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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/16/17 in all areas

  1. 28 points
    Just like the title says this is an attempt to bring back the m-h jrock awards for the year 2017 which last took place way back in 2012 and apparently ended do to lack of participation. Awards were given for best album, single, new band, etc. And all of this was decided by user votes. So I asked about reviving this and here's what @Zeussaid, Judging by all of the yearly best album/single reviews I would hope there's still some interest in something like this. So if you want to see the "Monochrome heaven J-Rock Awards 2017" then help me get this topic 50 likes and/or 50 comments by the end of the month.
  2. 26 points
    I've been wanting to write some of this stuff out forever because I'm a huge digital packrat and I like to archive these types of things... I don't think any of this has been written out anywhere before, but I'm not sure how much people actually care about the fan culture part of VK here, especially the Japanese fan culture, and especially the online Japanese fan culture. But, just in case any of you are also level 50 Turbo Nerds I thought I should post it here. I hope this is a sensible place to put it?? this piece is WAY too long for how lame the subject is and i'm so sorry tl;dr: tanuki is old as fuck and there used to be another tanuki and forums are dead, long live tanuki edit: fixed a number i screwed up
  3. 22 points
    Chronic Bandmate Slappin' Disorder, it's untreatable
  4. 19 points
    SadMoomin

    Show Yourself (again)

    I cut a wig for the first time and I love how it came out !
  5. 18 points
    Jigsaw9

    Show Yourself (again)

    Been a while since I showed my ugly visage around here. Just got back from an awesome gig, and got this new beanie, it's so comfy & warm <3
  6. 17 points
    Hey guys! As you may have noticed, the news section is more active than ever before since a certain character has departed, and more and more users are able to contribute their findings without any disruption or intimidation. With more contributors than ever, we each have our own writing style; some of us simply copy and paste band announcements and then translate them - whether by machine or on our own - to the best of our ability, and some of us take a more journalistic approach by adding more details rather than the standard news format of the past. To keep our status as one of the leading J-rock news sites/forums, we've decided to add in some rules and regulations to keep the forum in order and to help future contributors post without any issue: REQUIREMENTS: - intelligible English - News sites like Shattered Tranquility and JROCK NEWS actually make articles about the topics posted here, so think about how you write them. Make sure to proofread spelling, grammar, etc., so that it can be more coherant to the reader. - Translations to romaji are required mainly for band and release names, since most of our users are not proficient in Japanese (Google Translate is fine, but you are free to request/suggest alternate translations for the sake of accuracy, especially since song titles are a bit more challenging) As elaborated further down below, vkdb or Google can help decipher any names if you need to double-check. *If there's any issues with making translations using Google Translate, I suggest using RomajiDesu! Not only will it romanize the kanji you want to translate, but also show an English translation for each character used (if you're interested ^^). - Please be sure to update the title of the post after a significant update has been announced. For example, if you start off with the topic, "MERRY new single" and the name is announced later on, please change the title to that of the release itself, ex. "MERRY new single, "Kasa to Ame" release". This gives the threads more variety and it's better than skimming thru topics that all have "MERRY new single" in the title. **Highly recommended for topics whose releases are announced after the creation of a thread. Ex. "Plastic Tree to perform OP" turns into "Plastic Tree new single, "Inside Out". This prevents any confusion, skimming through extra info, and especially unnecessary duplicate threads. - Please Please PLEASE use the report button if there's a double-post or issues in the thread. (the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to check up the news and try to find some things that are out of order. Some days, I won't be around, nor will the rest of the staff, to do that as we do focus on our own lives too. Reporting a post is a much easier way of getting our attention rather than simply posting in the thread about the error, or even worse, unnecessary drama...) - Speaking of cooperation, this is NOT a competition. If someone else posts what you originally left out/posted seconds ago, don't make a big fuss (unless it's a double-post of course) ; after all, providing news is a team effort, so it's better to work together and to help each other out! ♥ - Please refrain from making any offtopic posts. This could clog up the thread with more unnecessary posts and less valuable information, especially when that escalates to drama. Any posts that have nothing to do with the aforementioned artist or release, etc., will be removed from the thread. Repeat offenses may warrant a warning for spam or misbehavior. - Make a new topic if necessary, especially if the band's previous thread hasn't been updated in a long period of time. In other words, don't necro long-dead topics, especially if you're only doing so to request an old release. That's what the Requests section is for btw. RECOMMENDATIONS: - Band/release names in kanji and romaji are recommended (makes it easier for hardcore/casual/non-Japanese speaking fans to search up their faves; may have to extend this to the download forum as well) If there's any problems trying to figure out a band/member's name, especially in romaji, google them or check out their webpage/social media/vkdb page, which can all be very helpful. - BEFORE posting, use the search function to check if anything has been posted yet. This can prevent double-posts of topics (such as accidentally making 2 threads about a band's new single), and confusion/competition between users. - If you want to make any posts about an artist in general, please do so in their appropriate thread in the Artists section (or make one if necessary). This will prevent any clogging of release threads and saving some of us the trouble to going through page after page to find more relevant information about the actual release. - Put some effort in how you actually research and post news. If a band is disbanding at the beginning of 2018, and the actual date of their last live has been posted, please post that date instead of "so&so will disband in January/February 2018". Most news topics don't need a lot of digging, but for posts like these, it'll totally save up a lot of time and stress. **Also, not everyone can keep up with a certain band/release (and understandably so), so threads often tend to go dead even though new stuff is being announced via the official source. It's highly recommended that you follow a band's twitter or check their webpage ever so often for new updates so they well, won't be forgotten or fall off the face of the earth. xD - When embedding a video/tweet/social media post, make sure you also add a caption even when the information is displayed in the embed itself, as bands tend to delete everything once they disband/disable social media sites, etc., and valuable information/history could be easily lost over time (which makes some of us archivists have a hard time with band histories). - Don't go overboard on making your news look pretty or overexaggerated. We've had some issues with certain users putting in too much formatting on their text, posting too many Youtube/Twitter/etc. embeds all on one post, and it's tiresome to actually go through everything, especially when dealing with a slow internet connection or other factors. Extra formatting such as big text, abusing the bold italic formats, or puking rainbows is completely unnecessary and distracting when all we want to read is the news. If you want to proceed with posting lots of tweets/picspams/videos that are relevant to the topic, fine, but put all that shit under a spoiler.
  7. 16 points
    emmny

    Reflection: Kagerou (2002-2003)

    蜉蝣 (Kagerou) Vocal - 大佑 (Daisuke) Guitar - ユアナ (Yuana) Bass - kazu (Kazu) Drums - 静海 (Shizumi) July is a bittersweet month for Kagerou fans, as the infamous charisma vocalist himself, Daisuke was both brought into and taken out of this world within the month. Kagerou are a band that have been impossible to replace, both in the the Western and Japanese fandom, as seen in the outpouring of emotion that happens every year on the net around July. Kagerou--the band--isn't just their vocalist, nor are his talents confined to Kagerou, but his passing marked the end of an era. The legendary bands of the mid-late 2000's i.e, MUCC, D'espairsray, lynch., merry, Nightmare and The Gazette all had their roots in the early 2000's, with many of the mentioned members playing alongside each other--most notable being the historic Beauti-Fool's 2003 multi-band event. They were all doing the most in their early eras, embracing eclectic and varied looks and styles in the shadow of visual kei's mainstream success and eventual demise. Daisuke's passing marked the end of the decade in which those aforementioned groups had come through the scene and out of it, shedding their visual flair for a more straightforward rock image and fading into the background of the scene as bands from the mid-late 2000's took over the reigns. They kept their followings, don't get it twisted, but they were in a different category from the hot new faces of the time, i.e. Sug, Versailles, ScreW, Alice Nine, Sadie, etc. While a lot of the earlier bands managed to reach a more constant, and arguably mainstream level of fame past 2010, we've been left wondering what might have been with Kagerou. While Kazu and Yuana continue to play in the scene with Stereo C.K and in sessions, it's on a much smaller scale than their peak of fame. 2006 marked the end of Kagerou, Daisuke passed in 2010---but this isn't a sad history lesson. So why, in 2017, are we discussing Kagerou's tunes from 15 years ago? If you've ever listened to their output from that era, you'll know what I'm going to be getting at. The 2002-2003 era was Kagerou as they were gaining steam--nowhere near their peak popularity with Rakushu and not as polished as their endroll Kurohata. What it was, a raw, aggressive synthesis of alternative rock, 90's visual kei and alternative metal. If this mix sounds familiar, that's because it is, with some of today's hot bands including DEZERT, Xaa-xaa, R-Shitei, Kuroyuri to Kage and Gossip in addition to some legendary names of yore, Girugamesh, Awoi, Sel'm operating on the very paradigm that Kagerou had worked to create--with more than a bit of imitation between them. It's not always songs note by note being ripped off, but rather several stylistic elements that function as motifs in Kagerou's discography that come up time and time again among kouhai bands. Trying to claim the influences of newer bands is an exercise in caution, as while something may sound like a rip off, it could be a rip off of a rip off and you can't know for sure. I won't claim Kagerou's influence as universal, original, or unique (although if you disagree with the latter I'll kick your ass), but I will argue that their 2002-2003 run was the most influential two-or-so year run of any band in the early 2000's. While MUCC and DIR EN GREY were equally prolific and influential in this era, Kagerou's contribution has been overlooked in the greater scheme of visual history, which I hope to address here. If you children think that Vulgar invented visual kei, you're in for a fucking surprise because I've heard more nods to old Kagerou from 2013 onward than anything from aforementioned album in the past half-decade. I think this has more to do with the old school revival we've been experiencing as of late, with bands foregoing bland metalcore rehashes and instead embracing the roots of the genre from the late 90's and early naughts. Some historical context will be missing from the following ~mini~ 'dissertation', because I'm not a vk historian (unfortunately), but I'll try to go through everything as clearly as possible. Now without further ado, lets track Kagerou's discography in this era. The marker I'll be using to start my history is Kazu's addition to the band in late 2001, shortly before the release of Iro megane to scandal in January of 2002. If you recall, Kagerou have been around since the end of 1999, and they were active for almost two years with two other bassists before Kazu. He then stayed with the band 'till the bitter end in 2006, and in all honesty I don't see Kagerou without him. As a bassist, he was skilled in accenting Shizumi's percussive line while also playing second guitar at times to Yuana's loose riffs. He's written some totally hummable bass leads and composed more than a few amazing songs with these at the center of the composition. The moral of the story is that Kagerou became a well-oiled machine with