Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Magazine!



On a hot sunny day like today, I bet you think to yourself, as you wipe your forehead with a copy of V ROCK STAR 3 with the Laverite section removed, "man, I wish a had something to read about Laverite while I kill this unspecified amount of free time I have!" So you head off to the bookstore, but first duck inside a convenience store to buy a drink, which you pay for with two copies of V ROCK STAR 3. You finally find the magazine section of the bookstore, and buy four copies of V ROCK STAR 3: one for yourself, two for friends, and one to line your birdcage, sans the section with Laverite. You find a spot in the shade, sip your drink (what did you buy?!), and read about Laverite, pausing only to reflect on how awesome life is, using another copy of V ROCK STAR 3 as a bookmark for the copy of V ROCK STAR 3 you just bought for yourself.

(also your friends each go buy five more copies each or something)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Live Report 7/26/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Byakura, Oshare Dorobou, Murasaki, Cinema Strip, Cheeky, Jackall, Cloche


8 bands is a little much, but apparently not by VK show standards. Normally the first band of the night is supposed to go down to the stage-level green room to do their hair/makeup and stuff but since the first band ignored that we were left with no table space in the upstairs green room, which meant we got to sit on the floor.

Cloche I think we've played with before; they sounded pretty good from backstage.

We were next, and for the first three songs, something was just. not. clicking. And Yue forgot the words during "My Love Remains", and even though I tuned just before we started, maybe I didn't stretch my new strings enough because I kept going sliiiiightly out of tune (it doesn't take that much to bother me, though) and of course I can just reach out and bam tune the thing back up but I'm up there thinking when exactly do I have a space in the song to do that, because I'm too busy rocking too hard...

Finally, "Solidarity" got us pumped up, and the crowd, sweet things who had been pretty decently energetic the whole time, got even more into it. It really made up for the other three songs. "Criticism" took us out on a bang, much like the big Sumida River Fireworks show that we were all missing out on that night.

A band called Jackall went after us, and they were heavy and metally and kinda punky and they had a chick singer with a killer death voice and a guitarist that looked a bit too much like LM.C's Maya, stylistically, and did well in the face of guitar strap problems. (Buy strap locks if you even briefly entertain the thought of playing live!)

Cheeky is on Narciss's label, and they're pretty fun. Lots of personality. Some of it a bit gimmicky, but they're solid.

Byakura are awesome and nice and stuff and shhhh don't tell anyone but I think Ryota is diggin' on their bassist but that's okay because if Miko didn't exist I'd probably be eyeing their singer, and Omi always talks some time out to have a chat with me and I'm really glad they're on a label now, because they've worked for a very, very long time to get where they are. They played a lot of songs I hadn't heard before, three of which I assume are their two final 'amateur' singles and then their first Sequence Records release.

If Cinema Strip isn't the next big VK band, then I will eat my hat. The vocalist, Leo, is formerly of Genshoku Atom, a band I raved about ages ago here, and I also spoke highly of Cinema Strip when I saw them before. Leo's movements are meticulously performed with tons of energy, twirling his wireless mic coolly, and a killer voice that I would honestly put up on my top vocalist list for plain ol' talent. And the rest of the band just has such tight riffs and backup singing. They are beyond solid; they drive the music right into the pocket. It is sick.
Seriously, guys. Cinema Strip.

Oshare Dorobou's vocalist Miyuu, my buddy, is so fun to watch. And very funny.

Finally at nearly 9:00 (half an our behind schedule, thanks to compounding of tiny problems over the night), Murasaki took the stage. I actually dig them; like I said before they're sorta Sid-ish. When they finished just past 9:30 they got an encore, and then the show ended, at nearly ten. Yer killin' me!

M was there, as were Holly and fuzzurin, who are all seriously ridiculously cooler than me, and chatting with them is easy breezy. Holly gave us presents and drawings because she's cool like that; seriously fanart is awesome because they make me look 100x better.

Earlier this week, I had a freelance job in Harajuku, and we went to Yoyogi park to scout locations. While there I ran into some coworkers, and we made plans to go out for drinks later in the evening. We headed over to Ueno park and found this nifty outdoor beer garden kind of place and had a good time. The bartenders took an interest in me, we got to chatting, and one of them said he knew a girl he wanted to introduce me to; could I be back here at 4 the next afternoon? Why not? I thought; I could use a break and to meet new people.


I went back at 4, met the girl, had a nice little time, then she went home. I stayed to finish my drink and pay, and then someone sat down next to me. I recognized him as Masaki, from the session band Kanabun who we played with a couple of months ago, and also former singer of Sulfuric Acid. We finally got to talk one-on-one, and we hit it off immediately. He started call various friends of his in high VK places and telling them "Dude! I'm here with Jimi!!" and they'd say, rightly, "who the hell is Jimi" because there's no reason those guys would know me, and then he'd explain, and hand the phone off to me. One person remembered me, which unexpectedly made me very pleased and marked the beginning of a change of heart.


Anyway, from there Masaki and I skip to a little restaurant, then to another bar to play darts (I beat him both times), then to karaoke, and then finally to an awesome ramen shop to wash away the pains of drinking, and finally off home.

