The John Scalzi of Metal

Or is Scalzi the Jered Threatin of Science Fiction?

Talking up your own band a little bit to make it appear that you’re more popular than you are is a rite of passage for young acts. We’ve heard of plenty of bands that’ve exaggerated sales or live show numbers to land a gig or two, or talked themselves up to national media for some press attention. It comes with the territory, and it’s usually harmless.

But the Los Angeles band Threatin have taken that idea to a level previously thought unimaginable: the band was able to book an entire tour of Europe despite having no fanbase whatsoever, and it’s all in the process of crashing down around them.

To do it, the band’s frontman and leader, Jered Threatin, posed as a nonexistent booking agent / promoter to land the gigs, used faked live footage of allegedly packed shows in L.A., bought Facebook likes, event RSVPs and YouTube views and lied about ticket sales numbers to swindle venue owners and talent buyers into taking on the shows.

He of the “more than two million monthly page views” pulled off his con considerably more successfully than the musician, but then Threatin didn’t have a real record company helping him do it the way Scalzi had Tor Books.

There’s more to John Scalzi and his writing than meets the eye. For one thing, his blog gets an extraordinary amount of traffic for a writer’s website–Scalzi himself quotes it at over 45,000 unique visitors daily and more than two million page views monthly.
The New York Times

It just never gets old, even as Scalzi’s blog fades into oblivion. Will 2018 be the year he finally stops reporting his blog statistics? Will he even reach two million pageviews for the entire year? By comparison, it looks like this year will be relatively flat at VP, with between 32-33 million pageviews.


YUI!

Yuimetal has left Babymetal.

I have been absent for a while and I am really sorry for the inconvenience caused to many people.

“Although I thought over and over, I decided to leave Babymetal this time.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience to those who support the members of Babymetal. And, for all the fans who are supporting Babymetal, I’m really sorry I made you sad.

“There was also a strong desire to stand on the stage once again but there is also a feeling that I am still not in perfect condition now, and I also want to advance towards my dreams as Yui Mizuno, which is why I made the decision.

No 158, no Yui. It appears those two nights at the Tokyo Dome may represent the zenith of Babymetal.  That being said, the new song, Starlight, is better than the other two songs from Distortion that have been released.


Now we know the quo

Look what they made her do. The payoff was delivered as part of the quid pro quo that inspired Taylor Swift’s uncharacteristic political outburst.

Swift, 28, doubles down on her anti-Trump message and urges her fans to vote Democrat as she becomes most decorated female of ALL time at American Music Awards. Taylor was nominated for four awards on the night: Tour of the Year, Favorite Rock/Pop Female, Favorite Rock/Pop Album, and Artist of the Year, winning all four. Her four wins made her most decorated female in AMA history.

Also, she gets to stay in the closet for a little while longer. Which is nice. It’s interesting to observe that the award-winning Tour of the Year didn’t even manage to sell out on a regular basis.


Badass flute solo

Just because you would not think those words could be strung together meaningfully in a single phrase. Believe it or not, this does not stem from my being a devoted fan of Babymetal and Band-maid, but rather, the world music fan in the house. Senbonzakura! The whole thing is fantastic, and the fact that they actually built up to the climactic flute solo actually made me laugh out loud with pure delight.

They’re not at all bad live either. I would totally go see them in concert.


A tribute to the small god

This is one of the few rock songs that I consider to be genuinely great, the perfect combination of music, voice, instruments, and lyrics. Babymetal pulled out all the stops for this performance in Hiroshima, complete with live piano and strings.

But what makes it particularly meaningful is the tribute that is paid to the late Mikio Fujioka, who is shown playing here in what is usually Leda’s place. Notice that he is first singled out just as Su begins the third verse.

Nidoto ae-nai kedo, wasure-naide itai yo.

We shall never meet again but I will never forget you.

I have to admit, I haven’t been listening to nearly as much Babymetal since I was introduced to Band-Maid. But I think you’ll admit that is excusable, considering how the girls of Band-Maid have been upping and re-upping their game. So much so that it wouldn’t be entirely shocking if Kanami was to one day appear on stage playing with the Kamis. One thing both bands have in common is that they are heavier and more energetic live than in studio.


It’s not racist if it’s anti-white

Civic nationalists and cuckservatives are reeling at the discovery that Dems R the Real Racists doesn’t work:

The New York Times announced Monday it hired left-wing writer Sarah Jeong, who has a long history of racist tweets, to be the lead technology writer for the newspaper’s editorial board. Jeong repeatedly posted racist statements via her Twitter account.

The announcement of Jeong’s hiring comes after The New York Times fired its previous brand new hire for the same technology writer position last February because she “retweeted a racial slur.”

Far from merely retweeting a single offensive post, Jeong likened an entire race of people to “goblins,” compared their conversations to animals urinating, and declared that skin color entirely determined whether an individual was awful or not.

In one tweet from 2014, Jeong wrote that white people are “only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”

“Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” she wrote in another. “The science is indisputable,” she wrote. “Theoretically you can’t be racist against white people,” she wrote in a separate post before claiming that white people smell like dogs.

You go, Asian girl! But Miss Leong will have to admit that even if white people smell like dogs, at least their breath doesn’t smell like Baked Labrador.




Band or comedy act?

The girls from Band-Maid don’t merely rock, they do a considerably funnier comedy routine than Amy Schumer and most so-called professional comediennes. I can’t believe they aren’t a reality TV show yet.

The contrast between the three cheerful ones and the two killjoys is no doubt played up, but it is consistently funny.

Miku: What is your image of San Francisco, Misa?
Misa: Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

The interview on Japanese TV was even funnier.

Takahashi: How about a maid-like greeting?
Saiki: Ah, no.
Takahashi: What’s your charm point?
Saiki: I don’t have one.

Did I mention they also rock?


Secret Maikos

As amusing as this Band-Maid video is, it’s even funnier to learn that it is an April Fool’s joke carried out to an extent that only the Japanese can imagine. My Japanese is not up to discerning this myself, but I am reliably informed that the band even went to the trouble of changing the lyrics of the original song to Kansai-ben, which is a Kyoto dialect that is said to descend from the geisha speech of the past.