March 16, 2009

Japan's Longest Slide

The slide comes in at an incredible 82 meters in length and is on the top of a mountain with a commanding view of western Kyushu's coastal plain. Watch me scream like a little girl, and have the best slide ride of my life. I haven't had this much fun since my first trip to 6-flags in Illinois. The journey to the end of the slide was not with out its dangers. I dodge trees, try not to smash into the sides, and deal with severe vibration that caused me to lose feeling in my rump.

If you are up to the task, I challenge you to respond with a video of your longest slide ride.

March 12, 2009

Radwimps New Album

The Radwimps are releasing a new album this week entitled,アルトコロニーの定理. I can't say that I listen to a lot of Jpop or Japanese music in general, but I am slowly finding out about new groups. The main source being the requests played over the school intercom during lunch and cleaning time. I can't believe we didn't do this when I was in Jr. high and high school. On second thought, it was probably better that we didn't because as soon as people started playing rap songs teachers would preemptively put a halt to it. They don't need to give parents another reason to complain.

とにかく, the Radwimps are really talented and not what I was expecting from a mainstream Japanese music group counsidering the standard sappy Jpop songs that sound likes variations of the same master track. The lead singer actually sings in English quite frequently on the tracks. Normally, this might give a native English speaker reason to pause or listen and laugh, but this is not the case. Yōjirō Noda (野田洋次郎) lived in America for 4 years and has a pretty good grasp of the English language in his lyrics. Not to mention, he has a great voice, varied singing styles, and meaningful lyrics. Here are some songs that give you a taste of their style: Me Me She and 有心論 (yuushinron)

I was talking with a friend and she had already bought the new album, which came out on the 11th of March in Japan. She liked it, but said something about the lyrics were written 2 years ago so things have changed a little bit now. I'll have to pick the album up, aka probably rent it from Tsutaya, to see what she means. describes their style as:
eccentric, with combinations of melodic choruses reminiscent of Mr.Children, the rapped style of Dragon Ash, and the funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
I would agree with all of the above.

On a side note, I was talking to the same friend about their songs and how they sung in English and Japanese. She turned to me and said, "yeah, but don't you think there is a little too much English?" I had to pause for a second and then say, "ahem, I don't think so, but I speak English so...." Weird and kind of funny moment.