borealgrove: (Saga'll touch ur)
Things that I have accomplished this weekend:

- Finishing season 1 of Luke Cage
- Finishing season 5 of Orange is the New Black
- Starting season 2 of Dark Matter
- Epilating (the everloving shit out of) my legs (...which is how OitNB got finished lol)
- Surprise barbeque at the beach (before it started pouring... we got two grilled sausages out of the affair before our poor, hard-won fire winked out of existence lol)
- Bleaching and then dyeing my hair (from brown, to bronze, to... purpley-blue... ish?)
- Reading a brand new interview from Shou all about Saga (sjkaffdkasl)

Okay, that last one, I nearly had to take the whole day off writing yesterday just to fully read it and scream about it to myself. I am still screaming. It was Too Much. Fully reading it meant transcribing it into a word document so I could properly look up the kanji I didn't know (I was surprised that after so long away from using it, I still knew a hell of a lot, and was typing it all up pretty quickly). The interview went through the whole "how did you meet?" thing, and it was basically anecdotes that we've heard before in other interviews, but I guess this time, it really struck me how unusual the tone was. I'll explain.

Shou's asked how they met. So he says that, while he was in his first band, he heard of a band formed around the same time (Visage), which had a really hot bassist... so he decided to go see them. UM. OKAY. I... guess? Like, he didn't even hear that the bassist was "good", he wasn't looking for any new people to join his band at the time, he just heard that Saga was hot. Which is why he decided to go see the band. Shou. What. UM.

Unfortunately, by the time he went to a live, Saga had already left Visage, so no dice LOL

They didn't cross paths properly until Shou had left his second band, attempting to form one with Nao (there's a whole other amusing anecdote about an into-the-night phone call to try to convince Nao to form the band that Shou didn't get into in this interview, but anyways...). Nao had already recruited Saga, so eventually, it was decided that the two of them, and Shou, along with his previous band member, Tora, would form Alice Nine (they scouted Hiroto together, later on). After the phone call that resulted in an agreement to form the band, they decided to all meet at a fast food joint in Shibuya... which was when Shou first met Saga. At this point in the magazine, I literally had to stop and just get a grip. I'll write it out in full.

そのときの衝撃は今も鮮明に刻まれていますね。沙我くんは、薄紫のノースリーブに淡い色のジーンズを合わせていて、髪の毛は肌と同じ真っ白で、今よりさらに細くて。大袈裟じゃなく、『ロード・オブ・ザ・リング』のエルフ族みたいだったんですよ。

"The impact of that moment is still engraved in my memory. Saga-kun had put together a light purple tank-top with some pale jeans, and his hair was just as white as his skin; he was even skinnier than he is now. I'm not even exaggerating, he looked like an elf from The Lord of the Rings."

I'm. Dying.

This is the first time I've read Shou comparing him to an elf; usually he says that when they first met he thought that Saga looked like a fairy.

Which doesn't actually lessen the impact of the above anecdote LOL

Then he adds: "Despite that appearance, he stoops and shuffles when he walks." (laugh)

Every fucking aspect of this interview is just full of Shou being completely charmed with Saga. His appearance, gushing about all the "cute/weird" things he does (he mentioned that Saga used an ashtray as a plate at a restaurant at once, completely absent-mindedly hfbjksdAL), how he's a "total airhead", but a "gifted craftsman/composer". At one point, he tells a story about Saga, trails off, and the interview notes in brackets say, "he was laughing so hard, he cried". This interview is a gift. It was like receiving Neo Genesis 10 again. And let's not forget the fucking tweets from them just before this interview came out. Yeah, Shou wasn't kidding about this thing being "love".


