Buck-Tick Special Boxes

Smoking hot news has just tangoed and djangoed forth from the Buck-Tick press, and the 25th anniversary mail magazine even sent me a coy email warning me that "the website will be updated at midnight" and that I should "check the main page for more details." Even better than a Halloween scavenger hunt!

Anyhow, the announcement is:

In honor of Buck-Tick's giving all their old labels the finger, their old labels (Victor, Mercury, and RCA Ariola) will be cooperating and releasing two "special box" best-of collections on the same day in March, 2012.

The special boxes will have the scintillating and creative titles of "Catalogue Victor-Mercury 87-99" and "Catalogue Ariola (the label formerly known as BMG) 00-10."

The track lists of each CD will be decided by fan vote, with the voting scheduled to take place from November 1st to November 30th at 23:59 PM.

If, like last time, they ask you to list your home prefecture but you don't live in Japan, show solidarity with the victims of the disaster by saying you live in Miyagi, or Fukushima. Especially if you know, you actually live in Colorado's plutonium belt, or in a 3-floor apartment with a glass facade, a garden and a pool a mere 5 minute drive from historic Pripyat, because in that case you will have earned your solidarity giving rights good and well.

Also, if you just became a Buck-Tick fan five minutes ago: yay, welcome to the club, Buck-Tick are an indies band now and they need your moneyz. But be aware--first, fans voted "Muma -the Nightmare-" onto the last fan-voted collection. It has more than had its chance in the spotlight, please do not vote for it again. Second, Buck-Tick also has a lot of wonderful songs that are not "Dress," 'Romance," "Kuchizuke," "Baby, I Want You," "Cream Soda," or "Kimi no Vanilla." Which is not to say don't vote for these songs anyway, but, there are a lot of other good ones that are really worth a listen. For some recommendations on where to start, see this post.

P.S. Special thanks to Veronica Mendez, for being The Blog-Tick Phenomenon's 100th follower!


Buck-Tick Won't Die

Next time you guys think the band is breaking up because you use Google translate to try and read Japanese, PLEASE email me instead.

Buck-Tick is NOT breaking up.

Buck-Tick is in fact, starting a new record label called Lingua Sounda. No doubt they have decided to do this because the godforsaken Japanese major labels still think that men with crow's feet can't sell records. But, seeing as Buck-Tick has given the finger to every label that tried to tell them what to do before, I'm honestly quite surprised it took them this long to strike out on their own. Here's hoping they sign some other artists as well. And quit it with the creepy figurines.

Sakurai Atsushi, on the formation of Lingua Sounda, says,

"We extend our deepest gratitude to the fans who have supported us thus far.
We have our music, and we have Buck-Tick.
From now until we die, no, even after we die, Buck-Tick's music will continue to live.
Whatever happens, we hope you stay behind us. And thank you."

There, you have it from Acchan now, so you don't need it from me.

This has been a public service announcement from your friendly Not Greatest Translator Cayce.

Btw, if you are not in the Fish Tank but you want the Fish Tank only DVDs anyway, my offer to sell them to you at a discount markup is real. If you're interested, email me. Themadaristocrat at gmail.


2011.10.12 Gothic Diary of a Fetish Dad

A translated excerpt from Gothic Diary of a Fetish Dad, the blog of Genet from Auto-Mod. Will I translate Genet's blog regularly? Sorry, but no. But I thought you ought to read this one.

Today I Pigged Out on Edamame From Tochigi Prefecture (haha)

Yesterday's nightcap snack was a whole mountain of edamame!

Last night, my mom sent me a big huge bag of edamame that she picked by hand and bought from her neighbor who is a farmer, so I had them with my Hoppy, lightly boiled.

My family's house is in the southern part of Tochigi Prefecture, and I'm not sure of the details about whether or not there's radioactive contamination there, but while I suspect it's probably less than the government-set limit, I doubt if it's completely zero...!!

So today the radioactive contamination spreads to my stomach as well, and crazier and crazier rumors are raging, and still the Japanese government continues to hide everything.

And the media's going along with it, too...

But then sometimes, they release information after the fact! And then everyone is shocked by how high the levels of contamination are! (haha)

However, the anti-anti-nuclear movement doesn't seem to feel a damn thing when they hear the terrifying truth as the government slowly and quietly releases it (hah)

This goes for the food, and it goes for their proposal to raise the set age for receiving a federal pension to 70...are they trying to feed us poison to kill us all before age 70 so that they never have to pay us anything?

The whole reason the pension system went bankrupt in the first place is because this country put such an incoherent pension system in place, and Japanese nuclear policy all resulted from the government being too close to TEPCO, so it's really not surprising.

When you trace it all back to it's origins, it's the government that has ruined the nation of Japan, and the Liberal Democratic Party, who were the original instigators of all the bad policy are now pretending like they don't know a thing about it.

So that's how we end up all contaminated with radiation, and when we get too old to work we get thrown out on the street, I guess. Looks like Japan isn't going to be such a first-world country anymore!!

Whatever I eat, I just assume it's all poisonous, but obviously if I don't eat I'm gonna die (hah) So I guess I just keep living, and then when I get too old to work I'll keel over and die by the roadside.

So that's why I'm going to taste my fill of the blessings of nature in Japan, I'm going to sit in open-air hot springs under the beautiful sky, I'm going to drink a lot of sake made from delicious Japanese rice, and, well, if I'm internally contaminated, so be it.

I know it makes me sound like a complete asshole to say it, but how did it come to this? Whose fault is it that it came to this? I'm not going to forget it ever, it's etched in my heart forever and the Japanese people shouldn't forget it either.

Anyway, that's why I'm eating this mountain of delicious edamame that my loving mother sent me that she picked with her own hands.

Yes, this is the man who has an obsession with Hoppy, this is Genet, signing off!

...oh and I forgot to mention I also made an appetizer with baby tomatoes and feta cheese. When I put anchovies on top it came out tasting pretty good!


Scream for the Truth

Following in the footsteps of long-time anti-nuclear activist Sakamoto Ryuichi, Dir en grey have launched a campaign called "Scream for the Truth," to demand that the Japanese government tell the truth about the extent of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima crisis. While none of the independent data and expert opinions I have looked at suggests remotely to me that radiation levels are so high that Japanese people "are at risk to not be able to able to travel to the USA or other countries in the future," it's very true that the Japanese government is not being honest with the public about the extent of the danger.

For one thing, clouds of fallout were and continue to be blown on the wind to other parts of the country from Fukushima.

For another thing, there is a hot zone extending from Ibaraki Prefecture through southern Saitama and into eastern Tokyo, and parts of this zone would have been declared evacuation zones according to the standards set after the Chernobyl accident.

Furthermore, huge amounts of radioactive water were dumped into the Pacific Ocean, and continue to spread.

Most worryingly, contamination of the food chain is likely to be widespread. Multiple reports have already come out about contaminated beef and tea, but testing on various foods in various prefectures has been conducted sporadically according to varying standards, and the results have not been well publicized (though you can view many food inspection results on the web sites of the various prefectures where the foods originated.) Furthermore, the radiation levels the Japanese government has declared "safe" for foods are still hundreds of times higher than international standards.

Also, the Japanese government has failed to adequately explain the difference between being exposed to radiation externally in the form of gamma rays vs. ingesting radioactive particles. Over the long time, ingestion of radioactive particles is a lot more worrying. Elements like cesium and strontium have long half-lives and can stay in the body for months, years, or decades, where they bombard the cells around them with a constant stream of radiation, increasingly the likelihood of cancer-causing mutations. But the Japanese government has failed to explain this risk, and also failed to instruct citizens on measures they can take to limit their exposure, or even provide detailed data about what places should be avoided.

A lot of Japanese musicians have been criticizing the government by signing onto petitions and anti-nuke campaigns (or simply bitching on their blogs), but it's nice to see someone making a big public stand. I hope more people keep jumping on the bandwagon. There have already been a number of anti-nuke demonstrations in downtown Tokyo sponsored by No Nukes More Hearts and other groups. If you are in Tokyo, we'll welcome you at the next one. If you don't live in Japan, in addition to sending us your prayers, the next time someone rolls their eyes at the health dangers of radiation, set them straight, please. I certainly don't advocate hysteria, but this is a big problem, it's not going away, and the first step to finding ways to combat it is admitting that it exists. (Also I might add that as time passes low levels of contamination will increasingly be showing up outside Japan. Fukushima is now a global problem. But that's also precisely why if you are planning on visiting Japan for a short period as a tourist you should not be unduly worried, though I'd advocate steering well clear of Fukushima prefecture.)

Sorry to be a downer, but all of us living in Japan are having to think about this every day and a lot of people are still having trouble speaking out. However, I don't feel comfortable remaining silent. Way to go Dir en grey.

Also, if you are interested in a lot of cogent, straight-spoken, easy-to-understand information and commentary on the Fukushima crisis and the world politics of nuclear power, try watching some of the videos on this website. The October 2nd update should be of particular interest to people hoping to debunk the assumption that the Fukushima accident is the result of Japanese "cultural issues," and people looking for more information on the ways the nuclear industry exerts a huge amount of influence over the bodies supposed to be regulating it.

The data to which I linked above was taken from a variety of independent tests (conducted by citizens cooperating with independent labs.) However, take all commentary on the Alexander Higgins blog with a grain of salt--while he includes many useful links to relevant news articles, in his own commentary he uses overblown sensationalist rhetoric and takes certain information out of context to blow it out of proportion, so keep your hats on.