Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Listen to Aiko in Concert

Apologies for the lack of updates lately - I was away over the weekend. Proper new post to follow soon - for now, as a quick fix, have a listen to Aiko's 'Futari', performed at her Love Like Pop tour 11.5 in 2008. Check out the HQ version! Great song, and Aiko looks great in this video as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Love like Rock 4 has kicked off!

One fact about Aiko that hitherto I haven't mentioned at all is that Aiko is currently touring in Japan! Lucky folks in Japan that can see and hear Aiko live these days. The tour is called 'Love like Rock 4' or LLR4 for short, and the fabulous Tour de Aiko site has a list of all the official Aiko merchandise sold there:


Tour booklet: ¥2800
T-shirt: ¥3000
Notepad: ¥900
Tape: ¥800
Stickers: ¥800
Tote Bag: ¥1000


Her tour schedule is posted here. She has just finished her gigs in Tokyo and will play Sapporo next week 0n Wednesday and Thursday. If anyone reading this has been to an Aiko concert or is intending to go - I'd be very happy about a concert report.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aiko's Boyfriend

As promised, here's the first part in a series of posts where I want to present the beautiful artwork of various Aiko CDs in my possession. Music and art go hand in hand, and Aiko's happy-sad music finds perfect expression in the artwork that accompanies it.

Let's get this started with Aiko's single ボーイフレンド (Boyfriend), released 2000.


This was actually the first Aiko release I bought, and I found it in a small shop in San Francisco's Nihonmachi.


The pictures show Aiko at a bus stop, probably waiting for the boyfriend mentioned in the song title. The photo below is the rear inlay.



The title track itself is very upbeat, with a definite country vibe to it. In line with the country theme, the accompanying PV shows Aiko and band in cowboy gear, playing in a barn.


The last picture does not quite fit in with the rest of them, and you can see that Aiko's clothes are different, but it's the back of the album inlay. The single contains the following songs:

1. ボーイフレンド[Boyfriend]
2. 密かなさよならの仕方
3. 前ならえ。[maenarae]
4. ボーイフレンド(インストゥルメンタル・ヴァージョン)[Boyfriend instrumental version]


And that's it! Hope you enjoyed the artwork - more to follow (when I get around to scanning).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aiko in Wordle

I'm sure by now you have all heard of Wordle, which is a fantastic toy to generate word clouds. I put all the English Aiko lyrics from Quartet4.net into Wordle - see what the result looks like. I think it looks great! And it is so appropriate that the word heart is right in the middle.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aiko's Milk

The latest single that Aiko released back in February was a double A-side with the songs 'Milk' and 嘆きのキス (Nageki no kisu). This is her 25th single! Milk is a really sweet, catchy, upbeat song, whereas Nageki no kisu (kiss of grief) is a sad ballad. I'm a sucker for Aiko's upbeat songs (after all, 花風 [Hanakaze] and かばん [Kaban] are among my favourite songs), so Milk is the winner in my book anyway. I also love the cover for the single. Great coat by the way!



Stylejapan calls Milk "an entertaining train ride through brass instruments and piano with a dash of organs", and I think that's spot on! In contrast to Stylejapan though I do like Aiko's breathy 'Ahhhs' in the song.

The video is, as many other Aiko videos, simply herself dancing around in skirt and boots with the band in the background. Good enough for me!


aiko - milk
Uploaded by utadalove. -


Quartet4.net, a great site for lyrics translations from Japanese into English, has the lyrics for Milk in both English and Japanese, find the English translation below:


I’m practicing my smile in front of the mirror again today
If I can’t smile well enough then I’ll be the one feeling down
When I’m asleep, I see this and that in my dreams
And when I wake up, I find myself falling in love

*Please, look at my eyes, please, look at my mouth
I want to be with you in the pure white light
Where snow and milk blur together quietly and slowly

We passed by each other recently, but I couldn’t call out your name
I can’t stand the vague bows, I must tell you before my feelings cool down

My finger touches the light of my phone in the darkness
Your name was shining, I looked at it again and again

Please, look at my eyes, please, look at my mouth
The future changes in the blink of an eye
I can’t be with you today or tomorrow

A miracle occurred only once, meeting you that day meant everything
You and I could never live our lives alone

(Repeat*)

We passed by each other recently, but I couldn’t call out your name
I can’t stand the vague bows, I must tell you before my feelings cool down
Even if there was an exciting world right in front of me
I’d rather have this world where I can touch your ruffled hair


That is the whole Milk package - picture, video, review & lyrics! Is that fan service or what :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Collector's pride

As most Aiko fans, I own quite a few of her CDs and DVDs - downloading the Mp3s and movies from dubious sources on the net just won't do for the true blue fan. Plus, if you are like me, you buy Aiko CDs not just for the music (which is obviously fantastic), but also for the pretty Aiko photos. Isn't she cute in those. Here's a first attempt at photographing my collection -



Over the next few weeks, I'm going to randomly present the individual CDs and DVDs including their artwork so that you can also enjoy the beauty of Aiko.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aiko in DoCoMo commercial

Having said the below about Aiko and Youtube and all, there's still a lot of interesting videos to be found on Youtube, one being a clip of Aiko in a DoCoMo commercial from 2006. Cute to the max! Enjoy! Btw, the song playing in the background is "Kiss Suru Mae ni (キスする前に)" from the 2006 album Kanojo (彼女).



Couldn't have said it better than one of the commmentators on Youtube:

I dont care about DoCoMo,
i love AiKo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Youtube & Aiko Videos

Until recently, Youtube was brimming with Aiko videos. Well, that was then. Now it seems Aiko's label, Pony Canyon, asked Youtube to remove all Aiko videos. As a consequence, this is what you see now:



Too bad! Luckily, other video hosters seem to have Aiko's videos still available, but chances are that Pony Canyon will reach out to these guys as well. So hurry up and watch them before they're gone!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aiko in a blog

Aiko is cute and rocks! This is the only suitable way of starting a blog about the Japanese pop singer Aiko. I can't really remember how I got into Aiko - I think it was back in the day when I started getting interested in Japanese language and culture, and thought listening to Japanese pop is an interesting way to pick up a language (at least bits and pieces of it). I came across her song 'Ai no Yamai'by accident, and it stuck with me. Several years later, and I'm still a beginner in Japanese, but my interest in Aiko and her music has never waned. So this is my attempt to collect interesting links/videos/pics about my favorite Jpop singer and make it available to other Aiko fans (Aiko otakus?) with limited or no Japanese. Enjoy!


As a little bonus, see her latest video 嘆きのキス below. Latest is a bit of a euphemism here, since the video has been out since February I believe. You can find a review of the single here.