...I am almost done writing that damn FS chapter, just, by the by. Longest one to date. :p
borealgrove: Kalitt (a Qunari Inquisitor) lounging and enjoying a spa day with Vivienne. (Spa Day)
This month continues to be a pain (with the occasional upside), and so my productivity has varied wildly. For some reason everyone I've ever known has decided to send me a message this month (slight exaggeration, but also kind of accurate--also not a complaint lol), so my inbox is a huge mess, an explosion of correspondence. I'm trying to keep on top of it, but every day something new comes in, or I have to do other errands that cause me to not be able to answer, so I'm just... looking forward to that day that I can reduce the unread messages to zero. Or at least to single digits. :p

I'm trying to get some writing in this weekend, because the week has been full of errands, events, filling a zillion forms, not having time after work, exhaustion, etc... But we'll see. I've already spent nearly five hours this morning combing through my inbox and feeds, sending messages, catching up with friends, and just generally connecting with people, and I'm still not finished. But it was nice to make a huge dent in my mountain of correspondence. :D

I'm going to ramble about a few things I have been screaming about this week, and then I will get on with the writing!

It's outdoor music festival time again! This is one of the pleasurable distractions I've had for the past week or so and I've already been to three nights of shows. My feet and knees are not thanking me for it. But my ears and eyes have been enjoying themselves. I'll list my favourite shows so far (which is almost all of them, but ANYWAY) : Elsie Legrow, Said the Whale, The Sheepdogs, Kalle Mattson, The Zolas, and Dear Rouge. All Canadian acts (Canada 150!), all very fun to see live. Seeing The Sheepdogs felt like going back in time (they were dressed in vintage, tacky ranch shirts lol, and their stage presence was epic), while Kalle Mattson was magnetic, and his between-song quips were hilarious. The Zolas threw us a party with incredible energy, and Dear Rouge's frontwoman was djdkalsmdflasmcflfaejen. Okay, okay, I'll be coherent: total rockstar, infectious energy, powerful voice, and... yeah, that partly-see-through body suit was to die for. ♥ They did a lot of call-and-response, which was really fun! The last three in the list I would be especially happy to see again. Can't wait for the next round of live music to hit the city!

This week Duolingo finally released Japanese courses! It's all review for me so far, but it's good fun, and a nice challenge to help keep at least a base-line of skills. I've been so intent on my writing, that I haven't had the time or energy to devote myself to Japanese learning like I used to. I'd like to get back into it, so maybe once I've finished all the lessons currently on Duolingo, I'll feel up to getting back into studying properly again. Or at least watching Jdramas again lol! I have no idea if my old sources for Japanese subtitles are still viable, though. Having Japanese audio and subtitles really helps, because my reading is still better than anything else.



I lost my mind for about two days after Saga tweeted about Stuppy vol. 16 expressing his mock-nervousness (it contains an interview with Shou about Saga). And then Shou retweeting him with assurance jngskfdmal;s,a. Interview is called 『俺とアイツ』~将が語る沙我のこと~. Nope, nope I'm still losing my mind. Screaming, even, you could say. I don't care about images, I just want that interview fhbksjDKSAL

Like, if it's anywhere near as good as the immortal Neo Gen vol 10 interview... fhvbkdjeklmd

It's so damn expensive, though, for one short interview--not that I don't like a bunch of other artists in the magazine (I am VERY okay with a steamy Sakito shoot lol!)... I wish [profile] jrock_scans was still active and putting out high-quality images in one place. The idea of combing through Tumblr is overwhelming; I really don't interact with the vkei fandom on there so I would have no idea where to start. But holy shit do I ever want to read that interview about Saga from Shou's perspective. Those two have been getting real chummy again recently after a bit of a cold period... :D

Oh, lastly, I caught wind of another fest (H/D) this morning that has an incredible list of prompts (I saved 16 really interesting ones, but I would have saved way more if I hadn't stopped myself). They're for [community profile] hd_fan_fair (unusual careers). I don't know if I actually will participate... I'll probably save the list and take whatever is left of the prompts I liked if I finish one of my two fest fics early enough. If the prompts I liked are all taken... well, great! More stuff for me to read in the fall!

