(PLUS $10 SHIPPING FOR EACH “SET”)

I cherished these for a long time, but it’s time to face it, I’m not gonna learn any more songs.

I ~almost~ bought a sheet feed scanner and started cutting off the bindings to scan, but I don’t have time to play guitar, so how am I supposed to spend time SCANNING things I’m never going to look at again!?!

I’m tempted to send these to people for free (one at a time) if they promise to scan each page, but I guess that’s illegal.

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.)

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".)

review: Dead End Tribute | “Song of Lunatics” (2013)

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I own none of the early Dead End albums.

I like the latter Creature Creature stuff Morrie (v) has done, and that led to the new Dead End albums of 2009 and 2012, which are pretty badass — and far cooler than this tribute album ever gets.

Problem #1: These are very ’80s hard rock tracks that no amount of production can elevate to masterpieces. Either you give in to the nostalgia, or hope the numerous skilled artists on this disc reinterpret the tracks for you. (A third option is that you never lived through the late 80s hard rock scene, and somehow avoided all exposure to it thoughout the last two decades, and love the fuck out of this cool new sound you’re hearing.)

Alas, all these songs sound like I’ve heard them a thousand — a hundred thousand — times before, not even in my own collection but just during the hour before your favorite bands take the stage and the sound guy is blasting 80s rock/metal over the club’s PA. 

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Having said that, “Spider in the Bran” (lol I’m not fixing that) managed to pluck a few nostalgia synapses in my head, tho. But the track after, “Dress Burning”, is just a lame-ass redo of a song off the aforementioned 2009 album Metamorphosis, and I’ve heard better karaoke versions of jrock songs at 3am, and not even in Tokyo but in the States! Fucking BOO.

The cali=gari track is completely powerless and ignorable. The Boris track that closes the album is a mushy, tedious mess.

Problem #2: The opening songs, with vocals by Hyde (L’Arc), Ryuichi (Luna Sea) and Kiyoharu (Kuroyume) are probably the quantifiable best, but also feel the most “wealthy”; meaning you can hear that money was spent, expertise was expended, but no one brought much heart to the studio. Hyde’s performance especially just feels so practiced and calculated, but it’s all the musicians underneath too doing a fantastic computer/like perfecto-job without any risk, no seizing the day, no going for it, just faultless robotic paycheckery… I used to like that kind of thing, now I miss the humanity.

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I had high hopes for this, because Dead End seems to be one of the few bands around that still have that magic mixture of talent and heart and CRED, and that that facet would inspire the musicians on this project to become youthful and GO FOR IT one more/last time, that these songs would be new to me (but still known quantities and familiar)… but alas. 

But I’ll go check out Dead End’s old stuff now. 

:/

Choose Your Own Greatest Hits: By the Readers of Jrocknyc

(Too lazy to actually look up what songs you guys voted up back then.) ;^_^m

Smoke Monster VAMPS! (new single)

Ken | “s” 
In Physical (live) (2010)

The studio version of this song came up on shuffle and I forgot I loved it. Never knew there was a live DVD for the album, tho knowing L’Arc I should have guessed!