Diru Announces Full Tour Schedule For 2011

I’ve never pretended to be a huge fan of Dir En Grey. Actually, I’ve never pretended to be a fan at all. “Respect”, is the simplest way to describe my opinion of “Diru“. I respect the band, and I respect its fans, and I respect the fact that they have a lot of good music. But maybe it has something to do with the fact that whenever you’re mid-conversation with a Diru fan and they pause to say, “Oh I loved their one release….uhm…” you can suggest “Uroboros?” and pretty much hit the nail on the head. They don’t even have to whistle the best song for you. Too easy. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don’t want to be vomited on by my favorite band– I don’t think I like any band enough to rinse chunks of their pre-show sushi out of my hair.

Dir En Grey will hit up Europe next month with a full European Tour, starting out with a sold-out show at Wacken Open Air, and moving on with their PARADOX OF RETALIATION Tour.

North and South Americans, don’t feel excluded yet. The band will hop the holiday train for their recently announced Americas Tour, Age Quod Agis, starting off in Chile on 11/23 and working their way north throughout November and December. Canadian synth-rock group Birthday Massacre will open the show for 11 of the 17 listed dates. Yeah, I’ve never heard of them either.

For a full list of dates, venues, and ticketing information, visit the band’s OHP or facebook.

As a side note, I remember hearing a lot of moaning (not the pleasant kind) about the band’s look. Honestly, I think they look sweet — I didn’t think I’d ever compliment someone with a buzz-cut, but Kyo’s actually rockin’ it.


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GACKT Fries More European Chickens In 2011

Last year’s big, exciting Jrock moment, as many of you probably still remember, was the “international”- aka European- debut of GACKT Sanders’ YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz project. The tour, a short, experimental stint with a few scattered dates in a select few countries, sold out in a record 4 minutes of tickets being released. After this information reached the Colonel, he expressed a sense of regret that so many fans had wanted to see him perform, but were unable to because of the limited number of dates, locations, and the haste with which tickets sold.

It seems like he was sincere in that regret, as his second round through Europe is much more extensive, and rumor has it, booked in larger venues to accommodate the masses of European fans lining up to show GACKT that, yes, they are fried chickenz. I just hope that he has taken some time to actually rest and prepare himself for this venture…The last thing we (collective worldwide “we”, not Japanese version of ‘worldwide’ “we”) need is a replay of Munich ’10.

 GACKT YFCz EUROPEAN TOUR 2011 – DATES –

July 20(Wed)  LA BATACLAN( France/Paris)

July 21(Thu)  LA BATACLAN(France/Paris)

July 23(Sat)  E-Werk(Germany/Cologne)

July 26(Tue)  Melkweg(Netherlands/Amsterdam)

July 27(Wed)  Forum(UK/London)

July 29(Fri)  Bikini(France/Toulouse)

July 30(Sat)  RAZZMATAZZ 1(Spain/Barcelona)

August 1(Mon)    Backstage Werk(Germany/Munich)

August 3(Wed)    Huxleys(Germany/Berlin)

August 4(Thu)    Syma B(Hungary/Budapest)

August 6(Sat)    Stodola(Poland/Warsaw)

August 7(Sun)    Haus Auensee(Germany/Leipzig)

August 9(Tue)    Arenan(Sweden/Stockholm)

August 11(Thu)  Arena Moscow Club(Russia/Moscow)

Ticket information to be announced soon.

Details available from http://www.twisted-talent.com/

Source: GACKT official Facebook

GACKT Goes Global (Again)

And there we go, I used my mind-link with higher forces (the same link that was used to troll the living hell out of me back before I conformed to The Perm-loving masses. And there we go. It’s public.) to get a ball rolling with the Visual Kei/Jrock summer news. And, of course, it’s GACKT who steps up to the plate to accept the challenge. Actually I think it, unlike The Perm trolling, was probably a coincidence.

