29.8.14

Tour 2014 Arui wa Anarchy Live Report

A comprehensive live report of the tour so far is now up over at Not Greatest Site.  You can read it here.  Once again, we're sorry it took so long and we hope you'll find it worth the wait. If you'd like to make any comments on the live report, please leave them here.

In the meantime, we'd like to apologize in advance for stealing those Buck-Tick matryoshka dolls. We're sorry, but we just couldn't resist.


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Also, it has recently come to our attention that a friend of ours has been mistaken for Cayce several times by slightly confused fans. Since we do happen to be personally acquainted with her, we can vouch for the fact that she's a charming lady, but she's not me, folks. Guess again!

24.8.14

Coming Live to a Buck-Tick Near You!

We're sorry we haven't gotten the Arui wa Anarchy tour report up yet.

If it's any comfort, we were working on it...but the fact is, no one expects the Spanish Influenza!

However, it's been nigh on a week that's we've been stuck on the couch at home to drift in and out of sleep, watching cat videos and waiting for the pain to go away, so it's high time we were on the road to recovery and I assure you once we are good and recovered the first thing we will do is finish that live report.  In the meantime, we're going to offer you a spoiler.

The spoiler concerns "Victims of Love, ver. 3.0."

And the spoiler is this: aside from the very first few stops on the tour, Buck-Tick have not been playing this song live.

Why, you ask?

Well, if I had to take a guess, I'd say frankly, because it's boring.

Yeah, you heard me. I really never thought I'd say that about "Victims of Love," considering that in previous incarnations, it's traditionally been one of Buck-Tick's big show-stopping numbers, rich with narrative tension. But this time, not only were the light cues and stage effects nothing special (a big disappointment for a hall tour, where the dramatic staging is half the draw, especially if you're stuck in nosebleed seats so far from the stage you can't see the band members, which Cayce was not, but that's another story for another day)...this time, not only were there no special effects or cool light cues, but also, Sakurai spent the entire song sitting in a chair. Somehow he managed to make sitting in a chair while performing work for "masQue," probably because it seems that "masQue" is one of his favorite songs off the new album and therefore he retained his usual energy level, even while sitting down. But it did not work for "Victims," not at all.  With the other band members standing still onstage playing their instruments, it was on Sakurai to carry the drama all on his own, and to do that successfully he should have stood up and acted out the song, at least a little.  As it was, though he sang the melody beautifully, he didn't succeed in making us feel the eros of the song, not over all those canned violins piped in through the PA.

And since Mr. Sakurai, when he wants to, does eros better than just about anybody, I have to assume that if he didn't succeed this time, it's because he wasn't trying.  And I have to assume, if he wasn't trying, it's because this new version of "Victims" wasn't particularly successful even on recording, and played live with half the instrumentals pre-recorded only made it sound more impotent (see what I did there?)

The band members are far too intelligent not to realize when one of their songs isn't working, and such it was with "Victims."  Early in the tour, they gave it up as a bad job, and axed it from the set list...or so we thought.

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But then...Lolitas to the rescue!




That's right folks. Lolitas are perfectionists by nature, and this fall, they're coming in to finish what they started - performing "Victims of Love" with Buck-Tick, live on stage, the right and proper way.

Yes, that means what you think it means: Kokushoku Sumire will be making that dreaded guest appearance on the Arui wa Anarchy Tour.

So you didn't know that part of the money was going to Kokushoku Sumire when you bought those tickets, and now you want your money back?  Too bad. Kokushoku Sumire will be appearing as live guests at the following shows:

September 14th at Orix Theater Osaka
September 15th at Orix Theater Osaka
September 21st at Nagoya City Forest Hall
September 25th at NHK Hall
September 26th at NHK Hall

Looks like those tickets to the tour final you were hoarding to sell on auction just got a lot less valuable.  But if you're ever in doubt about who to sell them to, you can always sell them to a yakuza ticket scalper. It's a well-known fact that yakuza love lolitas (and lolitas love them back! See below. For those of you who haven't been keeping up with this blog, this is Maria Anastasia Hisashiyevna Sakuraina, erstwhile Russian citizen, now a dual citizen of the Autonomous Republic of Buck-Tickistan, and Japan. And it was the yakuza who made the magic happen.)



