Thursday, March 18, 2010

the 314 day

One-mans are relaxing and yet busier at the same time.

We all met up in the 'Book (that's "ikebukuro" in bilingual brat slang) and drove on to Black Hole, which is a small live house that's gotten some more use lately as bands are trying to branch out and break away from the typical model of a floundering business. We hung up some decorations ourselves, tested the video projector, and did a nice lengthy sound check.

We have a few songs with lots of bells and whistles and we're using a cumbersome multi-track and mixer that Shiun has to control himself. We had been so, so strapped for time, what with building two of the three songs that use the douki from the ground up, that we were re-programming and re-mixing levels basically on the fly that day.

We got into makeup, took zillions of polaroids which I hate taking because they're time-consuming and I never know how to pose or what I should write on them, but they sell like drug-laced hotcakes so take them I must.

some Askew staff came to report and shoot, and Tomo from echostream also came, which was cool because I've only ever chatted with him over our Japanese blogs. Our one-time support guitarist Jun came, as did Jojo from Gyaro and shoot what was the crazy guitarist from Backdrop Zero-shiki's name...? And Musha and the accessory craftsman we work with and a bunch of other people. We're doing a 4-man with Satsuki at Black Hole later on and that'll suckkkkk because the backstage area there is practically non-existent.

Anyway. The show went really, really smoothly. There's something about having 200 people in a room that came JUST TO SEE YOU that pumps you up. I was drenched with set merely a few songs in, and we still had an hour and a half or so to go, and I thought I'd keel over any moment. And it was one of those situations where, keeling over would be awesome and SO rock 'n' roll, haha. Or so you think, in the moment.

Highlights I suppose would be "Planetarium", the clip of which I linked to Tenten's blog earlier. That's from the ending section, and I'm typically never really impressed with my staging when I re-watch videos, but I think it looks really cool.

Joe's strap broke right at the end of Kanjou Kuzubako Kyoukaisen, so the beginning of Yamusora was a bit anemic, but that's why we have lotsa gear waiting backstage. And two roadies!

I found myself reflecting on the lyrics to Reincarnation as we played it. On the surface, they are very deep, and to hear Tenten explain it, it really is a deep message, but when reminiscing on the high I felt during the performance, I remember the lyrics were inspired by Tenten's chihuahua back at home, and I laugh a little bit.

I should translate the lyrics and put 'em here, actually.

The first encore was a song we'd written in the week leading up to the show, based on guitar and keyboard parts Joe brought in. I haven't seen the lyrics yet, but Joe tells me he was impressed by them. It's a ballad, and it drags on quite a bit for my taste, but I'll help tighten it up if we decide to lay it down on wax. (hey youngsters, masters used to be pressed on wax discs. also we used to store data and play music via magnetic tape! DO YOU BELIEVE ME? it was just a metaphor anyway)

The second encore, which we hadn't really planned for, was Praparat. By this point I was seriously at the end of my physical rope. We went off stage and collapsed in a collective heap.

Oh, and what set the mood for the whole night? The curtain was closed, lights go down, an electro number we made starts playing, and the announcements come up...

Dr SHIUN Official Member
Crowd: yaaaaaaaaay
2nd Maxi Single
Crowd: Heeeeeeeeeeh!?
3rd Maxi Single
Crowd: Heeeeeeeeeeeeh??!!
4th Maxi Single
All the way up to the 6th, and then the one-man announcement, great applause, and then the curtains whip open and we busted into My Harlot Broker.

As we were standing there, quivering with nervousness, listening to those surprised cheers at the news... we were grinning like idiots.

...It feels kinda, almost wrong writing a live report about my own band that's as gushing as this might read to be, but there was definitely something good about the event that'll always stick with me.

Thanks to Cryptomayhem, Biju-Ska, and all the other white dudes and ladies who were there, because it's so nice to know that I have supporters, in spite of the disjointed junk I write all up on this blog. You're all lovely friends.

I mentioned in an earlier entry that I don't like music much these days, and Silv knew exactly one of the interviews of which I spoke, in which an annoyed Patton interrupts himself to complain about Wolfmother on the next stage over. (The other one, in which he makes the same sentiment regarding new bands, is much older, and he is eating a sandwich.)
I was having a very spirited discussion with my best friend about my recent artistic apathy when I realized that even when nothing else thrills me, I can throw on my post-rock/metal mix and totally get into that. And though they often get lumped with prog rock, Porcupine Tree's older, long, super-ambient stuff relaxes me. But recently I'd also been getting into Deftones, and now with new songs coming out, watching their recent live performances and everything, they're really the sort of band that makes you want to join a band. I can't place a finger on what I like about their vibe.



Holly said...

Almost OT but I LOVE Wolfmother. Feels a lot like Led Zepplin meets Iron Maiden and has Eric Clapton as a mistress.

I love that you do your own live reports. Not many bands will be kind enough to give the view from the other side of the fence, and those who do don't do it well. Lengthy entry was lengthy, very glad to read a healthy update! Seems you survived afterall <3

Lisa said...

Glad you had fun at the live ^_^

I never got the polaroid thing either, like 5$ for a crappy picture wtf? But I think it's part of the fangirls wanting to own part of the bandmember's image that the other fangirls can't have.

Sometime I'll get back to Tokyo and make a Chemical Pictures show : )

Amber said...

(whew, caught up!)

So glad to hear the show went well! Now I'm dying to see the translated lyrics to "Reincarnation."

Gush about your band all you want, you guys deserve it! :D

Badymaru said...

Dont feel bad about writing your own live report! Its awesome to hear things from your point of view!

Hearing what you said about the fans seeing the announcements was funny.

When I make it back to Japan I'm definitely making it one of my priorities to go see you live. Your shows sound like so much fun!

Silv said...

If you're looking for something newish and fantastic, check out the two albums out so far from the Devin Townsend Project: Ki, and Addicted. They're both absolutely incredible.