DIQ 2011

This year's DIQ was a tour through Buck-Tick history, with one song from each album, in chronological order, plus "Sakura" and "Jupiter," during which Sakurai had the whole audience sit down, so we could "listen with a feeling of requiem for the earthquake victims." Whereupon, no one was able to see anything, not because you can't see when you sit down in the Budoukan, but because everyone was too busy crying their eyes out. Wild jets of fire shooting out of the stage during "Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete" was another high point. Props to the huge team of video jockeys who created the beautifully shifting landscape of PV clips, original video footage put together as a backdrop for the concert, and live video of the band members that was being filmed by track cameras and simultaneously broadcast to the large projection screen hanging over the stage. For the first time, I feel like I got a better view from the second floor.

Also, we have a lot to look forward to in Buck-Tick land in the coming year. Following the releases of the special anniversary boxes on March 7th, dear Mr. Sakurai's birthday, the band will be releasing their first new single off Lingua Sounda in spring 2012. In June, we can expect two shows at the famous outdoor venue in Hibiya Park, the Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo, where the Mona Lisa Overdrive Xanadu concerts were also held. Then the band will be playing a standing tour from June through July to support the release of their first full-length studio album off Lingua Sounda, in addition to a second tribute album! And we all know what that means...in September they are doing another festival! No word on where yet, I hope it's Minato Mirai like last time. The Yokohama business district deserves to get its eardrums blasted out by Buck-Tick! Following this, the band will be playing a hall tour from October through December, followed by the DIQ on December 29th. Save your money, and send your prayers to Sakurai that he doesn't drink too much, and to Imai, that he doesn't up and break his hand again.

If you are thinking of sending New Year's gifts to the band members, my recommendations are:

Imai: gourmet dried figs
Hide: Wii games
Toll: drugstore box wine
Yutaka: a gift certificate to Acchan ramen in Nagoya
Sakurai: Helene hairspray, and a dance belt...wait, maybe he doesn't need one after all.

Auto-Mod gets the prize for best bouquet.

Happy New Year to you all.


Imai Custom Guitar

Displayed outside Zepp Tokyo after the concert last night, which included no hairsprayed Sakurai but did include a lot of aggressively ill-mannered fans. Fangirls: when you elbow your way in front of the person next to you and then scream "Acchan!" in a piercing voice, it makes Acchan cry.

On the other hand, pretty sexy guitar.

Next up, the DIQ.


Utakata no Razzle Dazzle Tour @ Akasaka Blitz

After nine long months, Buck-Tick is back, and boy are we glad to see them again! According to Sakurai, they rescheduled the tour because they didn't feel they were in any kind of mood to play a good show, and they were worried the fans wouldn't be in the mood to enjoy a show, either. While at the time, I thought a good Buck-Tick show might be just what everyone needed to get their minds off their troubles, looking back on it now I think they made the right decision. In Tokyo in the weeks after the earthquake, aftershocks happened several times a day, train service was erratic, blackouts were frequent, food was missing from store shelves, businesses were operating reduced hours, and everyone was trembling in fear and anger about the nuclear accident. While certain problems that began that day won't be solved for years or even decades, things are a lot calmer in the capitol now. Life is a lot more secure. It's a good time to go to a rock show.

Rescheduling the tour meant that a lot of the rescheduled shows fell on weekdays, and that the order of the performances was switched such that some of us who couldn't manage to get tickets to the tour final the first time around discovered that magically, we now had tickets to the final show without having to do anything, and the final shows will be at Zepp Tokyo, not Akasaka Blitz...personally I think it's a wise choice; Blitz is an intimate venue and it can be really hard to get tickets to shows there. But despite the fact that the November 23rd show was the first of the rescheduled shows in the Tokyo area, and that they'd conveniently placed it on a national holiday, only a handful of fans showed up much in advance of the door time, to sit shivering on the brick walls lining the wide staircase beside the venue and get glared at by skaters on the temporary ice rink next door. Once inside the venue, however, it almost felt as if the intervening months had never happened...but for the fact that Imai is spinning quite a different DJ set this time than last time, featuring a lot less Django Reinhardt and a lot more Allison Mosshart, singing everything from the Dead Weather's fantastic grunge-blues number "Gasoline" to The Kills funky-folky-hip-hoppy "Gettin' Down," to a remix of "Satellite" off The Kills fantastic new album Blood Pressures, which definitely isn't as good as the original song. (Oh Imai, won't you please bring the Dead Weather to Japan? I want to see me a Buck-Tick vs. Dead Weather showdown.)

When the band came onstage at last, to the same stage entrance music as they'd used before rescheduling the tour, they were even largely dressed in the same costumes, with Sakurai in his shiny leopard-print coat and Imai in his horrible plasticized horizontal-stripes hipster jacket that now, I suppose, he is only wearing ironically because hipsters are totally over wearing brightly colored plastic jackets now. As usual, Yutaka came onstage first, looking distinctly older and heavier than he did nine months ago, no doubt due to the Law of Conservation of Buck-Tick Mass, which states that the total weight of the five band members must remain constant at all times. When Sakurai was at his heaviest Imai was at his most anorexic, but now with Sakurai and Imai both looking slim but healthy, Yutaka has to pick up the slack, or should we say, fat. Luckily, a round face looks good on him and he's still all smiles.

The one big fashion surprise came to us courtesy of Sakurai's hair. In 1988, with the release of Taboo, Sakurai stopped wearing his hair up, and was promptly asked by magazine writer bimbettes, "why did you stop?" Sakurai's answer? "Because I felt like it." The real reason? Because he was sick of being typecast as "that guy with the hair that sticks straight up." Soon the other members, excluding Toll, stopped wearing their hair up. "When will you put your hair up again?" they were asked. "When we feel like it," was their answer. And now, a whole twenty-three years later, here comes that day. Dear Mr. Yagami will always win at mohawks, but Sakurai was making a very respectable effort at the old Buck-Tick style, with his shorter, blacker hair combed back from his face and sprayed up into a bristling crown that took us all swoonily back to 1980's London. Back in 1988, the hairstyle I might call "the yellow dandelion" didn't do much to flatter Sakurai's looks (though perhaps they didn't require much in the way of flattery.) Now, however, at age 45 and with black hair instead of deader-than-dead-straw bleached hair, Sakurai had fans gasping and screaming as he took the stage. Could the paint-it-black dandelion possibly look that good? Yes, oh yes it can.

