A Sound Decision


5000円  got me a rather old model Alpine head unit (CDA-7877J). In it’s heyday its MSRP was 63000円 so it was a pretty badass unit back then. It does lack many of the modern amenities like ipod/phone control and interfaces for imprint and other such things but it does have AI-net so I will attach an AUX in cable in a week or so which is all you need, really.

What makes it a real winner are the 3 4V preamped outputs (one of them a dedicated sub out) and the built in 60W amp which is currently making nice with my badass McIntosh MSS630 splits.

I have finally gotten a decent deck. so I can finally look at getting a sub and an amp to power my splits.

Quality car sound is as important as a quality car.


Shots #10 Haruna-ko

P1050544 When the weather approaches in the mountains it always feels more awesome.


Snow in June

So a few weekends back I went for a drive into the mountains with Yuka. We headed up through Kusatsu onto one of the legendary mountains of Jomo.
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From Wikipedia:
Mount Kusatsu-Shirane (草津白根山 Kusatsu Shirane-san?) is a 2160 meter active volcano in Kusatsu, Gunma, Japan. It is called Kusatsu Shirane to differentiate it from the Mount Nikkō-Shirane on the other side of Gunma Prefecture. The summit of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano, located immediately north of Asama volcano, consists of a series of overlapping pyroclastic cones and three crater lakes. The largest of these is Yu-gama, an acidic turquoise-colored lake with rafts of yellow sulfur floating on its surface.
Shirane-02Not the first time I have ever been up this sulphorous beast but it was the first time I got to do it in my car. And as you may have guessed, the actual place was nothing compared to the drive there. 
Shirane-03Though to be fair it was one of those days that made you wonder at the splendour of this planet. The beautiful day also meant I could see Yu-gama which was obscured by mist the last time I went.
 Shirane-07-Yu-Gama Ok so maybe the destination was epic. While not as energising as the Typhoon was last year, I absolutely love the potential for disaster that active volcanoes represent. The sheer un fathomable power that they can unleash is mind-blowing, and while it would spell my certain death I would love to be there when it goes BOOM.

“I absolutely love the potential for disaster that active volcanoes represent”

I mean the only death better than that would be a heart attack while doing fun things in bed with all the members of SCANDAL and Koda Kumi… Or even better doing fun things in a bed with all the members of SCANDAL and Koda Kumi that happens to be in a hotel on an volcano!!!!
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OK that was a bit of a tangent.

It was a great trip really. I got to drive in the mountains which is reason enough to do anything. I got to see snow in summer (albeit packed leftover snow), I got to escape the stifling head of Shibukawa and I got to spend some time with Yuka.



Acura-NSX- in-Japan01Acura-NSX- in-Japan02 Acura-NSX- in-Japan03

Its rather interesting that someone would go through the expense of getting the LHD Acura version when there are so many RHD Honda ones but in the end it matters not because it is one of, if not THE sexiest cars ever made in Japan regardless of where you sit in it.

I would love to own one… hell Just to drive one.

This car can touch me on my studio anytime it wants.


Yoyogi Park

Memories of the sun to pass the rainy season.

Before the DELUHI BLITZKRIEG tour kickoff I went to the big city to chill. It being the beautiful day that it was, I figured that very little could top smoking some hubby in the park… So I did.
Yoko was the only person with any advanced warning… The Idea was to set up and see what drifts by. I wanted to put up a sign saying ‘FREE EIKAIWA’ but I forgot the materials. Yoko saved me there but as it turned out the sign was a rather useless effort.
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It didn’t matter much though ‘cos all sorts of people drifted by. 2 Chinese ladies who were well past their sell by dates, A bizarre photographer, Some Investment banker wannabes with girls names and 1 pretty damn cool Swedish English Teacher…
Turns out said Swede was one of those insta-buds. You know the kind of dude who you have always hung out with even though you have never met them. Needless to say We will be partying it up again sometime soon!

One thing is to be said…

The Hubbly is one of the best inventions on earth!


Shots #9 GODZILLA!!!!


Japanese apex predator spotted in the wild

Remember My Name, FAME!


Unlike the first article, the Daily Yomiuri had a photo… Yup. Not going home does have it’s (small) benefits :D


Venus Fort Car Museum

In an earlier post I showed you that even out here in the Land of the Rising sun, one can get a nice Jozi style shopping mall experience. But it does not end there because Venus Fort takes it to the next level.
Screw Casinos and screw Fourways Fashionistas (especially the hot ones) Odaiba has a CAR MUSEUM!!!! Spread over 2 floors you can see some of the rare and beautiful classics that define the passion and power that the internal combustion engine has brought forth. 
The upper level is dedicated to classics. Iconic names like the Dino, DeLorean, S400, Fairlady Z, RX-3, Bel-Air get the drool glands pumping. But its not simply a room filled with cars, its the building itself. The american cars are in a very american setting, the italian cars in an italian setting. They went all out to present these beautiful machines in great tributes to their natural habitats.
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The Lower Level is dedicated to the company that sponsors the maintenance of the Museum… TOYOTA.

They have a large selection of both race cars and engines as well as a brief history of Toyota and it’s racing Heritage.
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If you are a petrolhead, You have to see this museum. If you are not that passionate about cars… then a visit to this museum may just cure you of your terrible condition.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

So my name made it intothe paper. No photo though :p

After the ALT summer conference last Friday, Vinod and I were interviewed by the Daily Yomiuri and The Jomo Shimbun. I don't know anyone with the Yomiuri but school gets the Jomo Shimbun everyday.

