music

French twins dancing to koto performance in Kiyomizu-dera is as beautiful as it is odd【Video】

Of all the cool dance videos we’ve seen this summer, the one by the Dancing Strawhats and Koharu Sugawara was perhaps our favorite. The video did an excellent job of mixing contemporary dance and music with traditional scenery and clothing, and it was this juxtaposition that really captured our attention.

A new video by another group of contemporary dancers has captured our attention today, but this time it features Kiyomizu-deraone of Japan’s most famous temples, and some lovely music by an incredibly talented koto player. We are in love with this video and we bet you will be too!

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Have you seen the Studio Ghibli music video for Chage & Aska’s “On Your Mark”?

We’re sure nearly all of our readers have, at the very least, heard of Studio Ghibli. You’ve probably seen a few — or even most — of their films, but we’d be surprised if many have seen everything the company has produced. But don’t take that the wrong way! We’re not questioning anyone’s dedication. It just turns out there are quite a few rare Ghibli works out there in the wild.

For example, “On Your Mark,” a music video for the song of the same name by Chage & Aska, is apparently unknown to quite a few young Japanese anime fans. But what about you? Have you seen it? If not, it’s definitely one of the weirdest (and most interesting) music videos you’re likely to see this week. And if you have seen it, here’s your chance to watch it one more time!

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Japanese college has specialized anime song program, scholarships for international students

Even within the world of Japanese pop music, anime songs are their own special breed. Unabashedly sentimental, bombastically energetic, or sometimes both, not just anyone can grab a mike and belt out a performance that will capture the hearts of legions of otaku, which is why one Japanese music college has just announced a brand new course, aiming to provide students with the education and training they need to become anime vocalists.

Oh, and the school also offers a scholarship for international students.

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Antinomy: Talking to Urbangarde about their vision, music, and lying to fans

Urbangarde first caught my attention last year with the release of their video for “Sakura Memento”, a song off the 2014 album Utsukushii Kuni. I’ve been rocking out to their music and pondering their quixotic videos in the many months since then, enjoying their mix of pop, rock, and electronic music. So when a chance meeting resulted in the opportunity to sit down and talk with the band’s vocalists Yoko Hamasaki and Temma Matsunaga, I nearly popped out of my skin with excitement!

If you’ve ever wondered how they come up with lyrics, why they’re so “negative,” and whether they enjoy touring or recording more, read on. Also, be sure to check out their latest video for the new single, “Coin Locker Babies”, after the jump!

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Canadian anime vocalist Himeka vents about frustrations working in the Japanese music industry

In 2008, anime fans around the world would have loved to trade places with Catherine St. Onge, better known by her stage name, Himeka. The then-27-year-old Canadian singer had just won a national anime song contest in Japan, besting over 3,000 rivals to secure a recording contract and guaranteed theme song performance for an upcoming anime series.

Unfortunately, fame is a fickle thing. Unable to secure commercial success or a new work visa, Himeka had to return to Canada in 2014, even as she wistfully stated she wanted to remain in Japan forever. A year later, though, she’s singing a very different tune, tweeting that she “probably shouldn’t have come to Japan” in the first place and regrets her time in the country.

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Jon Bon Jovi singing in Chinese is surreal 【Video】

Despite all of his singing about being “halfway there,” it seems that Jon Bon Jovi is perfectly capable of going the extra mile (even though it doesn’t really matter if he makes it or not, etc.).

The singer of many a rock ballad that your one roommate insists on blaring at ungodly hours, Bon Jovi is currently making bizarre new headlines with a YouTube video of him performing a well-known Chinese love song… entirely in the song’s original Mandarin language.

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New Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video “Crazy Party Night” makes Halloween cute and colorful…in August

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is know for many things, but subtlety certainly is not one of them. The singer/model/crazy-in-a-cute-way-girl has released so many bizarre videos by now that we suspect the Oxford English Dictionary will eventually include a picture of her grinning face under the entry for “quirky.” And that’s why we love her!

