Acid Black Cherry 2009 tour Q.E.D. DVD Review

Written by Erin Grace

Acid Black Cherry is the brainchild and solo project of yasu, vocalist from Janne de Arc.  Although yasu has recruited several different j-rock artists for A.B.C. albums and singles, playing with him for the “Q.E.D.” tour are Akihide from BREAKERZ (guitar), Yuki from DUSTAR-3 (guitar), Shuse from La’cryma Christi (bass), and Junji from Siam Shade (drums).  The DVD features the final live of the tour, at the Nihon Budoukan. 

The concert opens with the quietly energetic strings from “Mother” and a shot of the stage covered by a huge curtain shaped like what appears to be the Virgin Mary.  Although watching the Q.E.D. concept video on disc 2 makes it obvious that the curtain-statue is actually the Black Maria, watching it ascend at the beginning of the concert to reveal the band is so full of Japa-cheezy religious non-significance that I can hardly stomach it.  

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BENNIE BECCA: A Match With the Potential to be Made in Heaven

Written by Erin Grace

“BENNIE BECCA” is the self-titled album created by the BENNIE K and Becca collaboration.  In this album, Yuki moves away from the mic to focus on producing, leaving Cico to rap against Becca, a newer artist on the J-Rock scene. 

I was excited coming into “BENNIE BECCA.”  Although BENNIE K isn’t my usual M.O. music-wise, I’ve always loved their hip hop fusions with different musical styles – their album “THE WORLD” was a particular treat for me

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Analysis of Ayumi Hamasaki's "Rock'n'Roll Circus" PVs, Part Three: "Lady Dynamite"

Written by Jaylee

Hamasaki Ayumi is one of if not the biggest stars in Japan. Her popularity has declined over the years but she is still one of the most recognizable names and faces in Asia. Throughout her career she has crafted videos with deep symbolism that critiqued the record industry and fame culture. She has touched millions of fans through her personal lyrics. She is an artist who wears a pop mask.

In part three of our “Rock’n’Roll Circus” PV analysis, I will be delving into the symbolism and inspiration behind the video. Just a warning, this analysis is more image based than Zer0's and may not be suitable for children.



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Analysis of Ayumi Hamasaki's "Rock'n'Roll Circus" PVs, Part Two: "Microphone"/"Sexy little things"

Written by Zer0

"Traditional, ethnic, European... With all these various sounds put together, it's rather 'circus-like'... The new album's title, 'Rock'n'Roll Circus', has alot of funny, frightening, sad, and strange subtext, but to me that's just what 'rock & roll' is."
--Bea's UP, May 2010

The album's title, "Rock'n'Roll Circus," is one of the few Hamasaki Ayumi album titles that doesn't correspond to a track on the album. The two sounds - "Rock & Roll" and "Circus" - are best assigned to two of the buzz tracks, "Microphone" and "Sexy little things," respectively.

 

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Analysis of Ayumi Hamasaki's "Rock'n'Roll Circus" PVs, Part One: "Don't look back"

Written by Zer0

SPOILER ALERT - The video covered in this article has a twist ending. I highly recommend watching the full video before reading any further.

"[Rock'n'Roll Circus]...basically has a feeling of 'back-to-basics.' A feeling of Hamasaki Ayumi, and less of adventure. More digging down into the foundation. Which isn't to say I'm taking a step backward. It's about expressing my feelings on things I've always liked, but as the person I am now."
--SCawaii, February 2010


The reception for Ayumi Hamasaki's first few singles was lukewarm at best. But when her first full album, A Song for XX, was released on New Year's Day in 1999, it hit number one on the Oricon charts its first week. What happened? The world got to know Ayu.

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GUEST REVIEW: Mienai on Gackt's Re:Born

Written by Mienai

After 4 years without a new original album (2007's 0079-0088 was a Gundam cover album, and 2009's Slo-Pachinko Gladiator Evolution Original Soundtrack was just that -- a soundtrack), GACKT has returned with a new album entry in the ЯR (Requiem et Reminiscence) Project, RE:BORN. But does RE:BORN stand tall, or does it fall on its face?

Gackt Camui is an Okinawan musician, composer, lyricist, poet, author, actor, designer and model. Usually referred to by his mononymous stage name, GACKT. He is known for his work with Malice Mizer, and for his solo artist career after leaving Malice Mizer. In addition to Japanese, he has performed in English, French, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin. The man is nothing to laugh at, and neither is his talent.

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