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When you hear a band like Pizzicato Five you begin to wonder, is this a joke, or are they part of an international conspiracy dedicated to the revival of '60s and '70s fashion-pop culture? The pictures inside their CD packages don't help much either. You've got Maki Nomiya, the chanteuse behind the band, decked out in polyester coats, batting ski ramp eyelashes, all done up with such early '70s perfection the CD disk itself looks like some weird techno-sci-fi trinket from "2001: A Space Odyssey."

But if there's a joke in any of this it's not quite tongue in cheek either. When Nomiya sings, "The whole world is so groovy!" the words bounce way too much to be taken as sarcastic. On the other hand you have Yasuhara Konishi, the composer-arranger behind Pizzicato Five endlessly tapping into the goldmine (junkyard?) of pop music permanently lodged into our repressed unconscious from Perry Como to the Carpenters. The weirdest thing for me is that Pizzicato Five doesn't come off as cheesy, falling into the all-too-common trap of taking the joke seriously with the oncoming slaughter of success. Part of this is because they've been around too long to be either jaded or righteous-their first album came out in Japan in 1985-which brings me to my last point. I first heard Pizzicato Five during the intermission of a '60s-'70s Japanimation festival. The projectionist put on "Twiggy Twiggy / Twiggy vs. James Bond" from their Matador release, Made in USA. I realized later that whatever ticked behind Pizzicato Five's adoration for the '60s and '70s was not all that different from whatever tapped into Americans so attached to their childhood identifications with Giant Robot, Gigantor, or Ultraman. Pizzicato Five doesn't take you back to the '60s via nostalgia, they reprocess these bygone decades, fastforwarding them up to the present.

Yuji Oniki



Taichi Azuma's Page
A Japanese fan page, in English

Ed's Pizzicato Five Pages
A good English fan page

Pizzicato Five - Matador releases

Pizzicato Five Discography
A UNIX list, but extensive

Official American Page
Atlantic Records' Pizzicato Five page


 

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