Not only will GACKT be releasing a new summer single (7/13, title TBA), but JaME’s official Facebook page published the inciting tip-off that Jrock’s grandmaster will be taking another dip into global relations with a second European tour this summer.

I vaguely remember the Internet exploding with stoked-ness last time this happened. For all the people who were able to attend GACKT’s shows in Europe, it was a life-changing event (in some way or another, at least), and for those of us sitting around at home or work depressed, checking their watches, thinking “I suppose GACKT’s on stage right about now…”, it was an iconic moment of blinding hope: GACKT was going international. Legit international. Kind of. Which, for the rest of the world, meant there was hope for us to.

As a North American who has yet to invent a teleportation device, I probably won’t be catching a quick flight to Germany this summer either (that thought won’t stop me from starting to play the lottery, though), but I am certainly making a mental note of the year on my calendar, really trusting that we will get our chance too.

Although these year-long periods between alleged test-runs feel like eternity to us, actually this whole annual European tour thing is a good sign. If he can continue proving to the Jrock Powers That Be that he can kill an overseas tour again and again, who knows what they’ll let him do? I mean, with YOSHIKI becoming self-proclaimed Emperor Hollywood, he might even let GACKT open one of his creepy theme parks in California.

 And damnit, if not, to hell with it– I’m heading East.

giru goes global

Although we’re only halfway through February, I’m already impressed by the amount of overseas activity I’ve seen announced. Compared to the typical moaning and groaning of global Visualists moping about the lack of Jrock in their local livehouses, 2011 is already proving itself to be a promising year for international J-metal moshing.

First we heard of D setting out to vamp up Europe and one of our own hulking southern states with their worldwide debut. Then MIYAVI announced another European tour to promote the release of album WHAT’S MY NAME. The cherry on top was almost headline news that exist trace will be making an appearance at Seattle’s SakuraCon. Almost. But not quite.

On February 5th, controversial cherry-boys girugamesh turned a few Visualist realities (including mine) upside down with the release of not only European tour dates for their 2o11 world tour, but also the mind-blowing confirmation that they will, in fact, be performing at the East Coast’s own Anime Boston (April 22-24). I have no more mind left to be blown. Or so I thought. giru is very, very slowly leaking at least a few more US dates, beginning by tacking a Pennsylvania show on right after they blow up Boston. The boys will share the Starlight Ballroom (Philadelphia, PA) stage with Acey Slade & The Dark Party, who opened for D’espairsRay at their Webster Hall live last year

Although more dates are still in doubt, so far things are looking up for at least a modest US tour- major cities might stand to hold their breath, as I wouldn’t be surprised to see giru hit up the usual hot-spots. But remember, that’s simply my assumption, and if they don’t announce other dates/cities, I refuse to be held responsible for any sense of false hope instilled in your tender Visualist heart.

girugamesh WORLD TOUR 2011 “Here we go!!”

EUROPE DATES
03.05 Tochka / Moscow, Russia
03.06 GlavClub / St.Petersburg, Russia
03.08 Nosturi / Helsinki, Finland
03.11 Columbia Club / Berlin, Germany SOLD OUT!
03.12 Diesel / Budapest, Hungary
03.13 Backstage / Munich, Germany SOLD OUT!
03.15 La Laiterie / Strassbourg, France
03.16 Le Trabendo / Paris, France
03.18 O2 Academy Islington / London, UK
03.19 Zeche / Bochum, Germany SOLD OUT!

