Fukushima, Japan, nuclear plant disaster news update


This 18 August 2014 live punk rock music video by Japanese band Scrap, consisting of Fukushima disaster survivors, is their song Fuck TEPCO; about the corporation owning the Fukushima disaster nuclear plant.

The tune is based on the song Rockaway Beach, by the Ramones.

From Al Jazeera, 20 February 2019:

Fukushima operator told to pay over 2011 nuclear disaster

A court in Japan has awarded nearly $4m in new damages to 152 residents forced to flee their houses after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown eight years ago, the world’s most serious nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The Yokohama district court on Wednesday ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 419.6m yen ($3.8m) to the residents, a court spokeswoman told AFP news agency.

Triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake, a tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in March 2011, overwhelming reactor cooling systems, causing multiple meltdowns and sending radiation over a large area that forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

Nearly 19,000 people were killed or went missing and 160,000 lost their homes and livelihoods in the massive earthquake and tsunami.

Presiding judge Ken Nakadaira said the government and TEPCOcould have avoided the accident if they had taken measures” against the tsunami, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The verdict was the fifth time the government has been ruled liable for the disaster in eastern Japan.

In March last year, a court in Kyoto, western Japan, ruled that both the government and TEPCO were responsible and ordered them to pay 110m yen ($992,300) to 110 residents.

However, in a separate case in September 2017 in Chiba near Tokyo, the court ruled that only the operator was liable.

Around 12,000 people who fled after the disaster due to radiation fears have filed various lawsuits against the government and TEPCO.

Cases have revolved around whether the government and TEPCO, both of whom are responsible for disaster prevention measures, could have foreseen the scale of the tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

Dozens of class-action lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation from the government.

Is life in Fukushima really getting back to normal? — The Washington Post: here.

[Japan’s] Prime Minister Abe uses the Tokyo Olympics as snake oil cure for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns — Fairewinds Energy Education: here.

San Diego judge dismisses U.S. sailors’ Fukushima radiation lawsuits, rules Japan has jurisdiction — The San Diego Union-Tribune: here.

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Japanese man marries robot girl


This 21 December 2013 punk rock music video from Scotland says about itself:

The Valves – Robot Love

Live at Edinburgh Liquid Rooms

The Scottish band The Valves wrote this song much earlier, in 1977.

However, now something happens not in song lyrics, but in reality.

From the New York Times, 19 January 2019:

Do You Take This Robot …

When Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old school administrator in Tokyo, strolled down the aisle in a white tuxedo in November, his mother was not among the 40 well-wishers in attendance. For her, he said, “it was not something to celebrate.”

You might see why. The bride, a songstress with aquamarine twin tails named Hatsune Miku, is not only a world-famous recording artist who fills up arenas throughout Japan: She is also a hologram.

Mr. Kondo insists the wedding was not a stunt, but a triumph of true love after years of feeling ostracized by real-life women for being an anime otaku, or geek.

‘Jingle Bells’ music by animals, by punk rockers


This 19 December Christmas music video is the song ‘Jungle Yells‘. It is really Jingle Bells, but sung by animals of Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands: a young elephant, tigers, flamingos, chimpansees, prairie dogs and others.

This 1979 punk rock music video is the same song, mixed with We Wish You A Merry Christmas, as A Merry Jingle; by The Greedies.

Buzzcocks punk musician Pete Shelley, RIP


This music video is called THE BUZZCOCKS – FAST CARS (LIVE 1981).

From the BBC, 6 December 2018:

Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies at 63

Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley has died at 63 of a suspected heart attack.

The punk band are best known for their hit, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).

Their management told the BBC that Shelley died on Thursday in Estonia where he was living.

BBC music correspondent Lizo Mzimba said Buzzcocks, who formed in Bolton in the 1970s, were regarded as more polished, but musically no less influential, than the Sex Pistols.

The band have tweeted saying Shelley was “one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks”.

His music inspired generations of musicians over a five-decade career with his band and as a solo artist, they said.

American punk bassist Steve Soto, RIP


This music video from the USA says about itself:

Adolescents: Amoeba. Live at the house of blues

16 December 2014

Ripped from Adolescents’ live performance at House of Blues.