Kazu's contribution, and I find Kazu to be instrumental in their later success—hence starting the timeline with his addition. While some great tracks came out of the pre-Kazu era, and @Disposable might kill me for omitting the 2000-2001 period, the best tracks that came out were re-recorded (as you'll soon see), for singles that fit our era of interest. The only stickler was “Nawa”, which was first released in 2001 and wasn't re-done until 2006's Shinjuuka best-of album. Now that we've set up a start, the end coincides with the self-titled album's release tour finale at Kawasaki's legendary Club Citta, filmed for the live DVD/VT Zekkyou Psychopath at the end of 2003. Is this is the end as we know it? Of course not, Kagerou wrote their biggest songs well after this and their signature album with its wide foreign and domestic distribution, Rakushuu came after in 2004. However, this is where the visuals were more scaled back, with the band no longer looking like they just raided a consignment store on acid after a bad domestic spat. The metal edge changed as well, although not gone—as seen with “XII Dizzy” and other notable heavier outtakes—the band embraced a more clean alternative/visual rock aesthetic and sound. They were still vicious, putting on insane live shows as usual, but with greater maturity and restraint. If you're a fan, you kind of understand how their sound changed from 2003-2004 and onward, and while it wasn't a bad change by any means, it was a change that I don't feel fits in with the period of interest. Okay now we can actually get to the discography, sorry! 01/09/02 色メガネとスキャンダル Iro megane to scandal 1.) 夕暮れの謝罪 (Yuugure no shazai) 2.)エキゾチックな感染症 (Exotic na kansenshou) 3.) 葬失 (Soushitsu) 05/04/02 蜉蝣事典 <大人の書店> Kagerou jiten <otona no shoten> 1.) アイドル狂いの心裏学 (Idol kurui no shinrigaku) *note that there was no single ever titled after the track, this is a frequently misreported part of the discography in the west 07/10/02 水浸しの数え唄 Mizubitashi no kazoe uta 1.) ゆびきり (Yubikiri) 2.) 企画モノ (Kikaku mono) 3.) R指定 (Rshitei) 07/10/02 火炙りの数え唄 Hiaburi no kazoe uta 1.) 午前三時の太陽光線 (Gozensanji no taiyou kousen) 2.) 鬱 (Utsu) 3.) リストカッター (Wrist cutter) 02/08/03 叫び Sakebi 1.) 叫び (Sakebi) 2.) 鬼畜モラリズム (Kichiku moralism) 05/07/03 過去形真実 Kakokei shinjitsu 1.) 過去形真実 (Kakokei shinjitsu) 2.) 説教 38.5℃ (Sekkyou 38.5℃) 3.) 過去形真実 [remix] (Kakokei shinjitsu remix) 4.) 説教 38.5℃ [remix] (Sekkyou 38.5℃ remix) 07/23/03 蜉蝣 Kagerou 1.) 十戒 (Jukkai) 2.) 迷走本能 (Meisou honnou) 3.) 根暗高速子守唄 (Nekura housoku komoriuta) 4.) 冷え性の女 (Hieshou no onna) 5.) 闇に笑う黒 (Yami ni warau kuro) 6.) マーヴェラスな首飾り (Marvelous na kubikazari) 7.) 雨の海岸通り(Ame no kaigan doori) 8.) 所詮、自分は犬であります。(Shosen, jibun wa inu de arimasu) 9.) ピチ崇拝 (Pichi suuhai) 10.) 過去形真実 (Kakokei shinjitsu) 11.) 渦(Uzu) 2002's string of singles are a perfect introduction to early Kagerou, featuring them at their most extreme and also at their softest. While some of the tracks were lost in time, others became eternal fan favourites and live staples until the very end. As for the killer live tracks, both “Yuugure no shazai” and “Wrist cutter” were exemplars. On studio, they're brief, rough and tumble tracks: “Wrist cutter” is a flurry of blast beats and thrash-y riffing and “Yuugure no shazai” a more punk-y styled early 2000's/90's throwback. In a live setting however, these ~3 minute tracks were stretched to 8-10 minutes at a time, building up tension in the audience with Daisuke's insane onstage antics and Shizumi working overtime while Kazu and Yuana either played off of each other or also dicked around with the audience. This is more or less the contemporary gyakudai number which is now a staple in any band's live repertoire. Common among the two tracks is the influence their guitar sound had on the scene as well. “Yuugure no shazai”'s guitar line almost deserves its own article, because there's an extensive list of bands who have ripped off the style and structure of the riff. What's unique about the riff is the way Yuana plays with the phrasing and pitch and how it interacts with an effect-laden guitar tone. The guitars are abnormally distorted and clipped, both in the context of visual kei and Yuana's sound overall. It almost sounds like someone put his rig through a bass distortion pedal, and the end result is this beefy and robust sound that has yet to be replicated in a visual band...think something along the lines of Dinosaur Jr. or something. This distortion also lingers a bit, almost suggesting a delay effect is thrown on as well. Anyone trying to cover the song has probably run into some difficulties with that sound, as it throws off the way its played—I know I have. The riff is a simple series of power chords, but the way they move up and down the neck in tandem with the furious rhythm, both in the verses and chorus are evocative of being shaken back and forward. Yes, a single riff made me think of being physically moved—physically and emotionally. What's