Category: otago university

Ah i think i’m gonna be a bit more CLEAN in how i express my feelings here rather than how i did over at my deviant art account – cause well that’s my … weirdo place to hang out *glares at dev art for being such a weirdo place to hang*.  It’s quite a hard thing to speak about when nobody i am personally related to by blood is effected, but when the families that are affected are related by marriage through your stepfather – and they’ve done nothing LESS than treat you as one of their own….

You kinda have to speak about it.

Being that i have ADHD it does mean that i process emotion way differently, so basically my first few words of “Holy Shit” and “…omfg” and “It’ll be…ok?” are about all i’ve been able to really say.  Needless to say my insides have been curled up, and messed up since we found out about it on tuesday.

We’re still waiting on official information or response from two members of the family – as i haven’t heard much other than Graeme adding me back on facebook.  But since this isn’t just me, it’s a whole load of people – it’s been quite hard to process – really really hard. David and Joy are alright, and so are the rest of the family up there; my friend Ayla who lives with us was in tears at one point from releif and panic when her friend up there couldnt find her mom – lucky for her and her friend they did.  But worse off after this, i just heard her grandfather passed away this morning.  Even if there was record of the family not getting along with him, he’s still family and i swear that is not an easy thing to deal with.

Death in itself is a pain to deal with if it’s family – when that notice comes out at about 6PM our time here in new zealand and people find out it’s their family – it’s going to be hell.  People would’ve just spoken to these people within a day of the quake – it’s not just the thought of death or that it’s the quake that makes it hard.  It’s the regret that we didn’t do something we should have with said loved one or family member – i know this feeling.

My Grandmother passed away last september, she just turned 90- it was really hard for me to process because as close as i was to her, we went through mental and verbal abuse from her.  As proud of her, and as much as i loved her not JUST as a human being, but as her granddaughter – there were many times i said things behind the curtain i should never have even thought.   As many times as my mother has had near death issues with health – the last time she was in for cellulitis (Mind you not death defying) i was bawling my eyes out when we left to go home to eat dinner and watch tv.  I’m a sook , like my dog Jack – a big ass sook LOL.

When it comes to money? Death has a real problem when it’s a disaster, i’d got my student course related costs like tuesday morning, and i swear i couldn’t bear the thought of donating any less than my course related costs… But we all know as human beings we have to survive, and we have to live and learn…. xX;; but it’s the little things like that which have been eating at me since tuesday night. I’ve been TRYING to not be self depricating and throw my credit card at redcross and donate a hundred or two more – it wouldn’t be as selfless as people would have wanted to think it would be. It’d be me just plain getting in a tizzy and removing myself from the allowance of this money the government gladly gives me for books.

So i did donate, pawprints got a $3 text donation from me and Redcross got a 25$ donation from me.

However donations always come with some freaking scam – and always that the media reports these scams incorrectly.  As you will notice on my old domain, i’ve posted the Donate4CharityNZ scam information.  I am of course not the only one who’s reported this to TVNZ, STuff and the NZ Govt…. but frankly, i’m appalled at the media for never mentioning that Venturian media is a company that loses out from this, they aren’t a direct charity but work with direct charities on behalf and have a central website with offers on how to give and such to them.  They’re normally based in the UK, and Neil is the contact i was dealing with and he seems quite taken aback by the idiot who bothered to make this scam up.

Don’t you think that as a nation people would be up in arms by someone thinking up something like this? Nigerian bank scams aside, this guy actually said in his email to several people “In return for your help you’ll be paid out 10% of each donation received” aka, employed in a scam to gather money. But i would think that humanity is quite stupid somedays and there’s sadly a few that replied to the guy and may have fallen for it.

There’s just so much in life that’s left unanswered.

There’s just so much stupidity that we can’t fix – so much that at the end of the day if we’re still alive – we just have to unfortunately shrug most of it off.

This year when i’m off to my 2nd year at university, i’m going to attempt (no promises sadly as there’s always something in the way of my stopping my own distractions LOL) to be in more ability to put effort in to my classwork.  I dont have Japanese again til 2nd semester, but that’s because I failed JAPA132 last year.

I bought Nakama 1 pack – and am going to work with my Lecturer off and on to prepare for that part of the year.

I’m also studying Social work papers as a minor – Human Services, so i’ll have more of a career direction – but someone told me something today..

so here’s my ADHD and why i’m returning to COMPLAINING ABOUT NZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“We don’t really study for a career, we just study to study.”

…………….no wonder people aren’t getting jobs with their degrees! 😀 🙂

Also, to end my ranting and raving and stuff – i’m going to leave my lack of readers and friends and family with this i found on Harmony’s wall on facebook:

Roses are red the chalice is blue,
The cathedral has fallen many buildings have too,
You can rattle our bones, you can rip streets apart,
But you will never defeat our red and black hearts,
For we are cantabrians new zealanders and together we know,
………………We stand tall together, through anything we regrow.

Add to your wall to remember those who have fallen and to remind us all to stand tall. 22/02/2011

I’m not a cantabrian shut up i’m american, i live in dunedin – we are uhm just as caring THANK YOU XD.

Here’s the general nz one i’ve redone 😀

Roses are red the sky is quite blue,
The cathedral has fallen many buildings have too,
You can rattle our bones, you can rip streets apart,
But you will never defeat our white and black hearts,
For we are New Zealanders and together we know,
………………We stand tall together, through anything we regrow.

Add to your wall to remember those who have fallen and to remind us all to stand tall. 22/02/2011


And good luck to all of you on finding your loved ones.


Why Promote Japanese music when we have our own?

Why promote Australian or US music if we have our own?  I think i classified in the previous argument that in order to diversify interest in daily life, you have to have different and new things to explore.  I guess the research here was minimal; but just in case i threw in an older article from Popular Music Society as reference.  (I’ll expand more on it in the essay when i’ve gotten a chance to look at it, it requires actually logging into university servers to get the article; i’m currently finishing this last topic while eating dinner and it’s snowing.)

There’s not much more to say on this topic so i will have a wee break and continue with the rest later.

Classifying music seems like such a tedious job, however when academically reviewing it the knowledge behind the notes and melodies become much more clear.  (Thus the argument of incorrect classification)

I seem to note in the Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese music that they classify X-japan (X) as Death metal.  In the academic sense I am baffled as to how they have come across this realization, and from a personal perspective i’m mortified and laughing at the same time.  If the time frame matches, is this how we classify our music? Are we not to first listen to the notes, the melodic harmonies and the trembling fear of our parents when we classify something?

In the academic sense my note of “Trembling fear of our Parents” is a mere humorous joke, we all know that growing up in society we’ve been taught that parents have a large hold on how our musical tastes grow in our early years.  Some parents more strict than others, as you have seen in the performance video of “Celebration” in the previous post, by X-japan – Parents are quick to uphold a sense of law and order for children at the same time as satisfying their curiosity.

Curiosity in this case, has not killed the cat.

In a study By David Paltin, PhD Child Psychologist, he looks into the reasons or notions behind Parenting. This sort of example shows how parental control can be exercised over the music we listen to. This is where you begin to see how certain parts of society can classify music in what can be considered “the wrong way”.

In an unacademic note….

Death Metal is very screamy, and music like that is very scary

To continue the academic tone on how to explain literally what Death or Black Metal is; you would have to take a look at possible examples of bands.  Beyond that you’d have to look at sub classifications; which would be a whole new research topic entirely.  Core values of what this music sounds like would be summarized in a few simple key words:

Lyrics of a largely Gothic or Dark, menacing type nature.

Voices of a grinding, screaming or almost grinding yelling nature.

I suppose if you use the classification of “Melodic Death Metal” when comparing to bands such as Nightwish or other Scandanavian metal or hardcore rock bands – then supposedly a band like Luna Sea or X-japan would be classified as such.  However, the rock ballads that are on more Asahi beer than your average Bon Jovi tune; are far from “Death” many of them are of emotional, or romantic themes.

How are we going to continue reviewing music in any nature, if people who are reading about it dont know EXACTLY what we are reading about when we go to listen to it?  A person largely into death metal surely would not be interested in an experimental alternative romance metal band would they?

Although not qualified to do surveys as such, as I am only personally a first year student in Asian Studies doing a wonderful 200 level paper; I did a mini survey via facebook.  Many of the people I asked were students of Otago University; and largely answers did vary.

To Quote Hayley Alice Ayto, student in Japanese 132 at Otago University:

Hayley Ayto September 16 at 11:03am

American bands are the most influential, due to their ability to be marketed to a worldwide fanbase, so naturally, a lot of Japanese bands will pick up on these influences and deliver them. However, it’s not to say that they’re unoriginal and imitative. In X Japan, for example, I can definitely hear elements of other prominent metal bands of the time, like Metallica and GnR. I feel GnR must’ve been influenced by X Japan unknowingly, due to the similarities between the opening piano intros and song structures of ‘Endless Rain’ (released in 89) and ‘November Rain’ (91/92) and many of their later ballads.
It’s easy to assume that Japanese music is just reproduced Western music for Japanese audiences, but a lot of musicians clearly have their own distinct styles and influences, so they’ve been able to produce music that compared to their Western counterparts comes across as distinct and having its own special something. I always felt if the language barrier wasn’t a problem, X Japan would’ve been up there with their Western contemporaries of the time.

