A few weeks ago, I had nothing nice to say about youtube - nothing at all. Rather than revel in the untold solitary hours of Me-time they could provide, I got all negative over what wasn't there. Since then, youtube has done 2 things to bring me into the fold: they've finally gotten some damn Shangri-Las videos; and they've fed my minor obsession with Rolly (look <<-- thataway).
My initial exposure to Rolly was through a weird (and wonderful!) little Japanese movie called "Suicide Club" (2002), a largely plot-free mess that managed to compellingly and compassionately tell the story of a national epidemic of group teen suicides - while still being loads of fun!!
Scene One: 54 teenage schoolgirls stand at a subway platform and count off: "a-one! and a-two!! and a-Threeeeee!!!" - and jump, en masse, in front of the oncoming train, while the supercute jumpy pop strains of tween sensations Dessart thump away in the background. Later, there's an irresistable montage showing us the suicidal creativity of those wacky Japanese kids, accompanied by this music. Here's a movie with many thoughts (though arguably unarticulated ones) about suicide, TV, Pop, fads and bandwagoneers, the internet, the generation gap, irony, and that old dramatic standby, modern humanity's ever increasing disconnect from humanity. Here's a creepy mp3 of a young boy successfully talking a cop into killing himself. (5.6megs)
And when the movie's not busy thinking about all that, it's rolling around inside a bloody sheet with Rolly, a weird mix of Kurt Cobain, Mick Ronson and Dr Frankenfurter (of the Rocky Horror Frankenfurters). Here's video, taken from "Suicide Club", of Rolly singing, in abysmal Englanese, a dirge that seems to be called "Because Dead", and features an inexplicable line you or I could never have written: "Lesson One The Shaving Cream". Watch it! (or listen to it, on Mike Lupica's show).
I've since found out that Rolly's a pretty big star in Japan, but it's been pretty damn impossible to find out anything about him -- until now! As the following will no doubt make plain, I'm not the only one who remembers that amazing guitar cockfight between Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio in "Crossroads" (here it is for you). Seems like Japan has turned that scene into a game show! A girl sits in a chair, tunelessly humming some of her fave rock riffs ("20th Century Boy", "Deuce", "Living After Midnite", etc), while Rolly and fellow contestant Marty Friedman try to sound out what she's singing. Whoever guesses first, and then successfully rocks the riff, wins. Watch it!
But goddam, youtube still takes forever to load sometimes. Nothing under the flip, so don't jump!!!!