USA DATES
04.22 Anime Boston 2011 / Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

04.25 Starlight Ballroom / Philadelphia, PA
With Acey Slade & The Dark Party
Tickets

04.26 Crash Mansion / New York, NY *NEW*
With….Acey Slade & The Dark Party? Presumably.
Tickets

04.27 Jaxxroxx / Springfield, VA *NEW*
With Acey Slade & The Dark Party
Tickets

JAPAN DATES
06.04 Hiroshima Namiki Junction
06.06 Nagoya Electric Lady Land
06.08 Osaka umeda AKASO
06.10 Fukuoka DRUM Be-1
06.18 Sendai Darwin

GRAND FINAL
6.26 Zepp Tokyo

Honestly, the reason it took so long for me to post the announcement was because every time I tried to articulate the news, it came out something like awuhetralksjfvkjalhwe7cbytnle98i3784tGIRUGAMESHjhdgflajhg. Considering giru has long been on my Top 5 Bands to See Live Before I Die list, I was (and still am) incredibly stoked to hear that they will at least be shredding through the US to shred a few stages. Although I originally had plans in place to head out to Seattle for exist trace, fortunately I saw the girugamesh announcement before plane tickets were acquired and cons were reg’ed, and was able to do a 180 turn around and head for Boston. Am psyched for the show, and def hoping for a balanced mix of old and new tracks…More on the latter coming soon, so, as always, keep reading SG.

Cowboys Vs. Vampires

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: D is one band that I am always glad to see flourishing in the Visual Kei industry. Despite concerns about their move to major, the band has continued to do well, both in terms of increasing their international presence and following, as well as continuing to maintain and preserve their signature melodramatic Goth sound and style. A few moments of much-repented doubt, and several ridiculously horrible PVs aside, I have been nothing but impressed by the recent work D has put out, as well as by their ability to continue to sound, and look, fresh and inspired without losing touch.

I’ll admit, I had to spend hours practicing my poker-face before I felt confident in my ability to post this announcement in articulate, semi-fluent prose that at least aspires to cohesive sentences and properly formulated paragraphs. I won’t hide it – I’ve been waiting to make this announcement for a long time.

Today I am psyched to announce D‘s overseas debut with their first European tour, titled VAMPIRE SAGA in Europe ~ Path of the Rose ~“. Setting out on May 7th with a live in Paris, France, the EU will go goth with 10 performances. Coffins close on May 22nd in Helsinki, Finland.

“VAMPIRE SAGA in Europe ~ Path of the Rose ~”

05/07 Divan du Monde – Paris / France
05/08 Melkweg – Amsterdam / Netherlands
05/11 Logo – Hamburg / Germany
05/12 Firlej – Wroclow / Poland
05/14 Marche gare – Lyon / France
05/15 Feierwerk – Munich / Germany
05/17 Werkstatt – Cologne / Germany
05/19 Academy – London / UK
05/21 Toshka – Moscow / Russia
05/22 Gloria – Helsinki / Finland

North American cowboys don’t despair – D will also be making their first foray into the wild wild west in June, when they make an appearance at one of America’s largest anime conventions, the illustrious A-Kon in Dallas, Texas.

Home to many Visual Kei debuts and overseas appearances, A-Kon is a great starting place for the Vampire boy-wonders to make a strong first impression on Visualist and non-Visualist con-goers alike. Although yours truly will be spending that weekend wallowing in embittered concert-envy, I wish Texan (and traveling) Visualists much joy in this opportunity…Kind of.

A-Kon runs from June 10th – 12th, and is held at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas. The website has yet to list official information, but stay posted .

To get stoked for the show, pick up a copy of D‘s latest original album, Vampire Saga, which hit shelves on January 12th.

A-Kon official website

Source: MusicJapan+

THE DEMISE of Kagrra,

2010 has been an intense year, I would say pretty much across the board. While I don’t mean this in a negative sense, there has been a fair share of turbulence. A number of bands have announced hiatuses, disbandments, problems big and small, and changes (for better and worse) and upheavals of all other shapes and sizes. There have been some monumental moments, instances of celebration and acknowledgment; earth-shaking releases and wretched ones. With its equal share of the good and the not so good, 2010 has felt like a double-edged blade.

This past week, Visual Kei fans across the globe are experiencing the sharp pang of the other side of that blade, with several important announcements made by the neo-historical-heroes Kagrra,.

