Tag Archives: Hot Pastrami Sandwiches

“Makenai Kokoro” – AAA

Thank you, Ven, for your patience! Same for everyone else.

I’ll tell you right now, between school and work, I’m wiped. I could go into full detail and whine a lot to play up the drama but I won’t. It’s unfortunate but it seems as though I’ll be limiting my activity for a while. No, I’m not talking about a hiatus, and I’m especially not talking about closing down the blog. For now, though, it looks like the bulk of my activity is going to take place on the weekends. I guess we take what we get, right?


If this cover oddly reminds you of Perfume’s Triangle album, please comment so I won’t feel all alone in the world.

Usually AAA songs make me want to dance. What I liked about Makenai Kokoro is that it keeps the dance sound to minimum and instead showcases the vocals. It showed me that this isn’t purely a dance group, but that these people are actually talented singers and rappers. There was something about the way this song was performed that I liked. I think it was the way that the female singers held their notes in places. The rap was energetic and my only wish is that there had been a little more of it.

For everything I loved about Makenai Kokoro, I loved ten times more in Day by Day. It’s bouncy guitar pop, more centered around the male vocals. That was a cool aspect to this single; that the females were more prominent in the first track and the males were more prominent here. It’s like the flip-side of a very shiny yen coin.

WOW WAR TONIGHT ~Toki ni wa Okose yo Movement~ is a reggae-type song that I couldn’t get into. It’s a neat “end-of-summer” feeling set to music, but I couldn’t find myself yearning for a second listen.

In Conclusion: Success! AAA did a great job with this single. I liked it much better as a whole than the last one. A nice listen!

~Alisa~

5 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Lunartail” – Luzmelt

Visual Kei band Luzmelt is back after a nerve-wracking loss of a few members. This single has been out since mid-July but since it was distributed only at lives, it took what felt like forever to become available to us gaijin losers who can’t go to lives. All I can say is that this was absolutely worth waiting for.

What I like specifically about Lunartail is that the song is broken up into two halves. (By the way, this song is over seven minutes long and I can actually make it through the whole thing! Crazy!) The first half is a gentle build up and the second half explodes like a supernova. The mood of the song is entirely celestial with distorted vocals and spacey sound effects. I adore this song and I can guarantee that the seven minutes flies by while listening to it.

In Conclusion: Luzmelt has fully recovered from taking some hard knocks courtesy of my Visual Kei voodoo. I’d like to think that my evil powers aren’t all that evil, considering that this is, in my opinion, their best song to date.

~Alisa~

Leave a comment

Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

“Naked Arms / SWORD SUMMIT” – T.M. Revolution

Takanori can see inside your soul.

T.M.R hasn’t been around for a little while. Takanori himself has been active with abindgon boys school and the field of being awesome, but he hasn’t “made revolution” since 2008’s Resonance, which was a fantastic song. I am still a relatively new T.M.R fan so I’ve had his entire discography to tide me over during the wait for this single. Seasoned fans probably found the wait to be tougher since they had heard it all before. Man, I have good timing.

Naked Arms picks up right where Resonance left off. It’s got attitude! Takanori’s vocals are out of this world. This man can seriously sing. I really liked the unpredictable melody that the songs boasts as well as the fact that the energy never dies out during the song. There isn’t a dull moment. Naturally, the PV for this song is delightfully camp (Takanori seems to really enjoy being on camera, okay?) with an interesting usage of color, or lack thereof. This song wasn’t as good for me as Resonance but it’s still a fresh track and a great reminder that even after two years T.M.R is still going strong.

I still don’t know exactly how I feel about SWORD SUMMIT yet. I like it, but there’s something too perky about it. I’m just waiting for this to turn up on Dance Dance Revolution (alongside GACKT’s Koakuma Heaven, hehe). I definitely dig how the flute was integrated into the song at the instrumental break. This song is DDR-meets-Pokemon-battle. Yep.

In Conclusion: I was blown away by this single. T.M.R is just brilliant, simply put. Naked Arms is an epic win for sure and SWORD SUMMIT grows on me with each listen. Highly recommended!

