Sometimes rock 'n' roll just needs to be rock 'n' roll for the sake of human rockitude. (I know that's not a real word, but bear with us.) When we want to hear rock music that has some sort of hidden meaning or concept, we'll look towards stuff like Pink Floyd or The Decemberists to fill that need. For those who need something straightforward and more balls-to-the-wallsy we have what Cheeseburger has presented in their sophomore release entitled Another Big Night Down The Drain. Don't let the title fool you, as the band from Brooklyn have created an album that's got more partying and feel-good times in it than your average Andrew W.K. record.
The first Portal title garnered a massive following around the world, thanks in part to its interesting gameplay, dialogue that instantly became internet memes, a catchy end theme song and possibly one the greatest villains in video gaming history. It comes as no surprise that a sequel was green-lit, but the task at hand for Valve was to up the ante in just about every way in order to make it as memorable as the first game. Does Portal 2 succeed as well as its big brother, or does it fall flat on the face of failure?
Let's face it: every slice-of-life anime comedy about nothing wants to be Azumanga Daioh. Lucky Star came close, but its Haruhi Suzumiya reference overload nearly killed it, and Hyakko! was too bland for its own good. This year the folks at Kyoto Animation, hoping to strike gold again in this genre (since they did Lucky Star four years ago), decided to adapt Keiichi Arawi's manga series Nichijou: My Ordinary Life. The show's overall feeling can be described with one word: blah, meaning both the utterance of complete nonsense and the overall feeling of being unimpressed.
Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the popularity of the manga/anime series K-On! With its slice-of-life appeal and moé characters the show has received a massive following not just from anime fans but also music enthusiasts. Its opening and closing theme songs, as well as the albums for the show's protagonist band Ho-kago Tea Time, have appeared either on top or near the top of Japan's Oricon music charts, and the two live concerts based on the anime (one in 2009, the other in 2011) played to massive sold-out audiences. With translation help from Sawa Kato I was given the opportunity to ask one of the show's key songwriters and music arrangers, Hiroyuki Maezawa, some questions regarding the popularity of the music within K-On!