BABYMETAL – METAL GALAXY (Review)

BABYMETAL
METAL GALAXY

Review by David Cirone

If you’ve kept up with BABYMETAL’s single releases in the 3-year-gap since 2016’s METAL RESISTANCE, you’ve already heard most the best parts of METAL GALAXY. Built-to-last rockers like “Distortion” and “Elevator Girl” keep their replay value (even though there’s a “just why?” assist on “Distortion” by Arch Enemy’s Aliss White-Gluz). “Starlight” is as soaring as it was a year ago when it debuted alongside the band’s graphic novel Apocrypha. “Kagerou” and “Shine” stand out as the solid new additions to the BABYMETAL playlist.

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Soko ni Naru announces 6th single “complicated system”

Soko ni Naru will release their 6th single, “complicated system”, on November 10, 2019.

The limited edition will also feature a bonus DVD featuring excerpts from their first one-man live concert “Chikara Koso Power” at Shimokitazawa SHELTER on January 29, 2019.

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YOSHIKI’S kimono brand Yoshikimono to open Tokyo Fashion Week 2020 S/S

Yoshikimono – the cutting-edge kimono fashion brand created by Japanese rock star YOSHIKI – has been chosen for the prestigious opening spot at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2020 S/S, to be held October 14, 2019.

YOSHIKI presented Yoshikimono’s 2016 collection to close Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo, and his 2017 collection was invited to open Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo. The latest Yoshikimono collection is the first presentation in 3 years from the brand which has gained international attention for its avant-garde designs and modern cultural impact.

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YOSHIKI donates 10 million yen to hometown struck by disastrous typhoon

YOSHIKI has donated 10 million yen (appx. $93,000) to Japan’s Chiba prefecture which suffered a devastating blow from Typhoon Faxai on September 10, 2019.

YOSHIKI posted his personal message on Twitter after the disaster. “I’m in America now, and I just became aware that my hometown of Tateyama was hit, along with the entire Chiba prefecture, by a typhoon causing massive amounts of damage. I’m very concerned, and I’m praying for a fast recovery.”

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BRATS to make USA debut at Anime Los Angeles 2020

Girls rock band BRATS will make their USA performance debut at Anime Los Angeles in January 2020.

BRATS – formed by sisters Rei Kuromiya (vocals) and Aya Kuromiya (bass) – created the opening theme “Ainikoiyo” for the anime series To Be Hero and performed “Nounai Shoukyo Game” for the Japanese film Slavemen. The band has also toured across Japan and played major music festivals in South Korea and Taiwan.

BRATS will perform at the Ontario Convention Center on Friday, January 10, 2020, and hold a fan Q&A session on Saturday, January 11.

Event Information: https://animelosangeles.org

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Metal Matsuri – All-Japanese metal festival ready to rock London

In an event that may be the first of its kind outside Japan, Metal Matsuri will feature 10 Japanese heavy metal/hard rock bands on October 4th and 5th in London, England. Mary’s Blood and Unlucky Morpheus will headline the 2-day festival. It will be the first appearance for Unlucky Morpheus outside of Japan, and the first show for Mary’s Blood in Europe.

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YOSHIKI donates $100,000 to Earth Alliance to prevent destruction of Amazon Rainforest

YOSHIKI—internationally renowned, composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer and leader of the rock group X JAPAN—has announced his support for Earth Alliance and its Amazon Forest Fund.

YOSHIKI has donated $100,000 to Earth Alliance and its Amazon Forest Fund in support of local efforts on the ground that are working to support the indigenous and local communities that are protecting the land and biodiversity. After hearing about the increasing fires throughout the Amazon region, YOSHIKI discovered the newly launched Earth Alliance and reached out to make the donation through his 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Yoshiki Foundation America.

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URBANGARDE announces lineup for subculture music festival Utsu Fes 2019

URBANGARDE has announced the final line-up for UTSU Fes (Depression festival) 2019, the band’s alternative subculture music festival held yearly at Tsutaya O-East in Shibuya.

The 12-artist roster includes hosts URBANGARDE and mainstays Maison book girl, R-Shitei, and Kenji Ohtsuki, along with alternative idols Chiaki Mayumura, JyuJyu (whose recent music video “Hi jitsuzai sei shoujo” was composed by URBANGARDE leader Temma Matsunaga), and Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, who danced their way through URBANGARDE’s controversial Heisei-era-sendoff “Shoujo Gannen.”

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BABYMETAL – Elevator Girl (English Version) (MV)

BABYMETAL’s latest music video is a live performance collage for their song “ELEVATOR GIRL”, now retooled in English for U.S. radio ahead of the much-anticipated release of their third album METAL GALAXY on October 11.

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Yoko Hamasaki – Interview (2019)

Yoko Hamasaki
Interview by David Cirone
August 10, 2019

URBANGARDE vocalist Yoko Hamasaki surprised fans in July with the simultaneous release of her third album BLIND LOVE (produced by Toshiki Kadomatsu) and a remastered, bonus track edition of her self-produced 2010 debut album Film noir, now dubbed Film noir ultime. While URBANGARDE has made their reputation tackling dark corners of Japanese society, Hamasaki’s return to solo activities brings the singer back to the world of daring personal experiences, sexual awareness, and private emotions.

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