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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Justin’s J-Pop Jukebox #8

Stay With Me by Tokyo Girls’ Style

me and TGS

The Artist: Sometimes, if you’re me, you walk around Shibuya. You go into a random music store and buy a DVD of the Morning Musume concert you attended in New York last year.
But sometimes you also look around and it just happens that an idol group you never heard of, Tokyo Girls’ Style, is having a cheki (photo) event to commemorate their new single. Sometimes you say what the heck and buy the CD/ticket. It’s a longer line than you thought, but you have time.
Sometimes you start talking to the guy lined up in front of you, and find he’s a TGS super fan. You talk for a while, about GWAR, America, this band you never heard of…whatever. Then it’s time for the cheki.
Sometimes you’re buff, so you remove your hoodie so you’re just wearing a t-shirt for the picture. You tell them you’re American and they’re surprised. They were just in San Francisco. Sometimes one of them (second from right) says “nice body” so you flex and let them all touch your biceps. There is much giggling and shouts of “Sugoi!” Then sometimes you take the little Polaroid of the moment, have an awkward goodbye with your new super fan friend, notice a few nearby schoolgirls looking wide-eyed at you, and then you go buy your wife some awesome socks. Sometimes. If you’re me. Continue reading

Justin’s J-Pop Jukebox #5

Iine! by BABYMETAL

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The Artist: BABYMETAL took the world by storm early last year. I’m going to assume Gimme Chocolate is a big enough hit that you’ve already heard it a few dozen times. The group expertly blends metal music with idol music – two of my favorite genres, of course. It only took one listen for me to buy the entire album and fall in love with BABYMETAL. There are some metal purists that disagree, and they can sit upon their spiky, wrought-iron thrones. Continue reading

Cool Shirt Tuesday #2

I Know Tofu
Designed by crula
T-Shirt Link 

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I don’t eat meat or dairy. I haven’t in several years. I’m proud of this – like most of my lifestyle choices (working out regularly, no alcohol, etc.). And like most things I like, I want to represent them on a t-shirt. But unlike enjoying Legend of Zelda or Black Sabbath, for example, it’s a little preachy to sport a vegan t-shirt. That’s where this one comes in.
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GWAR and Gaming

A little while back, a Facebook friend shared a link on my page. It was a petition to add Oderus Urungus as a playable character in the upcoming Mortal Kombat X. For those not in the know, Oderus was the lead singer of the band GWAR – a heavy-metal outfit made up of marauding space barbarians. They’re still around; in fact, I was a part of their fall tour. I was one of the slaves, humans who either volunteered or were captured and forced to work for their masters, GWAR. I manned the blood tanks, got my head chopped off, and at times played a 10-foot long dinosaur.


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