Although this year saw the clean-cut decade marker for Kagrra,’s career as one of the most unique and interesting PSC groups, and a resulting jam-packed schedule of various tours, shows, and releases, it will, it would seem, also see the poignant climax of their timeline. On November 11th, Kagrra, released the official announcement for what they have dubbed “their DEMISE (SHU EN)”, or, in layman’s terms, their disbandment.

THE DEMISE
(SHU EN)

Kagrra, the band formed on June 3rd 2000, has decided to cease their activity after the live concert in Shibuya C.C.Lemon Hall on March 3rd, 2011. Thank you for supporting the band for 10 years long. The members would like to express their sincere gratitude from the bottom of their hearts.
Meanwhile, the new album “HYAKKI KENRAN” will be released on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, and the nation-wide tour “ANGYA HAKKI YAKO ~YOU~” will start on February 13th, 2011. Their last activity, the live in Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 will be titled “SHUEN ~SAKURA MAICHIRU ANO OKA DE~”.

Although there is little time left, please keep your support up for the band until the very end.

November 11th, 2010
Kagrra,
President Tomomi Ozaki
PS COMPANY Co.,Ltd

Members of the GLOBAL PS COMPANY FAN CLUB will be in on the full story when an interview aimed at overseas fans is released, hopefully offering some more cohesive explanation of their reasons for disbanding, as well as insights from the individual members rather than the management and band as a whole. Although, especially after as hearty a run as 10 years, it can be easy enough to guess a bands’ reasons for breaking up, especially for a group that has been such a prolific runner for PSC all these years it would at least be interesting to get the full scoop. I, at least, have not heard of much dissension or trouble for the band; on the contrary it seemed to me, although I haven’t followed them incredibly closely the past few years, that they were doing pretty well. Their releases appeared to be consistent in timing, reception, and quality, and their tours were frequent.

As a figurehead of the neo-Japanesque Visual Kei movement, Kagrra, has long been one of “those”, one of those iconic Visual Kei bands that are totally pure in their style and mission without sacrificing quality or interestingness. Their sensitivity to the perfect blurring of the traditional and the edgy rock scene have made them an absolute Visual Kei staple that will, following March ’11, be sincerely missed.

One of their summer releases, Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Ame, clearly showcases this sensitivity with its sleek production and excellent design abundant with the avid storytelling themes (literally, in this case), sparkling koto overtones and heavy riffs.

The band will leave their last-words in the form of a full-length album to be released on February 2nd, 2011. The album, titled HYAKKI KENRAN, will blow through in regular and limited editions including 9 tracks, some new as well as previously released.

“HYAKKI KENRAN”
Hyakki Kenran [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / Kagrra,
Price: 3,990Yen (tax in.)
DVD Contents:  Chigiri Music Clip + Precious Off-Shot Footage

[Regular Edition (CD)]
Price: 3,150 Yen (tax in.)

[Track List]
1. Hyakki Choryo
2. Chigiri
3. Kakurenbo
4. Shiroi Uso
5. Kikan
6. Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Ame
7. Kiho
8. Manatsu no Yo no Yume
9. Shiki

Kagrra, will also grace the stage one last time with a final Japan wide tour Kagrra, TOUR 2011 ‘ANGYA HYAKKI YAKO ~YOU~’with 6 dates throughout February, saying sayounara with a final on March 3rd in Shibuya.

Kagrra, TOUR 2011 “ANGYA HAKKI YAKO ~YOU~”
2011/02/13 (Sun) Sendai darwin [OPEN/START] 17:00 / 17:30
2011/02/15 (Tue) Sapporo KRAPS HALL [OPEN/START] 18:00 / 18:30
2011/02/21 (Mon) Umeda Shangri-La [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
2011/02/23 (Wed) Fukuoka DRUM Be-1 [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
2011/02/25 (Fri) Nagoya ElectricLadyLand [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
[Price] 4,725Yen / DRINK FEES Extra
*No entry for preschoolers

SHUEN ~SAKURA MAICHIRU ANO OKA DE~
2011/03/03(Thu) Shibuya C.C.Lemon Hall [OPEN/START] 18:00 / 18:30
[Price] All Designated Seats 5,250Yen
*No entry for preschoolers
Sources: MusicJapan+

Get ready for gladiator sandals, The Perm, and the Satoshi-boogie…

I hope they leave the gladiator sandals at home.

