Happy New Year, folks! We... guess? With the pandemic raging worse than ever, and many places under lockdown, it's looking like a dark winter, especially in the midst of a "fashion" crisis of puffer jackets that look like black plastic garbage bags stuffed with toilet paper, plus the question of why the Fashion Police haven't started arresting anyone who hasn't upped their mask game from "white paper sanitary napkin wrapper" to "re-usable, matches my outfit and actually fits my face." Having to wear a mask all the time sucks enough without looking like you mummified yourself in all that toilet paper you panic-bought last spring! Look at Imai Hisashi, kids. Imai Hisashi is a role model. You should do what he does. Put on your Swarovski mask and your giant platform boots and pandemic down the street like you're the hottest virus to infect the catwalk since Agent Smith. Imai Hisashi can jump, twirl, and kick in those boots, while playing guitar. Could he also infect the Matrix and make a gazillion more copies of Imai Hisashi? No question! So what's your excuse, eh!?
Anyhow, apologies never made up for late trains, but we apologize again for not keeping up with the blogging. For those of us who were worried for us, thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. Physically, we're doing better. Emotionally, well... who the fuck is feeling happy and well-adjusted right now? Raise your hands, you chipper lying overachievers, and we'll call you a pack of chipper lying overachievers! There's no shame in admitting boldly that wish you could sleep all day because it beats being awake. Is this what Mr. Sakurai meant by "Moonlight Escape"? How did he know?
In any case, before we get back to the Abracadabra translations (and we WILL get back to them even though we've got nothing on the OFFICIAL translations sucks to be us but more on that later), we'd like to address some questions we've gotten from you readers.
First, Yemitza from Venezuela would like to know, what sorts of too-expensive-to-buy merch did Buck-Tick release in fall of 2020?
Thanks for asking, Yemitza.
First, Imai Hisashi released this pretty cool embroidered bomber jacket, in both black and white, as a collaboration with fashion designer Takeo Kikuchi, whose Meiji Street boutique you could visit, if you were allowed into Japan as a foreigner, which you're not, because all gaijin have coronavirus. Also, you don't have enough money to buy this jacket, because it's 70,000 yen and that's more than your rent. With unicorns and sparkles, fuck you, Yemitza :) Have you been feeling like your life is a meaningless slog from cradle to grave and your grave is probably very close at hand because you'll
probably almost certainly die of this virus but at this point you don't even care anymore because fuck this shit? Congratulations, Yemitza. You're correct! Take 50xp, but no gold coins, because you don't have enough money to buy this jacket.
Second, Buck-Tick released these fancy earbuds, as a collaboration with Tago Studio Takasaki, a recording studio in Takasaki, Gunma, near the band's hometown of Fujioka. These hot-shot, hand-lettered bad boys are lusciously insertable into your ear canals, developed as the small, lipstick-case-vibrator versions of the big, insert-your-ears-into-their-luscious-folds studio monitor headphones used at Tago Studio. The Tago Studio T3-02 earphones feature "box in box" technology, with an inner headphone core inside an outer box, designed to silence any sound from the outside world to less than a faint whisper, so that all you hear are the slip-sliding glissandos and falsettos of Buck-Tick in your box. Perfect for amateur sound engineers and
pornographers alike. Do you like that, Yemitza? Do you want those earphones inside your ears? Do you want them inside your ears right now? Welp, too bad! Those earphones are the Shinjuku hooker in this tale and you cannot afford her. She's 68,200 yen, Yemitza. Sayonara!
Next, our long-lost Russian Lolita friend Maria Anastasia Hisashiyevna Sakuraina from St. Petersburg would like to ask, was the Fish Tank Only 2020 tour cancelled?
Yes, Maria Anastasia Hisashiyevna Sakuraina. Yes, it was. And it's never coming back. Just like the sweet hours of your life that you could have spent skipping rope and learning to speak Bahasa, only instead you spent them blacked out on your couch with the curtains closed in a sea of empty vodka bottles, because life is meaningless and soon, VERY SOON, we're all going to die, 'Rona or no 'Rona, it's only a matter of time and time was never on your side!!! But don't take it too hard. This is a new year. There's still time for you to write the next Great Russian Novel, before it's all over. Probably. пожалуйста меня, ох да.
Third, many of our dear readers would like you ask, Cayce, did you attend the Abracadabra On Screen tour? What was it like?
Yeah, we did.
It was like a drive-in movie in a graveyard.
Kokusai Forum holds 5,000 people and we only saw a few hundred. Slumped in their seats, with their feet up.
Yes, it was on screen. It was a movie, on a very large screen. A beautiful, well-produced movie, but a movie nonetheless.
Oh, but they flashed red lights on the crowd during "Ura-Harajuku"!
Stage effects, amirite!!?
The only part that didn't feel like a movie: the sloshed, plastered, wasted-drunk voice of Sakurai Atsushi, announcing a break for intermission, between the main set and the encore. Write that Russian novel, man. We know you have it in you.
Fourth, many of our dear readers would like to ask, Cayce, were you at the Nippon Budoukan in socially-distanced, not-sweaty, not-fleshy person on December 29th, 2020? Did you see with your own masked face and naked eyes what we only saw through a screen?
The sad, very sad answer is that no, kids. We didn't. We could have, theoretically. But we didn't. And this probably means our Buck-Tickistani passport ought to be revoked, right about now.
Why didn't we go?
Oh, well, first there was the part about how the tickets for any seats that weren't at the nosebleed back of the house were twice as expensive as usual, you see. Because they had to sell the venue at half capacity, because the Budoukan is owned by the Japanese government, and the Japanese government demanded All the Virus Performance. Because People Need Money and Buck-Tick is like a silver cow that squirts
milk we mean money into the hands of many, many hungry, thirsty people so they can't cancel the show but they MUST take the fun out of it.
How best to do so? By making a dedicated smartphone app, that can only be downloaded onto a specific kind of phone (which Cayce doesn't own), and making it so that each ticket had to be purchased individually (no buying tickets for your and your plus one), and making it so that each ticket is non-transferrable so that if the 'Rona gets you and end up not being able to go, they just get to eat your 17,000 yen whole, no possibility of selling/transferring your ticket to someone else, because, with unicorns and sparkles, fuck you, Yemitza. This is a Kafkaesque gulag. What did you think this was, a rock show?
The lucky fans who managed to get through this stage of the process were then required to upload
mug shots profile pictures, taken to certain specifications, to a dedicated Ticket Pia site, several days in advance of the show. Fans whose profile pictures were deemed insufficiently similar to their ID photos ran the risk of being turned away at the door.
Next, the fans were required to arrive at the venue in shifts, so that they could enter the venue in properly socially distanced fashion. No talking allowed? Goes without saying. No tour goods. No partying. No smiling. No happiness. And no kittens. ESPECIALLY NO KITTENS!
Having reached the door, fans were required to tromp their goth boots across disinfectant pads, because the bottom of your goth boots is where the 'Rona goes to party like it's a socially undistanced 1999. Then, the hand sanitizers. The profile picture check. And the registration on the Japanese government's contact tracing app, so that officials from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare can show up at your window in the middle of the night and say "Boo!" if they feel so moved.
Next, into the venue, into your socially distanced seat, not next to any other fans, especially not your plus one. Where you SIT in your seat, and "enjoy" the entire show in masked silence, feeling smugly superior because YOU'RE sitting there live in person, you ran that gauntlet like a true American Ninja, you charmed tickets out of the Belly of the Beast like you can cadenza on Tamino's magic flute, and that makes you so much BETTER than all those schmucks in unpronounceable countries like Tajikistan and Herzegovina and Suriname who might be gathered with their friends around a bottle of wine and a plate of canapes, laughing and enjoying the show together as if there were still love in the universe. Those people may have had a warm and loving good time watching their live streams today, but the 'Rona is sure to kill them DEAD tomorrow, whereas you, coldhearted intrepid Buck-Tick
stalker true believer, YOU saw Sakurai Atsushi's thighs IN PERSON through a pair of pants and several layers of dusters and veils and one very swish goth cape. And that makes you better than everyone else, forever. Better than Cayce, for sure. Suck it, Cayce. You couldn't ride a camel if you practiced for five years, Cayce. We're better than you. Sayo-fucking-nara.
(Actually, it seems from what we could tell from watching the live stream that the crowd physically present in the Budoukan were surprisingly energetic and appreciative. Good on you, guys. But, Buck-Tick's management... if you want us to attend a show IRL, do try to make us feel like we're guests at your event, rather than prisoners of war being processed. You feel us?)
Fifth, Lawrence of Canadia asked us, Cayce, did you have any involvement in the international edition of Abracadabra that's coming out through this record label and will include a *sad trombone* "official English lyrics booklet."
Thanks for your support as ever, Lawrence, but nope. Buck-Tick's management sure love to vacuum up your yennies and pennies, but paying Cayce for a translation??? Hell will "Kogoeru" first. Cayce is a hack and can never write such poetry as,
"Am I dead or am I alive?
It's dark outside, dark with the dusk
I want [a
] to sink, that's all I crave
Sing one last lullaby
Tell me I've been good
[...in bed ]
I want to sleep, that's all it is
Far away, far away in my
[wet ] dreams
Time to sleep."
And here's another jewel of professional translation from the JPU Records website, which Cayce could surely never equal:
"When I strummed the A chord to F#m on my guitar, tears began to well up. I kept going with that feeling and 'Eureka' was made." (said Imai).
After all, Cayce's translations tend to read more like this:
"When I put my pale pink rocket against my wife's black hole of love, a 'here is new sensation' began to well up. I kept going with that feeling and 'The Moon is Made of Green Cheese,' I mean, my daughter, Imai Hisashiko junior, was made. LOVE LOVE LOVE YEAH YEAH YEAH PEACE!!!
In any case, we all know that passive voice is always the best way to describe your sex life, whether it's with your sex life with your guitar, or your sex life with your one and only. Passive voice: if it's good enough for scientific journal articles, it's good enough for rock-n-roll website copy.
A case in point:
Alchemical Processes of Transformation of Sonic Vibrations into Euphoria-Inducing Ether Cocktails Causing Lubrication and Arousal in Human Genitalia: Case Study on the Sexual XXXXX Effects of 'The Buck-Tick Phenomenon,' published in The Journal of Sex, Sexology and Sexuality, June 69th, 2069, Hisashi University Press, Ltd.
But, all those sex jokes aside, cut the crap, Buck-Tick's management. "Kogoeru" is not a song about feeling tired and wanting to sleep. "Kogoeru" is about longing for the sweet release of death!!! Why? Because life is an endless slog of betrayal, misery, and disappointment. Of the love you gave being tossed back in your face like a drink in a bar fight. Of the light of your being, your talent and all you hoped to achieve being slowly snuffed out by the tyranny of mediocrity and the grinding juggernaut of late-stage capitalism, just like that lonely, guttering candle Mr. Sakurai's holding in the PV.
Let me quote Mr. Sakurai, from Phy Volume 17, "Probably the only time I have no sorrow in my heart is when I get drunk and fall asleep. But sometimes, when I fall asleep, the nightmares attack..."
And now it's time for Cayce to sleep, too. God kids, I want a sink. That's all I crave. Tell me I've been good, and then leave me the fuck alone.
Oh, right, we can't sleep yet. We had to write a Russian novel.
And the Russian novel is this: what are Buck-Tick doing next?
Who the fuck knows what anybody is doing next, kids? Buck-Tick have announced a national hall tour for fall of 2021, and a show at the Budoukan on December 29th, 2021. But... your guess is as good as ours.
In the meantime.
Buy the Very Official International Edition of Abracadabra. Translated by Much Professionals with So Wow Credentials and Very Cold Hard Cash.
Or, if you like sex jokes, support us on Ko-Fi. We may not be able to translate Japanese worth a damn, but we are a VERY mother pheasant plucker (we pluck mother pheasants!)
And, if you feel so moved, answer us one last question... why would Mr. Sakurai want a sink? Does he need an extra one for his cats to sit in? Was everything but the kitchen sink not enough? That greedy bastard! Discuss.
(This post has been brought to you by catsinsinks.com. Not really, but, check it out, it will make you laugh.)