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In other news, Buck-Tick will be releasing a special live album, recorded at the Arui wa Anarchy show held at the Shibuya Kokaido on July 31st, 2014.  The live album will be a two-disc set containing 23 tracks, that is to say, all the songs the band played that night.  And between you and me, that includes "Thanatos," "Gesshoku," and "Mona Lisa." [Highlight the text to see the song titles.] Smart of them, to know that the way to a fan's wallet is through the uncharted back catalog and not through yet another "Muma"!

The album will only be available for purchase through Tower Records, Tower Records Mini, and Tower Records Online.  Reservations are open as of today, August 24th.  The release date for the album is set for October 22nd, and the price will be 3564 yen including tax.

If you would like Cayce's help in reserving a copy of this album, send an email to themadaristocrat [at] gmail.  

2.8.14

This Buck-Tick Fangirl Flew to Russia, and You Won't Believe What She Found There! My Mind was Blown!!!11

It's no secret that Blog-Tick has a lot of readers in Mother Russia.  In fact, according to our statistics program, after the United States, Russia is where the largest percentage of our audience is located.

We also continued to have a strong suspicion that Buck-Tick based most of the imagery for the Arui wa Anarchy album and tour on Russian Constructivist art and Soviet iconography. But some of you readers took issue with this idea.  Soviet Pioneer scouts? Red flags of revolution?  More like dreams and blood, you cried...but you got us thinking.  How could we settle this question once and for all in a way that would be believable to our readers?  We realized that the answer had been staring us in the face the whole time.   "Pics or it didn't happen" is a generally accepted Rule of the Internet.  Clearly, what we needed to do was buy ourselves a nice camera, and pay a fangirl to fly to Russia to investigate.

It wasn't hard to find volunteers.  After paying off the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tokyo to give us an expedited visa as an Official State Envoy of This is Not Greatest Autonomous Republic of Buck-Tickistan (an honorary member of the CIS doncha know?), we put this girl on a plane and sent her off to Russia to do our dirty work for us.  Isn't she cute?


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Now, let's take a look at what she found.

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First, here's the silver bracelet from Buck-Tick's Arui wa Anarchy tour goods collection.


Aaand....here's a silver star on the top of a tower in Moscow. Note the Soviet hammer & sickle insignia, for good measure.


And here's a similar star in a Moscow metro station!


And here's the same star on the wall of a metro station in St. Petersburg!


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Now, remember those groovy squares and lines from the Keijijou Ryuusei PV?




Well, here they are on the floor of that same St. Petersburg metro station (note the stars in the background.)



And again, in Moscow this time!


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Now what about that plane in the Arui wa Anarchy promo photo?


Here it is in a mosaic on the ceiling of that same metro station in Moscow! (Russia wins at metro stations, apparently.)


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In fact, our dear fangirl saw red and white lines just about everywhere.


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...but what about stripes? Stripes could come from anywhere, right?


Maybe Imai just pulled those stripes out of his ass?


...or maybe he stole them off the gates of the Peter & Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. This fort was built by Peter the Great to defend the Neva River from a Swedish invasion. It's about 300 years older than Imai!




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Here are some more of those stripes, pictured with the Russian flag, for extra realness.


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These shadows on Hide remind us eerily of the shadows on the headquarters of Ivan the Terrible's Oprichiniki.



In fact, Russia seemed to be full of suggestive shadows.




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But what about that final shot in the Keijijou Ryuusei PV?



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Isn't that what this tour t-shirt was inspired by?


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Maybe it was. Or maybe it was inspired by this secret passageway in the Peter & Paul Fortress wall.  I dunno about you guys, but for me, this picture certainly raises a lot of red flags!



Here it is in black and white, for good measure.



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Those of you who've been keeping up with the tour goods may have noticed that Buck-Tick have just released a new tour t-shirt. The name of this t-shirt is "Pioneer."


It's named after the Pioneers, the Soviet Union version of the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts (pictured below. We do not own the rights to the below image.)


Do Buck-Tick's red scarves make more sense now?



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Pioneers were the subject of many Soviet promotional posters.


