Blue Angel: Japanese Rockabilly
Originally posted on Adobe and Teardrops
In case you’ve missed it, this week is Japan Week on Adobe and Teardrops. It’s just my small way of honoring the anniversary of the March 11th earthquake. Please donate a few dollars to the survivors.
You probably woke up today and though, “Cool! It’s an update day for Adobe and Teardrops! This Japanese music is cool and all but I wish Rachel would get back to posting Americana stuff.” And then you read this entry, which is about a rockabilly band called Blue Angel that hails from Tokyo.
I wanted to get a group shot, but the band’s website is…subpar. So here’s one of bassist Norihiko Enomoto in a rather fine jacket, with lead singer Akiko Urae in the background.
I found out about quite by accident. The city I lived in, Nagoya, is not exactly known for being cool or having a lively arts scene. Or anything, really, except wealthy Toyota executives. So one day when I was in the cheapo shopping district, I found a really amazing record store on a random street in the neighborhood. I spent the majority of my time in this neighborhood, and this was one of the last couple of weeks before I went home. It came to my like a sign.
One of my hobbies while I was in Japan was going to used CD stores and picking out random CDs based on the cover and how ridiculous the band’s name was. The only CD I purchased this way that wasn’t fucking terrible was Blue Angel’s Eden. Which was in the Rockabilly section. Because that’s how great this store was — they only sold music that aligned to my musical tastes. No pop, no hip-hop…if they hadn’t had a metal section I would have tried to buy out the entire store.
I was completely tickled by the idea of Japanese rockabilly. There were a bunch of other bands in that section. But, I’ll admit it, I went with Blue Angel because I thought Akiko Urae was hot.
And, 25 years later, she and the rest of the band are remarkably well-preserved. However, the novelty of a bunch of Japanese people playing quintessentially American music is not what keeps this band interesting. It’s not surprising to me that they’re still together — just from the recording it’s easy to see how happy they are playing their music.
I had to jump through several hoops to find the band’s official website. I’m afraid there isn’t too much information about them out there — and almost certainly not in English. But I believe it’s possible to get their CDs on Amazon. If one were to express interest in the comments section, I could brush off my Japanese and tell you what I find.
Blue Angel Official Site