Today's addish to the 12 Days of J-Pop Christmas countdown is a special one for the holiday hams in my house as this video for Halcali's hip-hoppin', bottle-poppin and pillow-fightin' Christmas hit "Strawberry Chips" directly influenced the design and style of the Tree Skirts - that loveable duo that brought a little naughty but nice Christmas cheer to this years' Amobepalooza/holiday party jam (if I do say so myself). Anyhoo, if you find yourself short on the sort of girlish charm and whimsy that makes one want to have a post-shopping spree sleepover pie-toss then this is a visual experience to revel in.
It's come to this. I'm indulging today in posting what just might be the "fiiiive goooolllld riiiiiings!" equivalent to my most beloved personal favorites when it comes to this addition to the 12 Days of J-Pop Christmas countdown, the wonderful, white Christmas-y 「雪が降る町」(or perhaps "Snow Town" for a blunt translation) by late 80's/early 90's Japanese pop/rock unit Unicorn. This song isn't necessarily a Christmas song, but something more of a New Year's jam replete nostalgic lyrics fed by an emotional current moated with eddies of loss and regret, the kind of feelings a winter home-coming begets. Depending on how it gets to you, that feeling alone is Christmas-ish enough to warrant inclusion here. Also, there's snow!
It's no wonder the song begins with a lyric indicating a dislike for going out among the the holiday crowds, the city boy opting instead for an "over the river and though the woods" type of getaway to his down-home backwoods beginnings with the knowledge that snow is already falling there "again this year". He ponders getting a souvenir for his sweetheart and then contemplates the few remaining days in the year before adopting something of a fuck it, it's the end of the year attitude, reveling in the simpler times realness of the postcard perfect country snowscape.
Maybe it's because I always get a little homesick around this time of year, maybe I'm swimming against my own emotional currents and eddies linked to Christmases past. Maybe, just maybe I'm overdoing it a bit, but I like I said up top I'm indulging myself today. :p
Unicorn - 「雪が降る町」(Yuki ga furu Machi)
I. Love. Chara. Her filthy doll-baby voice is so sweet it's like diabetes on icing and the lady is always serving quirky pretty face, face, face and turning out fierce fashions. At best her acoustic pop is catchy and anthemic, her hippy-dippy freak-flag never far from fully unfurled. Below, clocking in at the half-way point in the 12 Days of *J-Pop* Christmas countdown, I give you Chara performing alongside lithe-legged, high-heeled dancing Christmas gifts in her jazzy-ass video for "X'mas Spirits!"
Chara - "X'mas Spirits!"
ようこそ、welcome to another post celebrating the 12 Days of J-Pop Christmas with another post dedicated to pop idols in holiday advertising. I'm not back on the J-Pop commercial tip, I'm still on it! And why not? After all what mixes better with Christmas than business? I'm talkin' good, old fashioned, nothing-but-net holiday eye-candy endorsements like Utada Hikaru's winter wonderland Pepsi challenge taking on AKB48's Coca-Cola ad, not to mention the absoludicrous Christmas cake ads, plural, AKB48 made for 7-11. Check out how all these season's greeting stack up against one another below.
Utada Hikaru pining for Pepsi:
AKB48 miming for Coca-Cola:
As we all know, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in Japan if it weren't for fried chicken. It seems everyone gets their so-called "Kentucky Christmas" fix by December 25th, even the cutest of the cookie-cutter cute J-Pop girl groups like KARA, pictured above, can be seen savoring the fryolator flavor of crispy holiday cheer in this year's commercial for Family Mart. Of course, KARA already have a Christmas hit to add to the 12 Days of J-Pop Christmas list with their single "Winter Magic", but wouldn't you rather see them work some fried chicken into their seasonal song and dance routine? I thought so! And because you've been such good boys and girls this year I'm not only adding KARA's rhapsody in white short-shorts music video for "Winter Magic" to this post, but I'll also be including a bonus Japanese "Kentucky Christmas" KFC commercial, starring Japanese ingenue Haruka Ayase. Take it away, babes!
On the 8th Day of J-Pop Christmas: KARA Christmas for Family Mart Fried Chicken
KARA - "Winter Magic"