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About jaymee

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    Kisaki's Errand Boy

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  1. jaymee

    1.) Fandom cattiness There are some artists I've actually stopped seeing live because their fans just totally ruin the atmosphere, especially fans that have their eyes set so badly on one member, that they actively go out of their way to be passive aggressive or bully fans of that same member. 2.) Multiple type singles Honestly just a huge cash grab to save a dying CD industry. I didn't mind as much in the past, but now it's so common that bands are really lazy about the content you get with each release/price point. I just bought the first press of PLC's new CD for like 15,000-something yen and I definitely did not feel like the content in any way warranted that kind of price. But it's ubiquitous in the Japanese VK/idol industry and I doubt it's going to change any time soon. 3.) Miscellaneous concert ticket/attendance fees So you buy the ticket, but you also have to pay a service and/or shipping charge, on top of a drink fee. Just include everything in the damn price and be done with it. Rakuten Ticket is the absolute worse about not bundling ticket purchases together and making you pay a separate 900+ yen service/shipping fee for each ticket, even though all your separate tickets are just going to arrive at the same time anyway. Ugh. As for the drink thing, it feels like a cheap move when they're already pocketing off of live house rental cost, especially if the drink ticket is over 500 yen. 4.) Venue-limited only goods Having to attend/find someone to attend and line-up for goods at every concert just to complete a set of things or get something special is a monumental pain in the ass. Just sell the things online and be done with it. I don't think I've ever known anyone to specifically attend a concert just for the goods, unless it's a live distribution only CD or something. Every now and then live-limited only goods are fine. Having live-only limited goods at all or almost every stop on your tour is a bit much imho. 5.) The general direction VK is going It's just not my thing. There are newer artists I appreciate and listen to, but it's few and far between compared to how many older bands I love. The scene has definitely become more formulaic that it used to be, and although VK has always sold on looks, sometimes it's a bit much now. I had to kind of struggle to come up with 5 things, tbh. Most are just mildly aggravating and not something I hate enough to rant about.
  2. jaymee

    5 Things I Like about VK (or J-music in general), in no particular order 1. The community At least half of the friends I've made in the VK community are my friends for life. Kinda weird that some of your bestest friends would come from laughing about no1curr Japanese band and fan drama as you bond over a good release, but hey life is funny that way. 2. The concerts Concerts in Japan are better, tbh. None of that crappy audience singing drowning out most of the artist's set you paid to hear, and nobody is standing there like a dumbass watching the whole thing through their phone, blocking your view with their phone in the process. I find Japanese concerts are generally more interactive, too, unless you're seeing some really bland or unknown act. 3. Release packaging/content Sure VK releases may cost more than many Western releases, but the packaging is often way nicer. Most VK shoots and photo/lyric booklets put Western artists to shame. 4. The goods With little exception, VK or Japanese artists in general have better goods than Western artists. I feel like overseas you get clothes, stickers, and notebooks, and that's about it, but in Japan the only limit is the band's imagination. Over the years I've seen flavored condoms, sex toy kits, house dishes, food/snack/drink collaborations, mobile battery chargers and other small electronics, car goods, etc. 5. The music Last but not least, eh? When I first got into VK I was really thrilled by the way artists give little to no flips about sticking to just one genre or style of music. There are some artists that try a little to hard to mesh sounds that don't agree, but for the most part I've always respected the experimental nature of the genre. I feel like indie music in the West is starting to catch up on that regard, but even now Western fans are quick to call any artist that steps outside a certain established style or sound a sell out.
  3. jaymee

