Live Plus Idol Concert Report

A little backstory: I am an idol music fan. Morning Musume, BABYMETAL, etc. I like when talented young women are skilled at dancing, singing and looking cute all at the same time. If the tempo is something I can get pumped up by at the gym, all the better. 

A while back, I started a Japanese blog as a way to practice my Japanese and interact with Japanese people. One person I interacted with was Risa, a member of a group called PPP! PiXiON. We exchanged comments from time to time, and then her group happened to be performing in Osaka on my day off. Sweet!

So that’s why I was in a deep basement of an Osaka concert hall on a “Golden Week” Friday, having no clue what I was in for. I had preregistered to maybe save a couple bucks, but was unsure if it worked. Sure enough, at the ticket counter, I said I was here to see PPP! PiXiON, and they knew my name immediately. See, I wrote it in katakana, which is an alphabet used for only foreign words. 

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The Siblings Who Shook The World: Prologue

In the fall of last year, I put out the long-awaited sequel to my novel Still Man Fights. Called The Siblings Who Shook The World, I aimed to make a tighter story that would appeal to a wider audience.

I wanted to share the prologue with my blog readers. This piece itself is basically a standalone short story about the history of the world of the NewHome books. If you dig it, please consider checking out the novels at the links above.

-=-=- PROLOGUE -=-=-

With Rigala 4 now in view, Papa adjusted the ship’s trajectory. The closer The Penance got to its destination, the more he could tell the planet would be a suitable place. It had an atmosphere; it had water; it had green land. From this distance, computers told him of new discoveries about Rigala 4 such as a 27-hour day cycle and temperature fluctuation that is less severe than Earth’s. The 52,300 passengers holding one-way tickets to the uninhabited planet would have a fighting chance at survival. Several officials who signed the banishment proceedings back on Earth felt it was more than the group deserved.

Papa wasn’t sure whether he agreed with the assessment of his superiors. He had spent spare moments on the journey observing his passengers and had developed sympathy for them. They were generally normal people who had made bad choices and found themselves in a tough spot. The majority were confined to sparse, narrow cells, alone, for 22.5 out of every 24-hour simulated day cycle. Electrified flooring herded them to and from meals and exercise – their only means of socialization. Continue reading

2015: My Year in Gaming

Every year, I like to look back upon the games I played. While I’m getting pretty far removed from my time covering then working in the game industry, games are still a big thing to me.

In 2015, I played 86 video games: 44 on PlayStation platforms, 25 on Apple devices, 14 on 3DS, 1 on Wii and 1 on PC. I’m not going to list them. I hope you don’t mind.

I completed 22 video games in 2015. Those I will list, in the order in which they were completed: Continue reading

2015: My Year in Review

I think a lot of people found a lot of fault in 2015. I empathize with them. However, for me, it was a pretty big year on a lot of levels.

It began in quite a chaotic state. Kate’s job necessitated a move north to San Jose – an area I’m still struggling to appreciate in any meaningful way. The shift wasn’t made easier by my returning from tour less than a month before the shift started to take shape.

I went to Japan in March, by my lonesome. While I can lay out several reasons for the trip, I’m still not sure how to adequately explain the desire to go nor the end result. If anything, it strengthened my desire to be there and immerse myself in the country’s benefits. It became more relevant later in the year. Continue reading

Justin’s Japan Announcement

March 2014: I went with GWAR to Japan. It was their first tour there, and I thought I could be of service. I met up with them in Osaka for the first show, then traveled to Tokyo for show number two (Dave Brockie’s last). Would you like to know more? I wrote a travelogue on the trip.

March 2015: I went to Japan solo. There were many reasons – to reward myself for busting ass on fall tour with GWAR; to practice my Japanese-language skills; attempt to make some contacts that could lead to work; to pay homage to Brockie; to see my favorite Japanese group open their tour. It wasn’t as productive as I hoped but was still very worthwhile.

March 2016: I will be going back to Osaka Japan. And there I will stay for 13 months, as I have been offered (and accepted) a gig as a performer at the Universal Studios Japan theme park.

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A strong American, alone in Osaka. 03.08.2014

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7 Reasons to Buy My New Novel!

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My novel, The Siblings Who Shook The World, released today on Amazon Kindle. It’s the sequel to my first book, Still Man Fights. I’m very proud of the book, and I’m a pretty harsh critic of my own creative output. I would like you to check it out. Still not convinced? Well then, here are…

7 Reasons To Buy The Siblings Who Shook The World

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Putting The Bands Back Together: Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band

I am fascinated that both Guitar Hero and Rock Band have actually returned after a multi-year hiatus, much less that both have come out within weeks of one another! On top of that, both take such different angles in their comeback special!

Let me state first that I have yet to play either either franchise’s newest entry. But I’ve kept curiously up on news and features, and find so much of this compelling. As such, I felt inspired to write about it. Wanna read it? Here it go.

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Early preview for 360 port of Guitar Hero 2

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