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Monday, July 25, 2016

Tales from the 2016 J-POP SUMMIT Festival: Space Toilets, Zombie Kitties, and the New Vocaloid in Town

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 5:09 PM

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I knew that between the wind from the Bay and people coming and going there was about a nil-percent chance that the bottle would still be there on Sunday, but I looked anyway when we arrived that morning. Lo and behold…


It's a J-POP miracle, y'all.

Sunday's lunch, it should be pointed out, was a much happier experience. We gave the JapaCurry truck a wide berth — though people who enjoy fried foods should definitely check it out — and instead hit the We Sushi truck, not to be confused with We Be Sushi. Sushi burritos have become a thing in recent years, and for my first, the Monster Burrito (salmon, lobster, spring mix, and vegetables) seemed like a good place to start. And it was indeed nommy.


There was very little Hatsune Miku presence at J-POP this year — I didn't even see anyone cosplaying as her — and it stood to reason that she would be overshadowed by the newer, shinier IA. But the teal-haired one did make a brief cameo appearance in the demo of the iDoll.

Meanwhile, KrOB crushed Fruit Ninja on his first try, let alone playing it on a hands-free system like the Exvision ZKOO.

Elsewhere in the Interactive area was the latest zombification app, ZombieBooth2, which was set to a zombified cat which I could not stop keep myself from feeding. I’m pretty sure my cat Hineni knows that this is how things will play out should a feline-specific zombie outbreak occur.

My colleague Alan Smithee wrote a preview piece for the Hear This! Section, and I'm told the original draft included this line: "This year’s shindig also draws from the more banal elements of our local culture with the first 'J-POP Queen' Drag Contest (yawn)." The editor removed the words "the more banal elements of" and "(yawn)" before the line was removed entirely.

And, I don't know. Hosted by D'Arcy Drollinger (read my editor Peter Kane's interview with her!) I'm sure it was a fine event, but efewffwfaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Apologies, I fell asleep on my keyboard. Anyway, Heklina (read Peter's interview with her as well!) was one of the judges, which made it all the more specooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

So strange! Every time I try to even think about couzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yeesh! It just keeps happening, possibly because I can't personally fathom anything more played out and less interesting than a drag show in 2016 San Francisco, which may explain this picture KrOB took during the contest.


Evidently, I wasn't the only queer woman with blond-and-pink hair who found the idea of yet another drag show too boring to stay awake through. I'll be happy if I never have to see one again for the rest of my life, but it's your thing, I'm sure it was perfectly fine. [NOTE: Sherilyn Connelly's "politically correct," feminazi opinions about drag does not reflect either the Weekly's editors or the San Francisco Media Company. She's the SJW, not us.]

Much more my thing was the hella-tight dance group World Order, founded and choreographed by former mixed martial arts champion Genki Sudo. (Smithee told me that one of the later drafts of his World Order preview included the line "Sudo also writes the catchy techno jams to which World Order dances, so while they'd probably get glared off the stage at Amnesia, they still pass the San Francisco authenticity test," but it was also removed by the editor. Go figure.) Seeing them do their moves in their videos is fun — seriously, watch "Have a Nice Day" right now — but they're  a whole 'nother level of amazing up close, such as in their self-titled song "World Order."

World Order is best known for their slo-mo robotic walking, which they busted out for the closer "Machine Civilization." And keep in mind that Sudo is also singing, as do other members during other songs, which is pretty high up there on the "walk and chew gum" scale.

My favorite act from 2014 and 2015, the all-female rock trio Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass, were not present this year, meaning I wouldn't get to revel in their cover of "House of the Rising Sun." Here's last year's performance, just because.

But the spirit was kept alive by the closing act, Silent Siren. They have a much poppier sound than the Vulgars, but they still brought the rock (and smoke and lights), including their original, not-a-Runaways-cover song "Cherry Bomb."

The show ran late, and in the end it was an exhausting two days, but in the best way possible — and next year's J-POP SUMMIT Festival is the best reason I can think of to look forward to 2017.
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Sherilyn Connelly

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