cool is how completely fresh this sounds in the context of 2017 as well, it's kind of a jaw dropper to think this was released in 2002. That is in huge part to many bands taking a liking toward—what I'll now call—the shaking riff. You hear it all the time, In Xaa-xaa's "Shinitai", DEZERT's "Himitsu", Shellmy's "Katou zakuro" and so on. It's not the exact same, but that principle of moving up, down, and back up is eerily similar. “Wrist cutter”'s structure is more so notable than a standout riff, especially the rhythm work as a alt-metal track. The bass plods pretty high up in the mix along with incredibly busy drumming from Shizumi, which carries the track as it moves through it's iconic thrashy riff and Daisuke's mad vocalizations. The jumping part toward the end (you'll know what I'm talking about) is notable too, as a fragment of the kote-kei era being repurposed into a metal track. I'm pretty sure any band guy that heard it, with the gang shouting vocals, screaming and start stop drumming was permanently entranced. Drawing from some recent releases, DAMY's “Eikyuu ni puppet” is like that brief section of wrist cutter being dragged out into a full song. Another track that (I think) rounds out the holy trinity of 2002 Kagerou songs is “R-Shitei”. The takeaway message is not that R-shitei named themselves after this track (they probably did, lets get real sis) but rather the contrast between unhinged, chaotic verses contrasted with a saccharine chorus. While this is a common complaint with the current indies sound...don't get mad y'all, Kagerou did it first. That said, I understand why people see this as a cop-out, but with “R-shitei”, it doesn't come at the expense of a jarring key change, rather it fits into the contrasting structure of the track. Speaking of that chorus, it's damn glorious; Daisuke is at his finest melodically in the track—in stark opposite to his crazy talk/grumbling in the verses. Among these big hits, there are many underrated gems waiting to be overturned as well. “Utsu” is a weird pick, especially as the band chose to play it at their last live—much to the possible confusion of those who were there (the footage looked awkward). Stylistically, it's closely aligned with “Wrist cutter” through the busy sense of rhythm, despaired chorus and insane end section freak-out. It's also a bop of the highest order, and a shame I discovered it so late. The little jazz break in the middle is somehow funny in the greater context of the track, but a great example of the varied and quirky compositional style of early Kagerou before they ended up toning it down. The two main ballads “Gozensanji no taiyou kousen” and “Soushitsu” pale a little bit in comparison to the band's later, Kurohata-era balladry as they go on for a bit too long and sound a bit messy. That said, the ideas they offer are the backbone of their later work. “Soushitsu”'s acoustic core is reworked into “Shizumu sora”, and “Gozensanji...”'s delicate lead guitar and percussion is heard again in “Wakaremichi” and “Kusatta umi de oborekaketeiru boku wo sukuttekureta kimi”, all of which were composed by Kazu. They're worth the listen for hardcore fans, as they're rewarding despite some of the fluff—but hey, not everything is perfect all the time. Moving onto 2003, we see Kagerou releasing some more melodic singles compared to the 2002 era. “Yubikiri” and “Sakebi” are two tracks I often confuse for each other, partially because they're both beautifully melodic, bittersweet-sounding (although quite different) and a slight departure from their previous work, hinting at their future outlook. “Sakebi” was also their last pre-album single release, and from then on, the band's discography structure would change. Kagerou were an indies band up until the very end, despite being signed to their own sublabel under Free Will, Lizard, supposedly distributed under Sony. The Japanese wiki is in conflict with the English one, and even among Japanese fans there has been question as to whether Kagerou were indies or major. Their releases were big enough to have charted on Orikon's major charts, which began with Kakkokei shinjitsu, the band's second highest charting release at #40, just behind the 2006 Kusatta umi... 3 ver. maxi single release at #21. I'm bringing this up because while their label affiliation didn't change, they began followed the western/major band style of singles featuring lead tracks from upcoming/preceding albums, with a new b-side or two thrown into the mix. This was kind of a bummer and why their 2002-2003 era was so unique, partially because of the insane speed by which they were writing, recording and touring their songs, and also because of how much original music came out. Aside from “Meisou honnou” being featured in a 2002 VA, and the obvious “Kakkokei shinjitsu” inclusion, all the tracks from Kagerou were unique and unreleased. No 8 old songs on a 10 track release, no cashgrab compilation or