Adolescents are:

Tony Cadena: Vocals
Frank Agnew: Guitar
Casey Royer: Drums
Steve Soto: Bass
Rikk Agnew & Steve Roberts: Guitar

By Josh Varlin in the USA:

Punk bassist Steve Soto dead at 54

10 July 2018

Steve Soto, bassist for Agent Orange and Adolescents, passed away June 27. According to his musical collaborators and the Orange County, California coroner’s office, he died in his sleep of natural causes at the age of 54.

During his four-decade musical career, Soto was the bassist and sometime vocalist for several punk bands, including Agent Orange, Adolescents, Legal Weapon, Joyride, Manic Hispanic, 22 Jacks and Punk Rock Karaoke. He also fronted his own band, Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts.

Soto was born August 23, 1963, and grew up in Southern California. He grew up listening to the Beatles and Johnny Cash, whose famed live album At San Quentin (1969) he termed “the first punk rock record that I ever listened to.” In the late 1970s he began listening to punk bands like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Damned, who were responding to the more ornate music of the bands that preceded them by stripping their music down and speeding it up.

This musical stripping down was also a social reflex, a reaction to the decline of industry and the increasingly straitened circumstances for wide layers of the working class population. Under these conditions, to a certain stratum of musicians and music listeners, the overblown, orchestral sounds of the mid-1970s now seemed inappropriate and even offensive.

When Soto, whose father’s family emigrated from Mexico, was in high school, he co-founded Agent Orange, which combined surf rock and punk with an especially nihilistic bent. Soto left the band before they released their first album, but the version of “Bloodstains” on which he played bass is included in the 30th anniversary edition of Living in Darkness (originally 1981).

“Bloodstains” exemplifies many of the qualities of Soto’s bands and punk rock more generally: lyrics expressing alienation … fast-paced music, menacing bass and distorted guitar. On it, Mike Palm, who wrote the song when he was 15, sings, “Well, I know they know the way I think / I know they always will / But someday I’m gonna change my mind / Sometimes I’d rather kill.” Despair and nihilism, genuine and exaggerated, were prominent in the music of the Southern California hardcore scene of the early 1980s, which included bands like Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, Fear and the Germs.

Soto is best known for his work with Adolescents, a seminal hardcore punk band of which he was the only constant member. In between numerous break-ups and reunions, Adolescents released eight records, with their ninth record, Cropduster, just released July 7. They had just finished a tour of the eastern US and were preparing for a European tour at the time of Soto’s death.

After some personnel changes, Adolescents coalesced into a lineup consisting of Soto on bass, Tony Cadena as lead vocalist, Casey Royer on drums and brothers Rikk and Frank Agnew on guitar. Their debut record, the eponymous Adolescents (1981), was a formative album in the emerging hardcore punk subgenre. Soto was only 16 at the time.

Adolescents is a blistering album, with 13 songs clocking in under half an hour. Like hardcore as a whole, the album expresses the dissatisfaction and restlessness of a layer of working-class and middle-class youth, which only deepened after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

However, this generally expressed itself in confused and antisocial ways. Hardcore Punk fans (as distinct from the earlier punks of 1975-80 in Los Angeles) often fought each other, as well as hippies and gays. (They in turn were frequently brutalized by the Los Angeles and other local police forces.) Adolescents protested against this, stopping their shows if fights got beyond the consensual activities of the mosh pit and criticizing senseless violence in their lyrics: “It’s like Clockwork Orange, a bit of twenty on one / Breaking heads, well that don’t sound like much fun” (“Rip It Up”).

This music video is called Adolescents – Rip It Up.

Another reflection of this alienation was self-destructive behavior, including the widespread use of drugs and alcohol. (Soto struggled with alcoholism for years.) One of Adolescents’ best known and most musically ambitious songs, “Kids of the Black Hole,” deals with this.

This music video is called Adolescents – Kids of the Black Hole.

