R.O.C.K.ing it all OUT

[PV] iLL - R.O.C.K.

iLL is the solo project of ex-SUPERCAR vocalist/guitarist Koji Nakamura. He recently released a new album called "Force" and this is the single for that album. The video is quite provocative and definitely NSFW for those who haven't seen it. But, the music itself on the other hand is quite approachable considering Nakamura's work in the past. Very reminiscent of SUPERCAR except with a higher focus on straight-out guitar rock and not as much electronica elements as those found in later SUPERCAR releases.

I have to say I'm starting to find myself getting used to being back at school, even though classes haven't really kicked into gear yet. Even when I say that though, I can't help but have that thought in the back of my head telling me how weird this is. I'm not sure whether it's the fact that this is my last semester in college or whether it is because I spent the last semester in Japan. But, regardless, I have a feeling that this strange feeling won't ever go away. Sure, it already has started to regress, but it hasn't completely disappeared. Here I am, starting to ramble. But, onto more.

My class schedule should be pretty manageable this semester. I'm only taking 4 classes and only 2 classes per day. My earliest class is a 9:00 class on Tuesdays and Fridays and my latest class ends at 3:00. So, you may wonder, as I was earlier, what the hell am I going to during all that free time. I really don't feel like picking up shifts at the library again. For one, they booted me off the deskworker mailing list again. I have a feeling that Karla thinks that I graduated...again. Or perhaps its their little way of telling me they don't want me back. But, anyways, I'm probably going to look around and see what's available. Plus, I realized that there is something that is probably going to take up a lot of my time. (Once I start focusing on it that is.) That would be the taking of all those standardized tests (LSAT, GRE) and figuring out grad school/law school applications. There is also the concern of making sure I get all the credits I need in order to graduate on time. There is also applying for JET. (And other related programs on the off chance I don't get into JET.) There is finally also the whole finding a job in between when I graduate and when whatever I get myself into starts.

tl:dr, I'm just starting to realize how much "fun" I'm going to have this semester. Until then though, I'm just going to kick back, try to relax, maybe do some homework, and watch some "Inglorious Basterds" with my awesome suitemates.



A Return to Morals

[PV] Lillies and Remains - Moralist S.S.

The video itself is more than a year old, but the song was released not too long ago on Lillies and Remains' album "part of grace". "Moralist S.S." is a pretty good demonstration of the style that Lillies and Remains is able to develop by adding elements of post-punk twin-guitars in the base tone of gothic rock, thereby separating themselves a bit from other bands in that genre and creating quite an interesting sound for some people.

So, yeah, this might end up getting edited later, but I've moved back to school. Definitely weird as a lot of the people I'm used to seeing when I get back have already graduated and are practically unreachable. I'm going to miss the days when I could just take a short walk to visit those folks. Although I have to say I'm definitely looking forward to life in this suite. It's already decked out with a fairly sizable TV, XBox 360, Rock Band 2, Wii, DDR, a band room, and much more to come.

Overall, this should be a fun semester. At least I hope it will.



Turning It All Around


Newest PV from VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE in support of their newest album "SA-KA-NA ELECTRIC DEVICE". This song demonstrates pretty well what the main changes that have been made from VOLA's previous sound, as the entire album is filled with a much stronger emphasis towards a synth-based, new-wave dance rock and moving away from the post-punk twin-guitars that had drawn me to VOLA in the first place. If I had known that they were going with this before I had seen them back in June, it might have made seeing them live a little less disappointing as most of their set was filled with the new songs off this album. But, yeah, ultimately, all I can say is that it's different. I know people say that change is good, but in my opinion, it's not necessarily better or worse in this case. Just different. Take it as you will.

