YFCz Might Not Get All My Love, But They Get Some

So after convincing myself not to avoid it purely on principle, which is an utterly wrong thing to do, by the way, I looked up the full PV for YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz’s All MY Love, which dropped yesterday. There’s been some good discussions on here lately concerning the internationalization of GACKT, and what’s up with this whole YFCz thing. Well, all those confusing musings and ponderous wonderings aside, may I just state this simple, basic fact of life: regardless of who sings it, how many band-members there are, be it Cascade or Morning Musume nevermind, actually, neither of those acts will ever be cool, when a song is good, it’s good. Get over yourself and enjoy it.

Life is too short and your tastes are too rad to waste time being ashamed of your playlist.

In any case, all noodling and whining aside, I am actually ok with how All My Love turned out. Aside from the fact that the PV was totally not entertaining or thought-provoking in any way, shape, or form, I basically have no complaints. GACKT loves him some gently falling snow and some military-inspired outfits, wish they had shown more Chacha since I miss that flaming goddess, and I highly recommend Jon invest some time into learning his own stage moves instead of just copying GACKT’s moves like some creepy puppet, but well, you can’t exactly use pet-peeves as the basis for criticism can you? I just did. 

I’ll even go so far as to (wait for it) state that I was actually impressed by (yeah you can’t believe I’m saying it either) Jon’s performance. While I still consider him completely and entirely superfluous, I actually really enjoyed the harmonies, give him two thumbs up for his Japanese, and thought his voice was nice.

The song itself is really decent. The English straddled a thin line between overly repetitive and catchy, but since it’s already stuck in my head we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. GACKT sounded great, and I thought the orchestral heaves (for lack of a better word) gave the thing a sort of sad-movie-anthem-feel. Nicely done, YFCz, and I am somewhat more hopeful about the whole studio-album thing.

On a final note….Maybe it’s just the season, but was I the only one who mentally auto-filled “holy night” into that first line?

girugamesh, what have you done.

You all may have noticed by now that I really like doing this…That is, criticizing the hell out of songs based on their 40 second previews. This irresponsible practice usually results in hypocrisy later, when the full PV is released or I get the single and end up really enjoying it. I can’t help it, though. That 40 seconds can rack up a lot of opinions faster than L’arc~En~Ciel can sell out the Tokyo Dome.

Lately the band who has been perched most precariously on my chopping-block would have to be the be-harem-panted girugamesh, who started experimenting musically starting a couple of years back, ended up in some hot water with latest album NOW, and….got stuck there.

I had a ton of expectations for giru, and high hopes that they wouldn’t release more b-average tunes, and would actually make a reasonable comeback, slapping everyone who bad-talked their recent work right in the smug face. Oh giru, what have you done. Here is the preview of their highly-anticipated new title COLOR.

Here are all of my opinions so far:

According to Ryo’s suspiciously-busy Twitter feed, the band has been going non-stop in the studio recording and writing. And this is what they came up with?! It sounds like 3 different songs off of NOW, the names of which I can’t remember, because when you take songs like that and mash them together, it’s much harder to tell where one started and another ended. To be fair, I like the heavy grunge instrumentation. However, the melody…sounds like every single other melody giru ever wrote.

You can also hear the full extent of b-side SUNRISE, which was filmed live at their performance for JROCK GOES ROUND THE WORLD. I like this song way better than the a-side. Parts of the instrumentation felt fresh and interesting– parts of it reminded me of Driving Time. The vocals were okay, and the instrumental-break was actually really cool.

I know everyone wants to blame the “label” the “management” and everything…but really, I’m interested to know what’s actually going on here. These are obviously some sincere and very talented young guys, and they have made some awesome music. They have a unique and powerful sound, and a cool image. Was their run really that short? I mean, at least regurgitate music from albums that were awesome…

GACKT De-Perms for Samurai Spirit


Just as I thought, Japanese manliness and Samurai Spirit has no business being permed. Even GACKT can not argue that point, it would seem, as the perm-king proves the look is not permanent, and straightens it out for the Nemuri Kyoushirou press-conference held this week in Tokyo.

