interests, inspires, and turns them on. 2.) There are some absolutely ripping guitar sonics and gnarly soundscapes on this record, which inspired me to listen past Morrisey’s hypnotic voice and learn about guitarist Johnny Marr, and that he was also a member of the Pretenders, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, and the Cribs, and recorded with Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads, Bryan Ferry, and Hans Zimmer, all of whom I deeply respect.

So something clicked that I never heard before in previous listenings and I own that to Shimizu san (DOMO SHIMIZU!) and music brings us all closer together yet again!

More Tokyo Records Style DAY to come!

Marlene – Just A Woman
Label: CBS/Sony – 28AH 2082
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Japan
Released: 1986
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
Label: Rough Trade – ROUGH 96
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, EMI Records Pressing, Gatefold
Country: UK
Released: Jun 16, 1986
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock

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