Monthly Archives: July 2015

Vinyl/CD Review: Demons Original Soundtrack


Demons isn’t exactly a good movie, but it’s definitely a memorable one. A low-budget 1985 Italian horror flick about a movie theater overrun by, well, demons, it features quite the ludicrous plot; amazingly bizarre characters; and some wonderfully over-the-top and disgusting gore effects. It’s a solid piece of 80s eurocheese and it has only gotten more gloriously bizarre as the years have gone by.

Probably one of the only aspects of Demons one can appreciate non-ironically (aside from the killer make-up effects) is the score by Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti. It’s a creepy little piece of music, composed almost entirely on synthesizers. As such, it’s just as dated as the film it came from, but in the most wonderful way. And now it’s back in print via new limited edition CD and LPs, but are they worth the price? Continue reading

Vinyl Review: Babymetal


I’ve been living in Japan for a little over a year and a half now, and let me be the bearer of bad news: Japan really isn’t that weird.

Sure, you see the occasional mascot roaming the streets and everyone on TV seems just way too excited about everything (especially food), but it’s really not that different than anyplace else. And, let’s be honest, a lot of the “weird Japan” concept comes from misunderstandings at best and flat out racism at worst. I also can’t see how a country like America, where walking into a Wal-Mart with a semi-automatic weapon in your hands is legal, has any right to call any other country weird.

All that being said, Babymetal, a heavy metal/pop hybrid featuring a trio of pre-teen girl singers, is the kind of weird shit that could only exist in Japan. Continue reading

Game Music Revue: Darius – Taito Game Music Vol. 2


Darius – Taito Game Music Vol. 2

  • Credited Composer: Zuntata
  • Released June 25, 1987
  • Label: G.M.O./Alfa Records
  • VGMdb Information Page

If Gradius is the grandfather of side-scrolling shoot-em-ups, then Darius is it’s weird uncle.

(In case you’re wondering, in this analogy R-Type is the cousin with the cool toys who won’t let you play with them.) Continue reading

Adventures In Mario UFO Catchers


Japan is one of the few places in the world where arcades still thrive, and this is largely due to UFO catchers, or what we in the States call crane games.

Most arcades dedicate at least one floor entirely to the machines, which can range from simple and relatively easy candy prize dispensers, to incredibly difficult/nigh impossible yen sinks that withhold a variety of amazing surprises.

I pretty much avoided these things the first six months I was here. I thought they were too damn hard, and I rarely saw prizes that I wanted. That was, until I discovered that many feature Mario and other Nintendo-related goodies. Then I was hooked.

Just check out some of the sweet shit I’ve scored. Continue reading