Friday, March 21, 2014

Japan Nite NYC 2014

Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and Sakura Matsuri is coming its way. Yeah, I said that already and am because I am planning a tour this spring. Sakura Con would be nice but I guess not. Anyway, let's talk about Japan Nite.

It's our first time attending to Japan Nite and it was mentioned from Sunrise Fest which is 2012. I thought I should attend but I guess not. Then in the year 2013, we didn't go. As for us we attend into j-Summit New York, Stairway to the Dream, NY de Volunteer, and other Japan related concerts. We also mention that I am not familiar with any of these bands so it's another reason why I should come to Japan Nite. They aren't locally so they are most likely to come over from Japan and play in the United States.

As the story began, Coat and Bag Check is the difficulty because I got too much stuff and bags aren't allowed in the concert rooms at all. Probably a security reason but there is reasons why. As soon you enter the concert room, the first thing I went to is the J-POP female band Starmarie. They were idols like Morning Musume which is similar and they are managed by a licensed third-party. Reni Mimura is also licensed by a third-party company Aspire Communications. I knew I had to buy their stuff, but before that they were looking at my company ID badge attached to the VIP SpringFest NY shirt. Anyone is born reading Japanese is able to read Japanese on my company ID badge. I told Starmarie about myself. After the merchandise I brought, I wanted a picture with the idols and I did. What a great start with me.

Let's review the bands played at Japan Nite 2014. First off is Jungles!!! Jungles is a Japanese girl band from Tokyo Japan and plays rock music. I had to say that Jungles wasn't so bad so I kind of enjoyed it comparing with Bala or The Suzan. Jungles is kind of cool though!

Next up is Zarigani dollar as titled Zarigani$ which is another girl band but only 2 members which is a guitarist and a drummer. They can rock on to the audience as well as fans you see here. Zarigani$ is another great band but I have no interests in following them.

Third performer on the list is Happy. It's a male band that plays rock music but I am not interested in getting to know them or to follow them. Happy is one of those bands I can enjoy but not a fan of the boy band.

Fourth performer on the Japan Nite list is Starmarie. Starmarie is very interesting and sings J-POP music as well as their dancing and of course every J-POP music can use some dancing skills to it. They are also so kawaii too and is reason why I came to Japan Nite. I had a lot of fun with the J-POP girl band but at least its good entertainment. And would you know that some female J-POP idols are also into fashion and modeling too?

And the last one is Vampillia which is the worse one I ever watch but the band is from Japan. First of all, the guy in a guitar was almost nude except his black thong and has tattoos all over his body. The only girl on the band is a violinist and she was part of that concept. This never ending music nonsense gets tiring and wondering when the song is going to end. Guess what, it goes on, and on, and on, and won't stop! Not to mention the guy in a meat costume has the worse scary vocals. And would you think that nude guy jumping in a garbage can from 3 feet high would be improving the audience. It's a risky move and it's a stupid stunt. Vampillia is a corny band and I would never be interested in buying product or their stupid music.

Once Japan Nite stage is closed, I chose to talk to a few people from Jungles. The first person I talked to smiled at me then hugs me after conversation. Wow, I am making a friend already. The second person I spoke to seems to be really drunk when in conversation but it's hard talking to people like that. I had to say that was a good conversation among me. Some of my friends was never extremely drunk and I know from my experience. I talked to a few people while they're drinking. Then I took a photo of the band but next time I am buying product from Jungles. Then continuing with one of the Zarigani$ members but didn't take long to be in conversation and finally, Starmarie. I told Starmarie that it was nice meeting them and they're very good. I gave them all hugs before I leave but I would never see them again and it's my only shot. Since they're from Japan, its hard meeting people like Starmarie and someday I'll be visiting Japan for Norika Fujiwara. Starmarie will be visiting America again very soon.

I got my bags and went to the bathroom. I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye to the second person I talked to from Jungles so I was actually looking for her. She found me and say my goodbyes to her and kissed my hand. My reaction is to kiss her back which is in her face. I said to myself, what I have done! But she was surprised while the first person seen it. She also gave me a hug, but I was too nice to her. That makes me wonder if I ever see Jungles again because I became interested in friendship.

I got home with my valuables from Starmarie are collected. It was an awesome night for me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

SpringFestNY 2014


Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and Sakura Matsuri is coming its way. As you know, we went SpringFestNY 2014 as VIP members who include a free Pocky, Ramune, a T-Shirt, and access to Voice Actors. This year is a lot more different than last year and the dealer's room didn't have any unusual merchandise but some of them are fan arts of anime. Insectduel's Domain is prohibited of snapping pics at their artwork and is a copyright and piracy reasons. About most of the time I was hanging around the Dealer's room which I began first because the open ceremony didn't come up. Argh, it didn't improve already.