As there isn't too much of significance that has been going on with me as of late (yet), I've decided to talk about something I forgot to mention in my last post. I found out last week that the Japanese band SPARTA LOCALS had announced they were going to break up next month. Initially, as with many other fans of the band, this came as quite a shock as the band was apparently in the midst of recording a new album. Many people believed that the future of the band was looking bright. It seemed like they had recovered from losing one of the founding members, drummer Akihito Nakayama. They had a pretty successful return to indie grace as they released a generally accepted album "Leecher". They had just toured the US for the first time this year, with SXSW's Japan Nite Tour. Plus, judging from my experiences with seeing them live in Japan, it seemed like they would go on for a good number of years. But, it seems like the exit of Nakayama has caught up to them. While the band has not released an official reason for its breakup, it was pretty obvious for everyone that the essence of the band changed a bit after his departure. Whether for better or for worse is debatable, but, regardless of opinion, one of the premier bands in the Japanese indie world and one of the first Japanese indie bands I got into is ending. We can only hope that the members of SPARTA LOCALS will find other promising projects to join or start.



Work Diary

[PV] BUGY CRAXONE - Cheeseburgers Diary

One of the songs from the punk band BUGY CRAXONE off their recently released best-of. Really fun/interesting PV. The list is obviously of likes/interests of members of the band, but some of the people that were mentioned on the list were quite surprising like Gus Van Sant, Bob Greene, and Michael J. Fox of all people. And, as many fans have been quick to point out, vocalist/guitarist Yukiko Suzuki looks quite cute sporting the bob cut. Now, I'm disappointed I didn't get to see them while I was in Tokyo. I had an opportunity, but it was on the day of a midterm for a class.

So yeah, it's been quite busy for me lately. I've been picking up more shifts at the restaurant. While it'll be nice to earn back some of the money that I spent in Japan, part of me really wants to just take it easy in the two weeks before school starts. I've been researching a bit on graduate schools and other programs like JET and whatnot for when I finish school this coming December. It's making me anxious to get it over with and also quite sad that my college career is coming to an end. Hooray for uncertainty concerning my future. Now off to work, again! [/short entry]



Froggy Friends

[PV] Veni Vidi Vicious - Sekai ha Kaeru

This quirky/wacky stop-motion video is of one of the newer Veni Vidi Vicious songs off their recently released first mini-album "I Like Beethoven. Especially His Lyrics." As you can easily tell from the band's name and their music, one of their major influences is The Hives. Continuing in the garage punk stylings of that famous Swedish band, this band has been making some noise lately in the Japanese indie rock world.

The past week has been pretty normal. Been working a bit at the restaurant, filling in for my mom while she's been visiting family in Hong Kong. Some of the highlights include the send-off party for Jimmy. There was also a little birthday party held for me by some of the restaurant staff.

Jimmy's send-off party/concert was pretty fun. After work that day, I met up with Jimmy beforehand to catch up and show him all the stuff I was giving him for his trip. Soon after that, we met up with a bunch of the other people who were going and we headed off to the Middle East. It was the first time I had been in the Middle East Downstairs and I have to admit, I was a bit surprised as to the size of the space. It was pretty enormous. Soon after getting a few drinks at the bar, the first band headed up on stage. It was the all-girl band Bad Girlfriend. And boy, were they bad. We're talking, insanely simple 2-3 chord, same lyrics over and over, and no lead guitar bad. I have a feeling the only reasons they were on the tour is their looks and their relationship with the frontman of We Are Scientists. He actually filled in as their drummer during their set.

After Bad Girlfriend finished their way-too-long set, Bear Hands got on. And I have to say, I really liked them. Had a real post-punk/Modest Mouse feel to their sound at times. Real interesting to listen to. It wasn't until almost midnight that We Are Scientists hit the stage, so unfortunately, we had to cut it a bit early, as I had to drive a few people places before heading home. But, definitely a great way to send off Jimmy to Japan. I really hope he has a great time during his orientation in Shinjuku and ultimately his placement in JET. Hopefully, I'll be able to do something similar when my school time is over come this December.

Oh, and as for the other notable event, a bunch of people at work threw my a mini-birthday party. All that pretty much happened was me coming in, getting a cake made out of sushi created for me (AWWWEESOMEE), getting a real cake, and getting a few drinks while I was at in. Cool stuff. It was a nice relaxing birthday for me. Oh, and I got a nice call from Michelle. (WHICH WAS AWESOME.)