Seasonal Mix tracklist

As requested, here’s the tracklist for the Jrock winter playlist I posted.

this is just wrong on every level

Itsuka no Merry Christmas – B’z (intro clip)
Merry Xmas 2 U – Vidoll
twinkle, twinkle – L’arc~En~Ciel
Konayuki – remioromen
Winter, again – GLAY
I Wish – L’arc~En~Ciel vers.

Silent Night – Hamasaki Ayumi ft. GACKT
12 Gatsu no Love Song – GACKT
Christmas – Kawamura Ryuuichi
Hanashitaku wa Nai – T-BOLAN

Arigatou – Amuro Namie
Mirrorball (VANDALIZE vers.) – alice nine
Yami ni Furu Kiseki (Classical White vers.) – D’espairsRay
SNOW – B’z

My personal winter playlist also includes these songs, which were not featured on the podcast:

Snow White – D
Setsugekka ~ The End of Silence~ -GACKT
Saikai ~STORY~ – GACKT
I LOVE YOU – Ozaki Yutaka
Kanashimi ga Itai Yo – T-BOLAN
Meguriai – GACKT
OH MY LITTLE GIRL – Ozaki Yutaka
Sayounara ~ RRII Vers. instrumental~ -GACKT
SWEET DREAMS ~ acoustic vers.~ – VAMPS
Lunartail – Luzmelt

What do you guys have on your seasonal mix? (And don’t even say Hurry Xmas by L’arc, because I don’t even want to hear it. /shudders)

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Merry Xmas, Visualists!

So I started thinking about what I wanted to do for you all for Christmas, and, given everything that’s been going on recently, it only made sense to use this opportunity to “come out” in a sense on here. Here is a message/playlist that I recorded for you guys. Hope you enjoy it!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from SG. 

Special thanks to Roukun for helping put this together. 

明けましておめでとうございます

Before I finish up for 2009….This is more of a Christmas story, I suppose, but somehow the story (and more importantly the video attached to it) seems fitting for both the final night of December, and the final night of 2009.


In Japan it is common to spend Christmas with your most-precious person. However, GACKT once remarked that he remembered many years ago when he was stranded on Christmas without a taisetsu-na hito to spend the evening with. He called YOU, who, even though he had a girlfriend at the time, opted to spend the evening with lonely GACKT instead. YOU brought his guitar, and they played ’80s rock-band T-Bolan‘s tear-jerker Hanashitaku-wa nai (’93, from the albumT-Bolan). Years later, to honor–and perhaps humor– this memory, the two members performed the painful, aching, traumatizingly beautiful piece on the excruciatingly romantic banks of Kyoto’s Kamogawa River, on a cold December night, before a group of sweetly swaying lovers holding candles.

In my opinion, no December night could be more perfect. x Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

T-Bolan‘s 離したくはない/ GACKT (vo.), YOU (gt.)

And performed again, on December 18th, 2009. Beautiful.

The lamps of December have begun to light up….

Japanese Xmas Deco.

“The lamps of December have begun to light up slowly
And everyone without exception starts liking the busily dancing city”

~B’z

And it’s true– for the western world, at least, there is only one day left until Christmas Eve; one of the most internationally celebrated holidays around the globe. Because it’s so widely observed, and so varied in observational practices, I find it really interesting to hear how many different people choose to celebrate.

I, personally, always start my December off with the stout-hearted declaration to not put my Christmas-gift shopping until the very last minute. I was ahead of schedule, making that declaration early in November. I just finished my shopping yesterday.

During Christmas/ New Years time (New Years being the largest holiday in Japan), I always feel the yearning to be in Japan the most poignantly. I can imagine clearly watching the snow fall over a Kyoto street, while sipping hot sake, legs tucked under a kotatsu table.

Kinkakuji temple, Kyoto

Back in the ’90s the national statistics for Christians in Japan were somewhere around 1 or 2%, so pretty much needless to say, the holiday has not caught on as a religious celebration. The common Japanese traditions in the celebrating of Christmas usually include a romantic date for couples, small gifts for children, and the purchase of a Christmas Cake. (A “Christmas Cake” is a purely Japanese invention: a sponge cake with whipped cream, topped with a sumptuous excess of whole strawberries, chocolate ornaments, and Santa or snowmen figurines.  They are strictly purchased, never homemade, and usually collected on Christmas Eve.) Families will often eat western-style food, such as fried-chicken or pizza as a special dinner treat.

However, several times Tokyo has been given the annual award for Most Beautiful Christmas Decorations, and Japan has, nationally, exquisite and elaborate displays of lights, trees, and outdoor performances.

