PINE*am vs. Erik Satie
On the theme of great Japanese bands, I thought I would post about the crazy electro-pop band PINE*am (which, according to their bio, is an acronym for "Playing Intense Neutral Electronica ad nauseAM"). I first heard them on Fluxblog, and was blown away by the song "Gymnopedie 0.1's" awesomeness. Not only is it a perfectly catchy little song, but it is perhaps the only non-stupid pop music cover of a piece of classical music that I've heard yet. The song being covered is "1st Gymnopedie" by Eric Satie (1866-1925), and is one of my favorites. If you haven't heard of him, Satie was an eccentric precursor to many twentieth century avant-garde and minimalist composers, and had a tendency to give his songs ridiculous names like "Genuine Flabby Preludes (for a dog)" or "Bureaucratic Sonata". The name Gymnopedie for instance, translates as "Spartan dance of naked youths and men". If you're interested, you can probably pick up a record of his music in many a thrift shop record bin.
The original Gymnopedie is essentially a slow solo-piano piece, but is transformed by PINE*am into a bouncy, although still slightly melancholy, pop song.
PINE*am - Gymnopédie 0.1
Erik Satie - 1st Gymnopédie
PINE*am's newest album, Pull the Rabbit Ears, comes out on May 31. You can also download another 5 or 6 more of their mp3s here.