EDIT: I was doing some googling to try to find scans of Stuppy vol 16 (no-go), and instead I found a buried post on Tumblr about "Volland Gump", a solo project put out by an unnamed artist in 2015, that has no intention of making any in-person appearances, and plays all instruments on his recordings... except drums. The post mentioned that it was Saga's solo project, and after listening to the song on the homepage... holy actual fuck. It sounds like him both in terms of the description, and the voice itself. My god. But even more googling wouldn't allow me to find anywhere that fully confirmed that it was him. Which I guess is his intention. I really hope he releases something else (sounds like Nao is playing the drums for him in his solo project -- of course they very openly have their THE ALTERNATIVE project as well, which I hope to one day be able to go see live, since they haven't made any recordings). I love Saga's music so much, just, in general!

IDEAL

Apr. 3rd, 2017 07:49 pm
borealgrove: (Saga'll touch ur)


It's always inevitable, that when I decide to take a gander at Saga's twitter, I have a little fit. First of all, I hadn't seen the new look or the new album art yet, and so... that was a shock. A delectable one. I am loving where they are taking their visuals--the casual/little-makeup direction they were headed in towards the end of their PSC contract was really sad. I love that, now they're starting to get the funds to be able to afford elaborate costumes again, they're going in that direction. ♥

You know, I never did post about MEMENTO, and what was on the cover of my regular version: Saga and his blood-red lips, pressed up against the side of Shou's leg. Yep. A truly excellent surprise. And what's more, the songs are solid. This is some good shit, my friends. A9 are overall a pretty experimental band, even if they lean more towards being alternative, so I never know quite what to expect, but both MEMENTO and ibara were heavy and addicting and I feel sorry for any poor sap that only got the limited edish and missed out on ibara. I still have no idea who was the main composer for either, but I've got a new Cure magazine on the way with an interview about the new album, so I intend to read and find out dhfbaskj

Now, on to the twitter madness.



Shou forgot his glasses (presumably at Tower Records in Ikebukuro), and Saga, of course, picked them up, put them on, and took a picture of himself being 300% done.

(...okay, so he said ドヤ顔 which is supposed to be sort of a self-satisfied look, but he just looks super done to me rofl)



Great, cool, yes! Another shot of the new look! Cool beans! Nice header Saga!



...what.

Did he just? Did Shou? Just? Crop out everyone? But him and Saga? Did literally everyone else do a nice crop of the band as a whole? And Shou was just like? NAH, JUST ME AND SAGA IS GOOD?


I know you have both CLEARLY stated that IDEAL is a collaboration between the two of you but

oh my god?

Can you please stop with this capital-C Content? My happiness levels are climbing to unrealistic heights.


no don't stop
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)
So I lied a bit. I decided to check on MEMENTO news instead or writing, since I didn't have a lot of time to kill before running off downtown. I was very frustrated (and a little happy) to find that the mystery of the regular edition covers has yet to be resolved: the official site (and certain news sources) is showing one photo, while other news sources are spreading another.



I also found tweets discussing the new album and they made me even more eager to throw money at my screen.



OH MY GOD MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE

Saga is confirming that it's a return to their roots, a new beginning, and Shou confirms that it's a collaboration between him and Saga. djfbkjsnldnflskdm Okay, like the last few albums have kind of unofficially been collaborations between the two of them (GEMINI especially), but I can't recall them ever directly saying that. This makes me very happy, to put it lightlyyyyyyyyyyyy



SAGA MY BOY YOU COULDN'T LET ME LIVE FOR TWO SECONDS?

A brief description of each song on the new album. The hype is increasing tenfold.



Please stop with the dirty jokes

Except. Shou loves dirty jokes. So.


hee
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)


I finally took a look at all the album art and my first reaction was WHAT IS SHOU'S FACE DOING ON TYPE B I THOUGHT THEY DECIDED HIS FACE WOULD NO LONGER ALWAYS BE IN FOCUS FFS then I realized that his face is cropped out of type A and decided to downgrade my rage to a solid side-eye. Then I noticed that the regular edish features Saga's face and everything became okay (mostly. ish).