~Alisa~

1 Comment

Filed under Japanese Pop, Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

“Departure” – Deluhi

Understand this. My first Deluhi song was Hybrid Truth. That being said, the bar has been set pretty high and the band has yet to blow me away since. After “The Farthest” I was ready to call it quits but something in me never wants to give up faith in a band I at one time really liked. So here I am, giving it another go with Deluhi’s latest one-track single.

Departure begins with some chanting, electronic vocals, and those “machine gun drums” I’ve praised the band for. It starts out sounding like it’s going to be good. I was really thinking I could get into the song. That’s when things began to go downhill. The second I heard a party-over-here-style “whoooa-ooooh” I knew things were about to get very, very bad.

That’s when the chorus hit. The hard kind of electronic sound I was digging from the song’s opening had vanished and instead been replaced with a sort of happy-go-lucky-let’s-toss-beach balls-around-and-enjoy-being-young kind of song that you hear almost every throwaway Disney Channel star record at some point. I think I could headbang easier to the Degrassi theme song and feel less embarrassed. I’m going to be honest with you and say that I only made it about four minutes in to the song. It’s just not worth anyone’s time.

In Conclusion: I’m being so harsh because I know Deluhi has more in them than this. All I want to know is where that potential went. Don’t hand me a track as brutal as Hybrid Truth and then try to follow it up with something that I don’t even consider Visual Kei, alright? I am so disappointed, but I won’t give up. Deluhi has still got some fight in them and I’m sure it has to come out eventually.

~Alisa~

Leave a comment

Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

Poll Results Are Back With a Vengeance

Hey everyone! I’m here to report the latest poll results on what everyone considers their musical tastes to be, in terms of how wide the array of music they listen to is. Most voters fell into the middle category of moderately wide. Some troll one person said that they only listen to one genre. WHO ARE YOU, MAN!?

The new poll has nothing to do with music at all! Instead, we are going to look at a few viral videos that have all popped up at about the same time! I can’t decide which one I think is funnier, so I’ll let you choose for me. If you’ve seen the videos before, go ahead and vote. If not, here are YouTube links to click!

Double Rainbow Guy
Paul Yarrow
Jessi Slaughter

Okay, there we go! But I can’t let you go without showing off the inspirational poster I made myself! Enjoy!

Ya dun goofd

Happy voting!

~Alisa~

1 Comment

Filed under Poll Results, Sakurayume's Collection

GACKT’s Too Sexy for Respect, Too Sexy For Respect…

“Why is he so sexy?????”

“Too hot.”

“Waaaaa, sexy!”

What do these useless statements have in common? They are all ACTUAL YouTube comments left on GACKT videos. (usernames withheld to protect the ignorant innocent)

Since being converted, in a sense, to the ways of GACKT a couple years ago, I’ve grown to become more and irked by his fanbase. It seems as though many people look to him as a sex symbol rather than a legitimate musician/artist. I challenge you to lurk around on YouTube for a while and surf through some of his videos. The number of comments reading along the lines of “I wanna be his waifu XD XD XD” far outweigh things like “GACKT is a phenomenal and brilliant artist. Golly, I sure do appreciate what he does!” This makes me sad.

Truth is, GACKT has more than one side. He’s human, after all. As a big fan of him, I can appreciate all of these sides because I appreciate him! In saying, I don’t only see this GACKT:

I see this GACKT too! The fun-loving GACKT!

And this GACKT as well. The artist GACKT, who works tirelessly just to make us smile:

To only like GACKT because he is “sexy” or because he sometimes performs music with sexual themes is narrow, and downright immature. He’s an artist, and people who are true fans (or rather, true Dears) will be able to love his music and his messages no matter what he looks like or sings about. We should love him because he’s GACKT, and he puts his entire heart and soul on display for us every time he opens his mouth. He loves us unconditionally, and we should return the favor.

I think my anger exploded when I read Liam’s write up of the YFCz gig in London, where some fangirls demanded for GACKT to play Vanilla, a song that wasn’t even in the set list, and the band obviously hadn’t rehearsed. Regardless of whether or not GACKT actually heard their cries, I was horribly embarrassed to read that this happened, and that these people had the gall to do such a thing.

