YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz at Zepp Fukuoka 2011

Last week was the weekend I’d been waiting for for 3 months: the Zepp Fukuoka shows of YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz. Like everyone else, I was curious about the new songs, and how the twin vocalists thing would work out.

While I missed Jun-ji and Chirolyn, I did enjoy the new YFC. I don’t quite understand why there need to be so many guitarists, but some interesting effects can be had by having two vocalists. I thought adding Jon worked well. Of course, this is because GACKT made it so that it would. One of my friends thought that Jon seemed to be trying to upstage GACKT, but I didn’t get that impression.

As for the songs, the track 妄想ガール (Mousou Girl) sure seems like a load of fun, even if the lyrics are a bit iffy. ^o^; I can’t wait for these new songs to come out on CD so I can hear them clearly. Don’t know if it was my ears that were bad, or if the speakers weren’t calibrated properly, but there was a crap ton of white noise that made it really hard to make out GACKT’s voice. His mic might’ve also been on too low.

I don’t like the English version of “Mind Forest,” and I don’t like the addition of new English verses into “EVER,” “Jesus,” and whatever other song had this done to it. Frankly, GACKT’s English pronunciation isn’t good enough, and since Jon felt the need to rhyme the lyrics, these lyrics seemed forced into the melody of the original. I don’t understand why GACKT is doing this; after all, he gained non-Japanese fans with songs in Japanese. There is no need to force English unto these songs to gain more fans abroad. I think it would be better to just write new songs that are in English from the start, such as “The End of the Day.” Especially during “Mind Forest,” I had the original Japanese lyrics playing in my head.

Last year’s Fukuoka crowd was, I thought, way too well-behaved for a rock show. This year, the crowd was more frenetic, but I think it was because there were only 2 nights instead of 4. This year I was also able to get really close on the second night, and apparently there’s a huge difference between the area right in front of the stage, and that just like 7 feet further back. I know some local DEARS members who were up in front who said they were even knocked down to the floor by people’s pushing! There was one girl with dyed blond hair in pigtails who had started out behind my friends and I, but pushed and shoved her way to the front. Now, I’m all for people finding openings and taking advantage of them to move up, but pushing people out of the way is not cool. If she had come my way, I would’ve given her a good elbow to the ribs!

One thing that always bothers me is that encores seem to be taken for granted here. The band leaves the stage, and people wait in silence. Sometimes someone will start up a “YFC!” chant, but it doesn’t last long. I guess since when the band leaves, it isn’t announced that that’s the end of the show, so maybe we’re just supposed to take it as the band taking a break. But I think it’s a corrupted encore. The second night, my friends and I waited about a minute or two, then started up a YFC chant. A few people around us joined in, but for the most part, the crowd waited on in silence.

When the band came back out, at least then the crowd became really loud and lively. GACKT started smiling suddenly, and he said, 「やぱり福岡は違うね」(“As expected, Fukuoka’s different”) and 「この押し方結構好きよ」(“I really like the way you push us on”). They came out much faster this night, and I like to think that it was thanks to my friends and I, who didn’t give up chanting “YFC!” even though barely anyone else joined us. ^o^;

The second night, Shin’ya came out with a big-o fistful of drumsticks to throw into the crowd. The first night, YOU had thrown a cushion into the crowd that looked like it had the members’ signatures on it; but first, he rubbed it on his crotch.

Hm, now I’m just rambling about the different things that happened, so maybe it would be better to stop. >o<;

D’s Data

Songs: 110
Albums Represented: 33
Albums Complete in Library: 7

I’m still doing the iTunes Music Library All Album Challenge, but, as always, I find myself unable to make the time for blogging about it. So I’ve decided to just give my stats, more for personal reference than anything, and share just one song. I’ve also decided to stop embedding the videos in the post, because it makes the page load slower and not everyone is up on that fiber optic cable internet.

Unfortunately, the song I wanted to share, 「押韻見聞録」(“Ouinkenbunroku”) by Hilcrhyme is not available on YouTube.  The closest thing we have is its A-side single, 「大丈夫」(“Daijoubu”). Unfortunately again, Universal Music Japan has seen fit to upload a mere 1 minute of that song’s video in terrible quality. Personally, I think that looks worse than not having the video available at all. But for what it’s worth, it’s right here: clicky click for some J-rap.

I translated and romanized the song about a year ago and never put it up. Maybe next time, if I feel like it. >o<;

Creepy C’s For Halloween Dancing

I finished the C albums for my iTunes Music Library All Music Challenge. This time, I’ll start off with the stats:

Albums Represented: 71
Albums Complete in Library: 9
Songs: 332

Nearly a third of the songs from the C albums are from Castlevania soundtracks, namely, those for Symphony of the Night, Lament of Innocence, and  Curse of Darkness. I realized I had forgotten to import the second disc of the CoD soundtrack! I’ll make sure to do so when I visit home in December. I also have a few tracks from the PSP release Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.

I ended up listening to the majority of these tracks at night, which turns out to be, without a doubt, the best time to listen to this music. Given the sheer number of tracks, and the fact that it’s October, I’ll choose to highlight only a few tracks that would be fitting for a Halloween Dance Party! ^o^

First up, “Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab” from Lament of Innocence:

Curse of Darkness gets hype with “Cave of Jigramunt:”

When you wanna slow things down to dance cheek-to-cheek with your Corpse Bride, let Symphony of the Night take you away with a song that I could’ve sworn was labelled as “Pearl Dance Song” in the original PSX game. These days I see it in the Wikias as “Dance of Pales.” The Japanese title, 「パール舞踏曲」(“paaru butou kyoku”) , translates literally to “Pearl Dance Song” or “Pearl Dance Music.” In another video (linked to below), it’s labelled as “Waltz of Pearls.” Whatever the English title is, it’s a track that even non-video game or Castlevania fans give props to.

Here’s this video taken at the Castlevania concert in Stockholm last year, with Michiru Yamane herself tickling the ivories. Too bad the sound quality of the video  isn’t as good as the song deserves.

Masanori Akita’s remix of “Divine Bloodlines” from The Dracula X Chronicles disc brings us back to the techno dancing:

Moving away from Castlevania, the C’s brought along the first GACKT album (since the default setting on iTunes is to sort numbers after letters; otherwise 0079-0088 would’ve been the first GACKT album to come up). Well, since Crescent is part of the Moon Saga and therefore about vampires, it still fits with the Halloween theme of this post. But what I associate this album with more than anything is ceramics.

@_@?

There’s a perfectly good reason for this. When the album came out back in 2003, I was taking a ceramics class in college. The first or second assignment was to make a coil vase at least 12 inches tall. I had gotten my pot to about 9 inches when it collapsed; I had built it out sideways too soon. I spent a lot of extra hours in the studio trying to get it right, and half those hours I had Crescent on repeat.

Enjoy one of my favorite tracks from this album, “Mind Forest.” Don’t mind the FFVII video if you don’t like it, but this video has the best sound quality.