…Is this all just a weird dream?

That awkward moment when two very, very separate parts of your multi-media experience come together, causing you to have a sudden flare-up of dizziness, claustrophobia, and overwhelming confusion.

According to this website, a Various-Artist compilation is tentatively destined for release on the 7th of September. I’m not usually first in line for compilation works, but there’s always that rare time in ones’ life when one is willing to go against ones’ habitual patterns, whether for the sake of satisfying a sense of primal curiosity, or simply in an effort to repair the gaping hole in the Ozone of ones’ life that the collab of, say, Disney and Visual Kei might have cause to effect.

 I don’t usually, that is to say ever, use the words “Disney” and “Visual Kei” in the same sentence. This is so not ok on so many levels. But I need it.

V-ROCK Disney [09.07.11]

TRACKLIST

  1. 河村隆一(kawamura ryuuichi) – Beauty and the Beast [Beauty and the Beast]
  2. NIGHTMARE – Fantasia [Fantasia]
  3. NIGHTMARE – A Friend like me [Aladdin]
  4. Plastic Tree – Chim Chim Cher-ee [Mary Poppins]
  5. PENICILLIN – Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride [Lilo & Stitch]
  6. ニンジャマンジャパン(NINJAMAN JAPAN) – When You Wish Upon a Star [Pinocchio]
  7. CASCADE – Heigh-Ho [Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs]
  8. THE KIDDIE – Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [Mary Poppins]
  9. DASEIN – You’ll be in My Heart [Brother Bear]
  10. Sadie – This is Halloween [Nightmare Before Christmas]

And thus I lose all confidence in my understanding of reality as I know it.

 

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Show Your Heart

It’s been just over a month since the magnitude 9.0 “Tohoku-Chiho Taiheiyo-Oki” earthquake and tsunami disaster hit the Tohoku area of Japan. Although the original reports were hopeful, with the death-toll simply ranging in the 100’s, to have believed it would be that merciful would have been naive. The death-toll now rests somewhere around 13,000, with another 15,000+ people still missing.*

To get a better grasp on the damages and statistics, information has been compiled into a well-cited Wikipedia page on the quake. You can read the page here.

Removed from the damage as myself and others are, we can only begin to imagine the sorrow and suffering that the affected people are going through at this time. However, it has been inspiring to see not only Japanese residents and citizens, but also Japanese and non-Japanese communities alike coming together overseas to send support, in the form of money, books of messages and condolences, or simply their hopeful prayers, to everyone who is struggling at this time.

My attention has, naturally, been particularly drawn to what Visual Kei and Jrock artists have been doing to assist in the relief efforts. To name a few, legendary Luna Sea recently released the single Promise, the proceeds of which will benefit quake relief. Today, April 13th, girugamesh released a song in 2 versions which was instantly made available on iTunes, entitled Pray, as a charity benefit for Japan. Megastar T.M.Revolution rallied his posse and founded a charity group, Stand Up Japan!.

But of course, predictable gacktpause, the movement that really touched my heart, and the message of which nearly had my manly facade in pieces as I sobbed hopelessly into my sake, was that of the charity project founded by GACKT, called Show Your Heart.

GACKT accepting donations for SYH on the street

Image: aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com

Founded quickly after the earthquake hit off the Pacific coast of Tohoku to raise disaster relief funds, the SHOW YOUR HEART foundation is also supported by artists such as Shinya (Luna Sea), DAIGO  (BREAKERZ), Ni~ya (Nightmare), Tamaki Nami, Haruna Ai, Jinnai Tomonari, and many more.

The SHOW YOUR HEART official webpage includes a heart-warming message (in English*) describing the project’s efforts. The project set out onto the streets of Japan, lead by GACKT and including a team of 150 talentos and athletes, as well as 5,000 volunteers. The campaign set out to raise money in 130 different cities across Japan.

