Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anime Hell Preshow 2010


Just got back from Anime Weekend Atlanta where, among other things, I present the popular and confusing "Anime Hell" event. This free-form Japaheeno cartoon clip show has been an annual favorite among those "in the know" who enjoy things that are goofy, kooky, kicky, and ginchy in the way of out-of-contextual audio-visual entertainment. Of course there's always a few moments of setup while the thousands of audience members find their way to their seats, and the technical crew explains their complicated equipment to me, the host. A few years back I realized that what I ought to do is put some music over the PA to make these moments a little more entertaining. That's how I started making Anime Hell Pre-Show Compilations, and that's what we're giving you today at Found Sound! It's a little longer than our usual tracks, but I think you'll forgive us our bandwidth savagery. So sit back, close your eyes, imagine an anime con badge around your neck and a hotel function room chair beneath your ass, and pretend you're waiting for me to drunkenly figure out how to use a DVD player. Not to mention wondering what the hell this insane country music has to do with Japanese cartoons.

ANIME HELL PRESHOW 2010: "Shortcake Rap" (Strawberry Shortcake), "October Is Country Music Month/Jerry Clower" (various), "Fascist Threat" (Janet Greene), "Batman And Robin" (Thor Ables), "They Took Little Johnny" (Boyd Peters), "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke '68" (Tex Williams), "I'm A Sick American" (Frank W. Morris). 17:00

Some tracks previously appeared on the compliation "I Love Country & Western Music Volume 2" courtesy Devlin Thompson.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I was concerned I might be out of practice.

With the one-two punch of the shrinking number of anime-specific FL conventions and out-of-state cons either having their own personal HELLs or having no interest in such an event, the Panel OF DOOM!--my solo act take on the Anime HELL experience--hadn't seen the light of day for well over a year. Not since...AWA 2009. But old habits die hard, and so this year's DOOM was almost entirely new clips and held in an all-new venue: the Video Art Track (VAT)! From my vantage point, the place was filled beyond capacity to standing room only from beginning to end. CRITICAL RESULT: HAPPY. Full list of what was shown (sort of in order of appearance):

For the sake of expediency, I'll use one entry for things with multiple clips shown. That way I don't have to write "Gatchaman" quite so many times!

JOHN CENA'S "BAD BAD MAN" MUSIC VIDEO - in memory of Gary Coleman
SOUL TRAIN LINE - "Mighty Mighty" by Earth Wind and Fire
PARTY 7 OPENING ANIMATION - from the creators of Redline
ASTRO BOY 1980 - Uran accepts a ride from a old man who wants to put a special unit in her
GATCHAMAN - Galactor's plan to attract 16 year-old girls, sick old man in wheelchair makes friends with little girl, never trust the forest patrol
SUNTORY BEER ADS - featuring Mike the Penguin
CHEERS BEER - Every Good Thing in Life
RED BARON - Science Investigation Detective, the greatest piano ever, 60 second premise recap, crucifixion explosion
IRON KING - Nonstop Action Before Credits, Slapping a Girl, Blowing Up Schools, Fighting Handicapped Monsters
LEGEND OF THE SACRED STONE - puppet wuxia fighting at its best
THE TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG - its exciting finale!
DR. NAMBU FROM SCIENCE NINJA TEAM GATCHAMAN IS A DICK - Whales, Centrifugal Brain Surgery, Lost Shoes, Magma Jesus
TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER - "fabulous" Thai western
BLACK LAGOON OMAKE - Radical Revy-chan
THE AMAZING RACE - watermelon catapulting
COMBATTLER V - Supermagnetic Yo-Yos, From Conceptualization to Implementation
FIRED! - featuring Brandon Keener, voice of Garrus Vakarian in Mass Effect
PENGUIN MEMORIES - Mike the Vietnam
WOLF'S RAIN - the best walrus fight anime has ever depicted
ALLUDA MAJAKA - Telugu Indian movie where our hero evades capture, rides horse
3DFX COMMERCIAL - canceling science and medical advancement
SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO SEASON 2 - the Comet Empire hates dinosaurs and dinosaur planets
JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE - car paradox in memory of Satoshi Kon
RAVEN TENGU KABUTO - Iron Horse, Iron Terror
CRAPSHOTS - Using Hokuto Shinken to heal...and failing
DROP BY OSAMU TEZUKA - the most nihilistic cartoon Hayao Miyazaki had ever seen
NIA: NINJA IN ACTION - ninja vs woman with large rock in purse
LAWS OF ETERNITY - Happy Science cult heroes engage in philosophical finger pointing duels with Hitler and Nietzsche
HARD TICKET TO HAWAII by Andy Sidaris - Skateboarder and blow up doll blown rocket launcher
KELLOGG'S COCOA KRISPIES - Snaggletooth uses his chocolate touch and thinks his chocolate thoughts
CHAD VANGAALEN - MOLTEN LIGHT (I'LL FIND YOU AND I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL FIND YOU AND I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL FIND YOU AND I'LL KILL YOU!) - I've held onto this clip for 3 years, waiting for the time to strike
GARBAGE DAY - I tried not running this for a while, but I can't resist
SLIMBY AND THE SPECIAL PICTURE (repeat from DOOM of years ago)

Phew! And to think I brought an entire extra 90 minutes of stuff just in case people were getting bored with what I was showing! Worry not; we'll rock out with Sivaji the Boss next year! Click here for the 2010 lineup of Anime's Craziest Deaths!


Field reports indicate this was the BEST HELL EVER. Nadelman kept 'em cooking with TLA and by 10pm the audience was ready to roll... with laughter! 2 screens, updated TOWER OF POWER (tm) speaker stacks and an advanced pipe and drape echo reduction system meant an upgraded HELL experience for the capacity crowd. Here's what was shown.

LOGORAMA - the Academy Award winning short film featuring advertising logos killing each other, swearing, and boob-grabbing.
GTFO -if you are a furry, GTFO.
MAD MEN OPENING - swelegant Sterling Draper Cooper Price title by Th' Gavv.
SW2000 OPENING - title card from horrifying Ultraman feature "Space Warriors 2000"
RICK ROLL - this is not Soul Eater.
GUNDAM -T28 -TORBOTO In which I give the audience the finger.
DR TRAN LETTERS -viewer mail.
ANIME VS AMERICA - Care Bears, Monchichis, Mr. T and the Dukes versus Fighting General Daimos and Space Battleship Yamato. And Gamera.
IT'S A UFO - fascinating true anime documentary about aliens.
HETALIA ROSWELL - fascinating true anime documentary about aliens landing on America's house.
ZINC OXIDE - where would we be without Zinc Oxide.
HALLOWEEN - Centron safety film about the dangers of Halloween.
part two:
THE HANGMAN - nothing says workplace safety like a burly Englishman in a domino mask.
WILL YOU BE HERE TOMORROW - not if you starred in this safety film!
ACTION AFTER WARNINGS - what to do if the Big One drops and you live in the UK.
GAS IN HEATER - gas in your heater can kill you.
EVERY MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE - don't leave your baby on the sidewalk.
DINNER FOR A SEAGULL - drowning, it's what's for dinner.
DONKEY KONG JR - vintage video game ad.
PIXELS - short film about 8-bit world domination.
FINAL FANTASY II - vintage video game ad.
VIRTUAL REALITY - news clip about exciting new trend for 1991.
ZIPANG clip from the amazing film. Jigoku fights Zatoichi, Tange Sazen and 100 others.
BLACK DYNAMITE - But Black Dynamite, I sell drugs in the community!
BITCH KILLER - god this film makes me horny.
MEGAFORCE -the good guys always win, even in the 80s.
ULTRAVACUUM - super monsters battle super vacuum cleaners.
ULTRACARINSURANCE - super monsters ding your car.
MURPHY IRISH STOUT - the choice of high tech samurai.
MINILOTO,NOCRIA - quick Japanese ads.
ZIPANG - back to killing. Warning, this sword is REALLY sharp.
YOGI OKEY DOKEY - yeah, he's real funny, you obese death-suckers.
DR TRAN LETTERS - again with the viewer mail.
DOWNFALL REJECTED - Hitler gets what Hitler wants.


See you at AWA 17!

SoundHELL: Friday Foster

Friday Foster (1975)

Friday Foster radio spot

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grow a pair. Of what, I don't care.

So, there's been a lot of talk about Dragon Con recently.

Major disclaimer: I WAS NOT THERE. I'm not writing about what happened. I'm writing about what was said had happened. I'm writing about the people who said things and how they reacted to them.

Which, I think, makes it worse.

Go through the comments made here. I'll wait.

Are you angry? Oh, go actually read them. That's what tabbed browsing is for.

Okay, you've actually read them. You're kinda pissed that it went down like that. You're not alone. It should not have been that way.

Now, think about how that happened and how many people said they would go back. If that happened, it happened. But if you said that had happened, would you go back?

Now, ask yourself the really important question. How many police reports were filed?

This is the problem I have with the narrative. I'm not going to say these things didn't happen, because I wasn't there. But, if these things did happen, why didn't anyone call the cops? If some guy randomly groped me in an elevator, I'd be telling the police, "Yes, sir, he's the gentleman with the torqued nuts who is currently in the fetal position on the 23rd floor." If I had an iPhone, there would be a picture of this guy on a flickr account with the tag "drunk gropey dude". If it had happened around my friends, I would at least have a commemorative tooth to remember the event. Something.

I'm not out to blame the victim, seriously. I'm not going to say, "Oh, they dressed that way and had it coming." I'm not going to say that for two reasons: one, that is some serious douche to say that; two: it's a flippin' con. Getting into costumes and forgetting your tedious real-life is part of why we have cons. It's all part of the fantasy.

At this point, I have to consider how the non-cons saw all of this. These are guys who think that the only reason a girl would wear a costume is she's a stripper. She just popped out of a cake.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

I don't want to give a free-pass to assholes; please don't think I am. But we're talking about a bunch of testosterone-addled bags with no fucking clue what a con is about. They do not understand what that costume is or why it's important or even why you would dress that way in the first place.

And I am not going to say for a fraction of a second that it's any excuse for their behavior. If anything, I am going to say it is why you must be more strict with them. They have no idea. They must be trained. They must learn.

I have my belly and and like it. I earned it. It also gives me a false sense of security that I won't get ogled by jack-asses if I decide to let it hang out. I have heard (read) that there were girls in a similar situation that still got unwanted attention by drunk douchebags.

And that is some evil stuff right there. You get a girl in her comfort zone and make it uncomfortable? Oh yeah. I'm looking for blood on that.

But what worries me most about this is, there were no police reports (please, tell me I'm wrong). If you let someone do that, it's almost as bad as doing it yourself. If you let it go on like that, if there are not consequences, then the douche is never going to know what he did was wrong. You have to pull out the rolled-up newspaper and swat a few noses and say "NO!", or it's just going to happen again.

And that's what scares me. If the guy did what was said was done, and there were no charges filed and nothing came of it, he's going to come back next year. He's going to come back and bring his buddies and tell them about this "great time" he had and things are only going to get worse.

This is the greatest danger of the Geek Social Fallacies. You are allowed to call someone on their bullshit when they are being a douche. Do not be afraid that calling someone on their BS will force them into calling you on yours. You are not trying to sexually assault someone on an elevator. You don't know them. They don't know you. Call that BS when you see it. Yell "fire" when it happens. This is something that must be stopped before it gets out of hand.

That kind of behavior is not normal. It is aberrant and dangerous and it saddens me to see people let it go on like that. If someone had called the cops Friday night, there would have been no issues on Saturday. If the cops had been called on Saturday, it would not have gone on through Sunday. There's no shame in calling someone on their bullshit if what they are doing is wrong. It is up to you to tell someone that you were victimized or that someone tried to do that.

I'm asking you; no, I'm telling you, don't let this happen to you. Don't just laugh it off and think that if you say anything, everyone will think you're a humorless bitch. If you see this happening to someone, don't just look away and tell the story later. Tell the fucking cops. Reading these tales on-line is fine and all, but tell someone who can do something about it. Do something, fer christssakes.

And if it happens again next year, I'm going to punch everyone.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

AnimeFest Debriefing

Before I forget...

It wasn't anyone's fault.

The staff at AnimeFest was just delightful, unlike other cons we could mention, and we were actually allotted thirty-minutes' set-up time. It was a joy, working in a well-lit room, with people who had things under control, who cared if it all worked or not.

And it did work! Test video was run (and loudly enough that we were asked to turn it down). Technically, everything was just hunky-dory.

Well, technically. The only problem was we could not technically get all the people waiting in line into panel room 2. Ops took one look at the line and the room and decided we needed to move across the hall into the larger panel room 1.

(Cue dramatic music.)

It was like watching ants take apart a grasshopper in reverse; I've never seen people set up chairs that quickly. If I had been thinking, there would be time-lapse video of how that went up. I was in the hallway, handing out candy and trying in vain to get a "Hokey Pokey" game going. Ah well.

Once we had the crowd situated, we were going to start the show, but the magic demons that make video work hadn't made the move with us. Katie told the story of her one night as a stand-up comic. Dan and the staff went through four different laptops, trying to get the video back up and running.

The first video had a creepy, stop-action feel to it. While the crew tried to get that fixed, Bruce told a story about a 12-yr-old hooker.

The next videos ran as they should. Then one halted. Katie showed us a new game she'd come up with and, because we could control the lights in the room, it didn't end with any contusions.

Yay! Video is back up and running! Pause for Hard Gay pose-off (which went into sudden-death overtime).

Let's watch some Camay commercials and see who can imitate the walk the best. Audience participation made this contest extra special. hoarks on us again. And during the action sequences, too.

It's time for the Jack Rebney "dance of frustration" contest.

Lots of candy was thrown, much alcohol was consumed, a good time had by all.

Special shout-out to the AV staff of AnimeFest, who went above and beyond on this one. We could not have done it without you. But for reals.

And many thanks to our audience, who waited that extra time while the second room went up, did not set anything in the hall on fire, and suffered through our little hiccups. Next time, we'll bring a special carrying-case for the magic demons that make video work.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Mr. Kang bangs a gong

What do black walls, free house-rolls, and Japanese traditional songs played on a 1960's French synthesizer have in common?

You can get them all Sushi World!

All the bars had closed and we were hungry. I had passed Sushi World multiple times and remembered it was open 24-hours. We decided to give it a shot.

The oddity of this place has been noticed by others. They aren't exaggerating. Place is straight-up weird.

It's made more weird after a night of drinking.


The decor is an unsettling black-on-black with large paper lanterns strategically placed under each ceiling fan. There are black plywood barriers between the rows of tables that look like leftovers from a high-school production of "Our Town". There are piles of rice bags, packages of noodles, and take-out containers everywhere. There's even a private room to one side where you're just sure nothing good ever happened. By the bar, there's a TV playing loop of a man making sushi and fried delights. Everyone in a paper-hat is abnormally tall and has a long, Akhanten-style face.

And the music. Oh, the music. At first, it's just amusing. Then, the next song comes on and you wonder if you're in some kind of video game. As it goes on, you're suddenly reminded of an ancient relative's electric organ (or if you're old enough, you remember the Hammond store at the mall).

Service was a little strange in the middle of the night and Brian and I had long stretches where we wondered what had happened to the waitress. Our waitress spoke mostly in monosyllabic grunts, but with an uncanny werewolf smile.

Brian had the fried yaki udon ($12) with an order of spicy tuna rolls ($8) and a side of kimchee ($3). The udon bowl is the size of your face and there were five shrimp in there (heads and all). I think there were ten slices of the spicy tuna.

I had the grilled beef teriyaki bento ($17), which is an insane amount of food. Besides the grilled beef teriyaki (with cabbage), there is also a pad of fried rice 10cm in diameter, four fried gyoza, a small salad with a ginger vinaigrette, a bowl of miso soup, and six sushi rolls (krab and avocado with tempura crispies and spicy sauce). I was unable to finish it.

These house rolls are fantastic and are also served up as a lagniappe when you order. You will not need to dip them in anything, as the coating (a siriracha/mayo concoction) is flavor enough.

An added bonus is orders between 1 and 10 am are 20% off.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, I was going to just write this review yesterday afternoon and leave it at that, but I went back the next day with Dan and Ed. I had suggested is as a place to fuel up before we headed into the con.

If you go during the day, it's a completely different experience, service-wise.

While deciding what to get, Ed mentioned that he was "definitely" going to come back for Christmas dinner, because you can get a free "sushi-cake" on your birthday. The waiter joked with us a bit about it, thinking no one could be so unlucky as to have a birthday on Christmas. Ed showed him his ID.

Queue the magic:

Mr. Kang--owner of the restaurant, master sushi chef, author of two books on making sushi, recipient of an honor from the 30th Congressional district and the city of Bedford, and veteran with a military medal from the president of South Korea--came out and fist-bumped everyone at the table, asked Ed his name, and then sang him "Happy Birthday" on the karaoke machine. And then there were two free bottles of sake on the table.

Everything was wonderful, the food was great, and the music was still bizarre. I cannot recommend this place enough. If you come into the DFW area for another con, and you're in downtown Dallas, get your ass over there. If you happen to live in Dallas and have guests coming in, take them there. If you live in downtown Dallas, you can go there to buy noodles and sauces (and lovely lacquered bento boxes).

And if you see Mr. Kang, prepare for a fist-bump.