GACKT became the “face of Japanese Samurai Spirit” (my words, not theirs), as it were, in 2007 when he debuted on home televisions in the NHK historical drama  ‘風林火山’  [Furin Kazan] with the villain role Uesegi Kenshin. He was quickly accepted as being something of a modern-day samurai, and has led historical reenactment parades at festivals, and in March, appeared at the Koei Sengoku Basara Festival in Saitama.

Nemuri Kyoushirou, originally a series of “Jidai” novels (“時代” historical novels taking place in the Samurai eras) by Shibata Renzaburo, has been the basis of more than a dozen on-screen adaptations. The story revolves around a sleepy-eyed swordsman (‘Nemuri’ means ‘sleepy’) born from a Japanese mother and a foreign father. It began serialization in 1956, was adapted into film in 1963 and became a big hit. A total of 12 Nemuri movies were created by 1969. It was adapted into a drama series starring Tamura Masakazu in 1972, and again in 1982 starring Kataoka Takao.

Now, in 2010, the series will be adapted for stage, starring GACKT as the “nihilistic, sexy” title role (their words, not mine). Apparently, the Nemuri series has an enduring fan base among middle-aged and ancient people. It would seem that few young people are interested in the series, or have even heard of it. Which makes sense, after all, what with all of the upbeat shows these days starring Tohoshinki or whatever, who cares about samurai anymore?

That being said, I’m sure that the production company is playing its cards just right in order to make this the next big sensation (or at least the grandmas will enjoy the overwhelming machoness), by casting GACKT as Nemuri, bringing a whole new modernness to the character.

Apparently, Fans especially liked the special move used by the main character called ‘Engetsu-Sappo (眠狂四郎; ‘Round-moon Killing Method’)’. According to staff, GACKT has begun to meticulously ready himself for his role, and has started to build up his body. I’m sure Japan won’t be able to handle it when GACKT does the Engetsu-Sappo.

Starting in May, the play will be performed on over 100 stages across Japan, including halls in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Sendai.

Nemuri Kyôshirô Burai Hikae has been adapted by Endou Michisuke  (GACKTIONARY), and all of the music will be produced by SUGIZO (Luna Sea). Co-starring Tokuyama Hidenori.

GACKT said that he is really pumped to be taking part in this play, because the back-stage area smells good (…), and he’s looking forward to being surrounded by all of the beautiful female co-stars(…).Of course, it’s not a video with GACKT in it unless someone announces how incredible he smells. The woman who speaks after him says “Standing next to him…yup! there’s an incredibly good smell!”

Source: Music Japan+

Video credit: JIJIPRESS

Wonda GACKT

Despite preparing a summer tour, just barely finishing up the RRII DVD, and spending 5 hours every day practicing for the Nemuri Kyoushirou performance that will begin this summer, GACKT still finds time to endorse coffee. He recently endorsed WONDA COFFEE~Wonderful Coffee~, and given that the three guys are sitting around in suits talking about how manly they all are, if I was in Japan, I would certainly start drinking this. I am something of a devotee when it comes to Japanese coffee– pair it with vending machines and I’m gone. Although I’m more familiar with the popular BOSS brand (which is also very manly), it would be hard for anyone -man, woman, animal- to resist anything endorsed by GACKT.

All three guys are very amusing– as heavily emphasized by the poor reporter girl totally losing it by the end of the interview.

Embedding for this video has been disabled. Please watch on Youtube!

ATH-M30

…No, it’s not a firearm model. Rather, it’s the name of the incredible audio- technica headphones I got for my birthday (yeah, that un-poetic backdrop is my rather un-poetic laptop. It’s seen better days).

For the past five years or so I’ve been a bit of a headphones-scavenger. I’m not sure what I started out with, but I moved on to Koss a few years ago, and was really impressed with their quality (they seemed to last forever). When the wires finally disconnected from the right ear-piece, I tried some other brands, the names of which I don’t even know, nor think you need bother yourself with knowing. Skull Candy were, frankly, a huge disappointment last summer. The sound-quality isn’t what you’re paying for (despite the hype.)– but please don’t lynch me. Just my personal opinion! And that aside, they broke after about a month of light wear and no travel.

