Thursday, August 28, 2008

Live Report 8/24/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Ray, D'LORE, VesuVio, Homura,



We were sixth out of seven bands, and therefore I was up in the dressing room for most of the show and couldn't see most of the bands and can't remember which other ones played that I'm not remembering, but whatever.

With all the free time you have up in the dressing room, you start to go a little crazy. I always have a book or my DS handy, Yue sleeps, and Ryota and I practice guitar. We also doodled a lot in my sketchbook.

Like, seriously, our rehearsal ended at like 2:30 and we didn't go on until 7:30, so we had a lot of time to kill.


So finally it's time to go on, and there are so, so few people that come to see us specifically, and it's getting harder and harder to keep our chins up in the face of that, because it just means we have to pay more at the end of the night. But we made a promise to each other recently: no matter what happens, we will have fun, because we've practiced enough to be secure in our playing. Even in the face of mistakes or missed notes, we must enjoy ourselves, so much so that it sucks people in like a tractor beam, even from all the way to the back of the hall.Yeah, it's a bummer to have a tiny fanbase, but you give your all because no one will come to you until you've reached that balance of good playing ability, attractive stage personality, and using your music as a communication tool.
Ultimately, I have to please myself first.

Yue was particularly good that night, and I just focused on enjoying playing my parts, smiling like I know a secret, and trying to make eye contact with everyone in the room.

Everyone was sitting down, except two guys were enjoying us and standing on my side. Gradually, the songs seemed to reach many of the girls, and, sitting down, they did the little hand motions. Honestly? That's enough for me. For now.

But the guys started looking behind them, beckoning some of the girls to come forward. Finally, midway through our set, about ten girls rushed toward the front, enjoying each other, enjoying the silly guys, enjoying us play, sakuing and giving us little heart signs, applauding our ballad, and getting really pumped up as I laid down the funky groove on "Sexy Dance", and did the neat little side-step thing we do in the verses of "Solidarity" along with us.

We got off the stage and couldn't say anything. "What the hell was that?" I finally said. Yue grinned. "I don't know, but it was definitely cool." We turned to Ryota, who always starts off with the bad parts of the performance before saying anything good. "That was kind of the best," he said.

Taking care of money at the end of the night, even the staff was surprised. "Did you know any of those people?" they asked. We didn't. All of them were new. Which meant that they wouldn't count toward our ticket total for the night, but I'd rather have had a great show and have to pay a bunch of money than to play a poopy show and have to pay a bunch of money. Still, a couple of them bought picture sets, a few said they'd be back the next week for the free live, and some even wrote sweet fanmail to us.

One thing I noticed is that Ryota's tell-tale pre-show nervousness is dissipating. He jokes that it's because he was so nervous meeting Kamijo that now playing a show is merely small potatoes.

I'm really, really looking forward to Sunday's show.


"Rosemary" is all "sold out", and 300 copies of the re-pressing of "Sephirot" are in and around the Tokyo area: Closet Child (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, and even Yokohama), Like an Edison, Club Indies, and Third Stage. It's absolutely free, so go pick up a copy.

Tomorrow is the Exist Trace 'revival' live. D:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flier No. 3


what is wrong with my face

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Live Report 8/8/08, Urawa Narciss: Laverite, The Skull**** Revolvers, Mistes, All or Nothing, Zig+Zag, Baby



The first of our 3 shows in August! (Good LORD my eyes are round...)


Baby was up first but I didn't see them and they were down in the downstairs dressing room the whole time so yeah.


All or Nothing were crazy guys, cracking jokes left and right, and a couple of them had pretty strong Kansai accents. Didn't get to hear them, unfortunately, but they caught our rehearsal and when we were finished, they told us how much they liked the song "Solidarity", which was really nice of them. We talked to them a lot more in the dressing room, and I played Dream Theater tunes with their guitarist, and then we gave up because it's impossible.