But the best part of being a VIP member is to meet up with the Voice Actors in another building on the fourth floor. There's Kira Buckland, Mike Pollack, Bill Rogers, and Greg Houser. Unlike most conventions, there aren't many and New York Comic Con is expensive which you are only allowed to spend money on them. However, we have tried to make a reservation for the Starlight Garden Maid Cafe but for some reason, we were on their block list. We don't know why but we know for a fact that they probably learned it from Otakon but only regular members are only allowed. We are not coming to Starlight Garden Maid Cafe to violate the rules but we weren't invited anyway. What a shame!

We went to the concert for The Wild Tonberries and Uzuhi. Once again, Tsubasa wasn't included because of personal reasons but hey, it's really hard this time. Someday Tsubasa will join but we had no idea when. This year, I chose not to enter the Ramune drinking contest because of schedule so I didn't qualify this year. Drink up! This year, there's a Gym Leader room so my friend has already won 8 badges. Cool huh! The rest of the Saturday is just some DJ dance party. Sometimes I get bored even with someone. I forgot that it's mostly for young people so adults usually get bored of this.

Then there's day 2 of SpringFest. We went to Mike Pollack's Q & A panel, very interesting, but not comparing with MAGFest's panel though. Since we cannot go to Starlight Garden Maid Cafe, we went to the concert room again and the band Honey is an okay band but only if they make more original songs because they only have two of them.

All most all the time I went to the Dealer's Room, the Cafeteria, upstairs to the Third Floor, and the other side of the building for certain Facebook friends. Guess what, they aren't there! Next up is Sneko which they perform flawlessly and then the Japanese rock band, The Asterplace. This band performs much similar to Uzuhi and they're from Tokyo Japan. I can see why The Asterplace is such a great band because I met them a few times including j-Summit New York. After the show is done, I brought the CD and the autographed poster. Next story, Japan Nite NYC 2014 and this story is just getting started.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

3-11-related events in 2014

Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and Sakura Matsuri is coming its way. Let's talk about the 3-11 events and the first I am going to talk about is the 3rd Annual Sunrise Fest produced by Stairway to the Dream Entertainment. The event is taken place at the Bowery Electric this year rather than the Public Assembly in Brooklyn. This time, there aren't many goodies only merchandise since The Bowery Electric is such a small venue. Let's start with the show shall we. To me, Muteki is really cool but it's too bad that band doesn't interest me so let's move on to another which is Wafoo.

Wafoo which is Japanese fusion band and I haven't seen them especially Yuuki in a long time. Usually I did saw her with the Uzuhi band, did she? I don't remember. I kind of like their fusion and is really heartwarming to listen to.

Black Lotus is such a cool rock band too, it's too bad I am not interested in becoming friends of the band or to hang out with them and besides I already have a close friend of a singer and a songwriter. So Narina and the other members of the Black Lotus band just really isn't my type, only their music. I remember the time that NoriceuR was a great band from Narina for some reason; it's been taken down since Billy left.

Mika Mimura was such a great Vibraphone and Marimba player. Mika was the whole reason why I followed her from Banda Magda in the first place until Sumie Kaneko comes along. With Mika Mimura performing, so is her friends which they're also fans of her. Now I got to look at their shirts and this is the shirts that Mika mentioned at her Indiegogo fundraising for a Dreamii album. Before I get to her new album, let's discuss about Robin's Egg Blue.

You know how much of Robin's Egg Blue with vocal singer Atsumi with her partner Masashi is such a great band, not to mention good friends of the artists. Kind of to think of it, I think Atsumi's hair is growing back so quickly so it looks a little long but still short. Don't you remember when Atsumi's hair is long and brown-haired? Maybe that YouTube video Big Flower from Robin's Egg Blue will get the answers. 2 other members are joining Atsumi's band but I don't know them very well. I think Robin's Egg Blue is trying to get their own members on bass or drums.

After Robin's Egg Blue finished playing, now I get to go to their merchandise and buy Mika's new album Dreamii. Here's where the mistake goes and I'll explain. I was trying to buy the Dreamii CD album and I have a $20 bill. Both of these albums cost $20 that includes both Precious and Dreamii. Unlike Reni Mimura which I brought it at her merch a year ago back in January 2013, her Sakura and Hybrid Girl CD's can bring you down to $10 and I don't understand why both CD's cost the same as her first English album Sakura. Mika Mimura's discounted CD prices make a lot of sense. Back with the story, since I had Precious already I had to get Dreamii. Unfortunately, Gosha didn't have a $5 bill to break it. Why can't he ask the bartenders which are common sense or another merchant next to him? BIG MISTAKE and ended up asking Mika. I just saw a $5 bill from another merchant and he couldn't do that. I can understand that it's going to Mika Mimura's pockets but he could have at least asked the bartender to split it. This happens every time I'm buying a CD from a specific musician and didn't have any change to split. Singer Aki's merchant successfully had full of change inside the box and that is why I have Aki's CD back in February.

