Skip to main content

Yes, that is the notorious “Welcome to WordPress” message, or the first program you create when learning any new language, just to prove the installation was successful. This is not my first post, but it is the first post on a brand new server, with the things listed as older having been imported from the previous server. Some of which were migrated from an older server still, by hand since there was no working import/export function that didn’t include copying out an entire MySQL database at that time. Hopefully this new environment will be much easier to use than the old one, and I will get back into regular postings here.

I was not expecting the fusion of Evanescence and The Wagakki Band, but they have put together some really tasty music. The first track is the Evanescence hit Bring Me To Life posted on their YouTube Channel, with the two lead singers sharing the vocals and Wagakki Band bringing their unique sound to the party. The second track is Sakura Rising from Wagakki Band’s new album Tokyo Singing, which just came out a few weeks ago.

There has been some amazing music released during the pandemic, which has been one of the main things helping me get through the year. So far, the tracks from this session have been the best of them from my perspective.

Yoko Kanno is doing the soundtrack for the Live Action version of Cowboy Bebop, and produced SEATBELTS doing this Virtual Session of the shows original theme song TANK! That wasn’t SEARBELT’S only recent virtual session, they also did Space Lion from the same show, LION, The Real Folk Blues, Don’t bother none, and the list goes on. Having the iconic compositions of Yoko Kanno (with possibly some new tunes when the show finally comes onto the small screen) and the Jazz presentation of Seatbelts in the new incarnation of Cowboy Bebop is just one of the reasons I can’t wait for this program to finally air.

Post updated again, about a year later! Everything previously posted has expired, and all the videos previously linked have evaporated. But you can still read about it if you land on this post, just so you will know it happened. A lot of bands stepped up to the plate during the pandemic supplying free live concerts to help keep folks from going over the edge as part of the Stay Home! Stay Alive! project. BabyMetal posted some very high quality work that I am sure was being held in reserve towards a future Blu-Ray/DVD release, and while there is a good chance that may still happen, their generosity in making it freely available at a time when there were no live concerts to go to speaks volumes about their attitude. And if it was really all driven by a music company marketing rep trying to boost their market share, that certainly doesn’t do anything to lesson its impact and therapeutic value on fans worldwide.

Post updated, because they ARE SHOWING THEM AGAIN! It doesn’t end there, because on May 10th, 2020 – 11:00PM JST / 4:00PM CEST / 10:00AM EDT / 7:00AM PDT they will post another one: LIVE AT WEMBLEY – ONLINE LIVE. Recorded at THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY on April 2nd, 2016, this will be another streamed-for-free live concert available to watch for 24 hours only.

BabyMetal just posted (15 hours ago as I write this) their Live at Tokyo Dome – BLACK NIGHT and LIVE AT TOKYO DOME – RED NIGHT concerts, in their entirety, for everyone trapped at home around the world to enjoy! Part of their Stay Home! Stay Metal! project, this was recorded live over two nights in 2016, and is being streamed for this extremely brief period (about one day; the streaming schedule is 8:00 PM (JST) April 11th – 7:00PM (JST) April 12th, 2020, so you still have about 8 hours to enjoy it before it evaporates). The two shows had completely different setlists, so between them you get about 3 full hours worth of BabyMetal goodness! I hope you manage to find this wonderful gift before it is no longer available, and enjoy it as much as I am.

Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are trapped at home for the next month or 3, and are looking for a productive way to spend our time or keep the kids occupied. What better way than learning new skills in something you are really interested in doing while spending no money for the training? Pluralsite is one of several companies offering such training, in their case for any kind of computer skill set you can imagine. For some of us that means training in a wide range of IT jobs that you can do remotely, which could mean additional income during the current crises. Then there are things like video game creation, 3D modeling, and programming, all across a range of platforms, that can grab the imagination of anyone who wants to become truly creative. You don’t need to give them a credit card to sign up for the free courses, just an email address, but you only have until the end of April to take the classes; come May 1st it will go back to costing money to get access to them.

Thanks to the folks at Games from Scratch for the heads up on this opportunity. I am including their YouTube video on the Pluralsite offering, where they go into some detail about what you will actually have access to there. They also mention several of the other training opportunities, such as 3 months of free classes on every aspect of making games for the Unity Game Engine with free courses, projects and tutorials to get you creating with style.

Yoko Kanno is one of the most amazing composers and band leaders ever, and it is always a treat to discover someone new singing her praises by playing her music (and yes, I do mean that literally). Back in 2009 a band called Platina Jazz got together to create covers of the best Jazz music in Anime, so I figure at least half of their music has to be created by her. Let me show off a few of their tunes so you can get an idea of who they are.

Starting off with the single most recognizable tune from Anime Jazz, Yoko Kanno’s TANK:

Then there is Inner Universe from Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex, another track composed and originally preformed by Yoko Kanno!

And another killer classic from Cowboy Bebop, Knock A Little Harder: