Streetfest ’08 & Otaku blogger’s gathering

Gaijin Meido


Disclaimer: Yes yes I know this is waaaaay overdue but I was busy at work and by the time I got back I was too lazy to do any actual work.

Ok let’s get started then, on the 25th May the local Otaku Blogger’s decided to have a gathering and coincide it with Streetfest 2008. Actually we had already met up the day before but we unanimously decided that Streetfest would be a better event to take pictures at and blog about. Of course, i was not present at that decision making moment.

Streetfest Singapore is actually a month long event involving Music, Art and Popular culture however this day’s event was all about Japan and it’s Pop culture that has permeated the world. So what we get mostly here are mostly cosplay, Jpop/rock and more cosplay. So after meeting up with the guys, we quickly head over to the event. I rarely go to this kind of events so I was looking forward to taking some pics of cosplayers and the live bands.

Apparently Jon couldn’t wait too….

Jon fiddling with his Nikon D40

So we arrived at event area only to find out it’s sharing space with a Sony promotional event. WTF? The space wasn’t even that big in the first place and it was clear that most of the crowd was there for streetfest. We then noticed most of the cosplayers went outside and so we decided to tag along.

First thing I saw…

desperately in need of hugs

And then this….

masked goth loli

Suddenly, my eyes caught a glimpse of a rare sight! Ang moh meido!

Gaijin meido n Neko-eyepatch

Yeah same girl from the OP pic. By this point in time i realized the group has pretty much split up. All were in their own world chasing cosplayers for pictures. Of course I did the same and here are the results. Don’t expect too much as my camera is t3h SUxX0rz.

poor free hugs

butler & Nekomimi patches

goth loli

hitman reborn

sakura & syaoran

We then saw a crowd of photographers moving somewhere so we decided to check it out. Then we found out why, Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloids were in the house. This is also when Raven received his nickname, Miku Stalker.

vocaloids

More Miku…

Hatsune Miku

More Hatsune Miku

Sadly, I don’t know or care to know about the other vocaloids…

the other vocaloids

Also saw this really cool Haruhi Cosplay. Best Haruhi cosplay in SG IMHO.

Haruhi & Guitar

More guitar Haruhi

Also, big group of butlers and meidos. Must be their off day…

Maids & Butlers

Same group doing the caramelldansen..

Next, they do the Hare Hare Yukai dance..

Us otakus taking a break after a hard day chasing anime characters..

Pseudo lunch on the floor

Taking a break..

The other segment of the event was the live band performances. While most of the guys left early, Me, Sam and Yumeno stayed behind to make sure that we catch all of the performances. We took a lot of pictures but unfortunately the ones I took were mostly FAILZ. Except for this one…

Live band performance

The bands were all really good. Songs covered ranged from JPop Ayumi to mainstream JRock like AKG and even some classic JRock like L’Arc en Ciel. One band even covered the smooth Jazz Fusion-like Tokyo Jihen. Unfortunately, the soundman the hired for the even absolutely failed at his job. EPIC FAIL. Only one band managed to sound it’s best and that was because another soundman took over for a while. The original guy must have went to the toilet or needed a hit or something. I really feel for the bands on this because I know how it feels. You practice for months for a performance and finally managed to get it all down by performance night only to end up with audience not being able to hear the lead guitars and vocals because the soundman thought monitoring a live performance with in-ear monitors is a good idea. It’s a concert ruiner.

And here’s the obligatory group photo..

Otakus@SG Bloggers

Clockwise from Top-left: Akabane, Kazearashi, Dead Snake, Sam, Panther, Fariz, Yumeno, Me and Jon on the floor.

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Suga Shikao and Yui

Suga Shikao

Suga Shikao (スガシカオ) is a Tokyo based singer/songwriter and radio host whose Funk and Soul infused brand of Jpop has been topping the Japanese charts since 1997. I first got to know this great musician when I went about looking for the artist who sang the song for the opening sequence of xxxHolic, 19才. One thing lead to another and he is right now one of my favourite Japanese musician. He is also, in my humble opinion, the coolest man in Japan. Not that I’m gay for him or anything like that, I simply love his music and aspire to write songs like him.

Yui

YUI is currently one of the rising stars of the Japanese music industry whose humble beginnings started at the age 16 when she would play her guitar and sang at the entrance of Fukuoka’s Tenjin train station. Her musical style is quite varied for a Japanese musician and can range from upbeat folk to all-out rock. Fell in love with her song, Rolling Star when it featured on one the anime Bleach’s opening sequence and have never looked back. I have great respect for her as a musician because she has relied totally on her music to bring herself to where she is now and never walked down the path of kawaii-pop or sex appeal as is typically the case for most Japanese female stars. In fact, she is very shy, refusing to even smile for most of her photo-shoots because she was afraid it would make her look wierd or chubby. Also, she’s really into guitars which is always a plus in my book ^_^

So sometime early this year, Suga Shikao had a special live performance and invited Yui to join him on stage to perform one of his most famous work, Yozora no Mukou. This song was actually written for the Japanese super boy-band SMAP but he wrote it so it’s still his song. Their voices actually complement each other very well and this has become one of my favourite live performances by a Japanese artist. Here’s the video and enjoy.

Also here are the songs that got me started on their music. First up is Suga Shikao’s 19才(Jyuu-kyuu sai)(This video is a little wierd and somewhat NSFW)

Next is YUI’s Rolling Star.

GO!GO!7188

GO!GO!7188

Traditional Japanes Enka? J-Rock? Surf Rock? Punk? Ska? All of the above actually. I was pretty surprised when I came to know about this band. They managed to blend all this really distinct styles of music into their own and it sounds fantastic. With Turkey’s speedy punk drums, Yuu’s incredible voice and Akko’s mad bass skillz they have managed to be one the best punk rock group I have ever heard. Anywhere.

Here’s what their official website has to say about them(coz i’m too lazy to type):

GO!GO!7188 formed in 1998 by YUU(singer/guitarist) and AKKO(singer/bassist), high school classmates in Kagoshima prefecture.

In 1999, they head to Tokyo where meet drummer TURKEY and the band makes its major debut from TOSHIBA EMI in 2000.
Ever since they have released 9 full length albums, 12 singles and 3 DVDs.

When they made their debut in the Japanese music scene, they were quoted to be one of the leading girl’s punk band which mixes rock’n roll music with Japanese pop.

They have raised their evalution as one of most important Japanese rock bands,making performances in live houses events to Nippon Budokan hall,with songs which is full of originality and high performance ability.

Now for the videos. First up, my personal favourite, Ukifune

Kinkyori Renai

Nounai Traveller

Kataomoi Fighter

I especially like how the characters in that last video were saying out the lyrics as in a conversation. Hilarious. Also, if while watching that last video you thought that it sounded familiar, like I did, it’s probably because Kataomoi Fighter is also the ED song for Itazura na Kiss. Cheers. ^^