Thursday, February 18, 2010


I was just now doing the usual hasty three-days catch-up with my Google Reader feed when something made me stop scrolling... a Feb 16 post on the Root Blog referring to a Feb 15 post on the Ongaku Blog about the medication-related death of Shizuka Miura in late January. In this day and age when basically every week seems to bring a flurry of RIP tweets and posts and blogs and retweets of the news of the death of another great soul-touching musician, I couldn't believe that this particular news had taken almost a month to get to me. Her long-running band always was underrated. They were named after her; she played guitar, sang the songs, and was, I think, the principal songwriter. In 1994 they released a CD called Heavenly Persona on the venerable Japan psych label PSF, and during the following year came the album that really knocked my younger self out, Shizuka Live on the Persona Non Grata label. They really didn't have any other official releases, but both of these records are gloriously desultory documents of their blown-out and deeply melancholy acid-ballad sound. A lot of attention will be rightfully given to the beyond-explosive lead guitar by her then-husband and former Fushitsusha member Maki Miura, but it is Shizuka's guitar playing and singing that set the tone of the band absolutely. This video posted by the Ongaku Blog is an excellent example. If the band's stage presence doesn't grab you, just minimize the browser and let the waves wash over.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a downer... thanks for posting the video, enjoyed seeing her play.

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