A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

A Song (and a poem) Celebrating the Results of the 2008 Presidential Election

By Avi Landau

Pacing and fidgeting, repeatedly (obsesively!) checking my smartphone… feeling the stress slowly burning a hole through my stomach… waiting (and waiting) for the results…the 2020 American Presidential election has been torturous!

But every now and then, as it seeks some relief, my mind sails back to a better place – no, not (the nightmare of) 2016 – but to the elation of 2008.

The feelings (of many of us) on that night were captured perfectly in this powerful poem by local (Tsukuba) resident Ellen Talleon.

I, too, tried my hand at capturing the euphoria of  Barrack Obama’s  election to the Oval Office  – by writing a song of thanks to then Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin – whose selection as John McCain’s running-mate most certainly helped things turn out the way did!

So while you stress out waiting for the last electoral votes to be decided, why not have a (free) listen.

I think there is one phrase I came up with that is very appropriate for this year, as well:

“Because it was high time that we got back to reality
Dropped the fantasy and myths, and face actualities”

And undoubtedly Trump’s battle against reality has been much more fiercely waved than G.W. Bush’s ever was!

Here are the lyrics (while the song is performed by The TenGooz):


You dropped in out of nowhere, and went on to save the day
I don`t know what I would have done, if you hadn`t come this way

Radiant and full of life, you helped make right from wrong
I can’t tell what the future brings, but I’m sure glad that you came along

Because it was high time that we got back to reality
Dropped the fantasy and myths, and face actualities

You helped fulfill a yearning, brought out the dormant songs
You can hear them in the distance – with each minute they`re growing strong

You burst in just in time and helped us to find our way
Like DEUS EX MACHINA, in those old Greek plays

Of course we can’t forget the fact that all good things must pass
I cant tell what the future brings but let`s enjoy this thing while it lasts

And though you had to head back north, I`ll still often think of you
And how you helped to set things straight and turn the old to new

I hope that you don’t mind if I’m waxing lyrical
But your coming this way`s nothing short of a miracle


(Avi Landau 2009)



Many listeners have said that out of all the tracks on our “G-Strings” album, they liked the second track- MIRACLE – best.
Let me tell you a little bit about how it evolved.
Sometime last summer (2008), a few weeks before our first beachside gig of the season, we toyed with the idea of creating a SURFING SONG for the occasion.
The next time we got together for practice Hase G (Nodoka Hasegawa) presented us with the song`s bass-line, in its entirety, almost exactly as we recorded it.

He said that he was inspired by U2 , of all things, and in fact, for a long while, we referred to this number as the U2 song. As usual with the TenGooz, when we find something that clicks, very quickly Michael (sax) Thomas (guitars), A-Chan (drums) and I (vocals and lyricist) came up with what we eventually laid down at the studio.
The two points which took time to work out were the middle section, which ultimately became the fruit of one of Michael’s inspirations, and then the lyrics,, which somehow, veered away from being about ocean sports, and took up the topic of the 2008 presidential election (though referred to ambiguously, as a message of thanks to Sarah Palin).

In recording, it was Thomas` guitars which really give the some its special feeling and drive. The background vocals he laid down are also very tasty and he did them, improvised, in one take.