mini-album, no bullshit. As an indication of what was to come, “Kakkokei shinjitsu” was misleading. A TBS nightly sports show closing song, it is a bright and pretty song without the carnal, rhythmic flair that was overflowing on the S/T. It comes across as kinda boring, and even the cheap, skittery b-side on the single doesn't help much. It works better in the overall scheme of the album though, which is a truly dazzling piece of visual history. Kagerou is a heavy, dark, cohesive, grinding album with sharp poppy, melodic sensibilities in the mix, along the lines of DIR EN GREY's VULGAR, D'espairsray's Coll:set, and MUCC's Homura uta. To talk about individual tracks is kind of against the ethos of the album, as all the pieces work best within the context of the album. This is the opposite of their prior output, which was a bit spotty from release-to-release, and while the album comes without super standouts like the aforementioned tracks, what the band gained was a stylistic voice. This was the sweet-spot between their now waning old-school visual influence and alternative rock, alt-metal and post-hardcore songwriting, with a fair dosage of jazz, blues, and pop in the mix. Kazu most notably came into his own in this release, with a lot of punchy basswork—especially some notable slap sequences, as seen in “Yami ni warau kuro”. While this is an older album, the riffs here slap harder than anything DIR EN GREY released back then, and I'm still confused why they eat up all the acclaim around here for inventing alt-metal in Japan. What about that poly-rhythmic breakdown in "Nekura housoku komoriuta"? The opening lurch and howling despair of “Meisou honnou”? The tension-release in “Marvelous na kubikazari”? The DEZERT-core bass and guitar in “Ame no kaigan doori”? Bitch...this shit slaps. Speaking of DIR EN GREY, Shizumi always reminded me of Shinya in his earlier days--around the time both bands were active. His attention to detail and fills and frills, especially cymbal work and spacy drumming on ballads is a close parallel with Shinya's MACABRE-era drum work. The bands were close however, as they were both the big shots on Free Will at the time, with DIR EN GREY on the cusp on mainstream success. Kagerou's OHP is still open, both in English and Japanese, and it's heartbreaking to navigate. The site hasn't been touched since 2005, with the copyright frozen in time, and a website design that must have been gorgeous for its time serving as a reminder of just how old we've gotten since then. Whats especially sad to me is how much they invested into making things accessible for their European/English speaking fans, considering no one does anything like that anymore. It's a kind of haunted place on the internet and in the fandom, but also a beautiful relic that continues to stand of a legendary band. July 31st has passed, happy belated birthday Daisuke. He would have turned 39 this year, and the weight of his passing isn't lost on me, especially in the writing of this article. Daisuke certainly talked the talk and later walked the walk with his depression, as it manifested in grotesque, macabre narratives within his music, but it's often times too easy to separate the artist from the art. I don't think the news of his passing came as that big of a surprise to die-hard fans, as he had documented his struggles in his poems for a while, but it didn't make it any easier a pill to swallow. At times, it's hard to read his lyrics knowing his eventual fate and partially why I avoided going into detail about his lyricism (spoiler alert, he's an amazing writer). As I've said, this was the end of their proto-indies-whatever-the-fuck-era. Everything past this deserves an article of its own, and while I chose to explicitly focus on 2002-2003, it doesn't mean that the other eras are not as important—just that this period was the most influential by far on the current indies scene of 2014-2017. I'd love to hear what current visual fans who have no clue about Kagerou think of the tracks linked here, as I hope that you hear the bits and pieces of songs, think “Hey, maybe this does sound a bit similar” and maybe lend your ear toward the classics of the genre or venture beyond your post-2011 comfort zone. I've refrained from making this all about individual comparisons, but I welcome them as it's always interesting to compare and contrast present with the past. With the anniversary of his passing almost two months ago now, Daisuke touched many musicians and fans alike and to see the legacy of Daisuke and Kagerou, a full 15 or so years later in full bloom for 2017 is an amazing treat.
  8. 16 points
    so you had an opportunity to ask for his opinion on the developing north korea nuclear crisis and its relation to the everyday lives of japanese people, but went for validation of die/may existence from the mouth of VK godmother herself? may your patreon always prosper, x.
  9. 15 points
    The Reverend