We were 3rd, and initially things were going well. We didn't draw that many people who were there for Laverite, but other people in the hall seemed to be enjoying it, doing the hand thingies and responding well when I looked out at them and smiled.

The show was not without its problems. We played fantastically, I thought; a huge step up from the previous live. I felt really good about my performance, having honed and studied my own movement as Masaki taught me. We've each got our distinct personalities in the band, so I guess I'm the happy one.

Just before "Criticism", Ryota misstepped and changed his sound bank; during the intro of the song he frantically tried to get back to the right program. I put some more flourish on the bass tapping part to fill in the sound. Luckily there was at least one other guitar part being played with the synth parts through the PA, so it didn't sound too dead. Ryota pulled a nice save, doing a cool slide and coming in just in time for the main riff.

Just before our last song, the PA guy (some older guy no one had ever seen before) screwed up the cue we'd gone over perfectly in rehearsal and instead of fading out the previous backing track, faded in to our final song, which meant that keyboard parts were playing along their merry little way without us. After a brief moment of panic, at the same moment, like a cartoon, all three of us shrugged our shoulders and just came in for the second pass of the phrase. I thought it was a killer save, and in fact I often think mistakes are forgiveable if the band can cover well and not fall apart. We don't fall apart.

Ryota was very displeased, however. He'd also overshot the opening of "Sephirot" and his sweep-picking in the solo was, in his own words afterward, "complete and utter crap". The girl in charge of lights, a Narciss staffer we're familiar with, came back and apologized to us for the missed cue. Honestly every single staff person there is very sweet to us. After she left, comforted by Yue and I, Ryota made the good point that he wished the PA guy would apologize himself. He didn't.
Personally I don't mind all that much. Sure, I'd like to put on the perfect live, and I think we can, but if things happen things happen. I dunno, maybe I'm having too much fun up there.



Next up were The Skull **** Revolvers, whose name still rubs me the wrong way so I don't write it out. They've gotten better, less out-of-tune, and I have to admit they put on quite a show. Violinist needs to ditch the music stand and not look so dang bored, though! He's way too outclassed otherwise. They had a small handful of girls from Europe there to see them, one of whom, a sweet Finnish girl, talked to me and told me how much she enjoys reading Rock Japan Elec-tric! AWESOOOOOOOOOOOOOME

Ooh, almost forgot about Zig+Zag. They were theatrical. Robes and masks and lots of orchestral music, songs that were borderline prog in their meandering, a tiny scary little female vocalist with a staff with a crow on it that she waved around and looked like she was going lop off the heads of the girls in the front row. Their bassist wore a full white mask and a bowler hat, which is at least something because otherwise he had a short, normal haircut. The guitarist had loooooooong Mana-like locks and was a very good player, as was the drummer. They frustrated me a little bit because some of their stuff was so cool and really unique, and then some of it was gimmicky and I wished they'd left it back in 1997.


Mistes also had a couple of performance hiccups at first, but again they covered well. The two guitarists went to the same high school as Yue, so they caught up on old times, mentioning old teachers and old friends.


On the 24th we're playing with Suicide Ali, so that's nifty. Also, one girl who came showed us the Closet Child omnibus! I kinda want a copy too, just to hear the comment we recorded!

Off to rehearsal today!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Second magazine


I'm right next to Kaya!

And not all the bands are shown or named, either! Pretty sweet.

(This is Shoxx by the way)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Schedule Change


For some reasons we had to cancel the 10/5 live, but we've put one in for 10/3 instead. Still at Narciss. Update your calendars accordingly! And if you can't come, you know, just make sure you're facing toward Tokyo at 5:00pm Japan time. :-P

EDIT: Also, a re-pressing of "Sephirot" will be distributed in Tokyo indies CD shops starting from 8/20! So that means, like, Third Stage, Club Indies, Like an Edison. (Limited to 300 and only available in person, sorry. And in this case, "re-pressing" means "we each sat at our respective computers and burned 100 copies each, ourselves".)

Cool stuff. Not the cancellation, though, that's lame. Other stuff is cool though!