Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Elec Records

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I took this picture almost two years ago and kept forgetting to post it. I found it amusing at the time. I thought I was the only Elec. :(

Monday, February 23, 2009

We are children

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We have not grown up: apparently we're still in that phase of "everyone switch instruments and let's jam!", and Tenten usually instigates this. The rest of our material is solid enough that I don't mind the distraction. So here he is with my bass. Somehow we started playing Kurenai and I realized I've never actually tried to copy X before. Also our drummer is a pretty darn good guitarist, and our lead guitarist was a surprisingly decent drummer.

Tenten's actual musical knowledge is different from how much of it he can actually explain when pressed. He's sort of a savant like that; reminds me of a Billy Sheehan video I SWEAR I saw once where he demonstrates and then says "yeah I don't know how I did that." Ten2 can just pick up a guitar, noodle around, really look like he has no idea what he's doing, and still come up with some really cool ideas.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CP site, song descriptions

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I encourage you to listen to the entirety of the bluesy song, as that's our opener... so instead of coming out to a song playing over the PA, the curtain comes down and we go right into that, get the crowd going, then go into our first song.

Once that ends I recommend taking the time to listen to the light guitar arpeggios as well; I adore the chord progression of the thing and I think it's got some great atmosphere.


Tenten's been posting what these songs sound like on his blog, so I figure I'll just sort of tell you guys that too.

.SE
Already discussed...

1. Reincarnation

This song was written by our rhythm guitarist, who might be familiar to some of you when we announce the rest of the members. It's jangly and a bit light but I love how uplifting it sounds. The lyrics are pretty good, I think.

2. Human Rubbish
For a title like that, the music actually sounds pretty upbeat. This is one of the many songs I get to do backup harmonies on, and I'm pretty proud of how this one has come together.

.Bluesmen
This is more of an extended member introduction than anything. It came about when we were sort of wondering just how we were going to fit in the member call, and unthinkingly me and the lead guitarist started this jam. Tenten loved it and recently we've spent more time on this than other songs. O_o I do think that this song really showcases our guitarists' talents, though.

3. In My Dream
This song sounds like a heavy VK number. There's some English in this song that I wrote, based on the lyrical theme.

4. Suffering
This song is ridiculously heavy and fast. It took a ton of practice to get all the crazy riffs in order. There's a tiny bit in the middle where we pay a sly tribute to Pay Money to my Pain, haha. This song is almost entirely in English, which again I just took Tenten's lyrical theme and fit it to the lyrics. What this means is that you have native English in Visual Kei. Somewhere, somehow, someone will find fault with this. :)

5. 病ム空 (Yamusora)
Apparently Tenten released this song a year or two ago, which would explain why the version I used to learn the song sounded so good. It's heavy rock but lots of electronic goodness creeps in.

6. プレパラート (Microscope Slide)
This is perhaps the most representative Chemical Pictures song. There's a lot going on: acoustic guitar arpeggios, transitioning into funk with slap bass, going into a chorus area of straightforward rock, a bridge of floaty, sexy guitar solos.

7. Emily
This is our pop song I guess. Written for a friend of Tenten's who passed away.

8. Black Box
I gather that this song was released with Yamusora. Mid-tempo number, cool and chill. Reminds me of a beach somehow, even though it really doesn't have that much island flavor.

9. I wanna get away
Pretty straightforward rock until the bridge, but the chorus is pretty fast pop-punk and the bridge has some impressive metal shouts.

10. 素晴ラシキ忌々しサ (Subarashiki Imaimashisa)
Driving rock with a really neat, catchy chorus. Tenten has a lot he wants to say about this song but he worries about being long-winded. :-P

11. Stand by me
Definitely jazz-rock in nature, and I get a fun bass solo I had fun coming up with. It's one of those "repeat the chorus forever and ever" songs, and really I don't mind. I think it's a good last song.


So there you have it! I think we'll be revealing the other members soon.

Oops

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So our band is actually called 'Chemical Pictures'.(ケミカルピクチャーズ)

The aforementioned 朱ィ。(絆/仮)(Benny Kizuna/Kari) and My Bacteria Heat Island are all the same; the official explanation is that Tenten was just kicking a few names around.

Sorry!m(_ _)m

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UVERworld: 99/100騙しの哲

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Blink and you'll miss me at 2:33. They had quite a few of us actors and they filmed quite a lot of us but very, very, very little remains of that footage in the final product. Oh well; for every unedited minute-long coda I get, there are times I get just a few frames. It's work. ^_^;;

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chemical Pictures

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Let's get this out of the way: Exist Trace one-man at Rokumeikan on 6/6, and all-new 6-track mini-album on 4/22.

In other news...



3/14/2009
Chemical Pictures ONE-MAN @ Shimokitazawa MOSAIC
Open 5:00, Start 6:00
Tickets: ¥2,500 in advance
Also available for purchase via Lawson Ticket (L code: 72159)

As for members, you'll have to wait to hear about the full roster, but right now I can tell you that the singer is Tenten and the bassist is me.


Here's the setlist:

1. Reincarnation
2. Human Rubbish
3. In My Dream (no, not the Luna Sea one)
4. Suffering
5. 病ム空 (Yamu Sora)
6. プレパラ-ト (Pureparaato)
7. Emily
8. Black Box
9. 素晴ラシキ忌々しサ (Subarashiki Imaimashisa)
10. Stand by Me (no, not that one)

... and a couple more.

Apparently tickets were nearly sold out within the first couple of days they went on sale last month.

One month left! Pressure! :D

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kimura Kaela - "Doko"

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This video creates a dull ache in my heart. Lovely.

I think if her most recent album and singles have been any indication (the fluke brilliance of "Yellow" aside), Kaela's road to artistic maturity while maintaining integrity has been flanked by growing pains. I appreciated a lot of the strange-yet-fun's stuff from her 2nd album and just fell flat on my face in love with her 3rd album's manner of conveying awkward emotion honestly, but her more recent stuff had been weird for weirdness's sake.

(A study by Miskatonic University grad students last year proved, for example, that "Jasper" is an empirically terrible piece of audio and video, suitable only for assisting in dark, eldritch rituals for the purpose of raising ancient cyclopean cities from their tombs beneath the waves where unspeakable horrors lie in your most feverish dreams.)


I like the modern Super 8-like sheen to a lot of the video, with the muted and washed-out colors, and the way the sun looks. I like how old the situation feels, what with the old phone and the old car and the high-collared thing she wears that make her look distressingly lovely.

I like that this video feels so normal, what with the 'weirdest' thing being the military jacket. But even then I'm like, 'why yes, I will follow you on an adventure through the fields', if only because I can't stand to see her so forlorn. Having a glass of water and staring out the kitchen window--I have no idea what sort of phantom memory that's tugging on, but that little part is perfect.

Dig that masterfully-constructed chorus, too.

I have been consuming so much of the same light post-rock these days because I guess I'm craving the emotional rides, grand and small, they take me on, but I'm craving catchy vocals too. And it's been nice to come across songs from artists I already like that are just like that, only more compact and with vocals. In conclusion, I am a huge baby and also it feels so good to be punched in the face by Aestheticism all over again. :)

Askew #1

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Askew Magazine has its first issue for free download at the moment, so hop on over and check out the impressively wide range of cool stuff they were able to talk about with various cool-soundin' peeps, ranging from the dingy-livehouse-dwellers to arena-rockers.

Laverite also gets a mention, which is really cool. I also like that it's very Ryota-focused instead of me-focused, actually.

It's been really cool watching the whole process of Laura getting this thing off the ground. So congratulations on #1. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tommy February6: Strawberry Cream Soda Pop

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Tommy asked me to play keyboard and dress up like Boy George/Strawberry Switchblade this time for her, which I was glad to do. The shoot was very long and went overnight, but it was great to see a lot of the same staff again and work with some other cool foreign peeps. The drummer guy is a totally cool dude.
She pulled me aside during a long break in set changes to bombard me with questions out of nowhere about what I want to do with my career in Japan, wither it's music or acting or modeling. She's so kind to worry and offered me lots of helpful ideas and opportunities, so if anything it helped me realize some other options that are potentially open to me.

I always like getting to know the costume and hair/makeup staff, because they are so committed to turning me into something totally different. Also a lot of the makeup girls I meet on sets like this often have experience doing makeup for VK bands too, so it's neat to see how small that world can get.

Also I looked faaaaabulousssss


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There's another video you'll see of me sometime that's not for Tommy and I don't play an instrument, so look forward to that too. I totally have no idea what the song is called though so I guess I leave it up to you guys to keep your eyes peeled? Y'all ALWAYS find me before I find myself anyway! :-P

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sansamp

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Got it! Excited to try it out in the studio tomorrow.

Did anyone see the new video I'm in perchance?

Friday, February 06, 2009

ah foreign candy

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is delicious

Got to see my manager and her daughter finally after their trip to Finland and the Ukraine.�

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

点々&慈弥

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Spent the afternoon at Tenten's, doing some lyrics.

The I took a terrible picture of us where I look like I am trying to pierce the lens with my chin and Ten2 is hiding his beard.

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