    Show Yourself (again)

    That crisp mountain air.
  10. 15 points
    SadMoomin

    Show Yourself (again)

    Made test for my Halloween costume and i'm happy with it. :') Mostly inspired of Chiaki from DEZERT
  11. 15 points
    suji

    Show Yourself (again)

    hi i finally did my own makeup and it looks great
  12. 14 points
    This album will be released in spring 2018. There will also be 4 dates for Halloween called "HALLOWEEN 17 SPOOKY BOX 2" which can be seen in the images. The lives on 2017.10.25/30 will have the concept of Abyss while the lives on 2017.10.28/31 will have the concept of LUCY.
  13. 14 points
    The other day I met YOSHIKI. I was at a showing of We Are X in Oslo, Norway. Norway doesn't have a huge VK scene so I was happy he had come. It turned out to be his first time in Norway. I asked him "Can western bands be visual kei?" - He laughed and replied "Of course!" So I followed up with "If a western band is to be visual kei, is there something they must adhere to, in terms of style or aesthetic?" He explained VK is more of a mindset, born out of them feeling like they didn't really fit in anywhere. As he said, they played "super heavy" and "super soft" music. He also told me about a festival he hosted recently where the bands were everything from metal to pop, and there was even a band that didn't play music (that got some laughs around the room). He summed everything up by saying it really isn't a genre, but more of a mindset allowing yourself to be as creative as you want. And it also generally has makeup. I am summing these things up from memory. So here's my take on VK: 1. You must be influenced by Japan/Japanese music (because after all, it originates from Japan). 2. Make creative use of makeup/visuals. 3. Be somewhat diverse in terms of style. 4. Be doing your own thing confidently (basically: be true to yourself, because people and fans can see through you being a cookie-cutter). So basically, no you don't have to have a lolita in the band. One member doesn't have to wear a surgical facemask at all times. You don't have to have death-metal growls in your music. Some music fans within genres and subcultures get really elitist and that gets irritating, especially when people say that VK is only Japanese (so is glam-metal only truly American? Can you not make Brazilian samba music if you aren't from Brazil?). VK is unique in that it is vague but also has a meaning. A band alone isn't just "visual kei" but "visual kei rock" would be a better indicator. I think in that sense, the addition of the term "visual kei" before "rock" to me would indicate the above traits I listed, like being influenced by Japan, be somewhat "different" in terms of makeup/visuals and potentially have a diverse musical style. I had a blast meeting YOSHIKI. He's a funny and nice guy, and it was an honor having him in Norway.
  14. 14 points
    I'd like to take YOSHIKI's quote and add my own context. This is the key. Visual kei was born out of Japan by those who felt like they didn't fit in anywhere in Japan. YOSHIKI isn't going to say that visual kei can't exist world wide because that's not good for his bottom line, but there's a very good reason why it hasn't taken off outside Japan. It has less to do with looks, singing capability, or chosen musical direction, and more to do with anti-conformity and rebelliousness within and against a homogeneous society. No other country faces the same mix of societal pressures and obligations the way the Japanese do, and as these pressures change over time visual kei changes over time too. This is in contrast to musicians from Western countries who want to emulate the style and look to their favorite and popular artists first. It's the difference between taking a picture, and taking a picture of that picture, and taking a picture of that picture. The farther away one gets away from the source and the conditions that cause that source, the less authentic the final product is. I fully agree with this. So many bands follow trends because it's the thing to do, but at some point a trend started as a unique idea. Much as I expect musicians to look within themselves and put their feelings into music, I expect inspiring Western visual kei musicians to do the same thing with their looks. The looks are supposed to be an expression of how one feels, not a style of the decade to phone in and gain legitimacy. I do think Western visual kei is a thing that can happen but the form it would assume would be so different we wouldn't even recognize it by looks alone. My ideal Western visual kei band would be identifiable with the sound alone. We would hear them and just know where those influences came from instead of the "lol i like visual kei and pocky" archetype that usually translates over first. I'm done ranting.
  15. 14 points
    sakurakurakura

    Show Yourself (again)

    Yesterday's ootd, a saku kyo look.
  16. 13 points
    Your #kayaforseason10 movement has paid off... Kaya will appear at RuPaul's Drag Con in Los Angeles, California in 2018. http://kaya-rose.com/information/detail.php?id=220 (( THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING GUYS HOLY SHIT))
  17. 13 points
    Zeus

