music

New Vocaloid Mayu Gets December 5 Release Date, Bundled with 2-disk CD Compilation

Vocaloid producer Exit Tunes announced today that the newest Vocaloid, Mayu, will make her debut on December 5 along with the release of VOCALOID3 Library MAYU, a special package containing the Vocaloid3 software with Mayu’s voice library installed and a 2-CD compilation of Mayu tracks produced by over 30 different artists.

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Cool Japanese Music Video Brings Back 8-Bit Google Maps…Kinda

Remember Google’s 8-bit Google Maps April Fools’ prank from earlier this year?

Japanese four-piece all-female rock band, Negoto, have taken the idea to the next level by integrating their new music video with an 8-bit map of Tokyo so that it tracks the singer’s location as she goes on a grand adventure across the city.

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Your Japanese TV Commercial Favourites, All Under One Funky Beat

I think I’ve just found my new favourite YouTube channel.

Thanks to a tip-off from an awesome RocketNews24 reader, I’ve discovered Eclectic Method; audio-visual remix masters and providers of horribly funky beats, whether the sampled videos were intended for musical enjoyment or not.

The video that pulled me in, however, was the group’s fantastic Japanese TV commercial remix…

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Cassette to iPod Converter Helps ‘80s Kids Keep Their Tape Collection Alive

We all love new technology, but when the arrival of a new generation of hardware signals the end of another, it can be kind of sad.

Vinyl will always be considered classic, but VHS and audio cassettes have sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs, with MiniDiscs (remember them?), and maybe one day CDs, soon to follow.

While CD quality sound is universally recognised as being superior to MP3 music, and despite MiniDiscs still hanging on in Japan years after the west turned its back on them, highly compressed MP3 is fast becoming the format of choice for millions of people, meaning that more and more of our once-loved possessions are relegated to sitting on the shelf or in a desk drawer somewhere.

So what are we to do with those Backstreet Boys cassettes? What fate awaits forgotten Bon Jovi tapes that rattle around the glove-box of a car whose stereo no longer has a tape deck? Are we destined never again to hear their muffled warbles and grainy beats?

Help is at hand!

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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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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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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

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

Free Admission – Twelve of Tokyo’s Best Kept Secrets

Expensive Tokyo living got you down? Are you staring another three-day weekend in the face and wondering what havoc it will wreak on your wallet?

There are places to enjoy yourself for free all over Tokyo, if you know where to look. RocketNews24 has sifted through the many options and has come up with 12 suggestions that will not disappoint. Try them next time you have a last-minute date or cobwebs in your billfold! Read More

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