    Ah, yes I was thinking about one-man shows so I should go back and edit that. When the band calls for people to move up/dive there are always people who will move out of the way or create "holes" toward the front, and those spots are definitely up for the taking, and usually aren't given back after the move/dive songs. But yes, bumping someone out of a spot, squeezing people to move over to accommodate you, or taking someone's spot while they're in the bathroom or getting a drink (if they've got a bag or friend holding their place) is definitely a no-no and will make you unpopular pretty fast. For taibans, definitely the rotation system is best like you mentioned. For small shows, yeah, I would assume you're probably gonna be wherever you end up at the beginning for most of the show.
  4. I was around during the j-pop/j-rock/VK "boom" in the U.S., if you can even call the small subculture following it had for a short time that. I feel like it really comes down to a combination of these three things: 1.) Lack of availability/promotion When j-rock was at its "peak" popularity overseas, it was still somewhat difficult to purchase official releases outside of Japan, especially for indies acts. Most CD shops didn't ship overseas, if they even had English language sites at all. Labels and bands were late to utilize YouTube and SNS to promote their music, and introduction into the scene still relied heavily on music sharing networks or download sites. There was too little official information available/properly translated into English. By the time labels finally started getting around to reaching out to overseas audiences, people were moving on (to K-pop or in general). In general Japanese artists/labels just weren't committed to attracting overseas audiences or embracing any audience they did have. 2.) Touring issues Most bands ended up performing at anime conventions, despite if they had any real connection to cosplay or an anime show. Much of the time these acts were being consumed by people who were curious about the artist because they were from Japan, with few actual fans assembled at one place in comparison. Exoticism may get people to see you once or twice, but it usually doesn't compute into CD sales, especially when the value of the yen was so high and the cost of Japanese music so expensive compared to Western music. These acts, and even the rare show booked outside of a con was subject to poor management, planning, or promotion. Often they were cancelled. Perhaps if more acts had gone Dir en grey's route of performing at festivals, it would have made a sizable enough movement to have an impact, but it's hard to say. 3.) The general demise of rock music as mainstream Sure, rock will never get old. But rock is not nearly as mainstream as it was in the 90s and early 2000s. Even as certain indie rock sounds/artists flourish, it's a much different style than what a lot of j-rock (especially VK) is doing. So on top of less people listening to rock in general, there are less people interested in the style of rock Japan is making. Even I'm not as fond of most of the rock that's popular in Japan ATM (VK or generally speaking). Generally speaking, a lot of overseas VK fans I knew at the time eventually moved on to K-pop. Unlike Japan, Korean artists/labels were much more insistent on pushing for international success. They also swooped in taking advantage of YouTube and SNS promotion where Japan didn't. While this lead to a flood in the market for some time, it also give the genre the momentum that j-rock (or j-pop tbh) never had, eventually making it a powerful force to be reckoned with it's turning into today.
  5. jaymee

    If you're short it's to your benefit that you can probably sneak further up front during the harder/dive songs. I have a friend who is tiny and I swear she's always at least third row when the harder songs hit no matter where her numbers originally were, lol
  6. jaymee

    For singles, I might give it a partial (just not my thing at all) or full listen (sounds okay, curious where it's gonna go), and if I'm not feeling it after that I generally pass. Exception is for favorite artists, especially if I'm going to a live where it's likely to be played. I'm more likely to listen to songs I don't appreciate the first time around if they're on a CD with other songs I'm fond of. Sometimes a song works better for me when I can conceptualize it as being part of a bigger work, but then sometimes I really just don't like a song and skip over it. There are genres that don't usually catch my attention, but I'll try anything regardless the genre or language. There's always going to be at least one artist doing something interesting, no matter what the genre. Sometimes if I go back to a song or album I didn't like, years later, it might suddenly click. I don't know if that's a reflection of maturing tastes or just being at a different point in life and able to relate to it more.
  7. jaymee

    2018 tour kicks off tomorrow in Chiba! This time they're doing two shows in each city with a split personality concept. First day is their Gerunika (evil/harder) side/costumes and the second is their Doppelganger (good/softer) side/costumes. Gonna try to do some reports after each weekend, but we'll see how far I get because I'm following the the whole tour like a crazy person, work has been brutal, and I've fallen into the Star Wars reylo trash bin...orz
  8. jaymee