And no, there are no photos, cell phones and cameras are banned at all Japanese concerts and it's for the better. You can stroke the screen of your iphone every minute of the day, you don't need to do it while Buck-Tick are onstage. There will be photos once they get released by the press.

The set list stayed largely the same as the earlier shows on the tour, featuring a number of songs off Razzle Dazzle, a number of them not quite as good as "Sakuran Baby" which for some reason the band is still refusing to play. The projection screen of swimming sperm is long gone but Sakurai hasn't forgotten his dance moves, and when "Kyoki no Deadheat" came along, he was swimming up a storm, and enthusiastic enough to sex up the utterly forgettable "Mugen" with self-stimulation completely inappropriate to the tone of the song. Luckily, the show took a darker turn with "Zekkai." It's particularly poignant considering the circumstances of the earthquake, and how quite probably, some fans never lived long enough to attend the rest of the tour, mercy be on their souls. Many of the fans remaining broke into silent tears.

But since Yutaka already had his standup bass out and ready, there was only one song that could follow "Zekkai" and lighten the mood--"Lullaby III," of course. I'm guessing the fans will never vote it onto the new best collection, but all I have to say is, if you don't vote for it, y'all suck. This is a great song, and Sakurai even pulled out his old Tenshi no Revolver boa for the occasion (sure not to get caught in his hair now that his hair was pointed safely out of the way of the feathers.) The band members weren't at the height of their energy levels, but while, with the exception of Sakurai, they stayed fairly mellow all night, they were practiced and ready and made no mistakes.

Unfortunately, it wasn't always possible to hear their studio-perfect playing due to the sound troubles the venue was having. Halfway through the set, Sakurai pulled out his earphones and tapped at his microphone.

"Can you hear me?" he asked the audience.

"KYAAAAAA!" they screamed, but he didn't look convinced.

And for the record, as a vocalist if you are not getting your own voice fed back to you through the monitor, you have absolutely no way to tell if the audience can hear you or not. (Cue the Dead Weather's song "I Can't Hear You" if you have not heard this song listen to it immediately.) But soon it wasn't just Sakurai's problem, soon Hoshino was having problems, too.

"Are you okay, Hide?" Sakurai called, as Hoshino ran off stage and returned with a new guitar.

Apparently he was okay, and they rounded off the set with the red hot rock of "Makka na Yoru" and "Jonathan Jet-Coaster," interspersed with the tear-inducing "memento mori" and a very beautiful, somber, stripped-down version of "Rain."

Overcome with excitement, fans started screaming for an encore as soon as the band left the stage, but long minutes passed and still the band wasn't coming back. Venue staff ran frantically back and forth across the stage. More sound problems! It was taking them long enough to fix whatever the issue was that the head staff member had to come out and make an announcement.

"There's trouble," he said. "But we should have it fixed in a few minutes, so if you'll just wait patiently for us, we'll give you your encore."

And amazingly enough, this being Japan, they actually did have it fixed within five minutes. More Hoshino guitar troubles! But with a pop and a buzz, Hoshino's guitar came back online, and now the band was back onstage and slamming straight into "love letter." The sound balance had gotten an overhaul, and now Imai's vocals were huge, filling the whole hall without him really trying, a welcome change from straining to hear him all night. After "love letter" came "Spider," which Sakurai announced in an exaggerated haunted-house drawl of a voice.

"Spiiiiiiiiiiideeeeer!" he called, then started laughing at his own joke.

And then they were offstage, then back again for the second encore, with "Kuchizuke SERIAL THRILL KISSER," the cheap synth-heavy album mix, which in my opinion is a lot less fun to listen to when performed live than the single mix is, but at least the song is strong enough to make both versions satisfying.

The night was winding down. Toll had already thrown an autographed banana into the crowd, and now it was the last encore set (we could tell because Sakurai had changed into a tour t-shirt.) But he had one more surprise in store for the crowd before the band finished with "Rendezvous." Sick of wasting the potential inherent in his clothing choice of that flimsy kilt-over-tights combination, with a smirk and a flourish, he pulled the kilt straight off, and proceeded to parade around the stage in nothing but his t-shirt, belt, patent-leather high-heeled boots, and skin-tight matte-black Batman hose. There's this thing called a "dance belt" that male ballet dancers wear to keep everything "under control" as they fearlessly take the stage wearing nothing but tights, but, Sakurai isn't a ballet dancer and he doesn't own a dance belt...apparently he prefers to "let it all hang out," as it were. Just to add to the excitement of the fans in the first few rows.

"...A lot of things happened, but well...see you again soon," he said, and the audience laughed.

On the way offstage, Toll inadvertently slapped his little brother's posterior, and giggled to the audience about it once Yutaka had bounced away.

Well, shucks. What a rendezvous.

Set List:
01. Dokudanjou Beauty
02. Baby, I Want You
03. Madman Blues
04. Razzle Dazzle
05. Kyouki no Deadheat
06. Mugen
07. Django!!!
08. Zekkai
09. Lullaby III
10. Tango Swanka
11. Hamushi no You ni
12. Memento Mori
13. Jonathan Jet-Coaster
14. RAIN
15. Makka na Yoru

~en. 1
16. love letter
17. Spider

~en. 2
18. Kuchizuke -Serial Thrill Kisser-
19. Alice in Wonder Underground
20. Rendezvous




...found taped to the inside of the door in the backstage restroom of a certain Tokyo rock venue.


Songs Promoted By Cayce, part 2

Songs promoted by Cayce today. If you like these songs too, consider voting for them.