I seem to remember asking other questions like “Is X-japan Death Metal” to people like Henry Tsu and Yu Grace Sugigaki, and receiving quite interesting responses.  While I had unfortunatley forgotten to document these sources from them when I asked them; the general response remained similar.

(A modified quote of Henry Tsu) X-japan being Classified as Death Metal seems very incorrect.  (Henry Tsu also has had experience in making music in Dunedin, and has previously been involved in the Dunedin metal scene.)

Yu Grace and I had a cheeky friend-friend conversation over chat, and it ended up being that we decided a lot of it could’ve been due to style and misrepresentation.  Largely a horrible way to classify your music if you ask me 🙂

In the end should it matter if music is classified correctly, if a lot of it is the same?

How can we continue to listen to music

If it’s only as good as the next gig out of town?

With the current research topic being that almost of an accusatory fact, that music is no longer original and it is becoming more cookie-cutter as the years pass by.  Glittering Pop from both sides of the ocean continue to flutter international and local airways, and even the “rock” people consider to be music is far becoming the same commercial output.

How can we continue to listen to this and have a way of human beings finding something different to experience? Is this not what music was meant to be, something different to experience?  Well, I for one cannot answer that as I would have had to been around when music was invented.

With the books i’ve looked through, read in and examined evidence of such topics – how can I not admit that most popular music and in this case Japan, is cookie cutter and unimaginative?

I can’t – but what I can admit through this research mixed with personal knowledge is that inbetween the cracks of modern popular music is a revival of originality.  Breaking the trends, and breaking the mould of society that once was the plan of Punk Rock band Sex Pistols.


Off the Blue Blood Album, Released in 1989

I’ve obviously left this a little late, but there has been a lot more to research on this topic than my annotated bibliography had implied. Here’s the first outlines i’ve created to begin the essay i’m turning in on Tuesday/Monday.

Argument Sections:

Introduction Argument:

  • How can we continue to listen to music if it’s only as good as the next gig out of town
  • Classifying music seems like such a tedious job, however when academically reviewing it the knowledge behind the notes and melodies become much more clear.  (Thus the argument of incorrect classification)
  • Why Promote Japanese music when we have our own?

The influence on 70s Glam rock, but how it wasn’t copied or imitated but adapted and rebuilt.

  • 70s Glam Rock: David Bowie, T-Rex/Marc Bolan, KISS

The current problem on incorrect categorization of rock music from japan in recent years.

  • X-Japan’s classification as a form of Death Metal
  • The lack of proper classification for overseas bands, which can make it harder to classify their originality

Fandom and it’s relation to differences in cultural aspects

  • Groupies vs Fangirls
  • Yoshiki vs Hiroshi Lawsuit
  • Perceptions of Rock Idol personalities

Examples of Japanese Rock and Bands within the “Visual Kei” Sphere in question to The Glam Influence

  • Dir En Grey
  • Miyavi
  • X-Japan
  • Luna Sea

The comparison of Marc Bolan and Hideto Matsumoto in requirement to the essay topic

  • Film the Psychommunity Performance
  • 20th Century Boy
  • Knowledge of Marc Bolan from sources

With the looming deadline of my Japanese Popular Music essay on September the 21st, i bring you the related PROJECT end of it “The Blog.” – Originally considered using a popular format of presentation, but the assumption is that a written presentation would suit better as it is one of my larger strengths.

This is a non confrontational, research and resource blog – I will be continuing to use this as a means of research as some day i wish to possibly publish my findings and get to the “real truth” on this.

And yes, from a fan’s perspective that is hard because i must be very objective, subjective and detailed.  Not only that but i have to find resources that match my opinions and see if my opinions and theories are correct.  That’s never easy in this sort of field, and most of the time the research is done by people who have knowledge and respect, but sometimes fall into the category of “missing the point”.

My official point is to prove that Japanese Rock and Japanese popular music is highly adaptive, original yet highly changing.  A lot of the music has traditional yet modern elements, and very well so sometimes it isn’t even adapted from outside sources.

That being said … i really should finish the essay before making more “posts” here 🙂