Acchan-chan wants in.


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All right, that's all well and good, you say.  Your lolita friend got a nice Russian vacation and maybe possibly exchanged star charts, drank vodka and ate selodka and pickled beets with Lyudmila Putina (here at NGS, even the lolitas drink vodka!)  But we still refuse to believe that red flag symbolizes anything other than dreams and blood.



I mean, just look at that bloody melancholia!



This is totally definitely not a flag.  This is SYMBOLISM, man.


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Well, we can't disagree with you there, and neither can Russia.



Red flags: symbolizing revolution in Russian politics since 1917. What have your Bolsheviks done for YOU lately?

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(For those of you who've been living a quiet sheltered life under a rock all these years, in 1917, the Bolshevik revolutionaries overthrew the Russian tsars after centuries of autocratic rule. This mosaic in Baltiskaya Station, St. Petersburg, depicts the successful revolutionaries hoisting the flag over the city. Look familiar?)

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In conclusion: this has been a Not Greatest Visual Historical Retrospective Photo-Essay. Special thanks to our Russian-speaking lolita-for-hire Maria Anastasia Hisashiyevna Sakuraina for her willingness to travel to Russia to make our dream a reality. We couldn't have done it without you.

1.8.14

Metaform Nights

As of last week, Buck-Tick have announced the dates for their standing tour, to follow the hall tour currently in progress.  For those of you interested in learning more about standing tours, check this article on Not Greatest Site.

Tour dates are as follows:

October 25th (Saturday)
Akasaka Blitz, Tokyo (Fish Tanker's Only)

October 26th (Sunday)
Akasaka Blitz, Tokyo (Love & Media Portable Members Only)

November 1st (Saturday)
Nagoya Diamond Hall, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture (Fish Tanker's Only)

November 2nd (Sunday)
Nagoya Diamond Hall, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

November 8th (Saturday)
Sendai Rensa, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture (Fish Tanker's Only)

November 9th (Sunday)
Sendai Rensa, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture

November 12th (Wednesday)
Ex Theater Roppongi, Tokyo

November 13th (Thursday)
Ex Theater Roppongi, Tokyo

November 16th (Sunday)
Club Citta' Kawasaki, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture

November 22nd (Saturday)
Namba Hatch, Osaka (Fish Tanker's Only)

November 23rd (Sunday)
Namba Hatch, Osaka

November 27th (Thursday)
Hiroshima Club Quattro, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture

November 28th (Friday)
Fukuoka Drum Logos, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture

November 30th (Sunday)
B9 V-1, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture

December 7th (Sunday)
Nanto Fukuno Bunka Seizo Center Helios, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture

December 13th (Saturday)
Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo (Fish Tanker's Only)

December 14th (Sunday)
Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo (Fish Tanker's Only)

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For those of you wanting to go to the tour but unsure as to how to get tickets, I can help you! All you have to do is email me, at themadaristocrat at gmail. However, the first round of ticket lotteries closes this Tuesday, so if you are interested, try to email me asap. Fish Tanker's Only lives are only open to members of Fish Tank and tickets are non-transferrable, but I am always willing to help connect fans with tickets to general admission shows. 

8.7.14

Obangya

Translation of this articleFor those of you interested in the realities of the Japanese rock scene, a great illustration of just how much sexism in Japan is still alive and kicking.

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Fifty Years Old, but Still a Girl Inside! The "Obangya" Returns to the Live House When Her Children are Grown!

We know "bangya" (short for "band girls") as women addicted to visual kei.  The usual image is of a teenager, chasing bands, but these days, the kids who got hooked on Buck-Tick and X Japan have finished raising children of their own, and returned to the live houses as "obangya" ("old band girls.") To find out more about what motivates these women, we interviewed four self-identified "obangya" in their 40's and 50's.

It's Important to Make Family Time

Manga artist Yumi Enomoto, age 50, explains, "When I go to live shows several days in a row, my husband starts to get annoyed. That's why I promised him that when I go to live shows on week days, I'll make dinner in advance, on weekends, I'll be sure not to go out all day, but leave some time for family, too. I have to fight for the time to attend live shows, in between house work, taking care of the kids and spending time with my husband."

Potentially the biggest problem for an obangya is gaining the understanding of her family. If other family members are not visual kei fans, it becomes difficult for an obangya to continue her band-following lifestyle unless she gains her family's understanding.

Mother-Daughter Bangya

Next, we spoke to Ms. E, 41, whose daughter is also a visual kei fan.

"I liked X Japan when I was in middle school, but then when my daughter reached middle school age, she became a fan of Nightmare, and this is what led me to return to my bangya life. Since I usually attend live shows with my daughter and her friends, I don't really feel like an obangya.

At an age when most young teens are seeking to break away from their parents, mother and daughter attending a show together is a heart-warming sight.

The Internet Made Me a Bangya Again

The proliferation of the Internet has had the biggest impact on the bangya lifestyle.

"My daughter is 18 now, but when she was about ten, the Internet started to be more accessible, and I decided to look up what my favorite rocker was doing these days. I discovered he was still playing in bands, so I went to see him perform again for the first time in 23 years. He was just as beautiful as ever, and my bangya soul was revived!" says Ms. R, 52.

Without the internet, she might never have known that her favorite rock star had re-started his old band.

The Tragedy of the Single Bangya

Being an obangya isn't always fun.  Ms. M, 49, tells us about "the tragedy of the single obangya."

"I think it's really sad that there are a lot of obangya in their forties and fifties who are still single, still live with their parents, and work part-time or temp jobs.  To make matters worse, these obangya usually have horrible fashion sense and don't take proper care of their skin." [Burrrrrn!!!]

Ms. M tells us, "When I thought about marriage, I knew it was best to pick a nice normal man."  Ms. M did not want to marry a rocker, so she married an average salaryman.  No matter how much they may love their lifestyle, the choice of whether to be practical and marry, or stay single and continue to follow bands to their heart's content depends on the individual obangya.

When I Get Wrinkly, I'll Stop Going to Shows

So, how long do these obangya plan to continue going to gigs?

"I don't want band members to see me when I'm ugly, so I think when I get wrinkly, I'll just stop going to shows. In their memories, I want to always be beautiful," says Ms. R.  So long as the band members themselves are beautiful, in her heart, she still feels like a young girl.

In this interview, we focused on the difficulties of life as an obangya, and the problems obangya must overcome.  However, they all told me that when they go to see a great show, dance and headbang till their necks hurt, they feel a wonderful sense of achievement when they leave the venue, and think "I'm glad I'm an obangya after all." Gaining the understanding of family and making sure they themselves look their best is no object. Perhaps that's what truly defines the bangya lifestyle.

-Kei Himeno

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Note from Cayce: I would never have translated this if I didn't think it were spot-on accurate, but it is. Now readers, let's pick up the red flag and challenge some antiquated gender norms, shall we?

7.7.14

Buck-Tick airs their dirty laundry...

Actually, the laundry was clean.

Spotted hanging out to dry in a small village in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Note the Tenshi no Revolver bath towel (left) and Warp Days bath towel (right.) Underwear choices suggest that this is the abode of a fanboy, not a fangirl.






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P.S. It was raining that day.  Who hangs out their tour towels to dry in the rain? Fanboy, you can't fool us. We know you left that towel out specifically for us to find.

20.6.14

Speak Gibberish or Die

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Hugo Ball recites "Gadji Beri Bimba" at the Cabaret Voltaire.

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And by that I mean, all the translations and lyrics for the songs on Arui wa Anarchy are now up over at Not Greatest Site, but you can access them from here:

03. masQue
08. TEQUILA
13. Mudai

Feel free to leave your comments here. Please try to keep your comments polite, concise, and constructive. Gibberish responses welcome. I reserve the right to mock you if you say something stupid. Word to the wise: if you only have something stupid to say, speak gibberish instead.

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In other news, we have seen the tour, and we can say already that it was quite something to see. We're not going to spoil the set list here because some people enjoy being surprised. For now, we'll just say...that song you never ever thought would come back? It came back. Like the cat came back. Which cat, you ask?  I dunno, I think he belongs to that crazy physicist guy, I think his name was Schrödinger.