defrog: (Default)
Video evidence follows.



God of thunder,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
Shonen Knife are now in their 33rd year – or at least Naoko Yamano is. And the group are still going strong.

Their new album, Overdrive, is out now. So is the first single.

Thin Lizzy tribute, anyone?



From what I’ve heard, SK are exploring more classic-rock influences this time (see above). But by now I think yr either in with SK at this point or yr not – nothing here will convert the unbelievers, but fans should dig it.

At least, I do.

Let’s take it easy,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
Japan makes chewing gum so refreshing it feels like a giant cat is carrying you to the office.

No, really.



[Via Archie McPhee]

That’s good gum,

This is dF
 
defrog: (Default)
Of course it’s from Japan.



Is it not wonderful?

That there is Babymetal – essentially a J-pop girl group who sing and dance to death-metal instead of technopop. It’s a great idea that had to happen eventually.

Novelty? Sure. But why not?

“Proper” metal fans may hate them. That just makes me like them even more. If yr pissing off the purists, yr doing something right. 

More info here

Bang yr head,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
Yr Sexytime Technology Headline of the Day:



It’s from Japan, of course.

Specifically, it’s from Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, reports CNET:

The bra contains a heart-rate sensor and sends the data it collects, via Bluetooth, to an app for analysis. The app calculates what the designers call the "true love rate," comparing the readings to activities like shopping, watching a horror movie, flirting, jogging, or receiving a surprise gift.

When the app calculates a change that correlates with a true-love rate, the bra unhooks automatically from the front.

Video is available. And recommended.



I’m assuming it’s intended to be a promotional novelty gimmick, since the obvious downside is that, True Love being the elusive, nebulous thing it is, once you put it on, you might be wearing it for months or years before you could get it off again.

Unless it has an override or something.

Still, as a guy, it’s fun to imagine whispering sweet nothings into a woman’s ear until her bra pops open on its own accord.

Manly!

See also:



Wonderful things we can do with technology these days.

Open sesame,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
Yr Globalization M&A lede of the day:

For a relaxing time …

I don’t particularly object to this. I will say it reminds me of all the anti-Japanese sentiment in the 80s when Japanese companies started dominating the automobile market and buying out American companies and baseball teams and everyone was frightened by all this “globalization” hoodoo.

I didn’t care then, and I don’t really care now. It just knocks me out to think that a product that makes a big deal of its Kentucky origins is now owned by a Japanese company.

I’m sure somewhere on the interwebs (or possibly Fox News) some people are dithering over this blatant attack on American booze sovereignty.

They should just follow Bill Murray’s advice and relax.




Relaxed,

This is dF


defrog: (sars)
Banäna Deäthmüffins are back. 

You have missed us. That’s all right, you cannot help it. You love us.

And so we bring you new music.

And not just any new music – but the brand-new theme song for Japanese superhero Ultraman!

It’s not official, of course. Like that matters.




THESE ARE THE WORDS )

FUN FACT: The term “Salt Egg Superman” is the English translation of the Chinese name for Ultraman. It’s a reference to the shape of his head, apparently. 

PRODUCTION NOTE: The lyrics are actually pretty old – they were written back when Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers were still a hit in the US. At the time, some friends and I liked the MMPR action scenes, but hated the beautiful trendy American date-bait teenagers cast for the American version. It wasn’t until later that I found out that the Japanese version featured beautiful trendy Japanese date-bait teenagers.

Oh well.

When you gotta save Japan,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Remember when Special Agent Dale Cooper sold out and did coffee commercials in Japan?

Let me refresh yr memory.









It’s a four-part mystery explained and wrapped up in two minutes – half of which is spent extolling the virtues of Georgia Coffee.

Now THAT’S storytelling.

And anyway, it makes about as much sense as Twin Peaks ever did.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was a huge fan of Twin Peaks when it aired. But it did kind of lose the plot a third of the way through Season 2. And the less said about Fire Walk With Me the better.

Still, I regard Agent Cooper as one of the greatest TV characters ever created.

FUN FACT: Georgia Coffee wasn’t happy with the results of this campaign. Consequently, plans for a second series of commercials were scrapped.

It’s true,

This is dF


defrog: (science!)
Yr F*** Yeah 21st Century lede of the day:

Yr F*** Yeah 21st Century lede of the day.

Here's a photo of the robot.



I linked to the above article mainly for the headline. More detailed articles are here and here.

Yr plastic pal who’s fun to be with,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
I’ve had mixed feelings about Daft Punk for awhile. I enjoyed their debut, which added a welcome element of retro funk to the techno scene at the time. Then they decided what they really wanted was to play disco love songs, at which point they got a little less interesting for me. 

For their “comeback” album, they haven’t changed their musical direction so much as expanded the palette with strings, brass, live drums and plenty of guest stars. The result is a very organic sounding album.

In some ways it’s an improvement, though the extensive use of vocoders and Autotune (presumably both an extension of the disco aesthetic and the duo’s insistence in pretending to be robots) can get grating, if only because everyone does that now. But there are plenty of highlights, the centerpiece of which (for me, anyway) is their homage to Giorgio Moroder.



Meanwhile, the other big dance-album event of the year – at least in Japan – is the new album from Denki Groove, who have been around longer than Daft Punk and have been more prolific, but have more in common with Kraftwerk than Moroder.

I tend to like their singles, and their new album has its moments. But too often it seems a little average. You can dance to it, but you can’t always groove to it.

Then again, like the new Daft Punk, it could grow on me. Also, no Autotune, which is a plus.

I’d share a track from the album with you, but it’s illegal unless you live in Japan.

So here’s some cover art for you.



Get lucky,

This is dF


defrog: (Mocata)
Coming soon to a theatre near me: a film about a high school student who gets superpowers from wearing ladies underwear. 

Of course it’s from Japan.



Based on the popular satirical manga.

It says a lot about me that I’d rather see this than Man Of Steel.

Give me yr panties,

This is


defrog: (Default)
A pachinko parlor in Shinjuku. 



A music store and a staircase in Ginza.

 RANDOM GINZA 04 photo 2013-05-23124805_zps0c21aa7b.jpg

A shrine on a side street around the corner from my hotel.

SIDESTREET SHRINE 01 photo 2013-05-23135648_zpsd0282e23.jpg

SIDESTREET SHRINE 02 photo 2013-05-23135700_zps0d83ba3e.jpg

And a few more things you can see here if yr so inclined.

Not much else to report, except that music store there? I spent a lot of time in it. The same can be said for Tower Records, Kinokuniya and Yaesu Book Centre. Because, as you know, my idea of sightseeing is hitting all the bookstores and record stores in town. 

And so much for Tokyo. It was too short a stay, and I hope it’s not another eight years before I get to go back.

Sayonara,

This is dF


defrog: (Mocata)
I am back from Tokyo.

I was there for a conference. I got bored. So my note-taking got a little sidetracked.

Sample page:

Talk slowly please …

And now, the Eagles perform “Desperado”. Yes, again …

Rugby! Zippers! Amway! Data centers! Number Six! Augmented reality! Facial recognition cosmetics! Bon Jovi! Adele! LOTS of Adele!

How do I stay awake? Easy – I pretend the panel is actually Traci Lords, Catherine Bach, Judy Landers and Kitten Natividad. Yes, my questions get off-topic. Can’t be helped.

Sing with me! “Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu!”

Everyone gets a bento box! F*** YEAH BENTO!

Eliminate the buddy system! Every crumb for himself! It’s what Ayn Rand would have wanted.

When things start to fall apart, have an exit strategy. You don’t want to be here when the whole shithole goes up. Sterno!

I am not an investment banker. I am a tax collecter. That way people like me more.

Who turned off the AC? SABOTAGE! Where are the elevators? ELEVATOR CAMOUFLAGE!

Leave the receivers where they are. Turn them off – they’re as radioactive as an old joke.

