Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Night Video - Zazen Boys

Okay. What is one to make then of Japan's Zazen Boys? If not for their name (literally translated, zazen means "sitting meditation"), I might not have noticed them at all, but now that I have, I can't quite reconcile their name with their music. But is that their short-coming or mine?

The fact that I can find nothing "zen-like" in their math-core music doesn't mean that their music isn't "zen-like," it merely means that I'm searching, and in Zen, it can be said, "Seek, and ye shall not find." How could any music not be zen-like?

Consider the video for their song Weekend, above. Both the composition and the performance are tight and exact, and no performer wastes so much as a motion that is not necessary to the composition, even while the guitarist is squeezing out insane, Adrian Belew-type riffs.

They don't seem to be afraid of emptiness, and allow big, silent passages in their compositions. They took this to comical extremes during a live performance of Daruna (Japanese for "dharma") in Japan, where the rests between notes were long enough to allow them to enjoy a refreshing beverage.

So maybe there is a Zen connection there after all.


kitano0 said...

Thank you, Shokai...

Love this music! And to think, I just bought "The Name of the Band is Talking Heads" again after many years last week...Belew craziness is my kind of craziness. Posts like this is why I've been reading your blog for years.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!

Shokai said...

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad that you liked it . . . enjoy re-exploring your Talking Heads!