Thursday, 17 April 2014

Miku Goes Gaga

The big Vocaloid news yesterday was the announcement that Miku is to be the opening act at sixteen of Lady Gaga's upcoming tour events. Although that is only a quarter of the 67 programmed, it is still a significant turning point in the western world's live music scene.

Of course, it isn't as one-dimensional as it might at first appear. Here is what I wrote on Facebook a few hours ago...

While I have inevitable reservations about this, it was likely (I think almost certain) to happen sooner or later.
For the organisers, promoters and performers, it is probably being seen primarily as a gimmick, to 'up the ante' relative to others' concert tours – but there will be at least some percolation of Miku's performance and general 'aura' into the audience's consciousnesses.
This will have little immediate effect, as those attending will be there for Lady Gaga, first and foremost; but the idea of 'sowing seeds' is a useful one, and during the weeks that follow will, I think, start to pay dividends – especially if one or more complete concerts end up for sale and/or on-line.
I have been saying for a while now that it is my belief that 2014 is going to be the turning point in Vocaloid going global: this series of events looks like being perhaps the single biggest part of that (much broader) transformation.
There are those (and I am aware of at least two, probably three) who will say that this 'going mainstream' will mean the end of life as we know it – or words to that effect. I know that this will not be the case. At this stage, I have no idea what Miku will do: some of her usual material, in Japanese, some new material in English, or one or more Gaga items.

Perhaps there will even be a duet at the end of her (presumably quite short) set, which would make an excellent handover from the support act to the main feature. It would be almost a world first – though SeeU has done this with GLAM several times, and there have been others. The novelty factor with thiese audiences, though, would be quite something, if this were attempted.

Whatever comes out of this, I remain convinced that it will help the Vocaloid concept and sheer quality to seep into the western collective consciousness. The real global future in the genre starts here...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sing and Smile

It's about time I posted another nice video with good motion, so here's something new: Sing and Smile by Re:nG, featuring an 'all-star' cast of the six Cryptonloids (including the Sakine version of Meiko) along with Teto, Haku Yowane and Neru Akita, all of whom appear in Project DIVA Arcade future tone, from which this derives.

The motion is really good, and Rin's outfit in her initial appearance in the video – starting at 1 minute in – though simple in design is particularly appealing, I thought.

By the way: I have been spending so much time on social media and domestic matters that I haven't been able to keep up with other matters (in case anyone was wondering) – though I have been monitoring a lot of things going on, especially in the local and national political spheres. I shall no doubt comment on at least one or two of those in due course, but for now let's stay with the lighter and more enjoyable world of Vocaloid/Utau...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

New Lapis Song

Heart Shooter (nothing to do with Black Rock Shooter!) has just been uploaded to YouTube today, obviously as part of the fairy's second anniversary celebrations. It's quite good, and suits her distinctive voice fairly well, though it isn't outstanding.

Despite a lack (so far) of an English translation of the lyrics, and the video comprising essentially just a still image (though a very appealing one) with ocasional 'pop-ins' of a second Lapis, it is certainly worth giving this one a listen, I feel...

Fairy Anniversary

Yes, today is fairy Lapis Aoki's second anniversary, having been released on 6 April 2012. Here is a nice song and an alternating-slides video to go with it, to help us celebrate...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Motes and Beams

Something the 'dodgier' political types frequently do, I have noticed, is to gloss over their own (often huge) shortcomings in a particular area of work, typically ignoring them altogether, and using what more often than not turn out to be relatively minor instances of the same thing by their political opponents as a diversionary tactic as well as a stick with which to beat them. I suppose this is quite normal in some politicians' eyes, though anathema to me, as one might expect.

Many of these are Trades Union driven, via local Labour councillors and (where they have them) MPs, so suddenly the same supposedly 'local' issue crops up everywhere in the country – or, at least, everywhere with a non Labour-run council. Thus my tendency to focus on Medway Labour might be being a little unkind, as they usually turn out to be just one of many such Labour groups doing precisely the same thing, so it isn't really their fault at all: they are merely complicit.

Anyway, the latest Labour 'initiative' here in Medway is (don't laugh) 'fixing our streets'. All of a sudden they have developed an apparent interest in having our roads repaired. Of course, as always with Labour, it will turn out to be almost entirely a party political rant against 'the Tory-run council' – which is the only reason it has suddenly, after many years of not even being on Labour's radar, become one of the issues du jour. Anyone who decides to keep a weather eye on how it plays out will, I have not the slightest doubt, find that this is exactly what will unfold – just as it does with every other t'new' opic they periodically highlight.

The irony is (as long-term readers of this 'blog will already be well aware) that Medway Labour have never been all that interested in having roads fixed even in their own wards. I have in the past highlighted my own findings, using personal observation on my walkabouts, Google Maps and Street View (which are all dated) and such facilities as the one-time ELGIN to check whether a particular location was scheduled for such work.

Those readers will recall what I reported about Eastcourt Road in Twydall – in an unchanged bad state in several places for quite a few years. There have been others that I haven't covered here, but naturally have complete records as proof.

Those readers will also recall the work I had done here in Chatham central, from having a trip hazard at a busy road just outside a primary school repaired to a number of other street scene hazards and other matters. I posted before-and-after photographs, as some here might recall, showing that I was doing more in just a year or so than all three elected Labour members had done between them in half a decade.

I might have concentrated on the area near my home, but I was also aware of how the rest of the ward was faring – especially as I had had the opportunity to inspect it all during a leafleting exercise throughout most of the ward shortly before I moved here.

Thus we can see that Medway Labour's apparent initiative is yet another of their sham activities, serving only themselves and their political prospects, with any peripheral benefit to the community being merely coincidental. No change there, then.

In reality, Medway's roads are in a better state overall than those of just about any other council area in Kent, and have been for years. We have a good record on repairs, though imperfect, and even places one might expect to be in a bad state tend not to be. Google Maps and Street View are useful here, for anyone with some time to kill and who'd like to take a look – but keep an eye on those diaplayed dates, as some parts of Medway are (currently) dated May 2012 and others are dated 2014 but appeared last December.

As always, it pays to be informed of the reality, rather than feel an idiot upon realising that one has fallen for the Goebbels-like propaganda of Labour. Believe me, it feels so much better to be in the know and immune to their con-tricks!

UPDATE: As expected, this and every other topic local Labour is covering at the moment is in reality nothing more than an anti-Conservative purely party political manouevre (see their new Rochester East newsletter) – well, apart from promoting their own parliamentary candidate, anyway!