So for maximum insanity to be achieved, I must further analyze the album art, like old times.

First off, the lettering is to die for. I love the fact that you have follow the arrows to read "MEMENTO" and that the ankh is both part of the word and helps point your eyes in the right direction. I also love that you can start reading at either M. It's even more delectable than the different fonts for each title in ALPHA (and that is saying something, because I always loved that). This is all so, so much better than the original red-on-black art they had released for the single in the beginning.



In terms of the look, I love Nao's hair style, Hiroto's chokers (hdbkjsnlka), and the fact that my boy Saga has an eyepatch again and bold red lipstick. Thank you lord! Overall, the outfits are a little boring (just a little), but frankly, if there's no cheesiness going on at any level, it's not ~authentiqué~ vk.

Now that I have seen The Look, that deluxe booklet that comes with type A doesn't seem like such an unnecessary addition anymore. If it's anywhere near as enjoyable to flip through as the Alpha or RAINBOWS deluxe booklets, I'm excited. The colour palette of this (and to a certain extent, the other editions) honestly gave me a smidgen of "bi flag" feel which probably wasn't intentional, but I'll take it. The perspective and how they're all arranged on and around the table is just so pleasing for some reason ashsbfksj. I like the fact that Shou's head is cropped out (again, in a sort of protest for how he was constantly taking centre stage at the tail end of their PSC days) but... the statement is sort of ruined a little when his face is plastered over type B. I mean. Guys. Seriously.

Let's just skip type B. It's Shou's face. Soft lighting. He's pretty. Got it.

Regular edition. Oh boy, this one was like a present. I was all ready to get up in arms about type B and then they made my boy Saga the focus of regular edition. The lighting is odd if you're looking for the blue in the bi flag, it's riiiiight here, and Shou's crossed leg is just as much of a feature as Saga himself, pressed up against it. The absolute darkest part on that cover is Saga's lips, which you just can't help but notice. Thank you?! Coincidence?!

Okay, now for some symbolism. Why focus on Shou and Saga? Obviously because they're the main artists driving A9's image and sound, but let's go deeper.

I spent Time on this and regret nothing. )

I guess I'll have to wait until the deluxe booklet is in my hands to see if I can make any more unsolicited deductions about The Boys. Yeah... I updated my earlier preorder to include type A as well as regular edish. I really am trash. But hey, it's only type A that counts towards ratings, so there's that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

EDIT: Looked into some news sources are showing a different regular edish than is currently displayed on their official website. Which is real?! The one being shown in news sources has no one's face in it, and gives Hiroto and Saga equal weight in the frame (with Shou's boots still in the middle). STILL. If Saga in focus was the original version remember, Shou is the art director for this shit, my thoughts on it are still valid. And even in the other new source version... they're still touching.

But far more importantly... type A totally is done in a bi flag palette. A bigger image shows that it does go pink-purple-blue. dfbskgjddnfkjndlkmas Again, don't care if it wasn't intentional come on shou, I still love the shit out of this.



AND THEY'VE ALSO ANNOUNCED A NEW ALBUM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 3 YEARS I'M CRYING THIS IS TOO GOOD

MEMENTO

Jan. 8th, 2017 03:18 pm
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)
Correct me if I'm wrong but...

Didn't A9 break from PSC because they kept using cheap ploys to boost their sales? Things like, releasing far too many versions, putting random members' faces on CDs so that if you wanted a certain one you would have to buy multiple copies until you got the right one... etc. And yet, here they are, releasing three versions of one single, after having done two really great one-version-only releases. Clearly they could have released just ONE limited version with DVD along with the regular (extra track) version.

It's not as bad as Daybreak, but still. In the early days, it was always only ever two versions. I am side-eyeing pretty hard right now. Please don't return to the dark side thx.

Anyway, just preordered the regular version.

I am literal trash.
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