    Recommended Tracks: October 2017

    Better late than never! Here's the newest batch of recommended tracks from the amazing ORZ team! Check them out and let us know what you think! @tetsu_sama69's Pick "PM:500" by ラッコ(LACK-CO.) I really don't know why it is that LACK-CO.'s ballads always seem to hit me in the right spot. "PM5:00" is definitely a track to be noted (if you can look past their drummer's current visual style) with its strange power ballad styling. It's very easy to get swept away by the tidal wave of guilt and depression, leaving you stranded in a sea of psychosis emitted perfectly though tenten's vocals and the bands messy but perfect instrumentals. Granted the rap segment of the track seems very awkward but it fits for me since it feels more like the ramblings of a man questioning his choices in life. Unfortunately, since I am not fluent in Japanese, I can't translate what is being said, only what is being musically expressed and LACK-CO. definitely know how to compose a robust track that can't be categorized as something "stereotypical". I really look forward to the release of their first album 『弱肉教職』 (Jakuniku Kyoushoku) , as it's hard to predict how it's going to end up. But if it's spiced up with a track like "PM5:00", then it's sure to land a place on this year's favorites list. @helcchi's Pick "お邪魔します" (Ojamashimasu) by まみれた (mamireta) Mamireta have brainwashed me. This song is a drug. From the unnerving yet catchy door-knocking, to the deliriously hypnotic opening riff, to the disturbing lyrical and visual themes, “Ojamashimasu” is the intoxicating psycho fix that VK has been thirsting for. This band is so shameless in expressing their corrupt morals, and so unhinged in their mannerisms, you can't help but feel like many years of lunacy have been packed into the unit's short lifespan. Laden with fast talking featuring the ramblings of a madman, the eccentric vocal delivery adds to the song's intrigue, as this trope is so steeped in VK tradition. Whilst a passionate chorus cuts through the repetitive rhythm that has pervaded through almost half the song, it quickly spirals into a fast-paced whir of pure neuroticism, leading back into the unnerving yet catchy door-knocking that started it all. I've lost count of how many synonyms for “crazy” I've already used in writing this, but did I mention that this band is crazy? Let Mamireta “ojamashimasu” into your head. @emmny's Pick "朧月夜 (Oborozukiyo)" by 己龍 (Kiryu) Kiryu have passed 10 years together as a band, a massive milestone for any band, let alone a visual kei band. To celebrate they're...throwing it back to 1997? It's no surprise that Kiryu have an old school influence, especially as the band members have been active since the early 2000's. They're just very good at infusing it into trendy structures with their loud traditional instrumentation. I, however, live for the moments in their dark tracks when they really let loose and wear some blood on their sleeves *wink*. "Oborozukiyo" is three minutes and thirty seconds of kote-kei styled mayhem, melodrama, guts, gore; it's so indulgent and obvious a throwback that it feels like an inside joke between the band and their older fans, with the youth at the butt of the joke. Of course, all parties are in gleeful, head snapping, harakiri'd joy. Mahiro's vocal gymnastics recall the tortured voices of the late 90's, but with an amazingly melodic chorus to match the growls and grunts (all on pitch by the way, eat your heart out Matina and Soleil). The trebly, pitch-harmonic laden guitar lines paired with frequent gyakudai-style rhythm shifts disorient the listener, creating an air of chaotic noise. The track is a throwback, but not a copy in anyway- a representation fitting of an intelligent band who have grown from the scene and still know how to extract every bit of theatric gold from a sound long forgotten, keeping it fresh 20 or so years later in 2017. @plastic_rainbow's Picks "管" (Kan) by umbrella umbrella is a band that I regrettably have not paid much attention to until recently. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I've finally realized the greatness of their soft and melodic rock sound, plus their heartbreaking and soothing ballads are to die for. "Kan" sits as one of those beautiful tracks but takes it up another level. The beginning feels cinematic with the playing strings until a steady drum line and lovely guitar walk in. Yui's comforting vocals both sing like a slow heartbeat and an ocean wave that clashes against a rock gently; the perfect balance of softness and passion put into a ballad. Although umbrella may fall short because of their messier production, especially in their early days, they deserve much more love than they already do. I mean, if those mellow guitars don't tug at your heart strings then you must be on crack. "Snow the Dark" by Spook Jack Not being a fan of The Candy Spooky Theater, this new solo project of their vocalist Spook Jack (aka Jack Spooky) took me by surprise. While Spook Jack continues to portray his 'spooky' character, his solo work is not the usual fun spoopy-Halloween trope that The Candy Spooky Theater was. Instead, it's downright gothic and dark industrial. Apparently, Full (ex. Guniw Tools, Nookicky, Shilfee and Tulipcorobockles) collaborated with his solo project and although it's not certain how much he was involved in producing the music, some Nookicky influences can be heard. The slow tempo, the ghostly ethereal singing, the use of pianos and harmonious noises in "Snow the Dark" all make up the sound of Nookicky. However, being much darker, the track opens with a haunting industrial vibe, setting a gothic and bone-chilling atmosphere. Spook Jack's ethereal vocals tinged with a gloominess works wonderfully and reveals how mesmerizing his voice can be, unlike his The Candy Spooky Theater performances. If Spook Jack keeps this up with his new approach to a sinister and despairing night of horror, I'm all for it. "ニヤ" (Niya) by Large House Satisfaction There seem to be little to no fans of Large House Satisfaction here, so it's my job to make you start listening to them now, especially to those who like some new J-indie music. Large House Satisfaction is a three-piece band that have been around for over 10 years and play garage to classic rock music accompanied with harsh grating vocals. If you like Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The Birthday, or any of Chiba Yusuke's side projects you may be interested in them. Usually their music is upbeat and faster-paced, but once in a while they'll chug out a few slower-paced songs as well. "Niya", from their newest album Highway to Hellvalley, happens to be one of those slower songs, yet is still stirred up by their punching garage-y guitar riffs and thick bass lines. The vocalist goes all out, and even sounds like he's about to croak, but his harsh singing effectively renders this piece as truly endearing. You'll be singing 'darling darling' all night once you listen to this. Guest Blurbs from @Ada Suilen "蛙-Kawazu-" (Kawazu) by キズ (Kizu) In the contemporary visual kei scene, it's incredibly hard to find something appealing and worthy of some attention. One of the few times I had such a feeling has been with the second single of the new band Kizu, where the lead track "蛙-Kawazu-"shows their unexpected and engaging style: a powerful melody driven by astonishing riffs, and intense vocals by the former singer of Lezard, who seems to have found his own maturity with this new band. I can surely consider Kizu as one of the most interesting rookies of the year. "愚かしい竜の夢 " (Orokashii Yuu no Yume) by D D has been one of my first visual bands, and they are nowadays one of my fixed listenings. When they came back from the hiatus, they redid one of their dearest themes and tried to experiment with something new, which I enjoyed but not so much as I thought I would. But I was sure that one day this band would have found their unique energy, and in their fifth mini-album, a limited release, they used what made them so popular for the visual fans. The title track is surely one of the best works in their career, featuring an incredible mix of languages (a la Rozova Dolina) and a clash of tempos, going from soft to powerful in a blink, with a great technique and sublime vocals. If you had lost hope in D, with this track you will surely find it again. Thank you for reading everyone!
  18. 13 points
    visual kei was MADE for heterosexual men! the demons known as "women" and "gays" need to get the FUCK out of the scene!!!!!!
  19. 13 points
    -Tetsu-

