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From the man who translated ZG into Finnish ("Zen Kitara"), Helsinki-based reader Kimmo Kivelä <> offers what he calls "The Totally Uncomplete Zen Songbook." Check out his photo essay in ZG'zine, entitled "Shooting Stars."

"These are songs that I've somehow linked with ideas that can also be found in Zen:"

The Totally Uncomplete Zen Songbook:

1. "It's no game" - David Bowie.
This song keeps you from thinking you are the ruler for world. Only things you can rule are games you design.

2. "Accidents will happen" - Elvis Costello
Also, by same artist: "You better watch your step." That's the path. Under your feet.

3. "Should I stay or should I go" - The Clash
Sometimes you just get stuck very trivial way: If you go, you'll get trouble, and if you don't, you'll get double.

4. "Grown-ups are just like little children" - Roy Harper
They just demolish bigger things when they are driven by hatred.

5. "I just can't get it" - Hanoi Rocks
If you're gonna crash your car, it don't really matter if it's a Rolls Royce or VW. You'll get nowhere with it after that anyway. (breakthrough by Tom Petty "You can get it")

6. "Death and glory (just another story)" - the Clash
Fighting may seem necessary sometimes. Usually it's necessary for somebody else, not the fighters themselves.

7. "Shape of things to come" - Ramones (original version by Yardbirds)
Sometimes the future draws a certain shape you can see. Better to run if you're under the shadow.

8. "Dream's Dream" - Television
Is it you dreaming of butterflies or a butterfly dreaming of being you?

9. "Nobody hurts you harder than yourself" - Graham Parker & Rumours
You just can't be too strong, too right, too wrong.

10. "Axis: bold as love" - Jimi Hendrix
Here's something I call Music.

11. "Mysterious traveller" - The Weather Report.
Here's something I call Music Without Words.

Recent spins on the ZG turntable

Shakuhachi, Kohachiro Miyata

The shakuhachi, or bamboo flute, is a traditional Japanese instrument closely associated with zen practice. Wandering monks play the flute for meditation; its sound has been likened to that of deer calling one another. This disc is an presents Miyata, a modern shakuhachi master, in solo performance. If you want to hear what zen sounds like, this is it.

Japanese Work Songs

Music of, for, and by the working people of Japan. Like the field hollers of the slaves in cotton fields in the American South, these are songs that emanate from hard labor--the songs Japanese farmers sing when pulling rice in the paddy field, that fishermen use to synchronize their boat oars and net pulling, that lumberjacks use to saw the logs, some dating back 1000 years. True Japanese folk music.

Tokyo Encore, Art Pepper

The alto saxophonist Art Pepper enjoyed immense success with Japanese audiences, and this '77 set captures him at his best. I first heard this disc on a rainy night in Kyoto, sitting at a jazz bar after a day spent visiting zen temples around the city. Perhaps my awareness was heightened, but I'll never forget the sound of Pepper's horn against the falling rain outside. A ZG moment.

Punahele, Ray Kane

An old master of the Hawaiian "slack key" guitar style. You can feel the sunshine and hear the tropical breezes. Guitar players will particularly like the fact that his liner notes spell out the different tunings he uses.