I know what they were thinking. They thought “if GACKT sings Vanilla, it will be like he’s singing it to ME and then… *dirty thoughts*” I bet they don’t even know anything about the song other than the lyrics. I bet they have no respect for the fact that the song has one of the most spectacular bass lines ever. It’s sick.

The point is that GACKT didn’t have to come to Europe at all. It was his gift, and those fangirls abused it.

I am fully aware that celebrity crushes happen, but it’s important to think objectively in these situations. Learn to love the music too. That’s all I’m saying. Celebrity crushes usually happen to people who are otherwise untalented (A.K.A JUSTIN BIEBER) so normally I wouldn’t be so offended. But, GACKT has more talent in his pinky than I have in my entire body so it supremely irks me that people overlook this just because he’s “hot.”

Plus, do you think GACKT is going to be in the same physical condition twenty years from now? If you said yes, guess again. He is beginning to age, slowly but surely and at almost forty years old, this is natural. What happens when he’s old and gray? Will we abandon him then because he has lost his physique and his once-immaculate face is clouded with wrinkles?

I’m speaking from the perspective of a non-traditional female GACKT fan in that I am in no way attracted to him (rare, I know) but I love his music and find him to be possibly the most creative individual who ever lived. Maybe the fact that I love GACKT without “loving” GACKT influenced this long and senseless rant. I hope it was moderately coherent.

~Alisa~

30 Comments

Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

Poll Results; K-Pop Isn’t “Rocket Surgery”

It’s Saturday, you know what that means! Poll results! Last week, I asked what the science behind k-pop’s completely undeserved explosion in popularity was. Most of you voted for catchy tunes. Good choice. Plus, if “hot chicks” had won, I would be reevaluating my faith in the human race while writing this post.

This week’s poll deals with variations in musical tastes. I’ve admitted to everyone that I have a great deal of preschool music on my iPod. (*cough* and a couple Johnny’s Ent. songs. *cough*) Either I have a wide appreciation for music, or I’m just weird.

Happy voting!

~Alisa~

P.S.- EVER.

3 Comments

Filed under Poll Results, Sakurayume's Collection

Weekly Babble, Hoorah!

What I’m Listening To This Week
“EVER” by GACKT
“Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai ” by D
“Death Point” by D’espairsRay
“SILENCE” by RAMPANT

What I’m Thinking This Week

1.) Whatever they say, I’ll never change my way. 🙂

2.) I’ve been on a ridiculous j-rock binge. I don’t really acknowledge the existence of other genres as much as I used to.

3.) Faraway is the only GACKT song I can’t stand, yet it is still on my iPod and I have no intention of deleting it.

4.) When I checked the OriCon charts yesterday, I noticed that a Fullmetal Alchemist soundtrack (compilation of all openings and endings) was ahead of VAMPS’ BEAST album. That’s a little sad. MAYBE if Hyde went back to L’arc the sales would be higher. Okay, that was uncalled for. Nothing against VAMPS, I just miss L’arc. A lot.

5.) Sometimes I forget just how good GACKT is.

6.) I’m challenging myself to use the word “ever” as much as possible over the course of the next week. Would anyone like to join me?

~Alisa~

Heh.... EVER.

2 Comments

Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“EVER” – GACKT

I definitely prefer this cover to the other.

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. This is probably the most excited I’ve ever (pun intended) been to write a review. Everybody knows by now that GACKT is my favorite artist in el mundo and I have been bursting at the seams to get my hands on this single. After being pushed back repeatedly and sending GACKTophiles like myself into a cold sweat-laced panic, I began to think that G’s move to Avex was a poor choice.

Though this isn’t his first single with Avex (recall that the “Journey” trilogy was released with them, even if G didn’t write any of the songs) I was interested, nauseated, and incredibly nervous to see how he would fare with such a mainstream company. Could GACKT retain his character and uniqueness we all love about him by switching to the most draconian, evil, corrupt, baneful, heinous, vile, pernicious, loathsome, repugnant, sinister mainstream record company in Japan?

You bet your bottom dollar he could.