So we were naturally excited when we saw that she released a new video titled “Crazy Party Night: Pumpkins Strike Back” today. The music was exactly as peppy and cute as you might expect, and the video was…well, it was definitely a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video. Check it out after the jump!

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NINGEN ISU: This Japanese literary metal band will rock your butt off【Photos & Video】

When Mr. Sato asks you if you want to check out a band with him, you say yes. You don’t ask which band or check your schedule, you just say yes, because you know it’s going to be a good night. It also doesn’t hurt that I already knew he was talking about NINGEN ISU, whose name literally means “Human Chair,” a metal band in the vein of all our favorite old-school traditional metal heroes.

NINGEN ISU’s rise in popularity has been on a slow but powerful burn for decades, and with their upcoming performance at OzzFest this year, they are sure to be popping up on a quite a few radars. So check them out here now and get ready to tell your friends that you knew about these guys way back when!

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British musician collaborates with Japanese video game composers for stunning concept album

Music has been an essential part of the gaming experience for decades. From simple 8-bit tunes to orchestral compositions, the music of video games can be exceptionally beautiful. As such, it’s fair to say that composers of video game music enjoy a unique position in the entertainment world, straddling the line between being auteur artists and members of large teams of game creators. But what happens when you take the “video game” out of “video game music composition?” Something beautiful and unique!

We recently sat down and chatted with musician Smoke Thief about his new concept album and working renowned Japanese composers Manami Matsumae, Takahiro Izutani, and Saori Kobayashi. If you like video game music, you’ll definitely want to check out the new album Heart Beat Circuit!

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EDM artist MUST DIE! attracts attention in Japan for his love of anime

EDM is easily one of most popular music genres around the world today. And we have to admit that we have a soft spot for it ourselves, especially artists like Kiyoshi Sugo. Of course, the scene is full of rising stars, but one in particular has captured the attention of Japanese Internet commenters: MUST DIE!

While dubstep hasn’t made the same inroads in Japan as it has in other countries, there is certainly still an audience for it. And MUST DIE!, an American-born and Berlin-based producer, has recently captured their attention thanks to his enthusiasm for anime and otaku culture as expressed via both social media and some of his songs, like the new track “Onii-chan.”

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Video of a cappella game songs wows the Internet, leaves us feeling nostalgic

The world seems largely split on a cappella music, with some outright hating and others outright loving it. We’re not about to take sides in this debate, but we will say that, if nothing else, it’s always impressive to watch someone do something they’re really good at. Whether it’s crafting katanas or turning candy boxes into art, witnessing skill in action is pretty awesome, and the same goes for a cappella covers — especially when they’re covers of old-school video game music!

So, it’s hardly surprising that this video of a cappella versions of four classic game songs is exploding in popularity online. We’re sure you’ll be impressed too!

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Got mold? If you’re using your earphones too much, you just might

I’m sure we’ve all heard the warnings about the damage that can be done from having the volume too loud when listening to music with earphones. Alright, so you keep your volume at a reasonable level. No harm done then, right? Well, as it turns out, high volume isn’t the only issue with earphones, as it’s recently been found that excessive use can also cause mold growth in the outer ear canal. Sounds delightful (yuck)!

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Ridiculously talented musician reproduces Super Mario Bros. 3 music & sound effects 【Video】

I’m always in awe of people gifted with musical talents. But nothing prepared me to be blown away by the Canadian musical genius who single-handedly reproduced the music and sound effects from NES classic Super Mario Bros. 3 using nothing but old-school instruments.

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Taiwan’s moe train mascot’s new image song somehow reminds Japanese netizens of erotic games

The “K.R.T. Girls”, moe mascots fronting the line for Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Rapid Transit (KRT), are no stranger on our humble website. Just recently, we saw them taking over their trains with full-length decals, and just a couple of days ago they released a new image song for one of the girls that briefly mentions a few of the stations along the subway lines.

It’s a catchy pop tune befitting of the cute, refreshing image of the mascot girls, but some Japanese netizens are saying that it sounds like a theme song for an erotic game. Give it a listen after the break!

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New World Order video sees the group dance through Yokohama’s Chinatown – but where’s Genki Sudo?

World Order is easily one of our favorite music groups in Japan. Their songs are catchy and the flat vocals are somehow far more engaging than they have any right being. And, of course, they also produce ultra-cool music videos that fascinate us and always leave us with giant grins on our faces.

So, we greet the news that the group recently released a new music video for their song “Multipolarity” with cheers! Check it out below!

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【Monday Kickstart】This cello/classical guitar medley of Ghibli theme songs is simply beautiful

Studio Ghibli is known the world over for their animated films, and with good reason! They may not quite be as wealth as Disney, but there’s no doubt that they have created many masterpieces that will withstand the test of time. They’ve also created numerous lovely, memorable soundtracks for their movies — and those songs have been perennial favorites for musicians seeking for inspiration for many years.

A quick look around YouTube will reveal too many covers to count, with everything from metal to pop to orchestral. With so many out there, it can be difficult to stand out — and yet many musicians manage to make covers that do just that and blow us away! Today, we have one such pair, Nicholas Yee and Shawn Gan, a cellist and classical guitarist, respectively, who add a sophisticated, sublime edge to some of Ghibli’s most well-known and beloved songs.

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Japanese rhythm game rewards players with panty flashes, punishes with male butts and crotches

In general, rhythm games don’t have graphics so much as displays. Most of the time the player’s eyes are focused on the series of notes flowing down from the top of the screen, and everything else that’s happening visually is actually sort of a distraction.

But what if you simplified things? If you made the rhythm constant, and didn’t specify which button the player has to press in time with the music, you could free his gaze and let him look wherever he wants. In that case, you might as well reward him for skilled play with some panty flashes, and punish his mistakes with a muscular male crotch.

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Wagakki Band releases video for new song “Akatsukino Ito,” featuring swords and dragons 【Video】

It’s no secret that we love the Wagakki Band around here at the RocketNews24 offices. Their music just has a thundering pulse to it that draws you in like a whirlpool. Between the soaring vocals delivered by Yūko Suzuhana and the fusion of rock and traditional Japanese instruments, it’s hard not to start pounding a fist in the air whenever they release a new song. And we totally failed to restrain ourselves tonight!

Just a few hours ago, the band published a new release on YouTube: A music video for “Akatsuki no Ito,” or “The Thread of Dawn,” a new song to be release on their forthcoming album Yasou-emaki. Featuring awesome music, a dragon, swords, and a night sky filled with clouds, the video is sure to get fans excited for the new album!

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Japanese design site explains how death metal fans find bands based on…logos?!

Generally, design brings to mind companies like Apple or Dyson or any sleek, carefully assembled product. Or you might think of an attractive website or even just an eye-catching, memorable logoo, like Coca-Cola. But whatever you think of, “death metal band logos” probably isn’t very high on your mental list!

But one guitar-playing designer from Tokyo wants you to give these extreme musicians some of your attention. In fact, his recent article shows how logo archetypes can help fans find exactly the subgenre they’re looking for based on little more than a design! And even if you don’t much care for death metal, there’s still a lot you can learn about how to craft a good logo. So let’s dive in!

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X Japan’s Yoshiki hints at a possible collaboration with BABYMETAL

Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that BABYMETAL sprang up out of nowhere from the rock/metal ground and has grown into a flourishing band with a heap of hardcore fans. They’ve performed in both Europe and America and featured the acclaimed guitars of metal band DragonForce on their single “Road of Resistance.” It seems like there’s nothing that can stop these cute girls and their head-banging tunes, especially now that another extremely popular rock star has hinted he’d like to collaborate with BABYMETAL too.

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