music

Amazing Michael Jackson A Capella Cover is a Thriller 【Video】

There’s certainly no shortage of amateur Michael Jackson cover videos on YouTube, but few are as ambitious as this cover of “Thriller” by Inhyeok Yeo, a Korean university student living in Japan.

Check out the video below!

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【Video】 These Japanese Dolls Are Creepy, but They Sure Can Dance

Most humanoid robots are made to look either as lifelike as possible, or as machine-like as possible; that is, similar to the robots we know from science fiction.

After seeing the “Dancing Dolls” made by YouTube user RozenZebet, we have a feeling we know why: anything in between would be absolutely terrifying.

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Put Away Your Lighters, FreFlow Light Sticks Change Color and Flash in Sync with the Show

Imagine being at a concert where everyone’s pen  flashed and changed color in synchronization with the music or performance.  Sony Engineering Corporation and Sony Music Communications Inc worked together to create just such a pen, called FreFlow.

FreFlow has been tested at two concerts in the last few months by distributing the pens to attendees at the entrance then collecting them after the concert.

It looks like a conventional pen light but is able to change color and flash through remote control wireless transmission.  It can produce any color by mixing the three primary colors, red, green and blue.  Read More

Japanese Man Makes Bizarre Program That Lets You Raise Skirts With Your Voice

All Niconico user Naota wanted to do was see some panties.

“No matter how many pictures I look at in books or on screens, I can’t get my feelings through…”, laments Naota as he flips through the pages  of a suggestive anime magazine.

Even after going so far as to project a dancing life size image of virtual idol Hatsune Miku onto a screen, Naota found that his desire for digital panties went unnoticed and his efforts unrewarded.

As Naota learned, reality is a harsh mistress. Sometimes things don’t go the way you’d like them to, and while you can kick and scream all you want, it won’t change anything.

But what if it did? What if, by screaming at the top of your lungs, you could blow reality’s skirt right up in the air, allowing you to gaze at her panties in triumph?

This is the possibility that inspired Naota to take matters into his own hands…

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Watch the Opening Minutes of Evangelion 3.0 & Official Utada Hikaru Music Video Now

After three years of waiting and months of promotional tie-insEvangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo finally debuted in theaters across Japan at midnight tonight.

To get fans pumped up for the long-awaited release (as if they weren’t enough already), Nippon Television Network aired both of the previous Rebuild of Evangelion movies over the past two Fridays— Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone on November 9 and Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance last night— and topped it off with a special treat by broadcasting the first six minutes and 36 seconds of Evangelion 3.0 after the ending credits of last night’s showing.

We are pleased to bring you those six minutes and 36 seconds, as well as the newly-released music video for Sakura Nagashi, the Evangelion 3.0 theme by Utada Hikaru, below.

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Musical Magic! From 2-Dimensional Notes to Real Music With the Swipe of a Scanner

Music undeniably plays a huge part in our lives. We’re constantly surrounded by it, and I’m sure there are many of you who would say you simply couldn’t live without music. But when you think about it, isn’t it fascinating that all the music you’re so used to hearing comes down to some circles and dots and squiggles drawn on rows of five parallel lines? For those of us not musically inclined, these notes and symbols may seem like a baffling code, but now, there’s an amazing device that instantly transforms these notes into actual music!

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Flip-Book Animator Strikes Again with Emotional New Music Video

Just last week we featured the work of Japanese comedian and animator Tekken when British band Muse adopted his heart-rending flip-book animation Pendulum as the official video for one of their tracks.

So imagine our surprise when Warner Music Japan unveiled the artist’s latest animation as the music video for Toshihide Baba’s inspiring track “Yowai Mushi” earlier this week.

The track’s title literally translates as “weak insect”, but we could perhaps better interpret it as “weakling” or “wimp”. Although it’s perhaps not quite as tear-jerking as Pendulum, Yowa Mushi still manages to touch even our cold, unfeeling hearts…

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A Month After Japan’s Strict New Download Law Comes into Effect, Survey Suggests that Consumers are Spending Less Than Ever on Music

As of 1 October this year, knowingly downloading copyrighted music and video in Japan became punishable by up to two years in prison and a 2 million yen (US$25,000) penalty.

The law was passed in June after the Japanese music industry, the second largest in the world after the US, reported continued financial losses, with analysts suggesting that just one in 10 downloads were legal.

Since the law came into effect, there have certainly been some changes, and many internet users have become reluctant to click that download button for fear of receiving a hefty fine, meaning that the law has been a success in a way.

According to a recent statistical survey, however, since the law was passed, sales of music in Japan have continued to fall and consumers are actually showing less interest in music than ever before…

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Incredible New Animated Music Video “Transfer” Wins Fans the World Over

You know something’s a hit when people all over the world are taking to their keyboards to express their amazement and tweeting the links like the internet’s about to be switched off.

Created by music group Ongaku Unit and featuring the vocal talents of hugely-popular voice actor and singer Megumi Nakajima, the video, titled “Transfer”, has already found much love abroad, with many claiming that the video is nothing short of “a revolution” and “the future of music videos”.

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New Vocaloid Mayu Gets December 5 Release Date, Bundled with 2-disk CD Compilation

Vocaloid producer Exit Tunes announced today that the newest Vocaloid, Mayu, will make her debut on December 5 along with the release of VOCALOID3 Library MAYU, a special package containing the Vocaloid3 software with Mayu’s voice library installed and a 2-CD compilation of Mayu tracks produced by over 30 different artists.

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Cool Japanese Music Video Brings Back 8-Bit Google Maps…Kinda

Remember Google’s 8-bit Google Maps April Fools’ prank from earlier this year?

Japanese four-piece all-female rock band, Negoto, have taken the idea to the next level by integrating their new music video with an 8-bit map of Tokyo so that it tracks the singer’s location as she goes on a grand adventure across the city.

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Your Japanese TV Commercial Favourites, All Under One Funky Beat

I think I’ve just found my new favourite YouTube channel.

Thanks to a tip-off from an awesome RocketNews24 reader, I’ve discovered Eclectic Method; audio-visual remix masters and providers of horribly funky beats, whether the sampled videos were intended for musical enjoyment or not.

The video that pulled me in, however, was the group’s fantastic Japanese TV commercial remix…

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Cassette to iPod Converter Helps ‘80s Kids Keep Their Tape Collection Alive

We all love new technology, but when the arrival of a new generation of hardware signals the end of another, it can be kind of sad.

Vinyl will always be considered classic, but VHS and audio cassettes have sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs, with MiniDiscs (remember them?), and maybe one day CDs, soon to follow.

While CD quality sound is universally recognised as being superior to MP3 music, and despite MiniDiscs still hanging on in Japan years after the west turned its back on them, highly compressed MP3 is fast becoming the format of choice for millions of people, meaning that more and more of our once-loved possessions are relegated to sitting on the shelf or in a desk drawer somewhere.

So what are we to do with those Backstreet Boys cassettes? What fate awaits forgotten Bon Jovi tapes that rattle around the glove-box of a car whose stereo no longer has a tape deck? Are we destined never again to hear their muffled warbles and grainy beats?

Help is at hand!

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You Can Only Listen to This Song Once In Your Life

To promote their new album Meeteen (ミーティン), quirky pop-rock ensemble Dainari><Konari (Greater Than >< Less Than) released a highly exclusive song online.  In fact, it’s so exclusive that once you listen to it it will remain locked forever.

Full of questions I embarked on this journey, worried that the song may be so catchy that I’d go crazy if unable to hear it again.

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Why Japan Doesn’t Give a Gangnam Sh** About PSY

I remember showing “Gangnam Style” to my Japanese friends and coworkers only a few weeks after it was uploaded to YouTube in July. While, like millions of other viewers, I thought the video was best thing to come out of YouTube since Charlie the Unicorn, I was surprised to find that most Japanese people I showed it to would just stare at the screen and mumble a disinterested “hmmmm.”

Were they seeing the same video I was? Did they not notice the horse-riding dance and the rhythmic pelvic thrusting in the elevator? Were they deaf to the addictive melody and blind to the tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendos? I mean, come on people: he’s screaming at her butt.

At the time, I thought maybe I just had dull friends. But after over 400,000,000 views, numerous international media appearances, an American record deal and still only minimal sign of interest from Japan, I’m compelled to think that there is something about PSY and Gangnam Style that the Japanese are simply unable to accept.

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Inspiring or Inconsiderate? Foreigner Plays Guitar for Frustrated Train Passengers While Stranded in Typhoon

On Sept. 30, Typhoon Jelawat struck the eastern part of Aichi prefecture, Japan and then proceeded to move north, causing flight delays and affecting public transportation across the eastern region of the main island.

In Tokyo, train schedules throughout the city were disrupted and one section of the JR Chuo Line was even forced to shut down before trains could make it back to their stations, trapping passengers inside the cars until weather conditions improved.

Now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that nothing can ruin a day (week?) like being held up in an unexpected transportation or traffic accident. The general mood among passengers in those stranded cars must have been pretty sour. Which is why it’s amazing one foreigner had the pluck to take out his guitar and start serenading his fellow passengers while they waited for the storm to pass.

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Hatsune Miku 7-Eleven Parody Video Will Give You Nightmares

If you weren’t in the know (and by the know we mean Japan), Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart and Hatsune Miku are running a promotional campaign from August 14 to September 10 to celebrate the Vocaloid’s 5th birthday.

To spread word of the campaign, Family Mart created a 15-second television commercial featuring Miku singing the store’s signature jingle and posted it to YouTube on August 17, though a ripped version had been posted to Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga a few days earlier.

One group of enterprising viewers saw the video and immediately got the idea for a parody, which he posted to Nico Nico and YouTube on August 19. The parody, titled “Miku LOVES Seven Campaign [Fiction]”. features a super deformed Hatsune Miku singing the Japanese 7-Eleven jingle and is absolutely terrifying.

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New Hatsune Miku Music Video “ODDS&ENDS” Leaves the World in Tears 【Updated】

There are literally tens of thousands of songs out there that use the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid software for vocals, but few can inspire and touch people’s hearts like the work of Japanese 11-member music group Supercell.

On August 14, Supercell released the music video for their new single “ODDS&ENDS,” their first song to feature Hatsune Miku in over a year and the opening theme for the upcoming Playstation Vita game “Hatsune Miku Project DIVA-f.”

Check out the video below and be sure to grab a box of tissues because Supercell has once again managed to pour more emotion into this virtual singer than can be found in most pop songs today.

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Turntable Rider Converts BMX Bike Into Musical Instrument

Yo dawg, Japanese smartphone-based bike-sharing service Cogoo heard you like freestyling, so they stuck a DJ mixer into your BMX bike so you can freestyle while you freestyle.

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Taiwan’s Weather Girls Form Girl Group in Japan, First Single “Weather Forecast of Love” Coming This October!

Taiwan’s adorable dancing meteorologist girl group Weather Girls have been a lot of things: Japanese school girls, ninjas, super sentai heroes…wait, notice anything similar?

Since it launched in summer 2010, the series has taken off in Japan more than any other country, likely because most of the monthly video themes are taken from Japanese culture. Many of the themes even have the girls speaking endearingly broken Japanese, which just scores them more kawaii points.

Now, as if to capitalize on that popularity, the Weather Girls have sent seven of their best to Japan to form a brand new idol group called…Weather Girls!

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