Do The "I Love You"
Victims of Love (Seventh Heaven version)
Misty Blue
For Dangerous Kids
My Funny Valentine
Taboo (Not Greatest Hits version)
Ao no Sekai
Hosoi Sen (again!)
Kalavinka (again! fuck yes)
Black Cherry
Doukeshi A
Mr. Darkness & Mrs. Moonlight (cuz we all love Selia)
Lullaby III
Tango Swanka

寿記 06.11.2011 Catalogue


We'll be releasing two special boxes on the same day in March, in cooperation with Victor and Ariola.


Two items

Catalogue Victor->Mercury 87-99


Catalogue Ariola 00-10


With this title, I wanted to give even more a feeling of just a pure informational label, or "cataloguing our history." I was the one who came up with the title.

I like it, I think it's very Buck-Tick-esque.


And I mean, I always wanted to put the name of the record label in the title of the album sometime.


...and actually, when you're talking about best-of albums, I always want to put the word "catalogue" in the title.

It's really easy to understand, and that's the point, right?


though, I have no idea what will happen from here.



About voting (this is important!)

I know a lot of people seem to think you can only vote once, or you can only vote for one song...

But actually, with the voting, you can vote for one song per album, per 24-hour period.

I think this system should give us some juicy results!


So have fun voting.



Cayce's two cents: Guys, what he means by "juicy results" is, vote for some different songs than last time.


More on Voting

For voting, you need to list your name, age, sex, and prefecture of residence. For reference, 「女性」is "female" and 「男性」is male. Fukushima prefecture is 「福島」. Also my bad, you can vote for one song per album per day.

Songs promoted by Cayce today:

Telephone Murder
The World Is Yours
Victims of Love (Not Greatest Hits version)
Shanikusai -Carnival-
La Vie en Rose
Motel 13
Yougetsu (the stupid album mix because that's all they allow you to vote for.)

If you like these songs, too, you should vote for them!



Voting is now open for the tracks that will be featured on Buck-Tick's new best-of collections, and the current list of rankings of songs has now been posted on the special 25th anniversary website. If you haven't voted, go vote now!

But, a word before you go vote. Looking at the rankings, all I have to say is, guys, can we please be more original? Despite the fact that Buck-Tick has at this point released a whopping 220 songs, I notice that every single track that was featured on the previous fan-voted best-of album, Buck-Tick Catalogue 2005, is also listed on this list of rankings, with the exceptions of the single tracks, as this time around, fans are not allowed to vote for singles or b-sides.

Now it's frankly a crime that fans aren't allowed to vote for b-sides. What, no "Yougestu," no "Paradise," no "Utsusemi," no "Rokugatsu no Okinawa," no "Asylum Garden," no "Down," no "Trans," no "My Baby Japanese," you say? Yeah, I know, Buck-Tick's list of b-sides coincides pretty heavily with their list of best songs ever, but I'm just going to hope the reason for the fact that you can't vote for b-sides is that they will be releasing a b-sides collection, too (maybe I'm about to start a rumor here!)

But, back to my main point, which is, let's steer clear of these album tracks that fans voted onto the previous best collection, that they now appear to be in danger of voting onto this new best collection as well. Putting aside the fact that many of these songs are songs the band has played so many times at recent tours that I get disappointed every time I hear them now, because from a band with such a wonderful back catalogue I'd really rather hear some variety (I'm looking at you, Muma, Baby, and Iconoclasm), what is the point of Buck-Tick releasing two best collections featuring more or less the same material? It's boring from the standpoint of the listeners, and it's stupid from a money-making perspective as well. If I already spent 3500 yen on Catalogue 2005, why would I spent another 3500 on a new best album that has the same damn track list minus "Aku no Hana" plus "Hamushi no You ni"?

So please, guys. The following songs were already included on the Catalogue 2005 track list. Please for the love of Buck-Tick being cool, don't vote for them again.

Hurry Up Mode
Sexual XXXXX
Physical Neurose
Angelic Conversation
My Fuckin' Valentine

Baby, I Want You
Shippuu no Blade Runner
Long distance call
mona lisa
Muma -The Nightmare-


Buck-Tick Special Boxes

Smoking hot news has just tangoed and djangoed forth from the Buck-Tick press, and the 25th anniversary mail magazine even sent me a coy email warning me that "the website will be updated at midnight" and that I should "check the main page for more details." Even better than a Halloween scavenger hunt!

Anyhow, the announcement is:

In honor of Buck-Tick's giving all their old labels the finger, their old labels (Victor, Mercury, and RCA Ariola) will be cooperating and releasing two "special box" best-of collections on the same day in March, 2012.

The special boxes will have the scintillating and creative titles of "Catalogue Victor-Mercury 87-99" and "Catalogue Ariola (the label formerly known as BMG) 00-10."

The track lists of each CD will be decided by fan vote, with the voting scheduled to take place from November 1st to November 30th at 23:59 PM.

If, like last time, they ask you to list your home prefecture but you don't live in Japan, show solidarity with the victims of the disaster by saying you live in Miyagi, or Fukushima. Especially if you know, you actually live in Colorado's plutonium belt, or in a 3-floor apartment with a glass facade, a garden and a pool a mere 5 minute drive from historic Pripyat, because in that case you will have earned your solidarity giving rights good and well.

Also, if you just became a Buck-Tick fan five minutes ago: yay, welcome to the club, Buck-Tick are an indies band now and they need your moneyz. But be aware--first, fans voted "Muma -the Nightmare-" onto the last fan-voted collection. It has more than had its chance in the spotlight, please do not vote for it again. Second, Buck-Tick also has a lot of wonderful songs that are not "Dress," 'Romance," "Kuchizuke," "Baby, I Want You," "Cream Soda," or "Kimi no Vanilla." Which is not to say don't vote for these songs anyway, but, there are a lot of other good ones that are really worth a listen. For some recommendations on where to start, see this post.

P.S. Special thanks to Veronica Mendez, for being The Blog-Tick Phenomenon's 100th follower!


Buck-Tick Won't Die

Next time you guys think the band is breaking up because you use Google translate to try and read Japanese, PLEASE email me instead.

Buck-Tick is NOT breaking up.

