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.

Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film, Mirai will be in theaters for a limited engagement beginning November 29th courtesy of GKIDS. They have just released another trailer for it, and I wanted to share it here. If the creators name sounds familiar but you’re not sure why, some of his previous works included The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Wolf Children, and Summer Wars.

Japanese performance powerhouse World Order has a new song online called Let’s Start WW3, and while I usually avoid anything political here (being rather seriously apolitical myself), this video is just too good to pass up. It features as always their amazing dance routines combined with excellent music and great singing, all the things a quality music video requires. And then there is Singularity, posted on the same day earlier this month, every bit as good, and in fact it includes a group dance-off that is just amazing. To round off the set I had to include their 2014 track Informal Empire filmed in London, UK, and the 2013 song Imperialism filmed in Washington, D.C.; they are both a lot of fun to watch but also present additional food for thought.

Perfume started life as an electronica oriented art-rock band back when they lived in Shibuya, and they have evolved wonderfully in the past decade. They have a tasty new tune to share, and although the versions available for posting online are short, they illustrate the power the full version brings to the table.

Mugenmirai, in English Flash, is the theme song of CHIHAYAFURU, a movie about the card game that is at the core of so many Asian games, and of the spirit of competition it brings. It can look a little confusing to western eyes at first, until you look at the cards and realize they are not the standard 52 card deck. Each card is actually a fragment of a poem; if you can see the poem hidden within the hand you have been dealt, you only have to remove all the cards that are not part of it from your hand before your opponent does the same with theirs. If you rethink anything, if you hesitate, if you even take a breath before acting, you have lost; only the swiftest and smartest have a chance at winning this game.

And don’t think this is a team sport. The huge crowd bent down on the gymnasium floor may be broken into two groups, each wearing their school colors, but the similarity ends there. You start out going up against members of the opposing school, but when you have thinned them out you play against your classmates, until a single person is victorious. There is no team in this sport, only a winner and a few thousand losers.

The second track is a visual variation of that same song, and since I went that far, throwing in a trailer for the movie seemed only fair. The songs were posted on February 14th, soundtrack will be released on March 14th, and the movie itself comes out on Saturday March 17th (if I am reading the information correctly).

Tokyo Bon 2020 is a rather silly song celebrating the upcoming Olympics by displaying a beautifully choreographed Bon Odori dance as an Olympic event, while filling the lyrics with Japanglish that just makes you grin. Bon Odori is usually danced while holding hands in a circle and symbolizes reaching out to others in a gesture of peace and friendship, and this video expresses that nicely as well.

But as I dug deeper into the music Namewee creates I found a more serious side, including one song that is serious as a heart attack, while filled with compassion: Stranger in the North. I had to include two versions of it here, and follow it up with Thai Cha Cha, yet another excellent tune which returns to his silly side. He has a huge range of other music in many different styles, but I felt like these songs were the ones that made the best introduction if you were not already familiar with his work.