music

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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Mysterious Singer “GILLE” Finds Fame on YouTube with English Covers of J-Pop Songs, Releases Debut Record Under Universal

While there are already a number of musical artists who achieved fame through YouTube, no one yet has done it quite like GILLE, a mysterious Japanese singer who became an online sensation for her English covers of Japanese pop songs.

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That’s the Power of Music – It Really Does Bring Joy to the World!!

A delightful surprise performance that recently took place in Spain has been receiving acclaim from around the world on the internet, and we thought we’d share the feel-good story with you. It’s all captured in a video clip titled “Som Sabadell flashmob” and it begins when a girl drops a coin in a musician’s hat on May 19, 2012, in the city of Sabadell, Spain. But what follows is no ordinary musical performance. Everyone who happened to be there was in for a real treat!

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Karaoke’s Not Just For Singing Any More, Guitars Now Welcome at Joysound f1

Anyone who’s played one of those music based games, be it Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or even Donkey Konga, surely enjoyed it but also felt that mild pang of guilt.  The reality that if we spend the same time and effort learning a real instrument we could actually have a skill we would be proud of.

But learning a musical instrument is a long hard practice that often lacks the pizzazz and gratification the games offer.  Perhaps, karaoke company Xing’s new Joysound f1 can help in that area, as their new karaoke system offers support for guitars and bass guitars.

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Have a Double Dose of Nostalgia Listening to the Dragon Quest Theme Played On a Moog Synth Courtesy of Google’s Latest Doodle

On May 23rd, the world awoke to a new Google doodle daring us not waste our time pushing keys and turning knobs to make funky new sounds.  This doodle was of course a recreation of a Moog Synthesizer developed by Dr. Robert Moog who would have turned 78 had he been alive.

Thanks to one highly talented keyboardist, we were also treated to two blasts from the past, a flawless rendition of the Dragon Quest intro music as played on a Moog on Google’s top page.

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Music Group Fronted by Japanese Monks Bring Buddhist Sutra to the Dance Club, Wear Awesome Helmets

Well Dubstep, you had a good run but it’s time to drop out and make way for a new genre of dance music straight from the Buddhist temples of Japan: Dubsutra.

Okay, so maybe I just made that word up, but it is a real thing thanks to Tariki Echo, a musical unit fronted by two Japanese, bike helmet-wearing monks who have turned the Buddhist sutra into dance music.

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Get ready to rock ‘n’ roll with the new line of alcoholic drinks from Suntory!

Okay, so the economy may be down, it may be a drag go to work each morning on the murderously crowded trains (or the impossibly jammed highways), and you may be feeling tired of everyday life in general, but you can’t let things like that kill the rock ‘n’ roll spirit inside you, can you? Well, now there’s a new line of alcoholic beverages from Suntory Holdings Limited that will help you get back into the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll – in Rolling Stones fashion! Read More

New Goth-Loli Vocaloid Ready to Take the Stage, Maybe Some Heads Too…

A new Vocaloid character named Mayu was announced by Exit Tunes, a Japanese record label that produces Vocaloid albums, during their live event at Saitama Super Arena on May 6.

Mayu dresses in goth-loli style, wearing a black dress with red ribbons and a beret that with a speaker attached. She holds a plush rabbit with a microphone at the top its head and pictures on the official site suggest she uses the doll when performing.

While red ribbons and plush bunnies sound adorable enough, Japanese netizens have noticed one slightly discomforting detail: Mayu is gripping an axe with her right hand.

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Beautiful White Girl Fronts Japanese Rock Band, Is Actually a Swedish Boy

I was watching television here in Japan the other day when something caught my eye. A TV program was featuring a beautiful young white girl with adorable curly blonde hair singing in fluent Japanese.

This in itself is nothing special: Japanese people love seeing foreigners who can speak their language, and variety shows here make stories out of them all the time. What dropped my jaw, though, is when I looked closer and realized that this beautiful young girl is actually a boy.

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It’s hard making it as an idol group in Japan.  In this business thousands of girls and boys are struggling to find their niche be it with snaggleteeth, clean towels, or chainsaws.

This time RocketNews would like to present a girl group who have taken a more fishy road to success, by pitching in at their local sushi shop.  Every Sunday you can catch up-and-coming Idol Class do a free concert then sell you some octopus after the show, in what they call Sushidols.

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World’s First Snaggletooth Girl Group

You may have heard of the recent dental trend in Japan called tsuke yaeba, where women get their canines capped to get a crooked set of chompers. If so, you might have guessed that a snaggletooth girl group couldn’t be far behind, and here they are: TYB48. Read More

Spa Staff Pop Group OFR48 Warms Hearts With Song and Dance, Naked Bodies With Daily Work

You may have raised an eyebrow the first time a fully clothed spa staff member ambled into the sauna and whistled while she worked in front of you and the other sweaty, naked dudes.

You’re a pro by now, though, and you hardly bat an eyelash while the spa staff simply blend into the background.

A new Japanese female idol group is out to change the status quo. OFR48 is comprised of women who actually work at hot springs resorts, saunas and other public bathing facilities throughout Japan. The women sing and dance on stage at spa facilities, entertaining customers and fostering deeper communication and familiarity with them. Read More

Dial M for Music: Push-Button Telephone Cover of Vocaloid Song is Off the Hook 【Video】

Before the days of downloadable ringtones, the only way you could get original tunes on your cell phone was by using the built-in ringtone composer, using the phone’s numeric keypad to enter a sequence of tones (press 1 for Do, 2 for Re, etc) to create a custom monotone melody.

While the days of trying to figure out the right key combination for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” have long since passed, it seems the tradition of push-button telephone composing has been carried on into the 21st century and mastered by Japanese Otaku.

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South Korea Declares Lady Gaga Concert “Unsuitable for Minors”

It looks like little monsters hoping to see Lady Gaga kick off her world tour in Seoul on April 27 will have to stay in their caves: on March 30, a South Korean government agency decided to ban people under age 18 from attending the US pop diva’s concert on the grounds that it is “harmful to minors.”

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