So I ended up having the CD freely and make me shameless. I think part of it is also my fault for not thinking clearly and it's so hot in the lower level while it's cold outside. So I did have bottled waters earlier before the 3rd band. I should have got the bottled water first before I get Mika Mimura's Dreamii CD album. You know, I forgot that I did donated $15 via Indiegogo to support Mika Mimura to distribute her new album Dreamii but walking away with an unpaid CD just makes me feel stupid. I do I care about Mika Mimura's royalties or is the music I want to listen for enjoyment. To me, it doesn't work anymore. Oh by the way, it's autographed!

After the CD along with the next band The Ricecookers, I knew I saw a familiar Japanese female cute looking face. It's not Reni Mimura, she would never come without notice but her dancers did. Guess what, it's Yuko. Yuko gave me a shocking look at me and I told her what she is doing here. The music is too loud but I cannot understand her English accent or her true Japanese. The next few minutes before I talk to Atsumi, she's already gone away. What a shame! Sigh, I have a suspicious feeling that something went horribly wrong and does not communicate with me anymore. Yuko doesn't appreciate me than Lulla. Everything I do she discards it. The only thing Yuko does appreciate is my photos I taken and not come from Insectduel's Domain which I actually admined.

Next band is Uzuhi. Tsubasa cannot make it this year but you should look up their Instagram to explain why. There's nothing much to say, then there's the last one called Brown Rice Family. I had to leave immediately because I have to get home on time for work and go to the Labor Ready office early in the morning. Someday when that time comes, I'll tip Mika Mimura $15 when she performs at LIC bar again. I did tip Lulla for her music sometimes when she's needed.

I have come a long way with great friends that are singers and songwriters but I want to meet up with IRI and Canny Ann once again. Last Tuesday is the choir singer from Middle Church at East Village I haven't met in a while and usually performs at Tomi Jazz. That one is Yuka Mito. She performs Jazz and some Japanese songs. I had to say that Yuka is a good vocal singer with standard Jazz even though she sings some Japanese songs honoring the Japan 3/11 Earthquake and Tsunami. I was to surprise to see Tabu I think that's his name who’s a piano player and friends of Lulla. I decided to avoid drinking alcohol at all times during this month so I ordered Green Tea. By the way it's $12 music charge at Somethin' Jazz Club and is a $10 restaurant with the minimum you can go to is $6.

I already brought Yuka's CD when I first come to her gig at Tomi Jazz, now this one. I should come to Yuka Mito only when needed and probably usually performs every 2 months. We will see! I hope you like this picture and I should thank someone who holds a camera for me.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sundown at 29

Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and I turned 29 years old since last Saturday. I've been moving mattresses all day from 10 to 12 hours a day. That's a lot of work and I mean heck. Let's move on with February 28th, 2014.

It's been a while for me to go to PIANOS in the Showroom since Lulla Miyuki plays in the upstairs lounge every time I come there. But believe it or not it's totally different. The showroom lounge is the only level where you buy drinks only and sit around and watch it up close and not to mention some drums and speakers. My last visit in the showroom is The Suzan. Just like in most concert venues in the bar, you pay the admission fee to tally up the musician you want to see. In that case, Mariko and she gets paid a lot of fans.

Mariko already arrived as soon as I came in. As usual getting to know her new friends or should I say fans because unlike Lulla Miyuki which is a friend of mine, Mariko is just a fan base musician. Her tomboyish style always gets in the way but her hair never kept her eyes open. What is this, she plays guitar with her hair covered? You can never stop enjoying her music because it is an addictive by fans in popular demand. After the show, fans are urging to buy her music and getting to know her. I think Reni Mimura was almost the same but Mariko is even better than Reni. I even told the Mariko's mom which she did came from Boston that she's a great singer.

It's 2014 and I really miss Canny Ann because I can't use Twitter very well. At least Canny isn't so tomboyish and her English is completely broken. Atsumi from Robin's Egg Blue isn't that tomboyish either but at least she's bilingual in both Japanese and English.

Next day, Staten Island for Cadre. There is a reason why I cam over for Cadre which includes Hiroko Otani and other members of the band. It didn't take me long for me to visit from the Whitehall terminal. At least it's the best Birthday I ever went in my whole life. Hiroko has telling me news I couldn't believe so I am keeping this only to myself. As usual, frustrating to get home from the St. George terminal.


Finally, last Monday is when I went to Tomi Jazz. No music charge but I got prepared. This time I have lots of cash and ordered one food like this one in the photo, by the way it's $5 minimum. Okay, I don't understand in some restraunts like Subway, Hakata Tonton, McDonalds, Checkers/Rallys, Maid Cafe NY or whatever I went to, why do they ask me if I need a drink. I think they all going after my money or they want me to stay hydrated. Anyway, Misa Ogasawara came by and welcome me in and this time her pianst Senri Oe. I may ordered food with a cooking Wine ingrediant, but I would not drink any of the Wine or whatever alcoholic drinks they're selling and you must be 21+ years and over to purchase otherwise Tomi Jazz is really screwed. Misa is such a great vocal singer which is why she's the vocal teacher. The rest of the story is too personal and I didn't want to bother telling it. That covers the blog for this week. Next one will be Sunrise Fest and no, I am not going to meet Mariko.