At its best, Adolescents expressed youthful discontent in a musically innovative way. Soto’s co-written lyrics on tracks such as “Who Is Who” and “Democracy”, as well as his relentless bass playing, were part of this, along with the interplay of the Agnew brothers’ guitar playing.

Adolescents was one of the first Southern California hardcore albums sold widely out of the region, selling over 10,000 copies. However, the band broke up shortly after the record’s release, before they even toured outside of California.

While they reformed and broke up again multiple times over the years, Adolescents’ later material doesn’t reach the heights of their self-titled debut, although some songs dealt more directly with political matters, especially opposition to war, including “Babylon by Bomb”, “Brats in Battalions” and “Wars Aren’t Won, Wars Are Fought.”

Also noteworthy is the song “A Dish Best Served Cold”, from their 2014 album La Vendetta. Soto explained in an interview that the song was about the police murder of Kelly Thomas, a young homeless man with schizophrenia who was beaten to death by Fullerton, California police in 2011. “We were coming out to peaceful protests in front of the police department”, Soto said. After the police officers who killed Thomas were acquitted, band members continued their involvement with the issue, including working with Thomas’ father on changing laws protecting police from legal accountability.

This music video is called Adolescents – A Dish Best Served Cold.

Soto’s other projects were more lighthearted. He was active in Manic Hispanic, a supergroup of Hispanic punks who cover punk songs while changing the lyrics to discuss Chicano life, including dealing with immigration authorities. Soto also toured with Punk Rock Karaoke, which features audience members as lead vocalists.

… Adolescents put out anti-war songs during the Obama years, something relatively rare in the punk genre.

In the weeks before Soto’s death, Adolescents’ Twitter account retweeted articles on the separation of immigrant children from their parents and posted statements opposed to war, police violence, the bombing of Syria and the Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Soto’s impact on music is indicated by the reaction to his death, with the Offspring, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, the Vandals, Suicidal Tendencies and Frank Turner lamenting his passing in social media statements.

Psychords, Sex Pissed Dolls, women punk rockers


This music video from England says about itself:

Psychords performing [their song] I Wanna Live Like Joey Ramone, Live! on the Arena Stage at Rebellion Festival in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Friday 4th August 2017.

This blog blogged earlier about (mostly) female punk rock musicians, inspired by, or tribute bands to, the Ramones; often called the Ramonas or similar names.

Another band like that are the Psychords, three women from Italy featured in the video above.

This music video from England says about itself:

SEX PISSED DOLLS (drummer ANNA KEY) BLITZKRIEG BOP, WELLOFEST 16 JULY 2016

The Sex Pissed Dolls formed at the end of 2014 with Nancy Doll (vocals), Kitty Vacant (guitar), Connie Rotter (guitar), Jilly Idol (bass) and Anna Key (drums) playing the punk songs that they all love. In 2015 they took on the massive 50 plus date “Never Needed Bollocks” tour playing venues all over the country and receiving fantastic reviews. 2015 also saw the rising of “The Dolls Barmy Army”, an ever-growing legion of fans who loyally follow the girls from gig to gig.

In 2016 the girls stomp off on their “Daughters of Anarchy” tour which included the opening set at The Isle of Wight Festival. The Dolls have very quickly become one of the must see live bands of the moment. Now writing and performing original material and planning to release their debut album later this year it’s going to be an exciting Rock and Rollercoaster 2016.

That video was a Ramones song. They also cover Sex Pistols songs; the Sex Pistols from whom they derived their name.

This music video from England says about itself:

The Sex Pissed Dolls performing God Save The Queen Live! at Wolverhampton’s Robin 2 in Bilston. Saturday 5th September 2015.

Ramones, Ramonas, Ramonettes, female tribute bands


This music video series is It’s Alive: The Rainbow Theatre Full Concert in London, England in 1977, by the Ramones from the USA.

The Ramones were very influential on the rise of punk rock in the late 1970s. They inspired bands like the Dead Kennedys, the Dead Boys, Green Day and many others in the USA; the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Slits etc. in Britain.

Very unfortunately, now all four original members of the Ramones are dead.

But their songs survive. Many bands play cover versions of them.