    I think Laputa is just one of those bands that will always be appreciated more in the Japanese VK scene than the overseas one, and there's not too many VK shows I've seen in Nagoya where the band didn't mention them at some point while joking/MCing. My fave songs by them are "Yurenagara..." and "Eve ~last eve for you~". But for the latter, it sounds nicer on the album with the piano intro imho. Aki has one of those really unique voices in VK, so if you're feeling it, might be worth checking out his solo work after Laputa disbanded.
  9. jaymee

    They announced all this at the 12/29 DIQ live, plus confirmed next year’s 12/29 DIQ live. Though they didn’t list any other DIQ dates so next year’s DIQ might just be a stand alone event.
  10. jaymee

    People have been telling me to check it out. I need to get on it. Qveen Herby has been slaying my playlist all week.
  11. I imagine for most of us that have been into VK (or general j-rock fans) for a decent amount, there are certain songs that when you hear them they take you back to a specific memory, whether it was one made while that song or one evoked by that song's lyrics/music. I figured it would be interesting to see what songs have really resonated with you all over the years, so c'mon, play along and post a song/memory associated with that song. I'll go first! The FLARE - "Lyra" My (now) husband and I were planning on taking our first trip to Osaka and it just so happened that The FLARE was scheduled to play one their final tour shows there in the middle of our trip. There weren't a lot of business/budget hotels in Osaka at the time (there still aren't compared to other bigger cities, though there's more hostels and the like than there used to be lol... ) and everything was booked so we had to stay at this run down love hotel each night. I don't remember much about the live itself (even after watching recordings like this off the DVD for that tour) except that the whole atmosphere of it was like being in a trance. That said, I made the poor decision to wear these cute heels instead of something more comfortable and the whole time my feet were in excruciating pain and it was a hella long to walk in the cold to the venue and back and standing in this stairwell for number call. Anyways, this song reminds me of that trip, being young and carefree in love, and the Cafe de Crie we ate at every morning there, but mostly the painful lesson that when it comes to lives comfort > style.
  12. I live in Japan and have a MerCari account. I might be able to help you out. More details or DM me? (I used to run a lolita SS way back in the day, but don't normally do SS any more. Feel free to suggest a rate you think is fair. )
  13. jaymee

    ViViD who? I'm perfectly alright believing this the only Vivid that has ever existed in VK.
  14. jaymee

    Agreed. I appreciated TicketCamp’s buyer protection and their easy to use templates for people not used to buying/selling tix. Twitter is harder because other users may not sell to you if you’re not in their FFs or a regular enough fan. Or if you’re like me and basically use Twitter to trade/buy/sell, it’s easy to miss a good opportunity not being on it 24/7. Like I dunno I hate scalping and all, but scalpers are like cockroaches and they always find another platform to take advantage of other people on, so imho in the grand scheme of things shutting the site down does very little to address the actual problem.
  15. jaymee

    TicketCamp announced earlier this month that it was momentarily suspending its service, but in its latest update today, it says the service will close permanently on May 31, 2018. Until their suspension, TicketCamp was by far the most popular service for buying or reselling tickets, especially for VK and other music concerts. The decision seems to be a result of its recent legal troubles, assumably in light of its recent inaction toward cracking down on ticket scalping. I’ve personally been a TicketCamp user for a few years now and until now often bought/sold tickets on it. When first I signed up the rules clearly stated that the site was for personal resell/purchase only, and I felt like (at least for the bands I was reselling/buying for at the time), they were doing a adequate job of weeding out scalpers and other suspicious sellers. But with each passing year, it seemed like they were getting lazier and less was being done about it, to the point that most of the tickets I bought through their app this year arrived from ticket reselling companies (scalpers) in Tokyo. And as you can see in the tweet above, it was really getting out of hand. So I guess while not surprising news, until a new outlet (or old outlet like Yahoo!Auctions, etc.) (re)surfaces, it might be harder to resell or purchase tickets, especially for people overseas. In the meantime, if you are looking for tickets to a show and can’t buy thru Lawson, Pia, or eplus, try Twitter, MerCari (Japanese ver.), or Yahoo!Auctions. I’d link the actual news announcement but I can only see it in app on my phone atm. I did a quick search and didn’t see anything about it, but apologies in advance if there is already a thread for it.