Music Review: “Pop Up Dynamo!” by PG Roxette – Great Music, Fabulous Band, Questionable Branding

Every now and again I do some music reviews (e.g. “The Heart is Strange” by xPropaganda – Heaven from ABBA in Hell, “Europa” by Holly Johnson – Frankie’s Third Album?, and Transcendance by Berlin – Contemporary New Wave at its Best). In this one I am reviewing the new album “Pop Up Dynamo!” by PG…

Book Review: “RoXXXette on the Road” by Per Gessle

When I was in Sweden in September (see ‘Walking On Air: A Trip to Sweden‘), I got four books. Three of these have a connection to Roxette. The first of them, “Kärleken Till Livet” by Marie Fredriksson, I have already reviewed. This post is about the second of them, “RoXXXette on the Road”. I am…

Book Review: “Kärleken Till Livet” by Marie Fredriksson

As I previously wrote about (‘Walking On Air: A Trip to Sweden‘), I took a trip to Sweden in September. While I was there, I bought a copy of “Kärleken Till Livet”, which, in essence, is an autobiography by Marie Fredriksson. As noted in my previous post, I had been learning Swedish on Duolingo for…

My Juhachiban/’Go-to song’

Recently The Japan Society asked for contributions from members on the topic of their juhachiban or ‘go-to song’ at karaoke. Juhachiban literally means ’18’, but, according to the definition Wikipedia, its the term given to the one song which singers are especially good at and which they use to show off their singing abilities and…

Nostalgia and Movies: Robocop

Over the last week or so I have been re-watching Robocop (directed by Paul Verhoeven, 1987) – it took me a while as I just watch 15 to 20 minutes at a time as I have my lunch. One of the things I was thinking about as I watched the film is what constitutes a…

Walking On Air: A Trip to Sweden

Today PG Roxette released their latest (second) single, ‘Walking on Air’, and this seemed a good opportunity for me to reflect further on my recent trip to Sweden. For those who don’t know, PG Roxette is an evolution of Roxette, with Helena Josefsson taking on the primary role of the female vocals, replacing Marie Fredriksson…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

On 10 September I gave a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese (BATJ) annual conference in Cardiff. I spoke about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of the reasons why…

Post 600 – China In Your Hand

Apparently, this will be my 600th post. With my 500th post, I did a post relating to the number 500 – Favourite Photos: 500 series Passing – so I thought I would do something similar with this post. There is no 600 series shinkansen, so there won’t be another train photo. In fact, the first…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

I have been invited to give a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese annual conference in September 2022. I will be speaking about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of…

“The Heart is Strange” by xPropaganda – Heaven from ABBA in Hell

In my previous post I mentioned the appropriateness of finishing a book on nuclear culture having just given a presentation on a related subject at a conference in Cologne, where we also visited a nuclear shelter. That wasn’t the only bit of synchronicity that happened. While I was in Cologne, xPropaganda (the current name for…

Music Review: Pet Shop Boys Live

Having previously done a review of a concert that featured Altered Images, Tom Bailey, and The Human League, I’m doing one about the Pet Shop Boys concert that I went to last night. This was the second time that I have seen the Pet Shop Boys (one of my favourite acts), and again, like both…