Rants in music journalism are useless

If Kyary dropped another “Easta” tomorrow, the first thing that would come to my mind would be to write yet another piece on how everything she does is not worth a second of my time, acting like i never talked about it. This despise (or hate, as someone would call it, without considering the actual meaning and weight of the word) comes from delusion. It’s the disappointment of seeing what once used to be one of my favorite artists now trapped in a hole, and pretty much just begging for money. It hurts to see something you love turning into something bad, and anger is our self-defense against this.

It’s good to write spontaneously, but that shouldn’t justify a lack of meaning behind a piece, and I’ve made this mistake a few times in the past. Not that I fully regret it: what you read here on my blog is what I think, and it comes from my passion for music. But I sure could have put it in a more meaningful, and useful, way.

Because a mere rant is useless. A waste of time, both for the writer and the reader.

Still, when coupled with arguments and self-control over emotions, a rant can blossom into a meaningful piece. If there’s one thing I learned during these years, is that every article needs a driving force, a meaning that comes and go constantly throughout a flow of words, and ultimately strikes the reader when it reaches the end. A mere rant, on the other hand, leaves nothing in the mind of the reader, except for a feeling of frustration: it’s a piece that comes from passion, but it’s conveyed through uncontrolled anger. The execution is what needs to be changed, and consequentially, the output will be different as well: instead of a rant you get a piece.

This is more a reminder to myself than anything, but I thought I would share it with you. Recognizing a mistake and taking notes is the only way I can get better at this.

Things are going well, and I have a few, very exciting news coming in the next weeks. Stay tuned!

– Alex

VLOG | Best Japanese Albums of November 2016, and future releases!

Can you believe this? I made a new video! After more than a year!

I woke up this morning, and realized there are way too many great albums that got released in November, and many more promising ones in this last month of 2016. It’d take a 10,000 words article to talk about all this, so… I just made a VLOG 😛

Be sure to check out the video above to get a grasp of all the best and most interesting records of the last month, plus new exciting releases that will hit the shelves of Japanese stores in the next weeks.

I’m terribly sorry for my broken english, my mumbling, and my terrible Italian accent, but as you know, I haven’t been recording a video for quite a long time, so please bear with me!

Please let me know if you would like me to do more videos like this one 🙂

Love ya

– Alex

BABYMETAL is now a playable character in Super Mario Maker.

BABYMETAL’s success shows no sign of slowing down. Since the release of the second studio record METAL RESISTANCE, the group is smartly taking advantage of its momentum, appearing on countless magazines, radio shows, popular YouTube channels, and even on Television, with the the recent performance at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as showcase of the group’s rising popularity. Right now, to the eyes of the world, Japanese music equals to BABYMETAL.

But it’s still not enough for the former Sakura Gakuin members. Indeed, SU-METAL, MOA-METAL and YUI-METAL will become playable characters in the popular Wii U videogame Super Mario Maker, as officially announced by Nintendo. Yes, this is real.

After the game’s update scheduled for tomorrow April 28th, players can find a particular mushroom in the “Super Mario Brothers” set that will turn the italian plumber into the three girls, jumping on platforms between a “Dame!” and “Soya!”, words taken from their popular tracks Ijime, Dame, Zettai and Megitsune. The video above shows a brief segment of a level featuring BABYMETAL, and it’s… funny.

This comes at no surprise, as in a recent interview streamed through Twitch, SU-METAL claimed that Super Mario Maker is her favorite videogame. Marketing done right, guys. Marketing done right.

– Alex

A new chapter in the “WTF Japan” saga: Kamen Joshi “supports” Donald Trump

Ladies and gentlemen, rejoice: we may be in front of yet another “WTF Japan” moment!

Idol group Kamen Joshi,  mostly known for wearing masks on stage and for their unquestionable marketing skills, released a video through their YouTube channel in “support” of… Donald Trump. Yup, that blonde dude running up for president in the U.S, who’s been creating quite a fuss for his statements about immigrants and many other matters.

The video kicks off with a message from the girls (sporting Donal Trump’s T-shirts) saying they want to help “Make America great again!”, the notorious slogan of the Republican’s candidate. Right after this pretty ridiculous intro, they start dancing to their own song Genkidane☆, mostly know for reaching the top of the Oricon chart in January with its twelve editions, taking full advantage of the non-sense nature of Japan’s most famous ranking . During the short dance, several messages appear on screen, referring to some of Trump’s most infamous statements like “Build the wall, make it 10 feet higher!”, “We want to come to America legally!”, but also “Power level is over 9000!” and “Make Anime real, donate ¥0!”, showing how, in the end, this is nothing more than a joke. A bad one for sure, but still a joke, as pointed out in the description of the video.

What kinda annoys me the most here, is… why you wanna do something like this? I know the will of drawing attention is strong with this group, and I do enjoy looking at Kamiya Erina’s gifts, but why? Can’t they just try something else to grab attention like, uhm, doing actual decent music or something at least conceptually interesting? Was it really necessary to create another “Weird Japan” moment for the world to see? I know Donald Trump is a trending topic these days, but using it to try to become the next viral thing on the web… that’s pretty ridiculous. Especially considering how these girls clearly have no idea who Donald Trump actually is.

Overall, despite being a joke, this is pretty stupid. But you know what’s even more stupid? The people who’s taking it seriously.

Have a nice week!

– Alex

Welcome to my new blog

Hi everyone, it’s Alex.

After losing my website “Land of Rising Sound” due to host issues, I decided to open this blog to restore all my reviews, articles and guides, and to keep writing about Japanese Music as I’ve always done in the last six years.

As you can see, at the state of things, this blog is pretty much empty: Day by day, I will restore all the former articles that composed Land of Rising Sound while writing new ones to keep you updated on all the hottest releases of the Japanese Music Industry. I will also adjust the graphics and menus of this blog to make it more enjoyable and… appealing. I guess.

The name “Alex Shenmue Blog” is just temporary, and when a decent name will pop up in my mind, I will change it. This will probably be the longest issue to take care of as I’m terrible at choosing names :v

Anyway, I wanna thank everyone once again for their support. I will keep you updated on the state of my blog, and let you know when all the Articles, Reviews and Guide on Japanese Music will be available again (in a matter of days, anyway).
For any update, please feel free to follow my Facebook page, or just follow me on Twitter.

See you guys soon. Take care.

– Alex