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Monday Michiru Corner


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...before she breaks out in America.

4 Seasons is one of the greatest, most musically interesting (and alive) pop albums I've ever heard. The "jazz sensibility" is high, as is the Brazillian quotient. It's still "just pop music", but this is the kind of pop music that accomplishes the rare feat of providing both Ear Candy & Mind Food of equally high order. When it's this good, it become "just music" afaic, no other adjectives needed.

What's really cool about this album and Routes (a distincly more "club" type album, but certainly not a less interesting one) is that her husband (trumpeter Alex Sipiagin) often contributes arrangements that are chock full of full-bodied modern harmonies, dissonances, weird-ass melodic intervals, and all that hip shit. So you got this "sunshiny" voice (and a beautiful voice it is) singing these songs with chord changes that often go places where you'd not expect them to go mixed with melodies that follow the surprising chords yet remain emminently singable/hummable mixed with these arrangements that would not be out of place on a Maria Schnieder album played over grooves that you'd have to be damn near dead not to want to dance to. And then every so often, she throws in extended solos by cats like Dave Kikowski & Donny McCaslin (a.o.) that ain't just "pop record filler". The players get to play.

I've carped earlier about her lyrics, but hell, after a few weeks of near total-immersion in this stuff, I don't care anymore. It's pop music at root, and pop music is supposed to have kinda goofy lyrics anyway. So forget I ever said anything bad.

It all sounds like some kind of "fusion", and I guess maybe it is, but unlike earlier such attempts at such fusions, Monday's shit is built from the ground up, with the dance impulse driving everything else. You might not gotta love that, but I damn sure do.



When she sings a ballad, it's usally with very sparse accompaniment, and the results are beautiful. On 4 Seasons, she does a version of Ivan Lins' "The Island" that sent me into fantasy land for...uh...what time is it now?

Did I mention that she's also one of the most beautiful women alive today? Does that get your attention? It got mine, but not nearly as much as her music has. But I will say this - If I could die right now and be reincarnated instantly as Alex Sipiagin, I would seriously consider the offer... :g

Don't believe me? Check it out: http://www.smartalecmusic.com/inner-viewsMICHIRU.htm I'm not talking "sexy" or "babe" or any of that hornyboy shit, I'm talking beautiful, dig?

Not recommended for "jazz purists" or for cynical souls who don't never, ever, Believe In Magic, but everybody else, do what you gotta do to get some kind of copy of 4 Seasons and then take it from there. You are living a deprived life if you don't. Monday Michiru is a the real deal, and more.

It's just a matter of time...

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I'm looking forward to hearing this music. I've heard a few tracks from friends over the last 6 or 8 months. Mostly friends into Brazilian and finding this pop pop. I like what I've heard.

I have nothing at all against pop music when it is interesting. INVOKE by Arto Lindsay is a great pop album, I think. I love the feel of it, like the best D'Angelo stuff, it just has an amazing production value that I don't know how to quantify. Juana Molina is another one that comes to mind, though her production is so much more stripped down. Broadcast THE NOISE MADE BY PEOPLE as well.

Anyway, really looking forward to hearing more Michiru and expanding my palette.

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i am so thrilled to see a thread about monday michiru. i have been a big fan of hers for quite awhile and have her last several cd's which i'm enjoying immensely. and, for those who don't know, i'm a dyed-in-the-wool, straight-ahead jazz fan!! she is just a gorgeous (inside and out), very talented young woman.

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But seriously, I checked those outlets, and everything listed is a $40+ import. Not sure I want to drop 80 bucks on a couple of CDs.

Yup, until she gets better representation in the US, I'm afraid it's in the $20-40+ range.

Maybe I should do an exclusive rodcast on her. ;)

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I've heard of her. If she breaks into the US, watch out, she will be championed by otaku, your over obsessed anime fan who goes crazy over anything from Japan........... but wait, the music is too good for them to notice. Other Japanese artists I hope appropriately break into the US, Utada Hikaru, her US album was kinda industrial sounding, but she has true talent, though her J-pop sides never really reflect it.

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Here's the really funny thing - Monday is American by birth, and has lived (as I understand it) most of her life here. She lived in Japan from 1987 to 1999, and that's where and when she got into recording, DJ-ing and such. Her stardom & other ties in/to Japan are very real, but she sings all of her songs in English. You'd think that some American label would have gotten hip to her by now. But no...

Here's an interesting tale she tells about that ( http://www.popmatters.com/music/interviews...ay-021226.shtml ):

The groove Monday made has resulted in prodigious collaborations with established names: the experimental wits (Bill Laswell, Yas-Kaz), the acid jazz family (Mondo Grosso, United Future Organization), the classic jazzers (Mingus Big Band, Airto), the electronic dance lot (Basement Jaxx, Masters at Work), and the hip-hop mob (DJ Krush, The Angel). An obvious array of admiration and respect comes from all corners, yet she remains doubtful, somewhat understandably, of acceptance in the largely conformist, black and white (literally), mainstream-driven American market.

"Would they want me?" asks Monday, as if any sound suit could dismiss her. She recalls a time when she was still open to the idea. "America is just so vast and the people are so aggressive in the business. I remember back in '96 I tried to approach Verve in New York about just licensing my stuff for release as we were with the same parent company and they had shown interest in my stuff back in '94, but the guy just totally shunned me. At the meeting, he had this real blasé attitude, but when he looked at my bio and list of people I'd worked with, his eyebrows raised and [he] said, 'Really? You've worked with these people?' But then just sort of fluffed me off in so many words. I finally got insulted by his attitude towards me and the Leo in me roared, hissing, 'I'm the shit and you don't even know it.' He got really excited then, and almost spit on himself, 'That's the attitude you should have coming into this meeting!!' At that point I thought, fuck it, if that's what it takes to get something released in America, where you have to be in someone's face and be totally aggressive and ugly in your heart, man, I don't want anything to do with it. It's all such a game and it's not where I want to be."

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