Buck-Tick is in fact, starting a new record label called Lingua Sounda. No doubt they have decided to do this because the godforsaken Japanese major labels still think that men with crow's feet can't sell records. But, seeing as Buck-Tick has given the finger to every label that tried to tell them what to do before, I'm honestly quite surprised it took them this long to strike out on their own. Here's hoping they sign some other artists as well. And quit it with the creepy figurines.

Sakurai Atsushi, on the formation of Lingua Sounda, says,

"We extend our deepest gratitude to the fans who have supported us thus far.
We have our music, and we have Buck-Tick.
From now until we die, no, even after we die, Buck-Tick's music will continue to live.
Whatever happens, we hope you stay behind us. And thank you."

There, you have it from Acchan now, so you don't need it from me.

This has been a public service announcement from your friendly Not Greatest Translator Cayce.

Btw, if you are not in the Fish Tank but you want the Fish Tank only DVDs anyway, my offer to sell them to you at a discount markup is real. If you're interested, email me. Themadaristocrat at gmail.


2011.10.12 Gothic Diary of a Fetish Dad

A translated excerpt from Gothic Diary of a Fetish Dad, the blog of Genet from Auto-Mod. Will I translate Genet's blog regularly? Sorry, but no. But I thought you ought to read this one.

Today I Pigged Out on Edamame From Tochigi Prefecture (haha)

Yesterday's nightcap snack was a whole mountain of edamame!

Last night, my mom sent me a big huge bag of edamame that she picked by hand and bought from her neighbor who is a farmer, so I had them with my Hoppy, lightly boiled.

My family's house is in the southern part of Tochigi Prefecture, and I'm not sure of the details about whether or not there's radioactive contamination there, but while I suspect it's probably less than the government-set limit, I doubt if it's completely zero...!!

So today the radioactive contamination spreads to my stomach as well, and crazier and crazier rumors are raging, and still the Japanese government continues to hide everything.

And the media's going along with it, too...

But then sometimes, they release information after the fact! And then everyone is shocked by how high the levels of contamination are! (haha)

However, the anti-anti-nuclear movement doesn't seem to feel a damn thing when they hear the terrifying truth as the government slowly and quietly releases it (hah)

This goes for the food, and it goes for their proposal to raise the set age for receiving a federal pension to 70...are they trying to feed us poison to kill us all before age 70 so that they never have to pay us anything?

The whole reason the pension system went bankrupt in the first place is because this country put such an incoherent pension system in place, and Japanese nuclear policy all resulted from the government being too close to TEPCO, so it's really not surprising.

When you trace it all back to it's origins, it's the government that has ruined the nation of Japan, and the Liberal Democratic Party, who were the original instigators of all the bad policy are now pretending like they don't know a thing about it.

So that's how we end up all contaminated with radiation, and when we get too old to work we get thrown out on the street, I guess. Looks like Japan isn't going to be such a first-world country anymore!!

Whatever I eat, I just assume it's all poisonous, but obviously if I don't eat I'm gonna die (hah) So I guess I just keep living, and then when I get too old to work I'll keel over and die by the roadside.

So that's why I'm going to taste my fill of the blessings of nature in Japan, I'm going to sit in open-air hot springs under the beautiful sky, I'm going to drink a lot of sake made from delicious Japanese rice, and, well, if I'm internally contaminated, so be it.

I know it makes me sound like a complete asshole to say it, but how did it come to this? Whose fault is it that it came to this? I'm not going to forget it ever, it's etched in my heart forever and the Japanese people shouldn't forget it either.

Anyway, that's why I'm eating this mountain of delicious edamame that my loving mother sent me that she picked with her own hands.

Yes, this is the man who has an obsession with Hoppy, this is Genet, signing off!

...oh and I forgot to mention I also made an appetizer with baby tomatoes and feta cheese. When I put anchovies on top it came out tasting pretty good!


Scream for the Truth

Following in the footsteps of long-time anti-nuclear activist Sakamoto Ryuichi, Dir en grey have launched a campaign called "Scream for the Truth," to demand that the Japanese government tell the truth about the extent of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima crisis. While none of the independent data and expert opinions I have looked at suggests remotely to me that radiation levels are so high that Japanese people "are at risk to not be able to able to travel to the USA or other countries in the future," it's very true that the Japanese government is not being honest with the public about the extent of the danger.

For one thing, clouds of fallout were and continue to be blown on the wind to other parts of the country from Fukushima.

For another thing, there is a hot zone extending from Ibaraki Prefecture through southern Saitama and into eastern Tokyo, and parts of this zone would have been declared evacuation zones according to the standards set after the Chernobyl accident.

Furthermore, huge amounts of radioactive water were dumped into the Pacific Ocean, and continue to spread.

Most worryingly, contamination of the food chain is likely to be widespread. Multiple reports have already come out about contaminated beef and tea, but testing on various foods in various prefectures has been conducted sporadically according to varying standards, and the results have not been well publicized (though you can view many food inspection results on the web sites of the various prefectures where the foods originated.) Furthermore, the radiation levels the Japanese government has declared "safe" for foods are still hundreds of times higher than international standards.

Also, the Japanese government has failed to adequately explain the difference between being exposed to radiation externally in the form of gamma rays vs. ingesting radioactive particles. Over the long time, ingestion of radioactive particles is a lot more worrying. Elements like cesium and strontium have long half-lives and can stay in the body for months, years, or decades, where they bombard the cells around them with a constant stream of radiation, increasingly the likelihood of cancer-causing mutations. But the Japanese government has failed to explain this risk, and also failed to instruct citizens on measures they can take to limit their exposure, or even provide detailed data about what places should be avoided.

A lot of Japanese musicians have been criticizing the government by signing onto petitions and anti-nuke campaigns (or simply bitching on their blogs), but it's nice to see someone making a big public stand. I hope more people keep jumping on the bandwagon. There have already been a number of anti-nuke demonstrations in downtown Tokyo sponsored by No Nukes More Hearts and other groups. If you are in Tokyo, we'll welcome you at the next one. If you don't live in Japan, in addition to sending us your prayers, the next time someone rolls their eyes at the health dangers of radiation, set them straight, please. I certainly don't advocate hysteria, but this is a big problem, it's not going away, and the first step to finding ways to combat it is admitting that it exists. (Also I might add that as time passes low levels of contamination will increasingly be showing up outside Japan. Fukushima is now a global problem. But that's also precisely why if you are planning on visiting Japan for a short period as a tourist you should not be unduly worried, though I'd advocate steering well clear of Fukushima prefecture.)

