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NinBad, Head of Security and Entertainment

Music Reviews and Commentary
 
By NinBad
 

I was brought on board here early in 2005 as Senior Culture and Entertainment editor. As such, it is my job to write reviews of film and music of interest to ninjas the world over. My awesome skills in deception, stealth and invisibility has allowed me to enjoy all the benefits of my illustrious position without actually having to do any real work. Free CD’s, Free DVD’s, premier parties, concerts, bribes and kickbacks all made for a great non-working work experience for me. Unfortunately our esteemed web master, NinBob, noticed this while updating the site last week so I have been ordered to actually write about something or earn my keep working assassination duty. Since assassination is more of a hobby to me than it is a job, I started looking for something worthy. What I found was some awe-inspiring talent that is worthy of a busy ninja's time. The following is some fantastic music experiences that you sould be aware of. I urge you to check them out and support them if for no other reason than to give the finger to spoiled no-talent sellouts pushed upon us by the pop media. Let's get right to it.

 

 

I've Reason to Believe We All Will Be Recieved in Graceland
 
 

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Elvis Tribute Artist Joe Kent

I am writing this from the posh luxury of the world famous Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis Tennessee. "Why in blue blazes is a super-awesome ninja master lounging in opulent decadence with a hot blonde chick in a famous hotel in Memphis Tennessee?" you no doubt are asking yourself. To which I reply, "First of all, how did you know about the hot blonde since I have yet mentioned none? And secondly, if you’ll allow me to continue uninterrupted, I shall tell you." To continue: A couple of weeks ago while going to great lengths to avoid Master NinBob and thus avoid a nagging tirade about finishing my interview with the awesome band Ninja Academy, I had an idea for a great road trip in which I could gather material for an article for the web site and even further avoid Master NinBob’s tiresome rants about finishing jobs and work ethics and blah blah blah. I decided to go right to the heart of Rock n' Roll's beginnings and visit the ultimate music mecca: GRACELAND. "It's PERFECT!" I proclaimed to NinBob. I will not only touch music history, but I shall visit the domain of one of the greatest ninjas to ever live: Elvis "The King" Presley!" Before he could argue or retort, I threw down a smoke bomb and disappeared from his office. Back in my hidden lair, I packed some shinobis and throwing stars, threw my hot blonde into the NinBadMobile and rocketed across the country to Memphis Tennessee (accompanied by NinGeorge who used his stealth skills to tag along). The trip was well worth it. Not only did I visit The King's fantastic home, I met one of the coolest guys to ever live. Elvis tribute artist Joe Kent. I caught his great act at the Rock-N-Roll Cafe where he wowed a packed house with a great show. I was at first a little unenthused at seeing his performance because you see one Elvis impersonator, you've seen them all. Joe proved me wrong. Joe didn't, as most all impersonators do, try to BE Elvis and fool his audience into believing they were seeing Elvis. His approach is to pay tribute by singing The King's songs and telling great stories about him as well as the history of rock n' roll. He's a talented commedian too with a sly wit and charisma that will win even the Elvis haters (who should be killed anyway). After his show I used my stealthy ninja skills to meet Mr. Kent. NinGeorge, my hot blonde and I (and two other fans) spent over an hour talking and laughing and hearing more great stories about Elvis, including the time he met and and was insulted by the legend himself. More on that and the trip later. I am weary and have a long day ahead of me. In the meantime, click on Joe's picture above and visit his web site. There's lots of photos and stuff to look at, including the Thursday night show I attended. Check back later for photos and more on Joe, Graceland, Elvis and the awesome night life of Beale Street.

 

 

Ninja Academy

 

I was going to review a couple of Insane Clown Posse CD’s but every time I listened to them I end up moshing with my friends and breaking things and never get around to actually writing anything. Things were pretty bleak until late on a dark and stormy night last week. I was standing in line at the local 99-cent movie theater when a flash of lightning illuminated two somersaulting shadows and glinted off a shiny object speeding toward my head. My supreme ninja reflexes allowed me to dodge the object- it buzzed inches from my nose and embedded into the stucco facade of the wall next to me. I pulled the thing from the wall, threw down a smoke bomb and disappeared. Back at the Super-Secret Tanjun hideout I examined what I thought to be a throwing star from a rival ninja clan. Instead I held a music CD. The album: bra’ka dOm. The band: Ninja Academy.

Now, nothing escapes the attention of the master ninjas of the Tanjun Ryu. Not even the small, obscure music scene in the far away little town of Los Angeles, California. Here in this little pool of musical talent the mysterious band known as Ninja Academy have made a big splash. Aloof, enigmatic, charged with a dynamic energy that can only be spent on a stage rocking a huge audience, the two ninja/musicians known as Indo-Ninja and Outdo-Ninja have assaulted the music-loving public with an eclectic blend of alternative instrumental rock flavored with a little jazz garnished with ninja wisdom. Their arsenal is simple- a drum kit, a bass guitar, a few sound effects and samples and the occasional gong and keyboard. The result, in the hands of master ninjas, is amazing. The sound is surprisingly full and engaging. Indo-Ninja’s very guitar-ish bass style frequently makes one forget it’s a bass rather than a six-string. In fact, in the liner notes of bra’ka dOm, Indo’s bass credit is supplemented by a "that’s right, no guitars were used in the making of this album" statement. Outdo-Ninja’s clean, precision percussion talent drives the compositions forward like a galloping charger. Together they work a magic that has earned them airplay on several radio stations and their music was featured on two episodes of MTV’s The Real World: Philadelphia (this last credit is most surprising since MTV has nothing at all to do with ninjas and less to do with music). Their list of gigs and music event appearances is very impressive and the release of bra’ka dOm, their second album, places them firmly in the spotlight as a band to watch out for.

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The Band: Ninja Academy

The Album: bra’ka dOm

Ninjanuity Records

This second collection of compositions by the Ninja Academy duo of Indo-Ninja and Outdo-Ninja is a fast-paced mix of alternative rock and jazz with a slight funk accent. Sounds strange but work with me here. These guys can’t be effectively summed up with any brief label or genre designation. This collection of 15 instrumental tracks is a unique blend of style. Sometimes it’s tongue-in-cheek (track 2: Kung Fu Grip), sometimes it’s seriously rockin’ (track 4: Your Kung Fu Sucks). There’s a somber flavor thrown in which illicit visions of Darth Vader... or at least the evil Emperor Zurg from Toy Story (track 14: Lord Escalator). In short, bra’ka dOm is a great instrumental experience with something for all occasions. Need something to dance to? Got it. Need a soundtrack for your indie movie? This would be great. Want something good to actively listen to or just play in the background while you go about your day? It’s perfect. Rockin’ bass, driving drums, martial arts sound effects, and an angle of ninja mythology make bra’ka dOm more than just a series of songs by a band with a gimmick. It’s a worthy work by talented performance artists. Yessir, we ninjas like it.

Coming Soon: The Ninja Academy Interview. Indo-Ninja and Outdo-Ninja's shocking tell-all tale of fame, groupies, rock n' roll and ninjitsu. Well, we don't know yet how shocking it will be or if it involves groupies or whatnot, but it's sure to be interesting. Don't miss it!
 
  

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Ninja Academy: Armed and Musical
 

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Outdo_Ninja: Drums, Triggers, Sampler
 

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Indo-Ninja: Bass, Effects, Electronics
 
 

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Be sure to visit Ninja Academy's official site at www.ninjaacademy.com for more great NA action. There's Videos, photos, and merchandise including their debut CD Enter The Ninja and their follow-up attack bra'ka dOm. 

Apple iTunes

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