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Friday, September 30, 2005

"Television, don't go to my head"


Last night marked Yukari’s debut on the music talk show Domoto Brothers. Titled Domoto Brothers Autumn Festival, it was a two hour “special” meant to introduce the few new regulars to the show. Although those two hours were padded out with about half an hour of ‘best of’ filler clips, the actual format of the show wasn’t exactly as I expected. The prospect of a music talk show with Yukari sitting around and offering her take on the days pop music sounded fantastic. As I started to watch though, it quickly became apparent that the reality was going to be infinity more boring.
The main point of the show seems to be to cart on a new guest every week (last night it was the turn of the deplorable housewifes choice Gou Hiromi), sit them right in front of the camera and subject them to a fairly lengthy Q and A session. Far from having the opportunity to chip in, most of the regulars were resigned to sitting around and doing nothing.
This being the first episode, the new arrivals were also put through the Q and A, and this was the only point at which Yukari was given any opportunity to participate. The questions, ranging from “What time do you get up in the morning?” (“Early!”) to “How old are you?” (“18!”) were barely scraping the mundane, although I suppose for a light entertainment show like this it was to be expected. Then that was it, she sat at the back (usually out of shot), occasionally pretending to be interested in Gou’s boring comments about how great he is. I think it'll turn out to be good promotion for H and Y now that their new single is getting ready to roll, but I think that Yukaris moment on the show may have already been and gone.

Apologies for the awful quality of the above shots. That's what you get for using pre-Victorian equipment. Yukari's necklace says 'Good Girl'.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A trip to Bread Island

This is a fairly surreal comic that H and Y wrote for the Quick Japan Halcali special issue (which featured interviews I translated a few months back). Any clue what's going on in that last frame?(!)




TRANSLATION (read left to right)

1: The story of the trip to Bread Island
2:YUKARI "Look, i'm skipping!"
3:HARUKA "Amazing!"
4:Y "What kind of dogs do you like, Haruka?"
H "I like Shiba's"*
 Y "I like Chiwawa's"
5:"Woof woof woof woof"
6:H "It's a Shiba! Let's catch it!"
Y "Yeah!"
7:H "Let's give it a name"
Y "Chibi"
8:H "Goodnight, Chibi"
9: In a strange plot development, Yukari has suddenly become the owner of a flower shop...
10:...and Haruka is selling ice-cream, shouting "It's delicious!"
11: ?!

*I don't actually know what a Shiba is, so I don't know how to translate it into English. It's written in hiragana, which suggests it's a Japanese breed of some kind.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Spammed up

It may come as a shock to your automated computer system but i'm not interested in free bodybuilding programmes or golf magazines. So I went with the only way I know how to block spam, which means that you'll have to type in a word verification thing when you leave a comment. It's annoying I know, but I just got 6 "unwanted comments" in two days and it's tough to keep on deleting them. So try it out! Leave a comment, let me know if you're one of the few who like them.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Domoto Brothers

Looks like Yukari has managed to secure herself a regualar guest spot on Fuji TV's Sunday night music talk show (New) Domoto Brothers (新・堂本兄弟), the show hosted by bland Jpop stalwarts KinkiKids. I have to confess my ignorance here and admit that i've never actually seen this show, so i'm not in much of a position to comment on whether it's worse than all the other rubbish on Japanese TV. Regardless of all that, i'll be taking a look in October, when Yukari should be putting in her first appearance. Expect screencaps and translated snippets of Y's teenage smarts at about the same time.

Update
Yukaris first appearance on the show has been penciled in for tomorrow night (29th), starting 7pm on Fuji TV as part of a 2 hour special introducing the new members to the show. Apparently this process of taking a group and inviting just one of them onto the show has been a long standing practice with Domoto Brothers, which might help to explain Harukas absence. Still though, you've got to wonder why they picked Y over H.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Candy Stripper

As they announced on BUZZ FM last night, H and Y will be gracing the stage at the Candy Stripper 10th Anniversary Party. The event will be held at ageHa in Shinkiba, Tokyo on November 20th this year. It’s lucky they mentioned it on the show though, as following up the three obvious leads for more information led to three dead ends. There’s nothing on either the Halcali site, the Candy Stripper site says “we’re selecting the acts now, stay tuned!”, and ageHa has zip to say either.
What information I could get hold of sounds odd to say the least. Apart from Halcali, Fantastic Plastic Machine is also confirmed, as is (deep breath) a fashion show highlighting Candy Stripper’s “spring collection 2006”. All of which sounds like it’s going to add up to another early evening, short set from Halcali like their last two gigs. While I’m not thrilled at the prospect of Halcali being put on in the warm up slot again, I certainly don’t think that placing them directly alongside the fashion world is a misstep, or even a surprise. It can hardly been seen as an incongruity from a band who’ve gone hand in hand with style (though never over substance) since Tandem.

UPDATE- The Candy Stripper site has been updated. Shazam!

Venue ageHa@STUDIOCOAST
Entry 4,200 yen (all standing, w/one drink)
Open 4pm/ Start 5pm
Acts SHAKALABBITS/HALCALI/meg/noodles/FPM/ "and more"


The tickets don't go on sale until October 15th.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Speaking of which

Have you heard the Boowy song B.BLUE which BABY BLUE! samples? I can't find an MP3 anywhere and it seems a waste to spend 3000 yen just to find out.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lessons learnt from the diaries of H and Y

1. The new single is going to be played first on their Buzz FM slot, although there's no indication as to when.
2. Yukari likes her name to be written as Yucali, not Yukali. Which is funny because I’ve been writing it as Yukari.
3. Their last entry is little more than an advert for the new Rip Slyme single. Come on ladies, that’s enough.
4. Their GIRLPOP FACTORY set was a far-too-short 30 minutes long.
5. If you ever send an email to my keitai, please, for the love of God, don’t replace any of the words with little pictures.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

(some) New song information

I’ve been getting another crash course in keitai (cellphone) slang from reading H&Y’s diary over at Buzz FM. “Only 4 months to go until Christmas!” is Haruka’s fairly hilarious introduction to the latest entry. The end is even better though, indicating that at last there’s some real action happening in the Halcali camp.

HALCALIの近況と言ったら、新曲を用意してますよ。9月の下旬に聴いて頂けると思います。

Speaking of what Halcali are up to, we’re working on a new song now, which
I think you’ll be able to hear at the end of September.


This is great news obviously, and maybe a sign of more concerts to come?

Turn to page 55

You might have noticed that a page on H&Y has cropped up on Wikipedia. The article has been given the unlucky tag "This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality", even though it seems to cover all the bases pretty well. A track by track look at Bacon, a brief biography, and we even get some fairly cute pieces of observational triviality:


Haruka has now got Red hair, has extended fingernails, and has grown much
more mature in Ongaku no susume from what we had previously seen her in songs
such as Tandemu.

Yukari is known for wearing her red / white / black combination cap, which is usually worn to the left or center of her head, which bears the trademark clothing brand PONY, which seem to be the trend for both Haruka and Yukari.



After reading it, it struck me as odd that something like this hadn't been submitted earlier. I think it's a fair assumption to say that Halcali seem to be a hit with the general indie crowd in the west, the hippest j-pop band to say you know, if you like. This is surely unintentional on OTF's part and would probably come as a shock to the team that styled Halcali to appeal mainly to the new batch of high school girls growing up on a diet of MTV force-fed rap and hip hop. I mean, take a glance through the BBS on their homepage if you want an idea of who's listening over here.

UPDATE- H and Y's conquest of the internet continues apace. Here's another wiki page dedicated to Halcali.

UPDATE (2)- The Wikipedia site has been updated, fleshed out, and generally made much better. Gotta love those personal touches too. "[Yuakri is] very good-looking, and now dresses in mostly fashionable Western attire."