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Hello Hello Hello

This is the Dramatickers Dot Com soft open! The real grand opening is coming later this week [update: this turned out to be a lie], but if somehow found your way here early, you are welcome to follow along as we get everything in order.

yet available!

Hi friends! Clammbon’s first new song in 2½ years is out now! This is an epic-sounding tune with strings arranged by none other than Yoko Kanno. You can get it at iTunes Japan, Ototoy, or on CD. The band will be playing some very special live shows around Japan this month, where folks who bought the single on CD will have a chance to get it signed!

I have been hard at work on Dramatickers dot com, which is why there has not been much activity around here. The idea is to launch the new site some time between the announcement and the release of Clammbon’s next album. It sounds like the band is really ramping up on announcements lately, so here’s hoping we will hear about it soon!

Why not Clammbon!?

cover art
  1. Folklore (by Straightener)
  2. Aru Kodou (by Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra)
  3. Ahoj! (by salyu × salyu)
  4. Daihinmin (by Rekishi)
  5. Hanakaoru Aru Hi ~clommbon loves clammbon ver~ (by Hanaregumi)
  6. SUPER☆STAR (by NONA REEVES)
  7. Rock Climbing ~Let’s Roooooock Mix~ (by Buffalo Daughter)
  8. 5716 (by downy)
  9. 246 (by GREAT3)
  10. Hanare Banare (by TOKYO No.1 SOUL SET)
  11. Umi no Fuukei (by HUSKING BEE)
  12. Ame (by Aoba Ichiko)
  13. Hallelujah (by Mice Parade (featuring Chancellor))
  14. Vital Sign ~Tetsuya Komuro Remix~ (By Tetsuya Komuro)

Clammbon Guide Book: Interviews!

Today I got my copy of Clammbon Guide Book, thanks to my friend Josiah (who you’re going to be hearing more from pretty soon). It’s superbly detailed, the quality is impressive, the included extras are fun… it even smells good.

But I wanted to hurry up and translate the short little interviews with each band member that appear at the beginning. Let’s see if I can get through them all here in bed before I go to sleep.

Harada Ikuko

  • When and how did you start playing?
  • I start learning classical piano at age 4. I give up at 14. At 16, I’m blown away by jazz piano. I start again. I go to Tokyo and meet the other two members. I arrive at the present.

  • Who are some musicians that influenced you?

  • Thelonious Monk. A pianist I’ve admired and adored since my teens. I still listen to him. The silence when he’s not playing, where the sheet music shows a rest, that’s there i learned the secrets and the richness of music.
  • Nina Simone. She and Monk were true punks. That unwavering groove. A marvelous performer.

  • What are some influential albums that you recommend?

  • Thelonious Monk: Solo Monk
  • Nina Simone: Nina Simone & Piano

  • What is it like to perform in Clammbon? What are you particular about? What is important? What is unique about it?

  • First, for most of our songs (other than the ones we write during sessions), Mito provides the melody, keyboard riffs, voicing for the harmonies, and so on, the phrases that make up the core of the song. We practice it over and over, making it a part of our bodies. The three of us practice it over and over as an ensemble and make a groove out of it. And as we play it over and over live, we nurture it. And it nurtures us.

  • What do you think as you touch your instrument now, and what do you want to do with it in the future?

  • I really do love touching an instrument. That’ll never change. And yet, I still have a long way to go. I’ve been practicing classical pieces from time to time, and it’s fun, like working muscles you don’t usually get to use. I want to keep taking the time to gradually study, or pursue it, on my own. This phenomenon known as sound.

  • What would you like to say to those who are holding this songbook?

  • With all these little notey things [lit. tadpoles!?] all over the place, you might get discouraged (laughs), so we also put some fun stuff like concert photos in the design. This book is faithful to the studio recordings (including overdubs), so there are songs that have changed quite a lot in being arranged for live performance as a three-piece. So it really is a guide book. When you’re playing, it’s okay to play it differently, or come up with a new song. To make discoveries, and to scream. On our path. Off you go…

Mito

  • When and how did you start playing?
  • As a fourth grader, I was handed a bass and told to play in the back-up band at my parents’ concert.
  • Who are some musicians that influenced you?

  • Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher)
  • Scott LaFaro (Bill Evans Trio)

  • What are some influential albums that you recommend?

  • Squarepusher: Ultravisitor
  • Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby
  • Tetsuya Komuro: Digitalian is eating breakfast

  • What is it like to perform in Clammbon? What are you particular about? What is important? What is unique about it?

  • It’s hard because I have a lot to do apart from the bass.

  • What do you think as you touch your instrument now, and what do you want to do with it in the future?

  • I want to go back to music school. I want to properly study things like wind and strings harmonics, and start over on learning orchestration.

  • What would you like to say to those who are holding this songbook?

  • It’s not that hard♡

Itou Daisuke

  • When and how did you start playing?
  • Starting in fourth grade, taiko drums. Junior high, woodwinds. High school, woodwinds.

  • Who are some musicians that influenced you?

  • Max Roach
  • Steve Gadd

  • What are some influential albums that you recommend?

  • Steely Dan: Aja. The performance of the young Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, and the others is amazing.
  • Kinniku Shoujotai: Sister Strawberry. I listened to this pretty much every day in junior high.

  • What is it like to perform in Clammbon? What are you particular about? What is important? What is unique about it?

  • I just put my heart into making the best drum sound that I can.

  • What do you think as you touch your instrument now, and what do you want to do with it in the future?

  • No matter how much I try and try, I still have a long road ahead to get to the level I want to be at… so I’ll practice.

  • What would you like to say to those who are holding this songbook?

  • I’ll be happy if it serves as a reference for you. Have fun!

Clammbon Guide Book announced

Musicians rejoice: the next stage of the band’s 20th anniversary year is Clammbon Guide Book, a musical score collection. The book will include all of the parts for these songs:

  1. Hanare Banare
  2. Pan to Mitsu wo Meshiagare
  3. Doggie & Maggie
  4. Chicago
  5. Kimi wa Boku no Mono
  6. Surround
  7. Lullabye Sarabai
  8. Binsenka
  9. Contrast
  10. id
  11. Folklore
  12. Vital Sign
  13. Good Time Music
  14. Carnival
  15. Kanade Dance
  16. Now!!!

The release date is July 7, but it’s not yet clear exactly where it’ll be available.

Clammbon Music V Shuu

cover art
  1. Hanare Banare
  2. Pan to Mitsu wo Meshiagare
  3. Kumoyuki
  4. Chicago
  5. 246
  6. Kimi wa Boku no Mono
  7. Doggie & Maggie
  8. Surround
  9. Zansho (Incl. Nonbiri)
  10. Romantic
  11. Re-Kumoyuki
  12. id
  13. Folklore
  14. Okaeri
  15. Vital Sign
  16. THE NEW SONG
  17. Bass,Bass,Bass
  18. GOOD TIME MUSIC (Hibiya Yagai Ongakudou 2007.07.21)
  19. Re-Ahoj!
  20. Serendipity
  21. KANADE Dance
  22. NOW!!! (2010 ver.)
  23. SUPER☆STAR
  24. JAPANESE MANNER
  25. Ka-Ka-KaLMa!
  26. Sooo, Quiet
  27. Hareru to Madjika
  28. tiny pride
  29. 4hands_cp_waves(1/4)
  30. Aspen (Shirakabahen)
  31. Akari from HERE (clammbon side)
  32. Bug -fughetta-
  33. Aru Kodou
  34. KANADE Dance (Ryougoku Kokugikan 2011.11.03)
  35. Rough & Laugh
  36. Shiawase Negau Kanata kara
  37. tiny pride (Yomiuri Land 2012.09.16)
  38. Binsenka

Clammbon 20th Anniversary!!!¡

Sooo somehow the biggest Clammbon news of all time has managed to escape my attention for the past six weeks.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Clammbon’s founding, the band has made a towering stack of fabulous announcements:

  1. The 9th studio album is coming at the beginning of 2015!! I love how they just kinda casually mentioned this huge fact in between a bunch of other announcements.

