Saturday, September 12, 2009

CM news, Despa at AX

Here is the spot in Tokyo where our commercial is playing; the Donki in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. It plays once every 15 minutes, all day. (click for big)

It is nice to have something out there being promoted that I am actually a part of, that I get credit for, as opposed to the stuff I do for Tommy or Steve or Becca, which, while loads of fun and I love doing it, isn't about me at all. :-P

So on James and I headed to AX to see D'espairsRay's FREE 10-year anniversary live. James had been hired by them to go on their Europe tour and take the tour document video; James is actually a video guy by trade.

When Tommy decided she was going to keep using me as guitarist after letting the other guys go, we were getting ready to do the February video. James was on the production crew for that one, and when she found out his name was James, she thought it would be funny to have two Jameses in the video. sure whatever just pay me

But we hit it off and then she added a 3rd James, in JJ, and we're set, but he didn't come so he's not a part of this story, I'm just tellin' you how James and I met. Wow, I am not on point this morning.

ANYWAY AX. Flowers from Marilyn Manson.

OH so before the doors opened up, James and I were walking toward the desk to give our names for the passes, and this girl came up and said "hey are you Jimi from Chemical Pictures?"
why yes i am
Seriously, I couldn't have been more tickled, or humbled, and she was super-nice and had a good head on her shoulders and was rockin' out in the Kanto plain and I thought she had had some neat Japanese adventures. We've been in the country for similar lengths of time so I think we were in the same mental place. I forgot her name but she was really nice and cool, so thanks for saying hi, and if I hadn't had to go to work early in the morning we shoulda stayed out for drinks!

I never thought I'd be found out just walkin' around :| ... :3
(so if you see me say hi)
(or if youre gonna be in the area hit me up and i will do my best to hang out with you)
(its fun)

So the set. For some reason a lot of their newer material sorta blends together to me, but then again I'm not as familiar with it as the old stuff. A lot of it does have to do with the fact that DRay's hit upon a songwriting formula and a solid, yet unadventurous playing style, that works for them. They played "Fuyuu shita Risou" and "Tatoeba Kimi ga Shindara" and "Facism" I think but I wanted to hear more stuff like the Garnet or Born stuff; that time period. That's just nostalgia talking though, and I understand that.
Stuff I remember: "Horizon", "Yozora", um

I really liked their first full album, and they played "Infection", and "Forbidden" was the final song of the encore, and those were really nice surprises for me.

They have great stage presence; Tsukasa is solid as a rock, and with a huge stage Karyu and Zero were running around and spinning around for nearly the entire set. They were so energetic during the very first song, in fact, that I bet myself they wouldn't be able to keep it up, yet they did.

For the encore, Tsukasa came out on vocals. He has a very interesting manner of speech, and a lot of his gestures and posture remind me a lot of my buddy Yumeji, but he was very funny. Karyu sat at the drums, Zero at the guitar, and Hizumi on bass.
Hizumi is funny to watch because he really does not come across as a rock star vocalist. He sort of shuffles around, slouches, and sorta seems like an old man.
After meeting him after the show, though, I think it is more appropriate to compare him, in looks, mannerisms, personality, and thought process, to L from Deathnote.

Think about it.

Anyway, with the bass on, he struck no poses, he made no faces, just looked at his fretboard.
Zero, on the otherhand, could be Dray's guitarist if he wanted to. He did not seem out of place at all and everything sounded great. Karyu was also surprisingly skilled. And Tsukasa really can sing.

Anyway, this shifting of members, he said, was called Sparking D'espairsRay, and everyone's name now had 'Sparking' affixed to it. They then played "Hollow" which is easily my favorite song they've written in the last few years.
They did these little silly solo breaks: Karyu pretended to suck at drums but at the end he was actually impressive; Hizumi stopped and started over a terrible bass solo several times, Zero did his best Yngwie impression, and Tsukasa sang this gorgeous enka tune, and he was very very good. He has the style down pat. He should be the first VK enka singer. :|

Anyway, after the show met up with the guys, all very cool. James had already told them all about Chemical Pictures when they were in Europe and Karyu seemed interested in that; Zero and I talked about gear and he was very fun.

All that said, though... this was the FIRST concert I've been to where I thought "ow too loud!"


Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

I'm so happy you guys are doing so well, and I'm glad things are going well for you. I have followed Tenten's work since 2006 and seeing all of you together is really great. My friend will be in japan next year and I hope to go see her, we will try to one of your lives.

well good luck XD

gabriel said...

dude I sorta uploaded in my dream on youtube 2 weeks ago, I hope you don't care xD its just for promotion but if you don't wont it on youtube just let me know by masaging me on my youtube channel(gabi326jjk)and I'll take it down right away

Jon said...

Congrats on your commercial!! We will look for it when we visit Tokyo at the beginning of October. Will it still be running then?
Also, can you tell us if Tommy is ok? All news of her exploits have ceased since she split with her agency etc on May 31st. If you see her, just tell her her fans are thinking of her everyday, and miss her like crazy.

cryptomayhem said...

"All that said, though... this was the FIRST concert I've been to where I thought "ow too loud!""

Welcome to being old. We have a club every 3rd Tuesday that meets, plays bridge and tries to get kids off of our lawn. :P

Shizuka said...

I know I know x__X
The old stuff is the best!
Although I really like Bullet and Hollow <3

But.. when I saw Despa 2005 and 2006 here in Europe 3x it was just FORBIDDEN cool.

My favorite song is Reddish and..

This year...
Hmm.. they played lots of their old stuff but.. somehow it wasn't as good and fun as it was the years before... + no reddish wich actually seemed to me like THE DesRay song..


But I'd love to see those switching parts XDD
Actually I thought that more likly Karyu would do the Vocals.

As far as I remember, when they played Closer to Ideal 2006 over here he sang this "I sell my soul", etc. - part and it sounded damn cool '__'

Concrats for this huge add *__*
I already saw it in 'Tenis'(XD) blog and thought "WOW!"

Now my comment seems almost longer than your entire blog *laugh*
Gomen for that ne.

(ps. I'd love to hear facism some time but.. since 2004 all the little kids in Germany were screaming along this 'Sieg Heil' and noone of the German staff knew about the lyrics or anything.. they got scared and now they aren't allowed to play that song over here anymore XD)

Silv said...

I was lucky enough to see D'esp play a tiny ass dive bar in VA when they did their US tour. This was a place so small barely the local punk bands could fit into it. The show and atmosphere they put out was incredible.

I agree with you on the state of their new stuff, but then again I too am privy to Maverick and Born and the old stuff.

Go said...

fuckin' awesome, all of it :)