    Show Yourself (again)

    tried some halloween make up although I won't attent any event I hate that there's nothing close to me because it's so much fun to put on some make up lately I tried to do some D13 from Leetspeak Monsters inspired make up, didn't turn out how I wanted it to be but I'm kind of happy with the result anyway.
  20. 13 points
    I'm feeling this tbh side A: 「Re:quiem ~for career~」 side B: 「 Re:tirement Age」 (guest dr.: Yoshiki)
  21. 13 points
    VESSMIER

    Show Yourself (again)

    I guess it's nice to see who you're talking to on the forum, so here's a snapshot of me and one of those self-portraits I do from time to time.
  22. 13 points
    following seikun's impeccable logic all the bangyas in vk are actually secretly lesbian because there's absolutely no reason why straight girls would be attracted to 'feminine' bandmen while we're on this topic, i also don't get: - why there's still the weird division dictating that guys must be into vk as "ongen-gyao" who only collect cds, and girls only go to lives to swoon over hot bandmen - why the former is somehow usually conceived as more superior to the latter.... almost every guy who's an armchair connoisseur of vk i've encountered exudes the insufferable air of making themselves sound like consumers of vk who are more sophisticated than "those bangyas over there" aka the "necessary evil" that keeps the scene afloat - why the two are even mutually exclusive in the first place, as if being into the bandmen themselves somehow diminishes or effaces one's ability to appreciate/talk about music intelligently ...and i can go on. basically i feel that people (mostly guys, but also girls who are concerned with being viewed a certain way) who actually have the money to spare AND want to participate are given pause because of these problematic assumptions. i've been saizen for bands (mostly very small) and have no problems with the girls or the bandmen themselves so i can't help thinking a lot of these strange ideas are self-imposed. people should just enjoy the scene in whatever way they want (yes, even if you're a guy who go to lives to fantasize about bandmen - what's wrong with that??), instead of losing sleep over what the bangyas in the same row are potentially gossiping about you.
  23. 13 points
  24. 13 points
    ghost

    I'm back baby

    What's going on MH. I was on a short haitus while putting my life into order. I was working a life-consuming job that left me no time and energy for myself while planning a spontaneous move to start a brand new life. I had to find a new job and adjust to the new city and I just wasn't in a place where I felt like I could devote any time to the forum. I've finally worked everything out and I feel that I'm now in a place where I can be a part of this community with a free mind and heart. So, I'm excited to say.. I'm Back Baby
  25. 13 points
    itsukoii

    Show Yourself (again)

    hi
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