This guy is hellbent on making sure his new friend meets all the right people and gets himself out there, so he invited me to a party that happened on Friday night. In addition to the just plain ol' really good people you meet at random places like that, there was also Ryo of Rentrer, Ryohei of Megamasso, Zero from Ghost, Sora from Kazoku, three guys from Ruvie, the guy that took our band photos back in January, and a couple of other guys from a couple of other bands whose names I have either forgotten or can't find evidence of their existence so I'll refrain from embarrassing myself. There were also tons of really sweet hair/makeup staff people. Miyuu was also there, and we both offered each other condolences that we'd basically be getting no sleep for the live we both had the next day.

I have learned a lot this week, and so much of it has really changed my outlook on everything from my approach with other people to band stuff to life in general. It's not that I'm throwing my old philosophy out the window, just that the shape is changing, maturing, and with that comes a determination to be contagious--to allow the positive spirits I may have to infect those I want to help, or do something for, or be with.


SO, there was a problem with the magazine, and since they couldn't coordinate with Luna Sea's schedule for the cover story it went to Alice Nine and it will be on sale on the 29th. Also, don't forget the Summer Sampler, and please send all your queries about it to Closet Child's English site because I know nothing! Also don't forget our lives at Narciss on 8/8, 8/24, and 8/31; the 8/31 one is 1000yen for all-you-can-drink soft drinks and then no ticket charge!

Then 9/24 at Takadanobaba AREA, and back to Narciss for 10/5 and 10/19. Tell your friends, of which you have a zillion because you're all beautiful, charming rapscallions.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Sampler



tee hee

Laverite contributed "Sephirot" and a comment track to the Closet Child Original Free Sampler!

The campaign starts on 8/1, and the first 1,500 people who spend over 3,000 yen at Closet Child will get the CD free.

The CD has tracks from Kaya, Irokui, Guruguru Eigakan, Black:List, Art Cube, AILE, Since1889, auncia, LAVERITE, MarBell, Ancestral, and Byakura.

The deal is available for all Closet Child shops and apparently online sales as well.

Looks like they'll advertise this in magazines too.

I am beyond nervous about this. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

LIVE REPORTS 7/1~2: LAVERITE, Oshare Dorobou, OZxBONE, Murasaki


I'm very sorry for the delay, folks-- My cousin was here until a few days ago, and since then I've been plowing through work, planning out a cool interpreter position, and other things that have to do with being a superhero.


On the 1st, we played with Oshare Dorobou, who have some catchy tunes and a very interesting and very funny vocalist, Miyuu. He came down to the backstage area just before we went on, gave us free copies of their new single, and then handed me his business card. I gave him a copy of "Rosemary" and my card as well. We're buddies and hung out last weekend for some drinks and it's nice to have made a new friend.

We also played with OZxBONE again, who are down to three, but somehow they seem way tighter as a three-piece. It's been cool getting to know those guys more and more as we keep playing with them.

There was also Murasaki, who are really nice dudes and reminded us of Sid, in a good way. (I'm one of those guys that likes Sid, okay?)


Yue overslept because of a dreadful work schedule and therefore we couldn't draw straws for performance order, and we had to go first. I didn't really mind, and Ryota was only slightly peeved, but when Yue finally showed up he felt the need to do a bunch of situps as a penance.

Me and Henderson, who never really quite figured out the timing on my camera.



Alicia came and gave us home-baked cookies. And they were delicious. And not just because of the M&M's, or because of the home-bakedness (although that was certainly a factor), but because of the LOVE AND COMPASSION that made every last morsel moist and chewy. Like cookies should be. She joined the elite inner circle of People Who Gave Us Stuff and Really Didn't Have To, and It's such a blessing to have people like that, to help make you feel like you're doing something right.



Other than those three bands, I have a really hazy memory of who else played, so I'm really sorry.

Henderson took a lot of pictures too, and you can click on them for big:

First, a few from the studio:

Narciss in the morning:

Backstage, just before going on:

Waiting for us to come onstage:

LAVERITE performing:


Henderson was a real help, carrying equipment, being someone to talk to to while away the long hours, and he got a bit of attention on his own. I'm glad he took some photos, and though the scene is certainly not his scene (he's much more of a high-end street fashion/hip-hop kinda dude), he said he appreciated the experience.

Some of my housemates were cool and went various places with us to provide him with some contact other than just me.

And us at the airport just before he went through security :(

SO. Here's our live schedule so far:

7/26, 8/8, 8/24, and 8/31 at Narciss; 9/24 at Area; 10/5 and 10/19 at Narciss again, and I'm secretly and selfishly hoping that some fan in October knows it's my birthday on the 8th and says something. :)

That magazine goes on sale in a week or so, and there are a few other things coming up.

And check out this lineup for 7/26! LAVERITE, Byakura, Oshare Dorobou, Cinema Strip, Ibaraki Akudou Chaban Gekidan Cheeky, Murasaki, Cloche, and Jackall. Eight bands, which is insane, but it should be crazy cool.

Thanks for all the emails and comments and just generally being way nicer than y'all are obligated to be. :)