A9 mini-album review and an important announcement

I’m going to start with my announcement first.  It’s been a long time coming, but I was waiting to finish up some posts that keep getting delayed for logistical reasons.  After I wrap up two long-term projects, I’m going to stop updating this blog.

My interested in Japanese pop culture has waned, and it’s been so long since I’ve been a JET.  As much as I want to keep promote about diverse representation and social justice, I’m tired of fighting about it on here.  I don’t have the time to maintain this blog along with others I run/contribute to.  I will still write for JRock247, NekoPOP, and Drama-MAX.  There just won’t be updates or original content here.  You can also find me in the other sites linked in the right hand column.  Like I said, I have a couple more original posts that I plan to write (once my brother and I finish our collaboration).  Once those are finished, I will make an official announcement along with where to find me.  That being said, I probably won’t look at comment here anymore.

In the meantime, please enjoy my review of A9’s (formerly Alice Nine) latest mini-album Ginga no Woto on JRock247.

The aptly-named first track, “Phoenix”, is a rock number with Hiroto’s skillfully-layered arpeggio’s and Tora’s hard-hitting riffs. Show’s voice balances the edge with a touch of gentleness and falsetto, and there’s a surprise acoustic section to show off Saga’s bass skills. “Spiegel” also contains fantastic hard rock guitars, accompanied by Nao’s rapid drumming.

Click here to read the rest of the review (and see the “Spiegel” video).

Listening to: “Nijikan no Dake Vacance” by Utada Hikaru feat. Shiina Ringo

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akai SKY AnimeFest 2015 live report on JRock247

Earlier this month, I went to AnimeFest and covered the akai SKY concert. My write-up with accompanying photos is now up on JRock247.

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Jinra pounded away on the drums while guitarist Hayashi tackled his solos with the perfect mix of drama and aloofness that made him the epitome of cool. Umi was the most fun to watch, as she had a natural charisma that made her adorable even when laying out ferocious bass lines.

Click here to read the rest of the report.

Listening to: “In Black” by akai SKY

Kinematograph review on JRock247

Visual kei band umbrella released a new mini-album earlier this summer.  Their single caught my attention, and I decided to check out Kinematograph and write about it for Jrock247.

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The latest mini-album from visual kei quartet umbrella opens with the cranking sounds of an old-fashioned camera projecting film. Indeed the aptly-named Kinematograph does provide a glimpse into the past—the early 90s to be exact, when shoegaze was all the rage. Those hazy guitars float from the intro, “Lumiere”, to the very end, yet umbrella manages to break free from the wall of sound to have a modern rock sound.

Click here for the rest of the review.

Listening to: “Keihaku no Hito” by umbrella

Kinematograph / umbrella
umbrella

DISACODE Anime Matsuri 2015 live report at JRock247

Here is the final Anime Matsuri live report.   Performing for the first time in the U.S., DISACODE helped kick off a fantastic night of music.

AKIRA danced all over the stage—the kimono sleeves of her outfit swirling around. That motion perfectly complemented the traditional Japanese sound of “Mononoke NIGHT”. She also delivered drama with both her voice and body in “Sakura x Kuroku x Kuraku” while drummer Marcy banged away at the cymbals.

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Click here to read the rest of the report.

Listening to: ARCO∞IRIS” by DISACODE

Sakura x Kuroku x Kuraku / Disacode

Nylon Pink Anime Matsuri 2015 live report at JRock247

Earlier this month, I attended Anime Matsuri. There was a lot to cover so that’s what I’ll be posting about in the next few weeks. First up is my live report of the Asian-American all-girl rock band, Nylon Pink at JRock247.

Nylon Pink kicked off their set with a rock ‘n’ roll rendition of “Hold It Against Me” by Britney Spears. Vocalist and guitarist Kiki Wongo attacked the notes with such force, giving the saccharine song an edge. As her riffs built drama, Yuki Ito on the keyboards added distorted notes to increase the tension.

Click here to read the rest of the report.

Listening to: “Every Heart” – Nylon Pink