Since then I’ve just been using Apple ear-buds (yeah…the ones that came with my iPod). These are the most comfortable ear-buds I’ve used (not a fan of the slippery Skull Candy ones– plus it’s a better investment to just buy iPods and get the free Apple buds…hah.), and they’ve been extremely durable. Heavy wear, inconsiderate travel, and general abuse accounted for, they have lasted for an unhealthy amount of time. ….However, it’s finally time to retire them. Or not. They have been thrown unceremoniously into a backpack, and will probably be used, due to their minute mobility, for the iPod and excursions. Yeah, I know, the wires are poking out and the casing is split. They’ll probably catch fire next time I listen to GACKT’s ZAN– but hey.

I’ve been going through my musical library and listening to all of my favorite albums to test these new guns out…It’s like hearing them all again for the first time. “Ah, so the bass-player actually had a part in that song?” The bass pick-up is amazing, and the layering and everything is so defined and clear that I can actually hear what’s going on in a song– it’s not just solid noise.

….Now I’m starting to think about a new iPod to go with the headphones… When I bought mine I, naively, thought it would take forever to use all 4GB up, but it didn’t take that long, and here I am. I guess it was good that it happened, because I cleaned out my music-closet and put some new stuff on in place of the old. It will have to be 8GB next…After a new computer. SIGH.

Today’s soundtrack has been GHOST, by GACKT. Enjoy.

Walking a fine line with Tightrope

Sheesh, I tell ya. The only thing scary about this Halloween is what my sentient-being of a computer might be doing come said hallowed eve… If I’d known Toshibas were so vengeful, I’d have considered my options further…

So, I’m not dead.  The local anime-fans who read my rant on DJ Thunderstrom from the con here at home-base did come with torches and pitch-forks, frothing at the mouth, but I escaped them, and in an effort to find refuge, I tripped and fell into a hole. That hole appears to be a full-time job for the purpose of paying for my irresponsible design to see a.b.s. live in London next month. Ironically, I’ve become musically deprived.  There’s been excesses of great music coming out this autumn– on that note, I hope everyone got their copy of a.b.s.Kimi no Uta. And girugamesh‘s Crying Rain. I didn’t get mine, just, y’know, in case you were wondering. Next up is D‘s Day by Day (title subject to change). Due out on December 2nd. The featured song is the theme to a dating sim for cell-phones, called Love Summit. Your guess is as good as mine.

To prep your palette for gloomy gothic group D‘s love summit this winter, I recommend checking out their already-released, Tightrope.

dtightrope

I admit, I’m not always in the mood for D. I think they’re a great band, but sometimes the gothica can be a bit overbearing for my taste. Tightrope, then, came as a stupendous surprise. Their sound has become a lot more polished since going major, which is apparent in their earlier major-label singles, BIRTH and Snow White. Both singles took a major (no pun– okay, fine, pun intended…) swing in a new direction, the former being brighter and rockier, and the latter a veritable ballad. Tightrope swings the other way now, back into dark and heavy…but far from typical D fare. This time you can’t hear the corsets and platform boots, if you know what I mean.

Tightrope plays ASAGI’s distinctive, throaty vocals to different advantages. The way the vocals work with the melody is seamless, relentless, and by the end of the song, you’re left breathless (along with ASAGI, no doubt)– result of a thrashing pace, kinky guitar riffs, and just enough bondage to ensure we’re not going anywhere. It’s a refreshing rock track, catchy in a very indie way, and glossed over with the perfect dash of goth.

If the gloomy weather, falling crimson leaves, and first signs of leering pumpkins doesn’t get you in the mood for some serious gothica… just leave it to D.

Pick up Tightrope~ and get Day by Day on your X-mas list, because this Love Summit thing sounds like something that can’t be missed.



Tightrope / D