Remember last year I told you about Kouhaku Uta Gassen, the annual music contest held on New Year’s Eve between male and female artists? Well, 2006’s Kouhaku, as Taro reported, turned into the Japanese Nipplegate when kitschy hip-hop/R’n'B artist DJ OZMA had apparently topless girls dancing to his song “Bounce With Me”.
For the finale, the girls pulled off their skimpy G-strings to reveal little mushroom “penises” – the DJ OZMA logo. NHK received over 250 compaints and the producers were quick to point out that the girls were wearing body suits. Admittedly, I could only tell they were body suits after looking at the high resoultion close-ups Taro posted. It might be interesting to note that despite that debarcle, the White team (men’s team) won Kouhaku that night.
Anyway, Taro posted video, take a look at it quickly because it might get pulled down like other Japanese copyrighted material. I wanted to post a bit about DJ OZMA himself, because very little is known about him. People aren’t even sure how old he is. His official profile carries on about Taiwanese and Korean music scenes, and apparently how much of a hit he was there. There is a theory currently doing the rounds that he is in fact Sho Ayakouzi from a “Yankee” rock group called 氣 will 團.
He seems to have appeared on the music scene in 2006, dancing like a loon and chanting half-English, half-Japanese songs. The lyrics are silly and predictable, the costumes (particularly the blonde afro) are outrageous and the behaviour is very lewd. He’s basically a joke, much like Hard Gay. In fact, in the short time he’s been on the scene, people like Ayumi Hamasaki and martial arts fighter Akihiro Gouno have been impersonating him.
His first album “I ♥ PARTY PEOPLE” was released in late November, so expect more kitsch in the future, especially after all that free promotion he got after Kouhaku.
EMI’s official website for DJ OZMA (Japanese only)
DJ OZMA’s official site (Japanese only)
FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK! Sweet googlymoogly YES! I can’t wait for this festival. The Fuji Rock Festival – Japan’s largest outdoor festival – gets in excess of 100,000 attendees and attracts big-name international acts. This year’s lineup include Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Jet, Mogwai, The Scissor Sisters and this little band you may have heard of, known as Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Sweet googlymoogly YES!
But there’s also plenty of Japanese bands to go with the internationals. I’m looking forward to Asian Kung-Fu Generation, personally.
It’s a three-day weekend festival where you camp (or hotel, if you’re that type) in the forests of Niigata prefecture. Niigata isn’t actually anywhere near Mt Fuji as the name suggests. The festival used to be held near Fuji but was nearly destroyed by a typoon in its first year. Hence, it’s new, permanent home in Niigata. It makes for an excellent weekend out in the Japanese summer, with slight relief from the heat of Tokyo in the last weekend of July.
Now’s the downside…the three day pass is ￥39,800 (about US$400), or ￥16,800 for one of the 10,000 one-day passes sold each day. Add an extra ￥2,500 for camping, and ￥2,000 per day car park. The shinkansen there is another ￥6,000 or so, depending on where you’re travelling from. Then there’s food, souvenirs, alcohol…
It’s an expensive weekend out, for sure. But it’ll be a festival you’ll never forget, either.
Fuji Rock Festival – official page in English
Wikipedia article on the Fuji Rock Festival
Japanese-born DJ Towa Tei (テイトウワ, Tei Towa) first earned notice for his production work on the Jungle Brothers’ 1989 LP Done by the Forces of Nature; the following year he shot to fame as a member of the downtown New York club trio Deee-Lite, scoring an international hit with the classic “Groove Is in the Heart.” After two LP’s, 1990’s World Clique and 1992’s Infinity Within, Towa Tei left the group to begin working on solo projects; his debut LP Future Listening!, a montage of bossa nova, jazz and electronic dance music, appeared in 1995. His second album for Elektra, 1998’s Sound Museum, was followed by Last Century Modern in 1999.