Tag Archives: Rants

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

keyinjpop suggested I watch the new AKB48 PV and report my thoughts on it. So, I did. I present to you, myself ripping the guts out of Heavy Rotation, or as I’d like to call it “Hot & Heavy Rotation.”

Uhhh... 'scuse me. Just how old are you, anyway?

If that cover isn’t bad enough… I think it’s funny how I just posted a long nonsensical rant about how sexual imagery has gotten out of hand, then this PV gets shoved in my face.

At first, the video starts out nice and innocent. You think it’s going to be okay. They’re wearing black military jackets (I swear I have the same one in white!) and the music sounds all cute and happy. Just when you’re getting comfortable, thinking they’re going to sing (fully clothed) in those nice jackets for the duration of the video… BAM! There they are, in lingerie having a pillow fight, no less. I gulped in agony and fear that my experience with this video was about to go horribly, horribly wrong. We all know that cute girls having a pillow fight is a stereotypical male fantasy, for reasons I have yet to wrap my female brain around.

Then, after some jumping all over each other in said lingerie, I felt my moon pie from breakfast beginning to make a return trip to my mouth. Ugh. But, alas! They return to wearing those stupid jackets, which I have come to hate. I’m glad I decided to buy a white one because if mine were black, I’d be burning it right now instead of blogging. “Don’t give me that crap,” I thought. “Don’t be acting all sexy like that and then try to come back all innocent-like. I know what you’re up to, and I don’t like it!”

The song’s not even that good. “I want yooooou…. I need yoooooou….” Brilliant lyrics! Who wrote them, Barney the dinosaur?

Just when you think this can’t get any worse, they all suddenly become furries. Yeah. You also get bathtub shots and plenty of kisses exchanged. A man had to have created this video. There is no other possible explanation.

Personally, I was insulted by the degrading nature of the video. I understand that AKB48 is a hot item right now, especially among men and they are definitely trying to play into that demographic. I get that, and because of this reason the single’s sales are probably going to go through the roof.

What are you opinions on this PV?

~Alisa~

20 Comments

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

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” 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

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

The Voice as an Instrument, Not a Messenger

Coming from the United States, a primarily English-speaking country, it is odd to people I meet when I first tell them that I enjoy Japanese music. I am always required to answer the inevitable question, “do you understand what they’re saying?”

To be concise, not really. But I’m a wordy person, so of course I have to add detail. Understand that I took AP English in high school; adding detail is in my blood now.

I don’t know very much Japanese. I can speak basic conversational phrases, and have assimilated a large and random vocabulary from watching subbed anime and reading translated song lyrics. I’m nowhere fluent, and I will be the first to admit that. But why do I love songs in a language I barely understand?

I have learned to appreciate the voice as just another instrument. If a voice is beautiful, powerful, or capable of evoking some kind of response in me, then the language the voice sings in is a trivial matter. The problem with the people who are baffled that I listen to music I don’t understand is that they rely on lyrics as a crutch. They think, “if I can’t understand or relate to this song, then its terrible and I reject it altogether.” Come on. There are plenty of English artists who make no sense and are still popular. (Pink Floyd, anyone?) The point is that you don’t have to rely on lyrical content to make a good song. What if a song has a good beat, a catchy melody, beautiful vocals? Is it any less of a song because you don’t understand it?

Take for example Meg, an Italian artist I happened upon while googling the Japanese artist MEG. When I heard her song Simbiosi, my first thought was “this song is absolutely captivating,” not “oh, this is Italian and I can’t speak that language to save my life.” By the way, I highly recommend for all my readers to click the link and listen to the song. Its pure magic.

If you went through my iTunes library, you would be surprised. I have songs in too many languages to count. Zulu, German, Portuguese, and Arabic are just a few. I don’t listen to these songs to pretentiously appear scholarly or worldly, I like them because each one of them made me feel something. The language isn’t important. Really, its not.

~Alisa~

Reader Question: Do people ever ask you if you understand foreign music, or why you like foreign music? How do you answer these questions? How do you feel about the voice as an instrument and not a messenger?

12 Comments

Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“World Wild 2010” – Saori@Destiny

As Keanu Reeves would say: "Whoa."

This review was requested by Selryam from What is Disco, the premier location for all things techno! Thank you for the request, and my apologies for taking 2-ish weeks to fulfill it…..

After an all-out war with my computer and its audio, I was FINALLY able to listen to this album! My computer suffered a devastating crash a couple months ago and my audio has been a touch wonky ever since. Enough about my problems.

How about this cover, yo!? This has got to be the trippiest cover I’ve ever seen and I can’t say how much I love it in words. Its psychedelic and wild for sure! I’m reminded of this cutscene from Family Guy, which just HAPPENS to be my favorite Family Guy moment in the history of ever. Does this give me a good feeling about this album? You bet your bottom dollar that it does!

So, I’m not going to even mention any of the older tracks on this album i.e. Ethnic Planet Survival, because I know that we j-tek fans have already played them to death and hear them in our sleep. I’m just being the nice, attractive (yeah right) blogger you all know and love and sparing y’all the agony of having to hear about “yesterday’s news.” Because I am that great. (Those songs all rock though, trust me.)

The titular track World Wild 2010 immediately drew me in because it lives up to its name.

World = I can hear influences from many other cultures in the song
Wild= The song is a hot mess, in a good way though
2010= Its got a modern sound

Saori’s voice is great because she doesn’t have the vocoder jammed down her throat. She really does have a pretty voice when its stripped down like that. She and MEG are the same in that respect.

How about Grotesque? This tune is anything but Grotesque! Its driven by a piano for the most part and it goes nicely along with some uber futuristic blips and bleeps. This is a one of a kind song and for sure the standout track on this album. When I think Saori@Destiny, this is going to be the song that comes to mind. I encourage anyone with functioning ears to listen to this song. Then force your family, friends, pets, and local hobos to listen to it. I swear. This song is so ridiculously amazing that it could stop criminals and global warming if played loud enough. Possibly.
Now I know I’ve ranted for about the entire lifespan of a fruit fly about this track, but its just that awesome.

Prism is also a noteworthy track because it is a techno ballad. You don’t hear those two terms blended together often. Saori makes it work.

In Conclusion: World Wild 2010 is the album that changed my opinion on Saori@Destiny forever. She went from “just another of the 6,000,988,762,496,291,003 artists who covered Denki Groove’s ‘Shangri-La’” to a unique techno goddess who should be recognized. Shame on you, Alisa, for not realizing this sooner! Thanks again, Selryam, for your request!

~Alisa~
(the woman destined to mis-use tags for all of forevertown)

2 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection