MYV The Ever International

Although very little information aside from the basic announcement is available, it was confirmed today on MIYAVI’s OHP that he will be doing another World Tour in October/November of this year.

At this point, only two dates have been released, but as the summer progresses, more dates have been promised for North and South America. Keep your eye on SG for more information.

WHAT’S MY NAME? WORLD TOUR 2011
-AMERICA-

2011/11/12 Lima, Peru – Centro Convenciones Scencia
2011/11/15 Buenos Aires, Argentina – El Teatro Colegiales

I have to admit, this week has had the Visual Kei/Jrock industry full of so much “wtf”, it’s a relief to finally have a piece of news I’m not psychologically prodding with a 20-foot pole.

MIYAVI’s show in Boston last summer was one of the most memorable and outstanding experiences I have had the pleasure to partake of, and should he hit up the east coast again, I will not hesitate to jump on some tickets. I highly recommend anyone who has, and most especially those who have not yet had the pleasure plan on seeing MIYAVI should the opportunity arise.

Thanx Givin’ Day

In an ideal world, we’re always aware of what we have, and hopefully expressing gratitude for it. However, I think most of the time we forget what we have, we take it for granted. We get caught up in our daily lives and the petty troubles and moderate dramas that cause strife and concern in our experience and we lose sight of the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, these issues are nothing more than mosquitos compared to the majesty of what we really have.

This world is far from ideal, and few of us are saints, so days like today are perfect moments to brush off The Swarm and reflect elegantly on the things we’ve been honored with. Although we often don’t remember this, every moment that we have is a gift, something to respect. I hope everyone is living their lives to the fullest, milking each moment for all it’s worth, and listening to as much Visual Kei as they can possible pipe through their headphones.

Typing this out, sometimes thinking selfishly that I need to be honored with more unscheduled moments to spend working on Secret Garden, I feel an incredible sense of gratitude for the past year and a half of blogging, reading, twitting, talking, and rockin’ out with everyone who reads my blog, and whose blogs I read. I would also like to take this moment to thank Reitsu, and Alisa at Sakurayume for being inspiring fellow Visualists, and inform them publicly that every post they don’t write makes for a less interesting blogsphere.

Whoever said there’s not a Visual Kei song for every occasion is obviously navigating their life sideways. As usual, MIYAVI never lets us down. Enjoy, and happy Thanx Givin’ Day.

Thank you Mama,
For there always being a hot meal,
Truly, truly, I’m grateful for that
But hey, Mama,
If occasionally I can’t eat everything and clean my plate,
Don’t be mad, ok?

Hey, I’m sorry, Papa,
For always just doing whatever I please,
For making you worry and causing you trouble
But hey, Papa,
When I also grow up I’ll become like you, you’ll see

Today, also, “thanks for your hard work,”
We know you’re both up doing your best, working hard, until the night grows late
But hey, Papa and Mama, it’s okay for you to take a break once in a while
Always be well,
But above all, always be kind to each other

Thanx Givin’ Day

ありがとうママ
いつも温かいごはん
本当に本当に感謝してるよ
でもねママ
たまにもし食べきれなくて残しても怒らないでね

ごめんねパパ
いつも勝手なことして
心配や迷惑かけてばかりで

でもねパパ
仆も大きくなったらパパみたいになるから見ててね

今日も”お疲れ様”
いつも夜遅くまで頑張っているの仆らは知ってるよ

でもね、パパもママもたまには休んで良いんだよ
ずっと元気でいてね

何よりも二人仲良しでね

Thanx Givin’ Day

Translation: gacktpause

MIYAVI Live in Boston 6/25: 2/2

The tension kept building as the lights kept dimming in a tantalizing way, and the black-shirted crew members bopped on and off stage. Finally the lights flickered low in a seductive promise, and the group of teenage girls standing behind me squealed “Yay! A white guy!”, another countered simply with “ew.” The audience was shifting, the background noise was starting to grate, and it was as easy to ignore the little black door at the back of the stage as it is to ignore a tarantula crawling up the back of your neck. Every second seemed to whisper he’s coming…he’s coming… And then the music cut out and the black door opened, emitting a slightly white glow, and the shorts-and-t-shirt wearing, pony-tailed figure wielding a promising pair of drumsticks emerged, acknowledging the audience with a glowing smile. Everyone flipped out. Hands were up in the air, people were screaming, I’m surprised no one fainted right then and there as a silhouette appeared, a shadow against the door, cast in the white light, a tipped trucker hat and angular shoulders. The screams reached a crescendo, calling out in a rhythm-less chant, MIYAVIMIYAVIMIYAVI. And then he strode out.

The badass-ness of that moment can’t be described in words, and I’m not even going to try. Bedecked in skinny leggings, a tight punkish tank-top, and a black waist-coat paneled with swatches of kimono fabric, back-combed brown and green hair sticking out from a Volcom trucker hat, MIYAVI pulled darkness and light into his orbit like a magnet, cutting a stark image of perfection and punk. The low lighting glanced off of the milk-white angles of his face as he strode up to the microphone, black guitar swung across his chest. Casting a sultry glance over his waiting fans, spidery white fingers strummed several heavy, ringing chords, and, lips brushing the mic, he rasped, “Hello…Boston!”

Accompanied only by the unbelievable drumming talents of Bobo and some off-and-on keyboards, it was unbelievable how much noise MIYAVI could make. His heavy slap/pop style percussive blues playing, skat/rap/spoken-word/screamed/English/Japanese lyrics and shouted cues such as “Jump up!” and “Make some noise!” filled the entire club, creating as much volume as a full on band– definitely as much, if not more, music. After the first song or two, he stopped for a brief introduction, saying “I am MIYAVI, Japanese from Tokyo…”, and expressing his gratitude for everyone’s attendance. He admitted that this was the third consecutive show in as many days (Boston followed Chicago and Toronto), and that he was really tired. However there was no sign of him taking it easy on us, and he didn’t forget any details. Before continuing, he checked with the audience to make sure everyone could see and hear, before launching into another series of full-bodied, incredible tunes that rocked down the house. He drew on our vocal power as well, calling out “What’s my name?” and when we responded, “What’s my fuckin’ name?!”

Rockin’ across the stage, this guy covered some miles, darting from one mic to the next, launching his charisma and sultry, mischievous glances out over each angle of the audience. Every time he moved to a new mic, all the club’s energy surged in to that spot. Shredding his guitar mercilessly, crouching in a near-split to pull the full capacity of sound from his guitar strings, MIYAVI was a terrific tease, starting to throw his weight over the waiting, grasping hands, only to pull back at the last moment, smiling sneakily. At points, he would flip aside the folds of his jacket to reveal a flash of red-satin lining and several inches of bared midriff, only to hide it again as the fangirl’s screams reached a crescendo. Despite his overall reserved attitude around fan-service, MIYAVI created an incredibly sensual performance, filling out each moment with complex facial expressions, smoky glances, and a darting, serpentine tongue. He teased with words, too, challenging us to be a raging audience, “Are you guys gonna be crazy? Are you? Maybe…Maybe…”

Instead of doing one or two longer MCs, MIYAVI broke it up with small, almost conversational breaks. He would stop for water and to wipe off his face, turning to say “it’s really fricken hot in here. I’ve got water in my eyes…” At one point he stood there fixing the tousled ponytail sticking out of the back of his hat, only to pull out a long extension. Dangling the piece of hair, he deadpanned, “Yeah it’s all fake now. I’m bald…” before sticking it awkwardly on the keyboard. With each MC, it was impossible not to hang on his every word and follow his every move, each expression. It was amazing and inspiring to see such an incredible musician up there who, for the past hour had been rocking out and screaming his throat raw, only to stop now and talk about his daughter, apologizing about canceling the previously planned tour due to his move to J-Glam Inc., and then a heartfelt message about how he believes we can be united by music, and how “as long as you call my name, I will keep coming back.” His attitude was reserved and cool, but the energy he sent out to the audience was truly sincere, warm, and all-encompassing. There were a lot of humorous moments as well, such as when he spoke Japanese to us and got a response in Japanese, to which he responded “you’re Japanese? You too? You too?…Whatever.” And when he apologized for his English, saying “I’m sorry my English is not good, even though I am a genius.”

The set-list flowed flawlessly. He played some songs off the “new album”, and a song that he “just wrote a few days ago” (which was one of my favorites of the evening), as well as older pieces such as Super Hero, Please Please Please, and the highly interactive and fun tracks Are You Ready to Rock which gave our vocal chords a run for their money, and Boom Hah Boom Hah Hah which challenged the audience’s clapping coordination.

Toward the end of the live, we had been able to move closer to the front in time for the Jrock Ablutions. MIYAVI pulled out the water-bottle and took a drink, before squirting us down with it. He took another big swig, turned around, bent over backwards and spat the water over the first few lines. It was like Visual Kei baptism. I’ll be able to live my life in pride being able to say “MIYAVI spat water on me.” Yes, it’s like that.

Finally, after disappearing off stage, MIYAVI made us scream  a lot before reappearing for an encore. He played around with the other musicians, mashing keys on the keyboard and pushing the keyboard-player away from the keyboard with his butt while still shredding chords. He teased the keyboard player, calling him a “fuckin geeky no girlfriend cherry boy looks like Chinese from Tokyo!” At the end of the song he put down his guitar and walked along the edge of the stage touching and shaking the audience’s hands. Roukun was able to shake his hand, and reported that it was very soft. For me, having arranged this experience for my pal as a birthday gift, I feel that standing just a few people back from the stage, getting showered in MIYAVI’s spit, and being able to touch his hand, I think I succeeded in my mission.

Finally, MIYAVI disappeared backstage and the little black door swung shut, swallowing him back into the universe from which he emerged like a blazing star only 2.5 hours earlier. The audience slowly, hesitantly began to disperse. After standing for a moment in an afterglow of sound and visualism, we left the flickering purple and red lights, and the earlier-celebrated crew members packing up drums and guitars, amps and chords, and stepped out onto the street, into the hazy summer midnight, Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock? echoing in our ears; what’s my name? what’s my fuckin’ name? coursing through our veins.

What’s my name? What’s my fuckin’ name?! MIYAVI. MIYAVI. MIYAVI.


MIYAVI  image (top): TraciGrant

MIYAVI Live in Boston 6/25: 1/2

Although as a city I think Boston is awesome, at 4 hours, it’s a bit of a drive, so I don’t head down there very often. I think that the old architecture, the medley of people attracted by a big-city-status, and its unique attitude are all quite charming. As a place to drive, however, I think that we almost died about 40,000 times. When my sister went to Cairo, she told me about the fact that there are almost no road-rules, so stepping into the street is like hopping into a Flood of Imminent Death. Now that I have experienced Boston traffic, I can tell her that such lawless abandon and auto-aggression lies much closer to home.

Accompanying Visualist Roukun and I left around 6AM Friday morning. After the basics of arrival were taken care of (check-in, etc), we decided it would be a good idea to drive into Allston and scope out the venue beforehand to lessen the chances of stress later. It’s highly fortunate that we did so, as we ended up going the wrong direction and getting caught in some hell-trap of ultimate doom called Massachusetts Ave. which was, needless to say, nowhere near the venue. Around 3PM we finally found Harper’s Ferry, located right on one of the main strips of Allston– a hive of Korean karaoke, restaurants, and an extremely popular liquor store. At that time, the line was still really short– consisting primarily of the extremely hardcore who had apparently camped out overnight in order to be first in line.

We ended up getting in line around 6PM, two hours before doors opened. The line had grown so that it actually wrapped around the building, but it was still an utterly do-able situation. Although we had two hours to wait, we were positioned between the club and the aforementioned liquor store, right on an insane intersection where we could watch hundreds of people encounter near-death-experiences without even realizing it. During the wait, countless people stared, yelled out of car-windows and from passing bicycles, and stopped at points on the line trying to figure out what so many heavily-decked-out people were doing. A lot of them thought we were waiting to get into the liquor store. Try and trace that logic– I couldn’t do it. People along the line responded to the question “What are you guys waiting for?” over and over. “We’re waiting for Miyavi!” “Who?” “Miyavi. A Japanese superstar.” “Oh, never heard of him.” Understanding that people have different interests, I still have to make this annoying comment. Oh people, how do you sustain meaning and fulfillment in your existences?

"What are you guys in line for?"

Finally the clock struck 8PM and the line started moving. Waiting for a show is a strange mixture of experiences. On one hand you’re standing on the street for multiple hours. This is not something the average person chooses as an entertaining pastime. On the other hand, the excitement, nerves, and adrenaline that starts coursing through your veins while the seconds tick by is an awesome rush that builds steadily. You’re bored, and yet you’re having the time of your life. At about 7:50 you realize you’re there to see MIYAVI. At about 8:10 your segment of the queue gets funneled into the club in a tiny cluster, and you’re hustled through black-marker, wrist-band, and ticket-stub procedure, and sent into heaving bass background music, dim red and purple lights, crowds of murmuring gothic teenage girls with green hair, and one of those heavenly creations sent down to us by higher-beings: the merchandise stand.

The merchandise was slightly disappointing– according to consensus vote. But pretend I didn’t say that. The selection was slightly different from the other reports I read. They had white (girls’) T-shirt, black (guys’) T-shirt, girls’ and guys’ tank-tops, the tote bag, pen, and a poster which apparently other lives didn’t get. I ended up buying the pen, poster, (guy’s) tank-top, and Roukun got the tour t-shirt. Just as a note, by the end of the show the tote bag and some of the t-shirt sizes had sold out.

We found a great place to stand near the stage, settling in around 8:15-8:20. Our spot was dead-center, four or five people back from the barrier. The stage was positioned so that people could wrap around three angles, and the stage was set up with 5 mics at different points, so not everyone had to try and stand directly in front of one mic, which was awesome. At this point, I would like to make a special shout-out to the really sweet woman we queued-up with/stood with during the show. It was awesome talking to her, and we were glad we got to watch the performance with her! Sorry that we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye at the end.

People milled around for a while, and then as it got closer to 9:00, started packing in around the stage. The club was getting intensely hot, and everyone was starting to get impatient. The purple and red lights, although dim, created a stifling atmosphere, and along with the pulsing background music and stale air only seemed to encourage people’s antsiness. As the wait stretched from five to ten to fifteen minutes, one of my favorite parts of Jrock lives began to unfold. As the wait-time grew beyond the scheduled start time, the little black door leading from backstage became the axle of time and space, the focal point of all human obsession. And every time that door opened and someone stepped out, the crowd would squeal, scream, wave their arms, and roar MIYAVI’s name. And every single time, it was a crew member stepping out to tune guitars and arrange mics. This happened probably three or four times. I swear, MIYAVI doesn’t even have to come out. The sound-guy can just stand there tuning his guitar and the crowd will be totally satisfied. The crew member was smiling and shaking his head like “these crazy Americans…”

Images: Roukun (2,3), gacktpause (1,4,5)

MIYAVI Live in Boston: Merchandise

The full report is almost finished, don’t worry! I didn’t rest at all when I got home, I just raced in from the car and started blogging and uploading pics. Uploading and editing the pics took a little longer than expected, which is why the write-up isn’t finished yet. Should be up today or tomorrow at the latest. In the meantime, here are some shots of the merchandise available for this  tour.

Poster (sorry, I cropped it slightly)

I was slightly disappointed when reading other live reports from this tour, as some of the other locations didn’t get the poster as an option. Was quite glad when I saw that they did have it, although it came at the cost of the missing wrist-bands.

Men's T-shirt

The back of the men’s T-shirt. They always call the white t-shirts “girls'” and the guys’ sizes “unisex” which doesn’t make sense to me. They should just say M and W, because that’s what they are. The white T-shirts and girl’s tank-tops were both sold in junior (AKA Japanese) sizes, and the “unisex” shirts ran S,M,L in normal (male) American sizes.

Guy's (technically ALL clothes are unisex if you think about it the way these people apparently do) tank-top

Front of the guy’s tank-top. The front is the same as the T-shirt, but the back doesn’t have the locations listed on it, just the MYV382 emblem up by the nape. The S is a little big on me (don’t say anything, I know, I know…), which I usually cannot abide, however in the case of tour-shirts I make special allowances. Wish they had an XS, though.

Just as a side note, the girl’s tank-tops were a different style. They looked like that ordinary stretchy ribbed fabric. Fabric on this one, as you can see, is just straight cotton.

Detail of the shirt graphics

I also got the pen as a last-minute impulsive decision, and I’m actually really glad that I did. It writes really smoothly, and is a good quality tool. I didn’t think I would actually end up using it, but I figured even once the ink runs out I can keep it.

If you tip it upside down, the guitar drains so that he's holding a katana instead. BA.

Here are several pictures of the MIYAVI tote bag which has been an insanely popular item for the tour. I didn’t pick one up, personally, because money doesn’t grow on trees, and because I already have a Visual Kei tote bag which doesn’t need unfair competition.

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I do really dig the graphics on the bag. The shirts are all really busy, graphic-wise, but the emblem here is so crisp and clean, and the way the font for the kanji is designed makes it look so cool. I also really like just the straight-up no frills -MIYAVI- printed at the bottom.

”]Tote-bag images by 藤島明輝子さん (Fujishima Akiko-san). Thanks very much  for letting me publish these on Secret Garden!

Poster: $10, pen: $10, tank-top/t-shirt: $30. I think people were hoping the tank-tops would be cheaper than the t-shirts. Well, they weren’t. I also overheard some people talking in the merchandise line about how why should they spend $30 on a tank-top when they could buy the base shirt for $2 at Walmart and just write MIYAVI’s name on it. I covered this issue previously in a post, but since hearing that remark Friday night, and now that we’re talking about merchandise, I guess I’ll mention it again.

It is true that you could probably make your own T-shirt for less than they sell for at the merchandise stand at a show. It’s true that you can custom-make your own posters using some services now. With the added availability of photoshop and other editing software, you can even probably make it look pretty legit. However, when you custom-order a MIYAVI-themed T-shirt from some company, maybe it costs you $15 instead of $30. That’s $15 that goes to some random company you could care less about. In my eyes, I’d rather be an extra $15 or $20 or $30 poorer and know that the extra cost is going to supporting the artist who I truly admire. In the 2.5 hour show, the gift that MIYAVI gives with his time, energy, and performance is so truly priceless, that by the time you stagger back to the merchandise stand for the final time before heading out into the moonlit streets of some dingy random neighborhood, there’s no way you could feel like you could ever give back what you received.


Mum About Myv

First off, I’d like to apologize (again) for things being so slow on here lately. I just looked at my calendar in the sidebar and realized that it’s been over a week since the last time I posted. Honestly, time is flying a lot faster lately than it feels like, and I haven’t adapted to this problem yet. I’ll warn you now though, I haven’t reformed quite yet. This week is going to be another busy one for me, so while I’ll post when I can, I’ll be straight with you all and say it straight out– it won’t be a burst of posts everyday, and things most likely won’t pick up that much until next weekend. This is an excellent issue to have to be struggling with, though, and really it’s a moot point because the source of the on-coming hectic week is that I will in fact be seeing MIYAVI live at Harper’s Ferry in Allston, MA on Friday!

I apologize as well to everyone who asked me whether I was planning on going and got a vague, noncommittal answer. I bought tickets in April, and the reason I haven’t been able to be open about it is because the tickets were a surprise for one of my in-real-life fellow Visualists. They say that bloggers, like journalists, have no capacity to keep any kind of secret or information to themselves, but apparently I’m some sort of genius, as I was able to keep this perfect secret from the middle of April all the way until that person’s birthday yesterday. And come on, give me some credit, right? How easy is it to stay mum for three months about having tickets to MIYAVI hidden away? I’ll tell you though, every day of sneaking around the topic of MIYAVI’s North American tour was worth the expression on my fellow Jrocker’s face when they saw the tickets.

雅-MIYAVI TAKES ON TOKYO

That is going to be one weird kid.

For the precious heir-apparent PSC prince, MIYAVI, 2009 and 2010-so-far have been pretty heavy. In ’09 the eccentric self-proclaimed “Samurai guitarist” got married to pop-idol Melody and had a baby named Lovelie Miyavi. He then fully abdicated from PSC nobility, tossing crown and cape aside and striding off in all of his be-mulleted, tattooed glory to arise anew as (all caps) 雅-MIYAVI under his own, hand-made and home-grown label J-GLAM inc. (partner of EMI Japan). In ’10 he set out on his NEO TOKYO SAMURAI BLACK WORLD TOUR 2010, released a live DVD, best-of (fan’s choice) collection, and a new single (Survive). This month, lucky N. American fans will be able to participate in the above-mentioned tour, with dates spanning on through the end of June. All this between updating his lively Twitter.

But it would seem that the rock-act won’t be skipping home to bust out the Pikachu dolls with Lovelie. This popular papa will be hitting Tokyo up with a 12 date live-house tour entitled “‘TOUR in Tokyo’ 2010 Screaming Out from TOKYO” that will keep him preoccupied until the end of August.

“TOUR in Tokyo 2010” Screaming Out from TOKYO

8/ 1 ASTRO HALL
8/5 Shimokitazawa SHELTER
8/13 Shibuya Lush
8/14 Shinjuku LOFT
8/16 Shibuya O-nest
8/17 Shimokitazawa BASEMENT BAR
8/18 Aoyama Tuki miru Kimi Omou
8/23 Shibuya LIVE STAGE GUILTY
8/24 Shibuya CHELSEA HOTEL
8/25 Roppongi morph-tokyo
8/27 LIVE labo YOYOGI
8/31 Shindaita LIVEHOUSE FEVER
All Venues open 19:00 / start 20:00
Price:3,820Yen
General Sales Start:2010/7/3 (Sat)

Source: MJP, official website

Thanks to Sereitsu for the image!