EVER begins with some hard drumming, and of course the trademark you-know-it’s-a-GACKT-song guitar noise. Is there some kind of story behind that sound? I can think of at least three other GACKT songs with that exact same noise in it somewhere.

Let me say that I can understand why this single was released during the Yellow Fried Chickenz tour. This is the kind of energetic, crowd pleasing song that would be incredible to see live. It’s only natural that G would release and promote it during the tour. (the parts of it when he isn’t unconcious/hospitalized 😦 …)

What I liked most about EVER is that it never slows down or releases its grip. GACKT sounds fierce and empowered in the chorus. Perhaps the move to Avex wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. If his next single comes out on time, then I’ll totally be okay with the label switch.

In all, EVER is outrageously catchy and brilliant. I barely noticed that the song was over five minutes long, because it just keeps blazing through. I loved it.

EVER’s PV carries on the live-house theme of the YFCz tour. The premise of the PV is simple but I found it poignant. Basically, it tells the story of a youngster who experiences and is affected by GACKT’s performance. I would be just like that kid if I saw G live. Unable to speak, only able to gravitate towards him. There is also a bouncer dude (I guess) who seems to really enjoy saying the word “ever.”

GACKT is stellar in this PV. He separates himself from reality by playing the role of a sort of deity. He’s magnetic, captivating, and it’s so hard to believe he is a real, breathing human. He just seems so far above the rest of us. Trust me, you’ll be feeling the same way the little kid in the audience does when you watch this. G’s dancing is a little strange, (not as odd as the dancing in the Vanilla PV though!) he removes and replaces his fedora numerous times, and of course..

Do I really need to say anything else?

We are also given UNCONTROL ♂Kyoukiranbu edition♂ which features.. guess. That same guitar sound! Seriously, am I the only one who pays attention to or notices that? This song is wacky and dissonant. It has a heavy techno sound, but I can understand why this song seems to be popular at lives. It’s a crowd-pleaser and that’s what GACKT is all about: making the fans happy.

In Conclusion: GACKT is a freight train with no intention of stopping. EVER is a fantastic single as a whole, and I could not possibly be happier. I am sure this review is riddled with bias because I’m so hooked on GACKT that… well it’s just not healthy, okay? VERY highly recommended. Excellent work, G.

~Alisa~

14 Comments

Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

“ONE” – Maki Goto

Stunning.

Maki Goto is a strong woman. After her mother’s unfortunate passing, Maki was able to turn her personal tragedy into triumph. Instead of giving up, she stood on her own two legs and returned to the studio. This way, she could honor her beloved mother who supported her musical career with passion. If this isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.

I fell in love with 宝石 from the first few notes. It starts like a sweet lullaby and gradually adds sounds and beats until it evolves into a dance tune. This is like the perfect Maki song! The song makes me think of the fireworks you seen when you kiss the right person. ^_^

EYES is another dance song. A lot of people have complained that it sounds a little too juvenile for the mature Maki, and is like an unpleasant flashback to her H!P days. I think the song is perfect for Gocchin’s age, honestly. It’s fun to listen to while driving, as long as I don’t start doing disco moves and swerve off of the road. That could be bad.

I haven’t heard Maki tackle many (if any at all) acoustic-style songs so it was nice to hear something like わがまま. The sound of the song was a little dated for my tastes, but I’m not holding any grudges.

言えないけど was probably my favorite song other than 宝石. It’s another great dance song that dabbles in some techno sounds. It isn’t synth overkill which is probably a major contributing factor to my love of the song.

Finally, Maki closes out the mini-album with 華詩 -hanauta- a heartfelt ballad written for her dear mother. If you didn’t know the circumstances surrounding the song, it would just sound like a draggy, ordinary ballad. But, because I know what the song is about and why it was written, I can appreciate this song much more. I was overtaken by the loving emotion in Maki’s voice and I was nearly compelled to weep. A touching tribute indeed.

In Conclusion: Maki Goto intended to make her comeback big, not just for her fans, but as a way to honor her mother. I am touched and inspired by the fact that she has overcome so many obstacles lately all the while managing to keep a good head on her shoulders. This mini-album is an absolute success.

~Alisa~

6 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection