The last time we pleaded with you to get obsessed with pop savant Shugo Tokumaru came in relation to the fantastical, Beatles-indebted toy-factory waltz of “Green Rain.” Like the best of Shug’s material it features him on so many instruments and possesses a dream-like character, one foot in Western pop forms, another in candy coated surreality. So this two-part feature on MTV Iggy is interesting for its interview component, in which Tokumaru explains his songs are born of his dream journal, and accompanying solo performance of ace cut “Green Rain,” stripped of all bells and whistles in solo acoustic form. The Q&A portion includes footage from Shugo’s NYC debut, for which the 28-year-old Japanese artist farmed out backing band responsibilities to members of Beirut and the National. They seem to be big fans, probably because their sense of hearing is in tact.

“Green Rain” (Acoustic)

Compare:

Here’s the Q&A and Beirut/National bit:

Exit is out in Japan via p-vine, and in the States via Almost Gold.

UPDATE: Here’s Shugo/Beirut/National doing “Buttons.”

Comments (14)
  1. Eric  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2009 0

    Stop telling everybody about Shugo! He’s my secret.

  2. tigerkite  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2009 0

    Shugo Tokumaru is the coolest.

  3. Wha?! Where was i when you first mentioned this genius?

  4. I like how the first guy from Beirut admits that he was listening to a pirated copy of the album. Think he actually bought it before playing with Shugo?

  5. MTVIggy.com will be putting up the song “Buttons” performed by Shugo and members of Beirut and the National later today.

  6. Don’t mean to be a hater, but this song just gives me a headache. Like Of Montreal at their worst; way too much going on.

  7. moi  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2009 0

    Shugo killed it opening for Magnetic Fields in DC in Oct. Barely spoke English, no fanfare, and yet he had the whole crowd mesmerized. Even if you think he’s twee (most J-indie types skew a little twee) you have to admire his musicianship and creativity.

  8. THE FUNNY THING is that i somehow can sing the lyrics!
    i love so much this song so that when i realized that there werent anything about it on Vimeo, i created one video myself!^_^
    http://www.vimeo.com/2916793

  9. Me  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2009 0

    I want the buttony jumper!
    Can you get onto that for me Stereogum?

  10. star  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2009 0

    Shugo Tokumaru is awesome. ‘Parachute’ is one of my favorite songs of all time.

  11. shugo away  |   Posted on Jan 27th, 2009 0

    english or feck off shugo

  12. Benja  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2009 0

    I too keep a dream journal. It’s called Paprika. That entire interview was regurgitated anime movie plots. This guy is good, damn good. Force feeding us our own sick, genius.

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