Sorry to be a downer, but all of us living in Japan are having to think about this every day and a lot of people are still having trouble speaking out. However, I don't feel comfortable remaining silent. Way to go Dir en grey.

Also, if you are interested in a lot of cogent, straight-spoken, easy-to-understand information and commentary on the Fukushima crisis and the world politics of nuclear power, try watching some of the videos on this website. The October 2nd update should be of particular interest to people hoping to debunk the assumption that the Fukushima accident is the result of Japanese "cultural issues," and people looking for more information on the ways the nuclear industry exerts a huge amount of influence over the bodies supposed to be regulating it.

The data to which I linked above was taken from a variety of independent tests (conducted by citizens cooperating with independent labs.) However, take all commentary on the Alexander Higgins blog with a grain of salt--while he includes many useful links to relevant news articles, in his own commentary he uses overblown sensationalist rhetoric and takes certain information out of context to blow it out of proportion, so keep your hats on.



Congratulatory bouquet from Buck-Tick in honor of Loopus's 15th anniversary. They always hire wonderful flower designers, don't they.


Buck-Tick Debut 25th Anniversary

Congratulations, Buck-Tick, and sorry I didn't get around to posting this until now--my power was out and the wind was shaking my building at about a JMA seismic intensity level 3. But now I find, all that storming was just in honor of the fact that this September 21st, amid the driving rain and raging winds of Typhoon Roke (whooo!) you guys get to celebrate 25 years (oh lord) since your major label debut on September 21st, 1987! That's a big fat quarter-century, right there. Talk about a brilliant future for future.

Only, I wonder...since babies born on September 21st, 1987 are turning 24 this year, how exactly are they counting this anniversary as being the 25th anniversary? Was the day Buck-Tick went major also their first anniversary? I have heard loads of people on the internet talk about how numbers are different in Japan, and I know everything you read on the internet is true, but Japanese babies born September 21st, 1987 are also turning 24 today, so I dunno, you tell me.

Anyhow, the question at this point is, how can Buck-Tick's promo manager use the 25th anniversary as an excuse to make you spend money on glossy airbrushed photos of Imai when in fact, free, non-glossy non-airbrushed photos would be a whole lot better? Unfortunately, the answer to this question remains a mystery. The band's web managers have launched a special website to celebrate the 25th anniversary and they promise "one big epic announcement" on this website exactly a month from now, on October 21st. The website also features a mysterious counter, involving the number 66 emerging coyly from the forest of a young Yagami Toll's stick-straight hair. Does it mean there are 66 days left until the Buck-Tick Phenomenon explodes again? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, you can register for their new 25th-anniversary mail magazine. Literally all you have to enter is your email address. If you do this and then end up with a mailbox full of spam, well, just think to yourself that that spam came from Buck-Tick, and smile.

And if Typhoon Roke decides to turn rogue and head your way next, get your ass out into that rain and wind and start singing "Shipuu no Blade Runner" at the top of your lungs, because what's a little water, anyway?

Edit: Buck-Tick's web management appear to have revised the 25th Anniversary special site so that the "3" part of "365" is no longer hidden in Toll's hair. Good one guys. I guess it really is a year away...here's hoping they tear up Minato Mirai again with another huge outdoor festival.


Gekka Reijin subtitled video!

I don't know who made this video, but whoever you are, thank you for using my translation! It makes me so happy to see it on the subtitles! Only next time, send me an email and let me know!

For future reference: anyone is welcome to use my lyric translations to make subbed YouTube videos. All I ask is that you credit me and link back to Not Greatest Site and/or Blog-Tick. However, I have now completed an all-new set of translations of Buck-Tick's entire discography, and I think the new translations are more accurate and have more style. They will be on the web soon (you thought I wasn't working but actually, I was), so if any of you out there are planning on making another subtitled video soon, please please please email me and ask for the new translation instead of just using the old one. Thank you!

FYI: Cayce's email is themadaristocrat [at] gmail. Not writing out the at-mark confuses the spambots so substitute the correct symbology accordingly.


Another Reason to Join Fish Tank

In honor of the 15th anniversary of Fish Tank, Buck-Tick will be releasing not one but TWO, count 'em TWO, new Fish Tanker's Only live DVDs.

For those of you who enjoyed the clips circulating around the internet for a while of that stunning performance of "Lion" from the Fish Tanker's Only 2006 tour, now you get to see the whole show. The first DVD will be a release of Fish Tanker's Only Tour 2006 show held at Zepp Tokyo on September 3rd, 2006.

Set List:
1. Theme of B-T
2. Empty Girl
3. ...In Heaven...
4. Angelic Conversation
5. Gesshoku
6. Cabaret
8. Passion
9. Sid Vicious on the Beach
10. Madman Blues
11. LION
12. Miu
13. Cyborg Dolly:Soramimi:PHANTOM
14. Candy
15. MAD
16. Ash-ra
17. Nocturne Rain Song
19. Flame
20. Muma -The Nightmare-
22. Utsusemi
23. Kagerou
25. Love Me

Yes, you get your 13kai fix, fangirls. And if you think this is just about an ideal set list for a BUCK-TICK concert, then you agree with Cayce completely. And savor the video of "Utsusemi," because it's just as likely as not that they will never perform the damn song live again.

The second DVD will contain all the songs performed at the Fish Tanker's Only Tour 2009 show held at Zepp Tokyo on October 12th, 2009.

Set List:
1. Love and Death
2. Memento Mori
3. Les Enfants Terribles
4. Suzumebachi
5. Montage
6. MOTEL 13
7. Umbrella
8. Coyote
9. Kirameki no naka de
10. Lullaby III
11. Limbo
12. Jonathan Jet-Coaster
13. Katte ni Shiyagare
14. Tenshi wa Dare da
16. Makka na Yoru
18. Empty Girl
19. Just One More Kiss
20. Alice in Wonder Underground
21. Revolver
22. Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete

If you wish that every time Buck-Tick played "Kirameki no naka de" and "LIMBO" at a live show, they would play both songs twice instead of playing Muma or Aku no Hana even once, then you agree with Cayce completely.

