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Ha ha ha, you know how people get all excited to write, and then they do, and then they stop because of Reasons? No? Oh. Well. That’s what usually happens.

Time has not been on my side. When I wrote the Usagi Drop post, I was about 7 or 8 months into my sysadmin job at ReadyTalk, so my weekends were a bit more free for such hobbies as…anime essays. I’ve since left ReadyTalk (an insanely difficult decision) and started in a director role at a small telecommunications company. With that, my routine has changed. I’ve gone from a morning person, especially in the summer, to someone who sleeps in. This company has a bit more of a late-morning culture, though. Juston and I are able to carpool again, so it’s actually been pretty positive. Even with the new job jitters and getting used to things, I think it will work out and be a positive step for my career and personal growth. I mean, making time to write must mean I’m getting into more of a routine, right?

Never far behind routines will you find plans. I have, in my stack of virtual sticky notes, a list of things I’d like to write about. Bands, shows, books, and such. I’ve wanted to devote some time to positively gush about SHISHAMO, who have become my favorite band over the past two years.

Matsumoto Aya (bassist, left) has since left the band, having made a promise to herself to leave the band at age 20. This is their 2nd album, SHISHAMO. Probably my favorite album cover.

It’s been just over a month since SHISHAMO released their 6th album (the aptly titled, SHISHAMO 5) and it’s been in my car’s CD player ever since. They’ve become my go-to, a band I could listen to every day and never tire of. I listened to Metric in the same way around 2010-2011 (also releasing a new album soon!) I think having lyrics in another language is kind of like having music without lyrics at all. I’ve spent the time to translate a couple of their songs and have read the translations for others, but the majority I kind of piece together slowly over time. It’s nice to listen and pick up on the general theme of a song, and I think that’s where their staying power comes from.

They’ve definitely grown up. On the left is the new bassist, Matsuoka Aya. It’s always been interesting to me that 松本彩 (Matsumoto Aya) was succeeded by 松岡彩 (Matsuoka Aya). Asako (singer, guitar, middle) is still Asako, and Misaki (drummer, right) who has always been tomboyish, is definitely owning it.

What’s even nicer is being able to do that for an entire album. SHISHAMO 5 is about memories, the people we used to know, those we’ve left behind, and also those we’re just meeting. I’m happy they’ve been around for so long, because it’s a really nice contrast against their first album which was literally a graduation project. I ended up buying a blu-ray of their live show at the Budokan in 2016. I’ve made it about halfway through, and with the biggest smile the whole time. There are very few bands I’m really interested in seeing live, few that I’d even be excited to see, really. Watching that concert video, I guess I promised myself I’d make the time and put in the effort to see them live. Since there’s very little chance of them coming stateside, it means I’ll have to plan a trip to Japan around their tour dates!

Though Misaki is considered the band’s leader, Asako is a really good frontman. I’m definitely in love with her voice and her guitar. She’s always been a good singer, but listening to older and newer songs in rotation, she’s really honed her voice.

I might like to review or simply gush further about SHISHAMO 5, so don’t be surprised to find a random album review in the coming weeks. At least, I’ll plan for it…

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April


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