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Yoko Watanabe & The Blog of Death

By February 14, 2006 No Comments

Yoko WatanebeI like to listen to music while I work.

Also, I am a naturally curious person and enjoy taking advantage of this music blog phenomenon that introduces us all to so much good, new music.

I like to share the cultural wealth I see around me with everyone who I think will appreciate it. [Yes, I plead guilty to promoting music and, frankly, I do it better and more efficiently than I ever did when I was killing time between the ads for ZMFM. Enthusiasm for the music is the message: the music itself just comes along for the ride.]

In my home/office iTunes is perpetually on random: it’s like a radio station full of my own favourite music. Or a radio station where the programme director’s cat walks freely across the keyboard 27–4.

Which might explain why I found myself listening to Yoko Watanabe’s J-Pop version of Wham!‘s “Last Christmas” about half an hour ago. Being a borderline Asperger’s personality I was then obliged to try and give the mp3 a date and find some cover art.

In my research I find that Yoko Watanabe was a legendary opera singer who died of cancer at the beginning of 2004. Evidently, she was the Cio-cio San of our generation, and performed all over the world to great acclaim.

But I still don’t know why she sang “Last Christmas” or when, or why.

And, much more alarmingly: why is there such a thing as “The Blog of Death” and what purpose does it serve?

OK: without delving too deeply in to the site, or obliging you (dear reader) to do likewise it seems like a death-fixated, obituary-focused (respectably thorough), macabre outpost of the backwoods of the Internets. My night got even weirder when at their front page I found myself reading about the surgeon who single-handedly turned Trinidad, Colorado into the sex-change capital of the world.

If, and when, you download “Last Christmas” please think fondly of Yoko Watanabe while you listen…