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One OK Rock’s song Renegades is not only their latest and greatest, but also one of the most socially important songs they have ever done. And this time we didn’t just get the final product; we got a small selection of Making Of videos that cover the engineering and artistic aspects of the creation process. And trust me when I say you need both of those aspects to get an actual viable product by the end of that process.

What you also get a sense of here is just how international a musical project of this magnitude is. When you get beyond a certain point, you aren’t looking for the best folk to collaborate with among your friends or countrymen. You need the best team members from around the world for your production to have a hope of making an impact on a global scale. I think Taka and his band mates have pulled together just such a team for this release. If you have any doubts, watch the second video followed by the final video for the evidence.

Scott Bradlee’s PostModern Jukebox have been around for years playing todays music in yesterdays styles, and they have created a lot of quality music in that time. It has been a while since the last time I have included them here, so I thought we were due for another few tracks. The first song is Blondie’s Call Me featuring the vocals of Tess Mohr in Marilyn Monroe mode. The second is Aerosmith’s Dream On sung by Morgan James in Blues style, while the third is Wham’s Careless Whispers sung by Robyn Adele as a 30’s Jazz piece with a side riff by Dave Brubeck. Some excellent vocalists working with some great musicians, you can catch a lot more by stopping by their You Tube Channel.

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This stuff is golden! After a 2 year wait, we are finally at the ragged edge of having a Live Action version of Cowboy Bebop! And we didn’t have to do anything to get more, because Netflix already verified the second season was funded and green lit!

But for those who have forgotten what this means, a song or two to bring it front and center again! The songs in this set were done as part of Seatbelt’s 2020 Virtual Sessions, not one of the previous year’s postings. But they were all composed by Yoko Kanno, they were all part of the original movie and TV show, they were all performed by Seatbelt! And even scarier, watching how they did their musical collaborations while in Lock-down, you get a much better understanding of just how world class this collection of singers and musicians is! And for those who didn’t already know her, the one in the space suit helmet is Yoko Kanno herself!

To start us off, the Lock Down version of Space Lion:

Then two different versions of the Real Folk Blues, one with the original Seatbelts mix, and one where Yoko Kanno gets to run rampant all over the musical arrangement. Both versions are totally amazing!

I was not expecting the fusion of Evanescence and The Wagakki Band, but they have put together some really tasty music. The first track is the Evanescence hit Bring Me To Life posted on their YouTube Channel, with the two lead singers sharing the vocals and Wagakki Band bringing their unique sound to the party. The second track is Sakura Rising from Wagakki Band’s new album Tokyo Singing, which just came out a few weeks ago.

There has been some amazing music released during the pandemic, which has been one of the main things helping me get through the year. So far, the tracks from this session have been the best of them from my perspective.

Yoko Kanno is one of the most amazing composers and band leaders ever, and it is always a treat to discover someone new singing her praises by playing her music (and yes, I do mean that literally). Back in 2009 a band called Platina Jazz got together to create covers of the best Jazz music in Anime, so I figure at least half of their music has to be created by her. Let me show off a few of their tunes so you can get an idea of who they are.

Starting off with the single most recognizable tune from Anime Jazz, Yoko Kanno’s TANK:

Then there is Inner Universe from Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex, another track composed and originally preformed by Yoko Kanno!

And another killer classic from Cowboy Bebop, Knock A Little Harder: