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82-Year-Old Japanese Woman Spends Her Days Making Dumplings and Her Nights Dropping Beats as a Nightclub DJ

82-year-old Sumiko Iwamuro runs a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, where she spends her days making “gyoza” dumplings, but when the sun sets, she turns into DJ Sumirock, an energetic party-starter dropping beats in popular nightclubs around the Japanese capital.

Sumiko discovered her passion for techno music 12 years ago, while choosing the music at her son’s birthday party, and apparently found it fascinating enough to dedicate a whole year of her life to learning the tricks of DJ-ing at a school for disc jockeys. She then started making her own tracks, most of which consist of techno beats mixed with jazz, French chanson and classical music. These combination proved a hit with Japanese nightclub-goers and 82-year-old DJ Sumirock is one of the most popular disc jockeys in Tokyo.

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Artist Who Experiences Sounds as Colors Paints Popular Songs

Ever wonder what John Lennon’s “Imagine” looks like? Not the music video, but the song itself. Well, thanks to artist Melissa McCracken, you don’t have to imagine it anymore.

Melissa “suffers” from a condition known as synesthesia, which allows her to experience various things – from sounds to letters and even math formulas – as colors, so whenever she hears music, her mind’s eye sees a symphony of colors and textures. In a desire to capture the way she perceives music and share it with the rest of the world, the Missouri-based artist immortalizes popular songs as vibrant paintings.

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South-African Teacher Uses Hip-Hop to Make Math Fun for Students

Kurt Minnaar, a 33-year-old math teacher at Cape Town’s Eben Dönges High School uses hip hop beats and rhymes to make math lessons more enjoyable for his students.

Singing or listening to music during math class is usually frowned upon, but in Kurt Minnaar’s classroom, it’s actually a pre-requisite. The former choreographer and hip-hop artist is using his musical background to make the process of learning math a lot easier and less boring for his students. Minaar says that most kids today are into music and beats, and he’s basically taking the traditional math curriculum and fusing it with what they love to make it easier to learn and remember.

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Meet Grindmother – A 68-Year-Old Grindcore Rocking Grandmother

You’re never too old to follow your dreams, and this 68-year-old woman who recently launched her career as a grindcore lead singer is the only proof you’ll ever need.

Hailing from from Windsor, Ontario, The Grindmother started unleashing her hardcore vocal talents in 2014, when her son – who goes by the name Rain Forest – and his friend invited her to join their grindcore band, Corrupt Leaders. They had been looking for just the right voice for their music, and decided to give her a shot as well. “We were recording an EP… and we had her come over and do a guest vocal scream,” Rain Forest said. “As soon as we did the first screams on the video I could see that she had the rage behind it.”

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Japanese Artist Turns Old TV Sets into Cool Percussion Instruments

Japanese artist Ei Wada discovered that old cathode ray tube television sets make great percussion instruments by mistake, but he managed to turn this accidental discovery into an art. Today, his unique Braun Tube Jazz Band is famous all over the world.

Wada first became interested in percussion music at age four, after attending a Gamelan music performance in Indonesia. He was impressed by the sound of the percussion instruments, recalling that he felt “taken to another world”. This memory stuck with him, and a few years later, while tinkering with some old cassette tapes, he realized that the off-key sounds they produced were very similar to the Gamelan music that had made such a big impression on him. Since then, he has been focusing on producing otherworldly sounds with obsolete gadgets that people usually throw away.

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The Unlikely Story of How a Small Barbershop Became One of the Coolest Live Music Venues in Dublin

Abner Browns barbershop, on Rathgar Road, Dublin, is considered one of the most interesting places to visit in all of Ireland. The old-school barbershop charm plays a role in its insane popularity, but what really sets it apart from any other barbershop in the world is the fact that it doubles as a live music bar.

Abner Browns has been in business for 17 years, but its incredible transformation occurred three years ago, when owner Dave Judge decided to work in the barbershop full-time, after losing a lot of money he had invested in property during the financial crash of 2007-2008. While redecorating the place, he bought an old leather couch for about €30, and after setting it next to some guitars and music posters that served as decorations, he told his wife that it would be cool to get someone to play on it. A few days later, Canadian singer/songwriter Blair Packhem walked into Abner Browns for a haircut and Judge asked him if he would play a few songs on his new couch. Patrons loved the idea, and as news of the spontaneous gig spread around the city, Tim Fernley, a friend of Judge’s and member in a number of local bands, asked if he could play in the barbershop. And it just snowballed from there.

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Obsessed Audiophiles in Japan Are Installing Their Own Utility Poles for Better Sound Quality

Japanese audiophiles are so obsessed with perfect sound quality that they not only invest tens of thousands of dollars in high quality audio technology, but also install private utility poles to makes sure their setups have enough electricity to work perfectly.

There is currently no definitive proof that having your very own utility pole and an ample amount of electricity makes any meaningful difference on sound quality, but die-hard audiophiles insist that they are critical for a pure audio experience. “Electricity is like blood. If it is tainted, the whole body will get sick,” Takeo Morita recently told the Wall Street Journal. “No matter how expensive the audio equipment is, it will be no good if the blood is bad.” He recently paid around $10,000 to have a concrete utility pole installed in his yard. It comes complete with his own personal transformer, which feeds power more directly from the grid.

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World’s First Underwater Music Band All Set to Make a Splash

‘Between Music’, the world’s first aquatic music band, are all set to perform their very first underwater concert – ‘Aquasonic’ – at Rotterdam on 27 May. The Danish ensemble will be playing specific instruments and even singing inside water tanks, using special techniques that they developed over 10 long years of experimentation.

The story of this unique musical group began when lead singer and composer Laila Skovmand decided to find a way to sing underwater. Her first experiment involved singing while submerging her mouth in a kitchen bowl filled with water. While she was able to produce sounds, she was also generating a lot of bubbles that added ‘pop’ sounds to the music. But she was determined to find a way to sing underwater, so she kept trying new things.

After a lot of trial and error, Laila finally came up with a technique that involves holding an air bubble in her mouth and singing through it while submerged in water. She has to rise to the top once every minute to breathe in fresh air and start with a new bubble, but otherwise, she claims it works. “There is also a technique where I switch between singing on the exhale and inhale,” she says. “But it can be hard to control.” Due to the small amount of air in a bubble, the underwater singer can only produce short tones, preferably high ones, because lower tones tend to sound nasal. 

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This Unique Record Label Specializes in Music for Dogs

Since 1999, The Laurel Canyon Animal Company has been producing music exclusively for animals – particularly dogs. The Los Angeles company regularly collaborates with animal communication experts and even psychics to get dogs directly involved in the music making process and the tunes they release are all chosen by the animals.

“We’ll take whatever the dog says and turn it into a song,” said co-founder Skip Haynes. “We’re probably the only people in the world to involve animals in the creative musical process. We’re trying to create a bridge between animals and human beings using music, because that’s what we do.”

“Each CD we produce is devoted to a particular kind of animal or species. Each track is devoted to a unique concern, situation, or shared experience of the people who love those animals or the animals themselves. We utilize the writing, production, and conceptual talents of animal loving writers, producers, artists, communicators, musicians, poets – and of course, animals from all over the world.”

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Musical Duo Records New Album Using Only Sounds Generated by a Washing Machine

Matmos, a Baltimore-based conceptual art and electronic music duo, has announced it will soon be releasing an album recorded using sounds generated by a washing machine in the basement of their home.

It might sound strange, but it’s actually very typical of Matmos, who have previously played the uterus and reproductive tract of a cow and and opened for Björk on canisters of helium. This is what they do – use unusual materials to create unique sounds that end up sounding like actual music. For their upcoming album, Ultimate Care II, they used a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine, drumming on it, rubbing it, prodding it and, obviously, doing laundry, before processing the samples and creating a single 38-minute track.

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Hamburgirl Z – Japan’s Hamburger-Themed Girl Band

When it comes to idol groups in Japan, good ol’ music just doesn’t cut it anymore. They’ve got to throw in an additional gimmick or two, just to standout among the massive competition. And Hamburgirl Z is doing just that – it’s the world’s only hamburger-themed girl band!

In the words of Japanese culture blogger Tofugu, the new West Japan band is a “group of cute, smiling girls dancing and singing in hamburger costumes. Their sole purpose is to serenade hamburger lovers, by singing only about, well, burgers.

The girls are dressed like different hamburger ingredients – there’s beef, lettuce, egg, tomato, fish, chicken, onion, pork/bacon, avocado, pineapple, and even eggplant. There are a total of 15 members in the band sporting 14 ingredients. They perform at a variety of events across West Japan, and sell merchandise after the concert is over.

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Introducing Okilly Dokilly, the World’s First Ned Flanders-Themed Metal Band

Phoenix-based heavy-metal outfit ‘Okilly Dokilly’ call themselves the world’s first ‘Nedal’ (Ned+metal) band – a tribute to the well-meaning, yet super-annoying Simpsons character Ned Flanders.

The members of Arizona’s most ‘neighborly’ rock band are bespectacled, mustachioed, and always dressed in Flanders’ signature costume – pink shirt, grey trousers, and green sweater. They even have creative names for themselves – Head Ned – vocals; Red Ned – synth; Thread Ned – bass; Stead Ned – guitar; and Bled Ned – drums. Most of their songs feature ‘direct Ned quotes’.

Lead singer Head Ned revealed that the idea for the band came about when he was shopping for groceries one day. “Myself and our drummer were in line at a grocery store, entertaining ourselves by coming up with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands,” he said, speaking to Australian magazine Rip It Up. “The name Okilly Dokilly came up and was very funny to us.”

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Meet Ladybeard, the Bearded Crossdressing Australian Man Taking Japan by Storm

When you think “kawaii” and “J-pop” the first image that comes into your head is probably not of a fit, hairy Caucasian dude wearing pony tails and tiny women’s clothes. Which is exactly what makes “Ladybeard” so unique and popular in Japan.

Richard Magarey hails from the Australian city of Adelaide, but moved to Hong Kong in 2006 to pursue a career in martial arts stunt career. Drama had been the only thing he was good at in school, and because he also practiced martial arts, he decided to pursue a career as a stunt actor. He worked as ‘Mirrorball Man’ for a while, a persona that required him to put on a giant mirror ball, go to clubs and get patrons grooving to dance music. As weird as that may sound, Magarey claims the gig changed his notion of what a performance could be. “I was in a costume and environment that stripped me of my usual physical, vocal and emotional expression,” he said, in an interview with Japan Today.

But it wasn’t until he got involved in wrestling and adopted a truly bizarre persona that the Australian entertainer discovered what destiny had in store for him. After training in a wrestling gym for over two months, Richard showed up for his first match wearing a skimpy Lolita dress and his hair tied in two childish ponytails. He still had his fuzzy beard and hadn’t bothered to shave his hairy body either. He remembers sitting backstage and thinking to himself “What am I doing? I’m wearing a dress, about to go do this thing that I’ve been doing for two months, in front of a bunch of people. What is wrong with me? Why did I make this decision?” But he eventually did it anyway, and everyone loved it. Ladybeard was born that night, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ladybeard

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Two-Year-Old DJ Still in Diapers Is Taking South Africa by Storm

Oratilwe Hlongwane, a.k.a. DJ AJ, has become a viral phenomenon in South Africa with a dedicated fan following of thousands. But here’s the twist – he’s actually a two-year-old kid! While he can barely speak, the incredibly talented toddler can work a DJ console like a pro.

AJ is so good at DJing that he has fans hankering after his heavy-bass house music. The record spinning toddler has made a few special appearances and also bagged sponsorship deals with various brands. His most recent performance was at a shopping mall in his hometown of Johannesburg, where a large crowd gathered to groove to his music.

AJ’s mother, Refiloe Marumo, attributes the boy’s astounding skills to his father Glen Hlongwane’s decision to buy him an iPad even before he was born. Glen, a gymnastics coach, wanted to use the iPad to download educational apps to speed up the kid’s education. Incidentally, he happens to be an aspiring DJ, so he also downloaded a DJ app for his own use.

Oratilwe Hlongwane

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ArnoCorps – A Band Whose Lyrics Are Based Exclusively on the Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger

San Francisco-based rock band ‘ArnoCorps’ is the world’s first musical group to feature lyrics that are based exclusively on the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The lyrics mainly parallel movie dialogs and plots from Arnold’s action flicks in the 1980s, like The Terminator, Predator and Total Recall.

ArnoCorps is generally regarded as the pioneer of Action-Adventure Hardcore Rock and Roll. Founded in 2001, the group consists of six members who look like highly-trained militant Austrian action-rock heros. Each member has a pseudonym and a heroic backstory. At every performance, they are clothed in combat fatigues and camouflage paint, and they address the audience in ‘ballsy’ accents.

ArnoCorps

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