But, if you want this DVD, you have to wait till Christmas: both DVDs will be released on the 24th of December. The regular edition of each will cost 5250 yen, and the limited edition will cost 7350 yen and include a 100 page photobook (I assume different for each DVD) and a special box emblazoned with your very own IRL name and Fish Tank member's number. Read: if you think you are going to be smart and make money off non-Fish Tank fans by ordering a crapload of these and then reselling them on Yahoo Japan Auctions at a markup, you are going to have to be okay with having your buyers own a DVD that has your real name and club number on it. Or you could, you know, just sell the DVDs without the slipcase, at a discount markup. But if you pre-order the limited edition of both DVDs, they'll send you a Fish Tank 15th Anniversary tote bag, ABSOLUTELY FREE!

But, the fine print: to get all of this, first you have to have joined Fish Tank by October 23rd. And since so many people seem to be asking, a few words on joining Fish Tank:

They only accept cash yen. Yes, you have to send cash to Japan via registered mail if you want to join Fish Tank. That means putting cash in an envelope in the mail. My advice: don't write "To unscrupulous postal workers: this envelope has CA$H in it" on the envelope.

All their materials are in Japanese. They will send you extra information on special procedures for overseas members. These will also only be in Japanese.

The photos in the Fish Tank newsletter are few and far between, also small and pixelated. But a fangirl's gotta squee when a fangirl's gotta squee.

At least half of the photos in a typical Fish Tank newsletter feature fans, not band members.

Yes, being in Fish Tank does get you better tickets, but you won't necessarily get good tickets just by being in Fish Tank, in fact you are likely to get a lot of crap (read: you might be able to see the band members if you had binoculars) tickets. However if you are not in Fish Tank you are guaranteed to get crap tickets every time.

You can order items from the Fish Tank only section of the Buck-Tick web shop even if you are an overseas member of Fish Tank, however, it involves sending cash yen in the mail. Also, right now the exchange rate for the yen is sky high, which means all of y'all overseas fans will see that money shrink in the wash, and how.

If you live overseas, do not read Japanese, and do not plan to come to Japan to see Buck-Tick live, being in Fish Tank is not usually worth the money and hassle, in my opinion. The single biggest benefit it offers is getting priority for concert ticket reservations. However, when these DVDs come out, it does tend to sway the cost-benefit ratio. Which is, of course, why they release fan club only DVDs: to get more people to spend the money to join the fan club. But Buck-Tick ain't rich, they need your moneyz. So buy them sexy DVDs.

Or alternatively, if you want to buy them sexy DVDs but don't want to join Fish Tank, Cayce will be happy to sell them to you slipcase-free at a discount markup, let's say 10000 yen per DVD, shipping included. Or you could just send Cayce cash yen because you can't get enough of sending cash in the mail.


Prayers and Apologies

Many apologies for not updating in so long.

I run this blog all by myself, and lately life has been getting in the way.

I promise I have not forgotten about it, and I will be posting again when I am able to. In the meantime, if you have any questions, suggestions, or requests, please feel free to email me.

With the passing of Taiji from X Japan, Amy Winehouse, and Isshi from Kagrra, it's really been a dark summer for music so far. Say what you will about their various personal reputations, they were all artists and they were all human beings. I think their passing from the world leaves us a little more lonely.

For those of you who didn't know, the cause of Taiji's death is believed to have been suicide.

Amy Winehouse is believed to have overdosed on a lethal combination of various drugs, whether on purpose or not, it doesn't really matter. If you think her death is funny, or at least unsurprising, I ask you to just remember the darkest place you have ever been, and then imagining living there every minute of your waking life, and ask yourself you would do.

The cause of Isshi's death appears to be unknown. I admit this one is the one that strikes the deepest for me personally, since I was an avid follower of Kagrra in their early days. Like Kagerou, they were one of the last visual rock pioneers, with a fiercely original, eerie, beautiful sound, all shaped by Isshi's ethereal presence, fantastical interpretation of historical scholarship, and haunting falsetto voice. If you never listened to Kagrra, I urge you to give them a try, even if just as a memoriam. I would recommend some songs, but the list would be too long, so I'll leave it for another post. In the meantime, go on YouTube and search for some of their beautifully produced music videos.

May each of them rest in peace.

And all the readers of Blog-Tick all around the world, if you feel touched or moved when you read this post, then please, take a moment to stay silent and say a prayer for all the souls who passed on, in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and unrelated to the disaster. And then take a moment to hold your loved ones close, and pray for the safety, health, and longevity of all the rest of us who you love who are still alive, including the precious and irreplaceable members of Buck-Tick, because there are never too many prayers, and there no such thing as too much love.


寿記 11.04.2011 House of Surrealism


The other day.

I went to an exhibit of surrealist art.


De Chirico, Dali, Magritte, metaphysical art...


Delvaux, Tanguy, "The Sweet Corpses," Man Ray, Ernst...


Breton, Duchamp, Automatism, "Fountain," Picabia



It just explodes.









It's a great feeling.







I thought I'd buy some bread on the way home, so I went to this good bakery I know...


...??,,what's this~~!?


Look what I found!!


So I'll go home, have my "surreal bread" and some wine, and savor the good memories from today.


Also, cheese and dried figs.



...and, anyone who was surprised by the title of the exhibit, "House of Surrealism"...I can tell you're from my generation.


...when are they going to bring back "House of Surprises" already? I mean, seriously.

IMAI 19:00


Imai x Hotei

Imai will be participating in Hotei's 30th anniversary album, All Time Super Guest. So far, other "super guests" on the album include Nagai Seiichi (from the band Soutaisei Riron), the incurably fecund Miyavi, Imai Miki (Hotei's wife, doncha know), and Kobukuro (who I thought were incapable of making any other music than soulful ballads, but maybe Hotei will help them prove me wrong.) Collaborators previously announced include Dragon Ash and Cornelius, among others.

Imai will perform on the track "GUITARHYTM," alongside Nagai Seiichi, Miyavi, and Hotei himself. I guess they never said "too many guitarists spoil the band," so, stay tuned. No release date for the album has yet been listed, but you can check for details here.


寿記 04.04.2011 Bug

I went out for a walk, and I found this shop that sold weird art.

I wondered if they had anything cool in there.

And, I kind of...bought this.

You want to see what I bought?

It's not actually that big.

I mean, it's smaller than your cell phone.

This is it.

What do you think?

・・・wanna see it?

Wanna see what it really looks like?

Here's a leading shot of it...

Wanna see a close-up?

Oh, I made it blurry.

What's that?

You don't like me teasing you?

Fiine, fine.

I'll show you!

・・・no, no, that's not it.

I made a mistake.


Okay, okay.

This is it.

Isn't it awesome?

There were even crazier ones, but as a beginner, I thought I should start with something a bit more modest.

Well, I mean, I have no plans to get obsessed with them.

All you experts out there, here you go...

Check it out.


IMAI 16:44

寿記 03.04.2011 Public Image Ltd

The other day, I went to a photo exhibit.

Photos by Dennis Morris, who was the official photographer for Bob Marley and the Sex Pistols.

This exhibit was photos of the Sex Pistols vocalist Johnny Rotten

After the Pistols broke up and he changed his name back to John Lydon, and started a new band,

・・・Public Image Ltd・・・「PIL」

John Lydon is one of my favorite artists.

It was really exciting to see a lot of photos I hadn't seen before.

Maaaaaan~ I ean, it was so exciting, I just wanted to play another live show.

But, he was always drunk, John Lydon.

There was a time when I listened to nothing but PIL.

IMAI 17:52

寿記 02.04.2011 Report

I have a report to make~

As of Wednesday, 3/30, our collected earthquake relief funds totaled

2,460,580 yen.

Thank you all so much.

I'll report on it again soon.

Also, keep checking the official site.

IMAI 12:00


寿記 01.04.2011 It's been a while!



♧ This is skull-baby!! ♣

Were you happily FOOLED all day today!? ♡♥

Well, WERE YOU? ♧

♡ kekekekeke ♥

There were totally PEOPLE who were FOOOLED by IMAI's stupid joke!! ♣♧

-But, of course you're all fine-

kukukukukukuku ♡♥

Because, basically, Imai is not such a nice guy

♡ He's an INFAMOUSLY DEVILISH rock musician!!! ♥

But♡ Those of you who were fooled by the JOKE

DESERVE to be fooled!! ♥

But, don't be upset about it♧

♥ Kiss ♥

hahahahahahahaha ♣♡♠♢





This is Imai.

I think that explanation was a little too easy to understand...but, on the other hand, if you thought I was serious, I'm in trouble...

So, I thought I'd make it patently obvious

I got loads of emails from people who either laughed hysterically, were miserable, or were shocked for about four seconds then realized the truth...


There were people who really believed it.

I'm sorry.


Oh yeah, and some people were really angry, too.





Guys, I am totally sorry


Oh yeah and I'm going to say it every year from now on, so don't be fooled the next time.


IMAI 20:22

寿記 01.04.2011 April Fools


I know you were probably thinking, "could this possibly be true," but, you do know, right?

The thing that happens on April 1st.


...Well, whatever.

I mean, of course, basically it will never happen.


...and by that I mean, let's keep working hard today!

IMAI 12:00

寿記 01.04.2011 First of April





The only excuse I have is...it was inevitable.


We were really trying to make it work.


I know, I know we hadn't even released the schedule for the new tour yet.


But, Buck-Tick...


We're splitting up. It's over.









Really sorry about that.




IMAI 00:00


寿記 29.03.2011 March 29th (Tuesday) Email


I got a whole slew more emails today.

Thank you.


But, among them was an email from someone who is misunderstanding my purpose.

So, I'm going to write a little public message to that person.



To K.Y.-san


The link I posted on my blog, to the "Yokohama Romankan,"

It's not a link to a fan site.

It's the website of an art gallery.


The reason I posted the link is that, as part of the Yokohama Romankan charity auction,

I will be exhibiting some of my own work.


Also, with regard to your accusations that I am "waaay too pushy" and "totally full of myself"

on the topic of the Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake,

this isn't a matter of being "pushy" or not.


Actually, I did (with a certain irony) think to myself, to use your own words,

"Why are you being such a fucking tight-assed downer all of a sudden?"

But, that's really not the point.

The point is, I'm actually just writing stuff that's common sense.



And, well, it's my blog, so, I might as well write some of my own feelings.


And about your comment,

"you don't have to keep going on about it till your blog looks like a fucking billboard"

I really don't give a crap about advertising or billboards

I just want to encourage people to do whatever it is they can do.


And hmm, yeah...it's my blog.





And, whatever I get criticized as being, really "hanging in there" is all anyone can do, at this point.

So, people, let's all hang in there.


IMAI 22:05

All readers of Blog-Tick should know that since January 2006 (yes, you heard me, 2006) the Not Greatest Site/Blog-Tick team have had a strict policy of responding to flames in exactly the same way Imai so eloquently did: witty, level-headed public ridicule.

Also before you flame me and tell me that there is no Japanese profane interjection equivalent of "fucking," be aware that I translated this entry for diction and tone rather than for word-for-word accuracy...I wanted to give you a good feel of what the exchange might have sounded like if it had taken place in colloquial internet English instead of colloquial internet Japanese, and to highlight the difference in tone between the fan's email and Imai's response to the email.

Did I mention...Blog-Tick loves Imai?

寿記 29.03.2011 March 29th (Tuesday) Meeting


The first time all five of us have gotten together in a while.