Christmas time, aside from being a commercial rodeo, has also become a time for appreciating and doting on your “taisetsuna hito”, or precious/loved ones. Even more so than Valentine’s Day, Christmas is a time for romance, couples, and spending time with the one you love. The Japanese have even developed their own unique form of melancholy: that of missing a loved one at Christmas time.

— Very early GACKT performance on an outdoor stage, singing Silent Night (all in English) with pop-princess Hamasaki Ayumi. A beautiful, heartfelt performance– and quite possibly of one of the most difficult songs for a Japanese person to pronounce. Remembering that the Japanese language has no “v”, and switches around their “l”s and “r”s, put on your Japanese accent and try saying “virgin”, “silent night”, and “sleep in heavenly peace”. If you were Bah-humbugging it up before, this may be all you need to get you back into the holiday cheer.

December’s Love Song? December’s ONLY Song!

I can’t believe it’s already December! At first I felt very resistant to the year coming to such an abrupt close– but here we are, at the finale… And suddenly I’m beginning to feel in the mood for all the celebrating and festivities. After all, there is nothing that inspires a warmer, more lovely feeling than walking along a snowy avenue as star-like flakes float down, clinging to lights-filled branches; sipping hot chocolate; and being with the people you care about– or thinking about them, if being with them isn’t possible.。。。

For some reason there is nothing I like better at the holidays than that blend of melancholy + hopeful that few people can nail just right. Today, as it were, we have business with one of these. You guessed it, of course, the all-time Jpop king GACKT. It’s true, he’s been busier than a beehive in honey-season, but despite all the excitement of new singles, books, and DVDs, perhaps the last month of the year, a time of retrospective and contemplation, is a fitting time to look back on the classic gold of GACKT’s past prizes…

I believe that if you buy his “12月のLove Song”, you should be sent a packet of tissues with the GACKT crest on them. Even the hardest heart cannot resist the paradoxical snowy warmth of this perfect single; and male, female, young, old… if you’re not sobbing into your eggnog by the time the track ends…I just….you need help.

This single, which has to be one of the most translated and performed-in-multiple-languages songs on earth, has captured with incredible clarity and ease the gentleness, sweetness, and dash of sadness that always seems to be imbued into romantics during the last few months of the year.
A time of change, hope, and positive intention are all deeply set into the tenderness of the lyrics, melody, and effects of GACKT’s seasonal masterpiece.

Juunigatsu no Love Song ~ December Love Song

いつの間にか街の中二十二月の慌ただしさがあふれ
小さな手を振りながら大切な人の名前を
呼ぶ

Itsuno ma ni ka machi no naka ni juuni-gatsu no
awatadashisa ga afure
chiisana te o furinagara taisetsu na hito no namae o
yobu

恋人たちの優しさに包まれてこの街にも少し早い冬が訪れる

Koibito-tachi no yasashisa ni tsutsumarete kono
machi ni mo sukoshi hayai fuyu ga otozureru

大切な人だからずっと変わらないで笑っていて
大好きな人だからずっと君だけを抱きしめて。。。

Taisetsu na hito dakara zutto kawaranai de
waratteite
daisuki na hito dakara zutto kimi dake o
dakishimete…

Show-windowを見つめながら方を寄せ合う二人が通り過ぎる
君の事を待ちながら白い吐息に重いを乗せる

Show-window o mitsumenagara kata o yoseau
futari ga toorisugiru
kimi no koto o machinagara shiroi toiki ni omoi o
noseru

見上げた空に粉雪が舞い降りていたずらに二人
の距離をそっと地被ける

Miageta sora ni konayuki ga maioriteitazura ni futari
no kyori o sotto chikazukeru

静かな夜に耳元でささやいた
あの言葉をもう一度そっとつぶやいた

Shizuka na yoru ni mimimoto de sasayaita
ano kotoba o mou ichido sotto tsubuyaita

大切な人だからずっと変わらないで笑っていて
大好きな人だからずっと君だけを抱きしめて。。。

Taisetsu na hito dakara zutto kawaranai de
waratteite
daisuki na hito dakara zutto kimi dake o
dakishimete…

いつまでも抱きしめて。。。
Itsumade mo dakishimete…

君だけを抱きしめて。。。
Kimi dake o dakishimete…

GACKT really gives his all in composition of “12Gatsu no Love Song”, including major orchestration, acoustics, violin, subtle chorus accompaniment, and impressive, magical theatrics in the performance. However, despite being a major production, the simplicity and tenderness of the song cannot be matched, and a bottle of whiskey couldn’t make you feel this warm on a cold night.

The single is the perfect soundtrack to walking down a snowy, well-lit street in December with someone you care about. And whether you’re Japanese, Korean, American/English, or Chinese, you can enjoy this touching piece in your own language. Whichever suits your fancy~ consider it GACKT’s Christmas gift to you. x