I admit, I’ve entered a sort of state of denial about the lack of orange-highlighted dates on my sidebar calendar.

I like to flatter myself and primp my shameless vanity by assuming that lulls in the activity of Secret Garden are duly noted out there. Although I’m daily shelving a hankering to be on here spewing my snotty opinions about the noxious new releases of Jrock Today, likely setting out on the road to becoming some kind of embittered critic, while squirreling away my secret adoration of the more Kpoppian ventures of girugamesh, I hope to be able to post more regularly again eventually. In the meantime, I will continue to ask for your patience.

I notice that I’m not the only one who has been lagging in their post count lately, though. In fact, most of the blogs I read regularly (you know who you are) seem to be kind of slow these days. I remember those sweet, sweet, broke days of living on a whim and blogging sun-up to sun-down without a care in the world other than being totally cash-strapped. But remember this, kids, make good use of your blissful free time and become magnanimous forerunners of the future before the shackles of the 9-5 routine enslave you and stunt your entrepreneurial developments. What these other slaves to the system tell us is partly true, you get used to it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t stop being  frustrating. Ah, who am I kidding. The life of rampant hedonism is obviously the one for me. I’ll start a terrible Visual Kei band and do nothing but wine, women, and sleep, all in varying degrees of debauchery.

Now that we have my future sorted out, shall I spend the next thirty minutes of our time (so precious, according to the previous paragraphs) talking about something else equally inane and patronizing while I try and remember what I started this post to talk about? Nah, just kidding, I’m not that depraved yet.

This news apparently popped up over the weekend (proof that the world continues spinning even when I’m out of the loop. How dare they.), and although I admit it’s taking some time to sink in to the remains of my mushy brain, melted to the consistency of chunky 3-day-old applesauce zombifying slowly on the kitchen counter by too little sleep and too much caffeine too many days in a row, I’m pretty pumped to be able to announce this at last.

girugamesh WORLD TOUR Confirmed!!

2011.3.05 Tochka
Moscow, Russia

2011.3.06 GlavClub
St.Petersburg, Russia

2011.3.08 Nosturi
Helsinki, Finland

2011.3.11 Columbia Club
Berlin, Germany

2011.3.12 Diesel
Budapest, Hungary

2011.3.13 Backstage
Munich, Germany

2011.3.15 La Laiterie
Strassbourg, France

2011.3.16 TBA
Paris, France

2011.3.18 O2 Acedemy Islington
London, UK

2011.3.19 Zeche
Bochum, Germany

The band has apparently taken a leaf out of D’espa‘s book and is reaching out to fans for suggestions regarding their, y’know, tracklist for the tour. Hurry–together we can make a stand against having to ruin our current record by accidentally hearing Color live…

All snark sheathed for the time being, this is actually news that, once it fully establishes itself in my gelatin-filled skull, is worth getting psyched over. They are one of the bands that I would really stretch to see…and although Europe is a bit too much of a stretch (especially at risk of showing up to a disco-ball and Satoshi’s shuffle-boogie), ShuU started rumors on their official Facebook that more information (cough dates and locations cough?) is to follow. Holla, US? I think we’re ready for Color.

Not only that, but they have also announced a brand new album. The question I want you to answer, Visualists, is that of whether the album actually still runs a chance of stirring some response by returning to their raucous roots, or striking a new chord by actually going out on the limb of innovation and, god forbid, inspired creativity. This positive anticipation of giru‘s actions (recently so disturbing) is edged, we all know, by the woolen itch of doubt; the fear that it could really be rock-bottom. The maker or breaker. Takers?