  2. “Clammbon Music V Shuu”, a music video collection, is coming April 2!! That’s like, soon! This is a huge deal. I have long lamented how half of the band’s videos are only available on the rare limited version of Best, and half aren’t available anywhere at all. Now, we’ll get super high quality versions of 38 videos on Blu-Ray and DVD. See the track list at the official page. Plus, it includes an entirely new video for “Binsenka”!!

  3. The first Clammbon tribute album is coming this autumn!! Start placing your bets on who will participate. Toe? Husking Bee!? Spangle call Lilli line!?!?

  4. A book of Clammbon sheet music is coming!! Some time!!

  5. A big fancy 20th anniversary site has gone up with details about all of this lovely stuff, a new official band photo with everyone looking all grown up, and a video in which the band reminisces about their history. A 20th anniversary Twitter account and Facebook page have also gone up.

V bd

Ms. Ikuko and her Melodica

This is a great little clip from a show called Yurunavi back in… wow, 2007! I happened to be in Tokyo at the time, so I tuned in to check it out when it first aired in the middle of the night. It was just a little five-minute thing, but it made a big impression on me. At the time, all I could do was write it up. But thanks to the magic of YouTube, here it is for everyone to enjoy!

This really encapsulates a lot of what we find charming about Ms. Ikuko, don’t you think? Particularly her ability to maintain a sort of childish sense of joy. She says in this clip that part of why she likes that old beat-up melodica so much is because it makes her feel connected to her childhood self.

Aspen

Requested by Kevin, this seems to be a classic Ikuko relationship lament.

Japanese Karaoke English
Aspen Aspen Aspen
眠れないのは 闇夜のせいではなく
静けさでもなく きみのやさしさ
nemurenai no wa yamiyo no sei de wa naku
shizukesa de mo naku kimi no yasashisa
The reason I can’t sleep isn’t the darkness of night
Or the silence; it’s your kindness
きみの言葉が この手にたくさん
こぼれそうだよ 手放せないんだよ
kimi no kotoba ga kono te ni takusan
koboresou da yo tebanasenainda yo
My hands are full of your words
About to overflow, I just can’t let go of them
どこまでもゆこう きみは手をのばすのに
ぼくは まだ行くてを決められない
doko made mo yukou kimi wa te wo nobasu no ni
boku wa mada yukute wo kimerarenai
While you stretch out your hands, saying let’s go through it all
I still can’t choose my path
透きとおる きみの目に映るぼく
そのまま闇のなかに包まれてたい
sukitooru kimi no me ni utsuru boku
sono mama yami no naka ni tsutsumaretetai
Reflected in your clear eyes,
I just want to stay enveloped in this darkness
そう 考え過ぎかな sou kangaesugi ka na Yes, maybe I’m thinking too much
目に見えるもの あい色に染まる
きみの呼吸に合わせてみてる
me ni mieru mono aiiro ni somaru
kimi no kokyuu ni awasete miteru
What my eyes see is dyed indigo
I try matching your breaths
このままずっと 笑顔も泣き顔も
なくなってもいい 静けさでいい
kono mama zutto egao mo nakigao mo
naku natte mo ii shizukesa de ii
For smiles and tears to go away for good
Would be fine; silence is fine
きみと過ごした ささやかな時間さえ
すべてなかったことになりそうなほど
kimi to sugoshita sasayaka na jikan sae
subete nakatta koto ni narisou na hodo
What little time I spent with you
Could seem like it never even happened,
こころが張り裂けそうでこわい
きみのやさしさに答える言葉がほしい
kokoro ga harisakesou de kowai
kimi no yasashisa ni kotaeru kotoba ga hoshii
I’m scared my heart might break
I want the words to answer your kindness
今日も 朝日を見たなら kyou mo asahi wo mita nara If today, too, I saw the sunrise
きっと 落ち着いてくるさ kitto ochitsuite kuru sa I’m sure I could calm down
考え過ぎかな kangaesuki ka na Maybe I’m thinking too much
きっと なんでもないんだろう kitto nandemonaindarou I’m sure it’s nothing