music

Otaku ears-New line of earphones is designed specifically for listening to anime songs with

For anime music fans, the appeal of the songs is more than just their connection to the shows they serve as anthems for. Over the years, anime songs have evolved into a genre in and of themselves, often employing fast, even frantic tempos and an even greater proportion of young female vocalists and electronic sounds than Japanese pop music in general.

So now that there are certain baselines the anime music scene has established for itself, it’s time for the hardware end of the musical experience to catch up, which is the promise made by these new sets of earphones specifically designed for listening to anime songs with.

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J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz

Perfume, the three-member electro-pop group from Hiroshima, Japan, took to the stage for a special performance at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The annual event, held this year from March 13-22, always includes a unique lineup of musical artists, independent films, conference panels, and technological exhibitions, all carefully selected to showcase the highest levels of creativity in the current industry.

Even in that environment, Perfume’s musical and dance performance seems to have blown away the crowd with its ground-breaking use of projected visuals. Is their performance really happening in the physical world? Folks from around the world who’ve seen the video online say it’s enough to give them goosebumps!

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Six anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, according to new poll

As much as I like singing karaoke, it’s probably for the best that I don’t get a chance to go very often. By my own estimation, there are really only about a half-dozen songs that I can sing passably well, which means that, by everyone else’s estimation, the number is probably closer to two.

It seems I’m not the only amateur vocalist with a limited set list, though, as evidenced by this list of anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, with an overwhelming top pick that accounted for nearly half of all votes.

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Want to practice karaoke without anyone hearing you sing? This disturbing gadget is for you!

As fun and entertaining as a night of karaoke can be, it presents a major problem for many people. If you’re not used to it, singing in front of others can be embarrassing, even when the audience is made up of your close personal friends. Practicing at home can help you build confidence, but if you’ve got roommates or an apartment with paper-thin walls, that might not be an option, especially if you’re still at a level where you’re singing is less “sweet serenade” and more “public disturbance.”

Thankfully, there’s a solution that doesn’t involve calling a contractor and adding layer upon layer of sound-proofing to your bedroom walls. Instead, all you need is this noise-blocking microphone for solo karaoke practice.

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Think you could stay on key when this distractingly unique karaoke video actor pops up?

“Empty orchestra.” What a hauntingly beautiful pair of words, but most of us know it better as karaoke, the easiest form of entertainment on a night out with friends or co-workers.

Any seasoned karaoke veteran in Japan knows that the video that plays behind the words of the song are often the best part of the night. Sometimes the song you chose is accompanied by the band’s official music video or concert footage, but more often than not, you get the confusing, yet always entertaining, background karaoke video. These gems are always good for a laugh, however, in this case the video went from “entertaining” to “distracting” to “I can’t sing anymore I’m laughing so hard.” What is cracking up potential singers in Japan? Click on through to find out.

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Bottle-blowing meets the sounds of sushi in The Bottle Boys’ new ad for Kirin【Video】

The Bottle Boys are a five-piece band from Copenhagen, who shot to fame last year after performing ‘Billie Jean’ using nothing but (a large number of) beer bottles. And now they’ve been snapped up by Kirin Ichiban, in a slick production that sees them team up with Iron Chefs to record a track blending their musical bottle-playing with the sounds of sushi.

Join us after the jump to see how it sounds!

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Light-up Hikaru Skirt makes its Idol music video debut

The “wearable special effects” skirt project, “Hikaru Skirt,” made its big debut in the idol group Mōsō Collaboration’s newest music video, “Mahou no Juice” (lit. Magic Juice) on Sunday. The project’s website claims the skirt turns the “zettai ryōiki” (i.e. the “absolute territory” between where a girl’s skirt ends and her stockings begin) into “komorebi ryōiki,”or “territory where sunshine filters through the trees.” The members utilize the skirts’ different color options for each of their outfits.

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Kindergarten class plays Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 better than most adults ever could

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 5 in D minor at a time of great tension in Soviet Russia. The looming threat of World War II was nothing compared to the Great Purge being conducted by Joseph Stalin in which 1,000 people were executed each day. Shostakovich too felt he was in the crosshairs for his previous “subversive” works.

And so it was something of a musical miracle that his Symphony No. 5 was unanimously well received by both the government and survivors of their brutality alike. Still today conductors and their orchestras struggle to properly capture all of the emotions such as irony, sympathy, and pride that Shostakovich may or may not have intentionally layered in this rich piece.

Taking a crack at it here are the kids of Isesaki Asuka Primary School’s kindergarten class.  To see whether they succeed is up to you, but I think we can all agree that they’re not just good for a kindergarten class – they’re just good.

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Japanese female electro-rap duo Charisma.com: Office workers by day, musicians by night 【Videos】

If you’re looking for a new musical act to blow your mind, look no further than Charisma.com (カリスマドットコム).

The electro-rap duo (yes, you read that right!) is composed of two Japanese women–MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi–who will without a doubt knock your socks off with their genre-defying sound. Once you’ve listened to some of their work, you can say goodbye to peace and quiet because you’ll never get Gonchi’s catchy melodies or Itsuka’s fast and furious rapping out of your head. Impressively, over the past two years, their music has been steadily attracting attention from all corners of the world. Would you say that they’re on the path to complete global domination?

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Popstar nun Sister Cristina tries Japanese potato chips for first time, ranks them for us

Sister Cristina the nun popstar first came to Japan just the other day to promote her new album, give a small concert, and of course bestow some spiritual advice to questions taken from the audience.

One of those questions was about a man’s addiction to potato chips, and what he could do to overcome it. In suave sister-style, Sister Cristina advised him to try eating some other foods, and perhaps limit his chip intake, though she did mention that she is a fan of potatoes in all forms herself.

That set off a lightbulb in our heads, and we here at RocketNews24 wasted no time in sitting down with Sister Cristina to ask her the real hard-hitting question that everyone wants to know: would she be willing to try some Japanese chips and rank them for us? Watch the video after the jump!

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Come for fans’ awesome live-action Zelda teaser, stay for the powerful Akira music video 【Videos】

You’d think that after the debacle of the Super Mario Bros. movie even the most diehard Nintendo loyalists would have given up hope of anything cool ever being produced by combining the company’s games with live-action. And yet, it seems hope springs eternal for fans of the Kyoto video game publisher’s other flagship series, The Legend of Zelda.

Adventuring hero Link has shown up in a handful of live-action fan projects over the year, and not only is this newest short film one of the most visually and aurally impressive yet, its creators are also promising there’s more to come. More into anime than video games? Don’t worry, they’ve also got an amazing live-action Akira music video.

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Singing nun in Japan gives heavenly concert, also spiritual advice to mothers of otaku

Have you heard of Cristina Scuccia? She’s a 26-year-old Italian nun with a gift for singing, famous for winning The Voice of Italy in 2014, then going on to release an album including a music video to her own rendition of “Like a Virgin.”

Recently, she came to Japan to give a performance, and we were lucky enough to visit for ourselves. We have pictures and the full video of not just the sister singing in her divine voice, but also her giving a “mini confessional” by listening to problems from the audience and giving life advice.

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Kiss-signed Japanese calligraphy works on sale, get the paperwork for a second mortgage ready

As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.

If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.

Oh, and they cost a small fortune…

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Super-skilled girl band 5572320 reveals music video for “Hanseiki Yuutousei”, but not their identities

Mysterious, skilled girls’ rock band 5572320 (pronounced: go go nana ni san ni rei) have appeared out of nowhere with a music video for their song, titled “Hanseiki Yuutousei” (Half a Century Honor Student). Their debut single is due for release on March 25, but the identities of these young ladies remains a complete mystery.

Check out their video after the jump.

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Masked drummer brings the heat to our favorite video game music

His hair is a shock of red flame. His face is hidden behind a black-and-white wrestling mask. The mystery drummer, godly skills at his command. Final Fantasy. Romancing SaGa. Dragon Quest. He plays them all. Who is he?

Why, he’s drum virtuoso and YouTube regular, dainashi! Since his first video almost a year ago, the masked drummer has set jaws dropping with his incredible renditions of popular video game background music. We take a look at some of his uploads.

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Japan’s newest idol group, KBG84, hails from Okinawa, has an average age of 84

Japan’s idol world is quite…expansive, for lack of a better word. Even with the wide variety of groups running around, it can be hard to really tell them apart–though we have to say there was no mistaking Osaka’s Obachaaan for any other group. In fact, the “old lady” idol group is still going strong–perhaps thanks in part to the dearth of elderly competition. But it looks like Obachaaa and AKB48 are about to face some new rivals: KBG84, Okinawa’s own geriatric idol group!

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There’s music in the air (and everywhere else): Netizens share real-world musical finds

The weekend is still a few days away, so to lighten your mood, today we’re bringing you some unrelated, yet feel-good images. While these aren’t quite as newsworthy as the face of Jesus appearing on a slice of burnt toast or “there is no god” spelled out in watermelon seeds, these musical notes spotted in the unlikeliest of places are still delightfully simple and sure to put a smile on your face.

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Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?

For anyone who enjoys live music, part of the fun is taking photos of the band or recording video to relive the experience at home or show off on Facebook. It’s a tradition that strengthens the connection between bands and their fans long after a concert is over. Especially in this digital age, many bands depend on the power of social media to connect with new audiences they could never reach before.

If you’ve ever attended a concert in Japan, you know this is not the case. You will almost always see “No photos” and “No video” signs posted all over concert venues. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching a foreign artist or a local one, you are not allowed to take pictures, and a host of security personal will remind you of the fact.

Find out why this is the case, and which big musical act might be turning the tide, after the jump.

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North Korean officials, Gaddafi and more get the heavy metal treatment from talented guitarist

A while back, Japanese politician Ryutaro Nonomura captured the world’s attention after a surreal outburst at a press conference regarding his alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money. No doubt seeing fertile ground for comedy, one creative musician then made Nonomura the stuff of Internet legend by setting the man’s sobs to a guitar track.

Guitarist Felix Martin and his talented collaborators operate under a similar concept, setting guitar, drums, and bass to speeches from North Korean officials, Hugo Chavez, and others. This project isn’t for laughs, though. With an ear for the rhythm and pitch of the spoken word, not to mention masterful heavy metal stylings, Martin and company elevate the aptly named Human Transcription project to the realm of art. Politics and propaganda have never sounded so good.

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Netizens get creative with ice cube trays shaped like BIGBANG singer’s nose and mouth

Idol and boy band merchandise comes in many forms, and some if it is downright weird. Take, for example, this official ice cube tray set shaped like the schnozz and kisser of K-pop vocalist and BIGBANG member Daesung, aka D-LITE in Japan. No, we’re not making this up! In fact, this particular piece of plastic pop memorabilia has really got netizens excited, with many taking to Twitter to showcase the “creations” they have made through the use of certain materials in tandem with the ice cube tray. Join us for a variety of disturbing flared nostrils and pouty lips after the jump!

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