Our building is so earthquake-proof you won’t even know there’s a natural disaster going on outside unless you look out the window.

Wet bulb! Dry bulb! Evaporator pad! Recirculative cooler! Blower!

Blower? I hardly know her. HEYOOOOOOOO!

DC consolidation – restructure Congress, White House and Supreme Court into a single building with three offices: one for each branch. Think of the savings! At least $138m a year! SMALL GOVT!

And so on.

Wake me when it’s over,

This is dF


defrog: (devo mouse)
I am in you. 

Specifically, I am in this tiny hotel room next to the Ginza.



Please enjoy the view.



It’s been awhile. The last time I set foot in Tokyo was probably nine or ten years ago. I’ve been to Japan a few times since then, but not Tokyo.

I used to travel here pretty regularly. I had a lot of fun. Of course, my idea of “fun” is spending a few hours in Tower Records Shinjuku looking for new Japanese bands. But there was also that time we went to a nightclub in Roppongi where they had a Beatles impersonation band called The Parrots. Musically they sounded just like the real thing. The stage banter was less so, though mainly because it’s hard to imagine John Lennon speaking Japanese.

There won’t be any of that this trip, probably – I’m only here for a couple of days. But there will be a Tower Records visit. You bet.

No music no life,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
He needs no introduction.



[Via Space Ghost Zombie]

Going native,

This is dF

defrog: (Default)
But we do like the Caramelldansen.



Wave yr hands in the air,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)


[Via Scrotum Coat]

Buzz killer,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
I have returned from Japan.

I have photos.

They’re probably good for at least a dozen posts. One day I may actually post them all. But for now it seems like too daunting a task, for various reasons.

Anyway, suffice to say it was a very busy week – although the reason I didn’t post anything whilst I was there wasn’t because I didn’t have time so much as I didn’t have any Internet connection.

Well, not one to speak of. As it happened, my hotel had free Internet in the rooms – but only if yr laptop has an Ethernet port.

And there I was with my new Mac Air, which is Wi-Fi only.

And there I was in a hotel whose Wi-Fi options were limited to either a pay service that only worked about 40% of the time, or a free service that either gave you 10 minutes of connectivity every three hours, or unlimited access provided you (1) let them spam you for six months and (2) provided them with a proper email address (i.e. no Webmail), after which you had to check yr email to confirm that it was yr email address – which you couldn’t do because you couldn’t access the Internet to confirm the email address until you’d confirmed yr email address by checking yr email.

See what they did there?

There was also the option of the coin-operated Internets in the lobby.

WHAT METERED INTERNET LOOKS LIKE, Hilton Sea Hawk Hotel, Fukuoka, Dec 2011

Ha ha. Very funny, Hilton.

Yes. So I had very little connectivity for the whole week. Which was a fine lesson in how the Internet has permeated our lives and how challenging it is to do without it, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

The lesson: from now on I’m taking my four-year-old Macbook on trips because my new laptop is too advanced for some countries. (Or at least I’ll make a point of checking hotel web sites to make sure they have Wi-Fi in the f***ing rooms first.)

Okay. Broadcasting resumes.

Online and loving it,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)


[Via Kaijusaurus]

Which I’m posting not because I feel sorry for Godzilla, but because I’m off to Japan tomorrow for a week of more telephones-related shenanigans.

Specifically, I’ll be in Fukuoka, a city I’ve never been to before. And while it’s a business trip, it’s also my first trip to Japan in six years. I’ve missed it. It’ll be nice to go back. Also, the bridal unit will be going with me, which will be nice.

My dance card is pretty full, so livebloggery will be sporadic. But if LJ gets hit by another DDoS attack, you won’t notice anyway.

Off to save Japan,

This is dF



defrog: (Default)
And here’s what I watched this weekend: a ninja babe fighting a horny latex alien.




It’s from a film called Alien Vs Ninja. The title speaks for itself. As does the scene, really.

Real ultimate power,

This is dF

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