Movie, Music & Entertainment (16)

 

 

CNN News Anchor: Erin Burnett Featured

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Soulrocker: Michael Franti Featured

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Soulrocker: Michael Franti

On a Musical Mission for Health, Happiness and Equality

Michael Franti is a musician, rapper, poet, spoken word artist, singer-songwriter, filmmaker and hotelier who has been a pioneering force in the music industry for three decades. His lyrical activism is a positive force for social justice and peace. His group, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, opened for U2 during their 1992-93 Zoo TV Tour. His latest band is Michael Franti & Spearhead, which blends hip hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. Its single, “Say Hey (I Love You),” is multi-platinum. From a diverse household with a multiethnic background, Franti has dedicated his life to spreading the joy of music and positivity to millions of people. His audiences have been as diverse as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, prison inmates, the U.S. military and locals on the streets of Middle East war zones — and he’s done the last 18 years of this without wearing shoes. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Michael Franti about his quest for equality through melody.

Dance Music King: Steve Aoki Featured

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International Electronic Dance Music King: Steve Aoki

From the All Night Party to One of the World’s Highest-Paid DJs

Steve Aoki is a Japanese American electro-house producer and musician whose global earnings must be music to his ears. Forbes listed him as the world’s fourth highest-paid DJ in 2018, with his concert schedule of over 200 shows around the world, in addition to his Las Vegas residency earning him $29.5 million. Forbes estimates that he also earned four million dollars in endorsements for Japan’s largest airline, ANA, and French wine Luc Belaire. Then there’s his men’s luxury streetwear line, Dim Mak Collection, and his videogame gambling machine that debuted in casinos in 2017, Steve Aoki’s Neon Dream. He became a musical millionaire with little radio support — and without the financial support of his famous father, Rocky Aoki, the former wrestler who created the Benihana restaurant empire. Born in 1977 in Miami, Florida and raised in Newport Beach, California, Steve Aoki graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and feminist studies. In 1996, he founded his own record label, Dim Mak. His performances on tour, including throwing cake and spraying champagne bottles at fans, acrobatic crowd surfing and riding rafts on the dance floor, have earned Aoki huge college support. He has collaborated with producers and vocalists, such as Snoop Dogg, will.i.am, LMFAO and Linkin Park. Aoki and his Billboard-charting studio albums have won numerous industry awards and nominations. The Steve Aoki Foundation supports organizations focusing on regenerative medicine and brain preservation, as well as animal rights and disaster relief. In September 2017, he donated $30,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief and challenged other musicians to match his contribution. The heart-thumping and heart-wrenching documentary on Aoki, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, was released in 2016 and is available on Netflix. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Steve Aoki about his multifaceted career.

Rola Featured

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Toshiro Mifune Featured

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Toshiro Mifune

Mifune: The Last Samurai

Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) is one of the most prominent and revolutionary actors in the history of Japanese film. With his iconic acting, Mifune opened the door to a new era that brought Japanese cinema to the world stage. He appeared in over 170 feature films, but is best known for the 16 films that he made with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo. He starred in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai Trilogy, the groundbreaking NBC television miniseries Shogun and Steven Spielberg’s 1941. He also portrayed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who bombed Pearl Harbor, in three films. He was awarded Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival twice. On November 14th, 2016, he was honored with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the motion picture industry. On November 25, 2016, the documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai, directed by Steven Okazaki, was released.

Underground Music Spotlight

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3 By Design

THE California quartet 3 By Design is a modern hard rock band that channels a variety of sounds such as Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains, Sevendust and The Black Crowes. Formed in late 2013 by vocalist Jon Goodhue, guitarist Kevin “KJ” Hicklin, bassist Frank Mullis and drummer Kent Diimmel, the band demonstrates tight technical musicianship on their EP Under the Surface and strikes an instant chord with audiences during full-throttle live performances. When asked what makes them click, all of the band members agreed that it is their chemistry, both on and off the stage, and wide array of musical influences. Check out their video for “Shatter” and their EP on their website: www.3bydesign.net tj

Join the Night Shift

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Don’t Drop Out to Make it in the Music World.

Join the Night Shift.

Students of L.A.’s Citrus College Mega Band, Night Shift, Join the Pro Circuit

ONE of the biggest concerns with higher education today is whether graduates can find employment when they enter the “real world.”

Kohaku

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Big in Japan

Kōhaku

The Coolest Music Competition in the World

"Kōhaku will blow your mind."

FOR those of you who don’t know Kōhaku, I’d like to introduce you to one of the coolest institutions of music not only in Japan but in the world. The closest comparison might be the Eurovision Song Contest, but that would be doing Kōhaku a disservice. Kōhaku is an annual New Year’s music “competition” between male and female artists. There’s no prize and the competition part is really just in good fun to give the viewers a rooting interest. The 66th annual Kōhaku was broadcast live from NHK Hall in Tokyo. What’s so cool about it? Well, it’s one act after another in rapid succession with little talk in between and no long-winded thank you speeches. Each artist’s set is unique and even more extravagant than the previous one, which seems inconceivable for over 50 acts on a live TV broadcast. Only with Japan’s superhuman work ethic, unwavering discipline and accurate-to-the-second planning could such a mammoth of a show be pulled off year after year.

DIR EN GREY

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DIR EN GREY

Two Decades of Pushing Musical Boundaries

A Japanese metal band with nine full-length albums under its belt, DIR EN GREY has nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry. Drawing on inspiration from different genres, from the strong presence of visual kei at the inception of their career to current influences like alternative metal, DIR EN GREY continues to evolve and push boundaries. The five-member band showcases a masterful combination of music and lyrics. Formed in 1997, they caught the attention of one of their idols early on — X Japan’s Yoshiki, who produced five of their singles in 1999. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the lead singer, Kyo, “is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal in ections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream — no electronic effects needed.” DIR EN GREY is set for an exciting summer. Their recent releases include a July 27th new single, “UTAFUMI,” in collaboration with renowned X Japan / LUNA SEA guitarist SUGIZO, as well as a June 29th Blu-ray/DVD of the band’s live performance of ARCHE on the legendary Nippon Budokan stage from February 2016. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Kyo (voice), Kaoru (leader/ guitarist), Die (guitarist), Toshiya (bassist) and Shinya (drummer) about the band’s journey and their plans for the future.

All-4-One

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All-4-One

The Dukes of R&B for 20 Years

With millennials suddenly embracing the nostalgia of their childhood, many former pop-culture figures are profiting from this newfound popularity for all things ‘90s. All-4-One is no exception. Their 1995 number-one hit “I Swear” was named one of the greatest love songs of the 20th century by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. With sales exceeding 22 million records worldwide, constantly touring and releasing new music, the GRAMMY Award-winning band released their 20th anniversary album, Twenty+, at the perfect time. Tokyo Journal sat down with Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez and Tony Borowiak as they revisited their roots and discussed touring Japan.



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