Suzuki-sensei very genkily pointed it out.

It's basically got to do with the world cup. Being South African right now is a winner :D

-- Blogged in the field.


Deluhi BLITZKRIEG Tour Kickoff – Shibuya O-East – 2010/06/05 ~ Live Report.


“It is possibly as good as a live could get without a moshpit.”

My 3rd time seeing DELUHI and my 2nd DELUHI One-man. Its Official.They are my most watched Japanese band. I kinda felt like a veteran this time. I actually could do a comparison and more importantly, I had expectations.
The set at SCUBERDIVE 09 was simply a taster for me. The YGGDALIVE One-man ripped me a new one and this one took me to levels of ecstasy that I have not felt since Loud Park. It was good. It is possibly as good as a live could get without a moshpit.
I am afraid this time around I have not been able to find a set list to shamelessly copypasta as I did the last time because I am unable to find any other reports from this show… Well not yet anyway. I am on the ball for a change :D
From here on out there will be a fair amount of comparison to the YGGDALIVE show. The venue was the same as the last time, the it was the same, The crowd was bigger but only just. It was a sell-out show but I personally could not tell the difference in crowd size they couldn’t have missed it by much the last time.
The crowd itself was a good ratio in the male-female department but there was still a severe shortage of actual men.
The set itself was shorter and tighter. there was a lot less fan interaction, only 2 short solo intermissions (drum and guitar) no major onstage fan service antics and 1 encore. There were fewer tracks to boot.
It was a Tour kickoff after all. One cannot expect 110%.
Despite this they managed to exceed my expectations and my previous experience by a large margin.

The band walked on without much of an intro or any real ceremony and as you expected some sort of long welcome to the tour musical interlude…


REVOLVER BLAST… The last major single that was released before the start of this tour. and the start of the show. It did the job. Imagine strapping yourself onto an atlas booster rocket and lighting it off. They wasted no time in telling the fans that they were here to rip it up and play their tunes. It hit hard and fast and set the pace for the rest of the show. In fact with the exception of Shade and Remember the Rain there were no slow tracks and almost no pauses between them either.
F.T.O.… The track was new the last time and as a result did not have the charge that only a well loved song can. This time that was not the case. From the moment Juri let the vocal intro out into the mike, it was like someone flicked the nitrous switch inside me. Up until that point I was headbanging and flailing somewhat and generally going apeshit. nothing beyond the usual… F.T.O. managed to kick me into the realm I like to call ‘Bodom Space’ the point where one’s own health starts to become secondary to the show. The holy grail of live music and for all intents and purposes the only reason to keep living. They didn’t take me all the way… The rigid inability of the fans to discard reason kept me back. I screamed myself hoarse. headbanged myself dizzy and elbowed at least one ball and chain (hyena’s mate) in the shoulder.
But the music. Oh the music was orgasmic.

“it was like someone flicked the nitrous switch inside me.”

Remember the Rain… or DELUHI’s biggest mistake as I like to call it. It is a crap song. make no mistake. but due to the cocktail of awesome flowing through my veins and in my brain The song didn’t suck… It was a moderate improvement but they did change it a little. They unleashed Leda. His solo was beautiful. He played expertly and sent the chords screaming through my soul. He singlehandedly redeemed the song. I can even listen to the recorded version now.
Baby Play… “We should return to 0 now! We Should return to A now! We should return to our births now! Baby play, its just baby play.”
Two Hurt… As with the YGGDA-LIVE they ended the night on an epic note. My favourite song of theirs. The song that made me a fan of theirs. One of the few songs that truly changed my life. Seeing any one of those truly soul shifting songs live is beyond my vocabulary to describe. This song has transcended music and to me at least is not simply one of my favourite songs but an integral part of my life. I would not be the man I am today without it.

A truly amazing live.

Better than I thought possible. The prospects of what the August the 1st final at ASAKASA BLITZ has in store is spine-chilling.

No I didn’t forget.

FRONTIER… The new single. The track that has hyenas wetting their frilly underwear on the facebook group and YouTube and twitter and just about every where else those misdirected decom-posers happen to congregate.
And with good reason. Many of DELUHI’s actual new stuff has been tacked on to what are essentially re recordings off the stuff on Mahadeva, Jaganath and Visvarit. It has been some time since we have had a proper new track with it’s own hype.
It was well worth the wait. It does not hit you in the face and force you to contemplate 42 as REVOLVER BLAST, s[K]ape:goat and F.T.O. do. To be honest it is a little step away from the standard DELUHI model. It was the logical next step that they were looking for after SHADE. Where SHADE was a support track, FRONTIER comes into the fore. Musically the band have reached the next stage and they can only get bigger and better.

It is good.

By now you have all probably seen the PV and heard it and think whatever you think about it. So all I have to say to that is that I was one of a select few that saw it first. LIVE…
This is where I would usually say ‘so f@ck you’
but it gets better because the global premier for the PV was at the show as well. After the band left the stage, They put it up on 2 big screens in O-East…


And in case you have no Idea what I am going on about… Its already up on YouTube.


Shots #8 Shibukawa Sunset


Nothing like those back home… but Still beautiful beyond words.