Eg, there were/are at least two [UPDATE: at least five] female Ramones tribute bands; or were/are they tribute bands? And were/are they all female all of the time?

This March 2016 music video from Britain says about itself:

The RamonasRamona [originally by the Ramones] (live)

The Ramonas are an all female tribute to the iconic New York punk rock band Ramones.

Originally conceived back in 2004 with multiple different lineups, The Ramonas have evolved into a fully fledged, razor-sharp live band in their own right!

Touring, Touring is never boring and these girls are guaranteed to play high energy, full throttle one hour shows that’ll leave you buzzing for more of that 1976 spirit.

These four lovable cretins rarely even stop for a quick sip of water and a hello.. It’s 1234 and they’re onto the next hit, and the great thing is that they do it all in their own unique way.. wherever they play, from the UK to Europe to the USA!

Some say playing the Ramones tunes is easy, but capturing the vibe and essence of such a well-loved band mixed with the required speed, stamina and endurance is no mean feat..

Cloey, Pee Pee, Margy and Rohnny are definitely here to stay! Gabba Gabba HEY!!!

Vocals –Cloey Ramona (Lisa Breyer)
Guitar – Rohnny Ramona (Zoe Waugh)
Bass – Pee Pee Ramona (Victoria Smith)
Drums – Margy Ramona (Kate Wilkinson)

Ramonas loga

This is the Ramonas logo. Inspired by the Ramones logo (which is a parody of the United States presidential seal). Like in the Ramones logo, the eagle holds a baseball bat.

This 2017 music video from England is called The Ramonas live at Rebellion Festival 2017. Playing Ramones songs Blitzkrieg Bop and Pinhead.

This 2017 music video recorded in Germany is called The Ramonas – Pinhead live in Mannheim. Another Ramones song.

The Ramonas write some of the songs themselves now; like the ones on this album. Album review: here.

Some of their lyrics comment on social or political issues:

Nothing shocks us anymore. The rich get rich, the poor stay poor. Money holds the power. Look down from their tower.

From 1987-1994, in the Netherlands there was another all women band with almost the same name: Ramona’s. Just a bit different name, as the Dutch plural requires an ‘ before the s.

The band’s members:

Jolan – background vocals, bass
Sammy – drums (1991-1994)
Mirjam – guitar (1991-1994)
Marguerite Melchers – guitaar, vocals
Mo – background vocals, drums (1987-1991)

When the band started they played cover versions of Iggy Pop, The Clash, X-Ray Spex, and Nancy Sinatra (strangely enough not of The Ramones). They wrote songs themselves later.

Ramona's

This is a 1994 Ramona’s photo.

This music video from the USA says about itself:

Ramonas-Betty’s Dead

Bio By She Rox, All Female Bands: The Ramonas who hail from San Francisco, California, are the original “Ramonas” not to be confused with the all female U.K Ramones cover band or the Australian all female cover band; both are named The Ramonas. San Francisco Ramonas was not a cover band of the Ramones, all though the Ramones influence may seem evident in style. The band performed original songs. The Ramonas were at the forefront of the underground punk rock movement that was beginning in the late 1980’s early 1990’s when hair metal dominated the music industry. The Ramonas were one of the very few all female bands at this time that rivaled their male counterparts like early Green Day, and Dinosaur Jr and although they only released one full length album in 1990, “Out Of The Basement”, they helped pave the way for bands like The Lunachicks and L7. Suzee-Guitar, Kitze-Vocals, Shelly-Drums, Patty-Bass.

San Francisco Ramonas logo

I did not find anything about the Australian Ramonas. I did find something about Australian tribute band The Ramonettes; including guitarist Suzy Ramone (to which she changed her name in 1979; three years after buying her first Ramones record).

This 28 April 2014 video is called Ramonettes Live in Montpellier: Suzy is a Headbanger & Let’s Dance. Australian Ramones tribute.

This is a 2013 Ramonettes video.

The Ramonettes started in 2001.

And let us not forget the Argentine Ramonas; founded in 2009. 4 female, 1 male, at least in this 2012 video showing one of their songs (not a Ramones song). At other times, 2 male, 2 female. Their Facebook page is here.