Deg & Maiden stickers and a L’Arc strap on a keitai, a spiked wristband, a Nanase Aikawa wristband, a Lego wristband, some uncomfortable “Fancy Rabbit” condoms, and five Kisou-era Deg buttons that I still have :)

hide tribute spirits & singles collection tab on ebay… for $8.00! 

the tribute one also has L’Arc’s “Heaven’s Drive” in it — wtf!? (Shows you how often I even looked at that one. I got it for the Luna Sea version of “scanner” back when I was covering j-rock songs with Lo-Rez in the Bowery in 1999/2000.)

Uh, and if you win this hide auction, AND the luna sea tab book auction, AND the x japan tab book auction… i’ll give you dir en grey’s GAUZE tab book for free. that’s like 30 pounds of music for the price of 3! 

Best ~Things~ of 2013 

  1. bluetooth headset - I listen to podcasts while walking to work and when watching the kids at the park. I like one ear free for SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. I like being able to replace earbuds without replacing the whole bluetooth unit. And I like to skip ads in podcasts. I use a Samsung HS3000 (no longer available) and a Sony MW600 to do all these things. They pair as effortlessly with my Note III as they did with my iPhone 4S. I clip ‘em to my shirt or coat pocket and don’t have to pull out my phone, or even take my eyes off the kids/traffic/etc, to skip ahead or pause or adjust the volume. I use these headsets everyday. I could not function without them.

  2. earbud - I use the “Far End Gear Short Buds Short Cord Single In-Ear Stereo-to-Mono Earbud” because they’re not all long and tangly (perfect for plugging in to a bluetooth headset clipped to a coat/shirt pocket!), they are sturdy and metal with a braided cable, they sound great, and crucially, they run stereo signals to mono, leaving one ear free for the aforementioned SITUATIONAL AWARENESS without losing the left channel like a cheapy mono earbud is wont to do. 

  3. headphones - Grados. SR-60s. Open (so your ears don’t get all sweaty like your BALLS, and so the music sounds livelier). Great for metal. Less than $100. Classic looks. Head-fi cred without being stupidly expensive.. And made right here in Brooklyn, less than a mile away.

  4. guitar mount - Swing String gee-tar hanger! Hang your pretty guitars on the wall like the art dat they is. 

  5. flashlight - When we go out at night, we carry these Ultrafires. Cars can see the kids crossing the street from A MILE AWAY, and if you’re attacked, you can use it to blind the attacker and then run, or bash at his skull a bit with the raised edges of the rim. (You’ll need to buy a separate charger, but we only need to charge once every 5 or 6 weeks.)

review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Coming off two years with an iPhone 4s, and I love this thing.

First, it’s big enough to really read on. Not just briefly read a tweet or listicle, but to actually READ, like, news and emails, of actual importance.

Second, SWYPE. So much better than pecking at individual keys, and it offers you ~choices~ among its predictions! Which is symbolic of the whole Apple vs Android thing.

Everyone calls these Note phone “gigantic” but they’re really not. They’re the right size for an adult’s hand and eyes. They fit in pants or jacket pockets, though I’ve taken to carrying mine in a Condor pouch [amazon] carabiner’d to a belt loop. 

The interface is speedy and smooth — I remember a couple years ago the Android phones were so jerky I eeeegh’d. No more! It’s Appley smooth.

Taking photos with this is great — the large screen makes it like you’re looking at the finished product. You can see if your subject is blinking!

Google Now kicks. siri’s. ass. In accuracy, speed, visual “yes, i’m listening” feedback… 

Getting your files s onto the device is drag-and-drop simplicity. NO iTUNES! :)

I like using the stylus at work, because you look like you’re entering important field data while all your iphone coworkers, tapping with sticky fingers, totally appear to be playing Candy Crush. 

All the apps I had on my iPhone are on my Note 3, except for Garageband, which I never used. Except, I’d like a decent offline Poker app (like Apple’s own 2008 Poker game that I bought and then they discontinued a year later so I had to install it from backups! Dicks!) and it took a while to find a really good podcast app (Pocketcasts, which I also used on my iPhone, was a bargain at $4, and the only app I had to buy outright.)

But there’s a couple imperfections.

I wish the power button wasn’t directly opposite the volume rocker, because when I squeeze the power button I inevitably squeeze the volume as well.

And in camera mode, I find I often brush my hand against the back “button” (it’s not a physical button but a touchpad sensitive thing), which closes the app when I’m trying to take a pic. But that’s happening less as I get used to that area being touch-sensitive and duly avoid it.

And I wish I could uninstall most of Samsung’s apps, but I’m not worried about space on this thing, so hiding them has been sufficient so far. 

Really glad I bought this thing. (Up front no less! $760 after tax, but on Ting, so monthly bills are ~$45/mo instead of $148/mo)


zigzo | shoudou(2013)

My recent rejuvenated obsession with Malice Mizer’s discography — particularly the short-lived Tetsu era — got me remembering that Tetsu didn’t fall off the planet. Never checked out any of his other bands until just now, so here we are with Zigzo which also features Sakura from L’Arc~en~Ciel / Creature Creature? Who knew?!

Not me!

This is no-frills rock along the lines of 9mm Parabellum Bullet, another band that I absolutely adore. There are definitely times where the drama queen tendencies of VK get to me, so I flip the coin for straight up hard driving rock ‘n’ roll. There’s a catchy poppiness to this song, but the best part is that while Tetsu has gained control of his voice over the years, there’s still that endearing wild abandon that shines through at the right moments. It provides just enough punk edge to keep it from being too cloying.

This song grabbed me pretty hard halfway through the first listen, and when I spun it again earlier today, my nearly-2-year old son rocked the fuck out for the entire thing! This is where I go back and check out the rest of these guys’ catalog.

l’arc~en~ciel’s heart (1998)

made back when they were popular, but had yet to become HUGE (which would happen a year and a half later, with ark & ray, in the glorious summer of 1999).

best tracks: the melancholicly hopeful “fate” & “loreley” and the upbeat “milky way”, the latter two of which require hearing the full song, unskipthroughed, for the full payoff.

(the “hits” are the overexposed “niji” and the sugary "winter fall".)


HYDE’s audition video for Johnny & Associates