IMAI 11:18


寿記 25.03.2011 March 25th (Friday) Self Discipline and Indulgence

Thank you for all your emails every day.
In a lot of emails, I'm hearing people voicing doubts about these things, "self-discipline" and "indulgence."
I know exactly how you feel.
I think a lot of people are being misdirected in the best way to channel their emotions and their desire to do something.
I'm sure you all know this already, but
What all of us who have not been directly injured by the disaster need to be doing is keeping the economy going.
The people under the jurisdiction of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. will be saving electricity.
There are stores in Western Japan that are shortening their hours to avoid "indulgence."
But, for them, I think there is really no need for this excess "self discipline," in the form of saving power.
Instead of doing that, Western Japan needs to be building up steam economically, to help buoy up Eastern Japan, whose economy is currently largely at a standstill.
You have to use money, consume products and services, keep the economy going.
If you keep the economy going at full speed, it will be easier for the people who have lost their jobs to find new jobs.
Okay, we postponed the Buck-Tick tour, but it wasn't about "self-discipline" or about "indulgence," it's because there is a lot of danger and anxiety in the air and we felt there was no way we could have a live show without that interfering.
Even if we got people all sweaty and worked up in the live house pit, people would still be thinking, "somehow, I feel down..." or "overall, I just feel bad..."
But, yeah. Western Japan, I'm talking about Kansai, Shikoku, Sanyo/San'in and Kyuushuu, please, just keep spending money and keeping the economy going.
If you do that, soon we'll be able to announce the new schedule for the postponed tour.
For now, just sit tight.
IMAI 14:51

I'm going to put in my two cents now, because this is a hugely important point that Imai is making. Western Japan has been largely undamaged by the disaster, and the Western Japanese power grid isn't even connected to the eastern power grid, so saving power does approximately nothing to help with the power shortage up north, though profligate consumption of resources is not something I endorse. But Imai's point is, holding back on normal life activities because you feel bad or worried about the quake/tsunami/meltdown not only doesn't help, it's actively bad for the country. And to a certain extent this goes for people in Kanto, too. For example, a lot of stores may be closed, but if there are stores that are open, shop at them. If there are restaurants/bars that are open, go out to eat and drink. Go to work, and work as productively as you can. I know most of the readers of this blog don't live in Japan but I'm going to say it anyway.

寿記 24.03.2011 March 24th (Thursday) Charity Auction

I'm participating in an exhibition and charity auction at the Yokohama Romankan Gallery.
I'm exhibiting three drawings I did for the mobile graphics download campaign.
They'll be up next to a lot of wonderful pieces by a long of distinguished artists.
Please come and see it.
IMAI 20:00

寿記 24.03.2011 March 24th (Thursday) Mobile Graphics Downloads


About our mobile site fundraiser.


We finally made it so that Docomo users who are not paid members can download the graphics, too.



If you find one you like, please download it.

IMAI 16:32


A Picture of Romance

It appears that our very own Imai Hisashi has made his first foray into the world of visual arts. We knew he was an avid patron of the arts and art collector, as evidenced by the photos he displays on his blog of the many pieces he has displayed in his home, but now, it seems, he's actually drawing pictures. Funny in a way, since Sakurai, with his illuminated kanji, eerily expressive cartoon faces, minimalist yet evocative big-eyed cats, and meticulously lifelike swarms of sperm, has hitherto been the band's most accomplished visual artist. (Fun fact: according to his biography in the Love Me book, Sakurai won several awards for his drawings when he was in elementary school.)

However, now it seems Imai is determined to upstage him! Imai will be exhibiting three works as part of the "Otogibanashi no Sekai" ("Fairytale World") exhibit at the Yokohama Romankan ("Romance Gallery") from Saturday, March 26th, to Sunday, April 10th. The exhibit will be open every Friday-Monday from 1PM-6PM.

The works to be displayed will be used as designs for the downloadable mobile phone graphic schemes Buck-Tick is using in their Love & Media Portable site charity campaign. Unlike the other works on display at the exhibit, Imai's works will all be for sale by silent auction. Bids can be made at the exhibition or by email. The starting bid is 5000 yen, with bids increasing in 500 yen increments. Bidding will close at 6PM on April 10th, the last day of the exhibition, with all proceeds to be donated to the Japan Red Cross disaster relief fund. So, all you fans who were wondering what to do with your refunded Razzle Dazzle tour ticket money, or who just happen to be lucky and rich, unlike most of the unlucky, poor world, bid away, knowing safely that your money will be used to (hopefully) send food and diapers to homeless babies up in Tohoku, or life-saving medicine to sick, elderly folks evacuated from the irradiated regions of Fukushima.

To send in a bid by email, send a message to this address with the following info:

1. The title of the work you wish to bid on
2. The amount of your bid
3. Your name
4. Your address
5. You phone number
6. You email address

Bidding opens at 1PM on Saturday, March 26th.

The works to be exhibited can be viewed here.

If this sounds to you like somewhat late in life for Imai to have taken up a new hobby, well, it has to be said that music is probably still his most shining talent...he may have to keep working if he wants to beat Sakurai at kick-ass doodling. But his concern and dedication also counts for a whole lot.

Edit: Buck-Tick have added photos to their Love & Media Portable Download campaign. To reiterate, anyone can download these things, only suckers who use Docomo may still have to have a registered, paid identity. What do I know, I use SoftBank...the worst service but the cheapest rates, and they have SMAP as their official posterboys.

Also, Buck-Tick's Twitter is still full of boring repetitions of the same old news.

寿記 24.03.2011 March 24th (Thursday) Email

There's an email I want to share with you all.


I'm just going to post the original text, as is.




Day by day, little by little, the levels of radioactivity were going down.

We're so very, very grateful.

All those people at the site of the plants, who are putting their lives on the line for us--we can never thank them enough.

Yesterday I got my dispatch to come to work. I have rainy days off.

The other day, I heard from my father, who was talking to someone in the neighborhood, that people who had fled Fukushima were being placed in a special section in some restaurant, and the someone was asking them to be labeled somehow, as having come from Fukushima.

It really makes me sad.

And now all the television programming has gone back to normal.

My friend in Toyko was upset and asking me what to do because he missed out on a chance to meet someone.

People from Fukushima are just human beings like everyone else. Don't let yourself forget it.




IMAI 9:42