Japanese opera singer records an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

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RocketNews 24:

While we don’t usually think about successful opera singers breaking into the rock music industry, there’s one man out there to prove that classically trained performers can, in fact, appreciate decidedly more “modern-sounding” music.

Japanese operatic tenor Ken Nishikiori (錦織 健) is one of the most prolific opera singers to come out of Japan. But recently the 55-year-old has been making waves on the net not for his sweeping operatic vocals, but for his astounding cover of British rock band Queen’sBohemian Rhapsody!” 

As part of my father’s mandatory musical education while growing up, I was always surrounded by a host of classic rock bands (the Kinks in particular). Although Queen wasn’t one of his personal choices, even I can recognize some of the band’s biggest hits, such as the hugely influential “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The song was originally written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. Notably, it features an approximately one-minute-long “operatic” segment within the song, right after the guitar solo. The effect of this choir-like vocal multi-tracking was achieved by having Mercury and the other band members record their voices for up to ten to twelve hours per day, for a grand total of 180 separate overdubs.

▼”Bohemian Rhapsody,” aka “179 dubs too many”

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Enter Ken Nishikiori. The Shimane Prefecture native graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo and is today celebrated as a successful operatic tenor in his home country. In his spare time, he also participates in another ongoing gig in the form of a rock band that was originally formed during his school days–the Shimane Ken Band ( シマネ健バンド). 

Nishikiori has a chance to shine as a rock vocalist through this separate outlet, while at the same time pay tribute to Queen, one of his own personal favorite bands. The band has so far released two CDs, one in October 2010 and the other in May of 2011, both of which exclusively contain Queen cover tracks.

▼Shimane Ken Band’s Seven Songs of Queen, also known as Kagayakeru nanatsu no uta (輝ける7つの歌) in Japanese.

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The band’s label, Pony Canyon, uploaded their “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover onto YouTube earlier last year. It’s still picking up new views even now, with many Japanese listeners commenting on how Nishikiori’s vocals sound hauntingly similar to Mercury’s original rendition (minus the slight accent, of course). We’re not entirely convinced, however:

Domino’s kinky Sriracha Pizza Ad is 50 Shades of WTF

FoodBeast:

This is a real print advertisement running in Israel for Domino’s Sriracha Pizza:

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Created by advertising behemoth McCann Erickson’s McCann Israel branch, this ad pulls no punches (or spankings) with this disturbingly realistic tongue. Bound, gagged and surrounded by instruments of torture, it’s not clear if this tongue consented to this BDSM play.

But who needs consent in a world where Twilight fanfiction can become a best-selling, inaccurate novel about an already stigmatized community?

The advertisement was a rejected pitch to a franchise in Israel. Tim McIntyre, a spokesperson told Perez Hilton:

“It’s real. The ad was created and pitched by an agency to the independent franchise in Israel. It never ‘officially’ appeared anywhere, because it was ill-advised, unfunny and not brand-appropriate. In a word, it was stupid…[The ad is] being presented as something that actually ran in Israeli media. It did not.”

 

NEIGHBORHOOD (Japan) 2015 Spring/Summer Lookbook

New ISIS video purports to show beheading of Japanese reporter

ABC News:

A 66-second ISIS video purports to show the beheading of Japanese reporter Kenji Goto, a gruesome end to a week of failed negotiations.

There was no immediate comment from Japanese or U.S. intelligence officials, but the video appears to show the detached head of the 46-year-old reporter who was captured late last year by the terror group while on assignment in Syria.

The video, titled “A Message to the Japanese Government,” begins with Goto on his knees in a river valley. A masked man with a knife in his hand speaks with a British accent, addressing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Let the nightmare for Japan begin,” the executioner says as he puts a knife to Goto’s neck.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said the White House is aware of the video and is “working to confirm its authenticity.”

“The United States strongly condemns [ISIS’s] actions and we call for the immediate release of all remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan,” spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said.

Before his death, audio messages from Goto were published online by ISIS last week, relaying ISIS’s offer to free Goto, but only if Jordan released a convicted female al Qaeda member, Sajida al-Rishawi, from death row. If the Jordanians did not release al-Rishawi, ISIS said through Goto, then Goto and a Jordanian pilot also held captive by the terror group would be killed. The Jordanian government publicly said they would release al-Rishawi, but only in return for the pilot.

Al-Rishawi has been in prison for a decade for her role in an al Qaeda bombing attack in Jordan in 2005 that killed dozens, including many at a wedding party.

ISIS set a hard deadline for al-Rishawi’s release for sunset on Thursday, but the Jordanians didn’t budge, saying ISIS had not provided proof of life their pilot was alive. Amid the tense negotiations, top Japanese officials had said they were working closely with Jordan to find a way to gain freedom for their citizen.

The status of the Jordanian pilot is unclear, but Goto now joins a number of Western civilians, and scores of locals who were murdered by the terror group.

Freddie Wong battles Katy Perry for Super Bowl halftime audience

NBC News:

During Sunday’s Super Bowl, millions of eyes will be glued to television screens watching Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz perform during the halftime show. But YouTube is making a play for some of those eyes with its own, live streaming halftime show, featuring some of the biggest names online.

The live stream, the company said on its blog, will include more than 20 YouTube stars. The show will entertain viewers with fake Super Bowl ads, musical numbers and stunts, according to Bloomberg.

Among the stars recruited by YouTube is Freddie Wong, the man behind the hit show “Video Game High School,” (VGHS) which Variety named as the best web series of 2013. Wong co-founded RocketJump, the production company that makes the series. RocketJump has clocked more than 1 billion views and 7 million subscribers through its YouTube channel. VGHS is also available through Netflix.

Forbes recently named Wong as one of Hollywood & Entertainment’s 30 Under 30, joining the ranks of Blake Lively, Zac Efron, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson. Another honoree from the publication’s list, Harley Morenstein, co-founder of web show EpicMealTime, will host the YouTube halftime show.

Just last week, Hulu announced that it will team up with Lionsgate, Wong, and the rest of his team for an original comedy series. The weekly 30-minute shows will give a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of a RocketJump video. While the release date has yet to be announced, curious fans will just have to catch Wong online during the Super Bowl for now.

uniform experiment (Japan) 2015 Spring/Summer Collection