A very involved GACKT went out, bowed, and met with people on the street to raise money, and asked that people give their courage and strength to those in need. Many female fans of the singer stood in a long line with ¥1,000 bills and placed them in the donation box. GACKT shook each other their hands and gave his thanks as each one donated.¹

Image via fyeahgackt.tumblr.com/

“It’s a small determination at the beginning, but I believe that it will become greater and greater with everyone’s support. Now the circle is steadily increasing. Anyways, I’d like to borrow everyone’s strength. Although individuals may not be able to do much, if everyone works together, it becomes a lot of power. Especially in this sort of time, we need the courage to lend a helping hand.”²

As to Ni~ya from Nightmare, whose hometown was one of the stricken areas, commented: “Miyagi prefecture, my home, has been hit seriously. I’m worried that I can’t contact with my parents and friends right now. I want to go to the there as soon as possible right now. I want to help the victims and contribute my strength. Please cooperate with this charity project.”³

More than ¥170,000,000 was donated by enterprises and celebrities such as Noriko Fujiwara and Takahashi Hisanori, and this number continues to be added to via the SHOW YOUR HEART website, where donations can be made through direct-deposit. The foundation will forward the funds to the Japanese Red Cross and local community associations, which will then distribute them.

From April 3rd to the 4th, 10 countries also participated in the SHOW YOUR HEART cause, including volunteers from South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, America, Germany, Australia, and Singapore.

If you can, of course it’s great to go and donate money. That’s awesome, man. Even better, buy a plane ticket to Japan and go get your hands dirty assisting in the thick of it. That’s what I would like to be doing right now– more than anything. But if you can’t fly over there and help, and if you’re unable to donate money–or can, but want to do more–, SHOW YOUR HEART is accepting another kind of donation.

The SHOW YOUR HEART page on GACKT’s website has a posted message stating that one way we can contribute is by making a video of yourself delivering a message to those affected by the disaster, concluding your message with the words “SHOW YOUR HEART!!!”. All you have to do is upload the video to Youtube. If you are unable to upload the video to Youtube, it’s possible for the foundation to post it for you if you send them the file. If you can’t make a video, then just take a picture complying with the guidelines.
Complete instructions and information is available here. Submissions are open until April 31st.

So go, Visualists, and do what you can do to show those who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami, show them that people all over the world are lending them their courage, strength, and fighting spirit. Show them that, although thousands of miles, language, and nationality separate us, that we’re right there with them, giving them everything we’ve got in whatever way we can. So go, go and show your heart.

Cited sources: Dears Official
* — National Police Agency of Japan (Updated daily)
¹, ² —TokyoHive
³ —MusicJapan+

Awakening The Rocker Within

NEWS FLASH: This just in today! Japanese superstar GACKT (37) invents and instates, via general consensus, a new form of verbal punctuation. Now, replacing the Japanese and English words ‘desu’ and ‘are’, we shall hereby be required by Japanese law to say EVER at the end of every statement and sentence. May also be used as a general exclamation, or as a warning called out after anyone wearing capris.

This PV screams GACKT. It screams GACKT louder than a hysteric fan-girl in the front row. The excessive, unnatural, hard-to-believe-it’s-serious machoness, and insanely awkward acting and lines, which we began encountering early on, and the utterly random moments that are so shockingly powerful, it makes them even more random, all just seethe GACKT.

Long story short, he got it all right with the brand new PV for EVER.

The random (yet undeniably brilliant and meaningful) fragments of storyline in this PV are simplistic, and yet I somehow have a feeling we’re not meant to accept them at face-value. I was really into the shameless self-directed idol-worship, and how his performance awakens the rocker spirit in the boy wearing the YFCz uniform.

The most unbelievable moment of the whole PV is the first scene actually showing the idol himself. When he does that spirit-fingers thing? I mean come on! Everything about his outfit (even the sparkly makeup looked quite cool in the PV), his dance moves, and how he used the hat was really stylish. All I can say about the scope thing that periodically targets him, though, is…Gundam or it didn’t happen.

My only real complaint about the video was…what happened to Chachamaru? Is he camera shy now or something? I’m seeing Tsukasa, SHUN, and some guy with a Perm on bass (Ni~ya from Nightmare again?). I know Chirolyn is scary, but really.

The random ending where the spirit-guide bouncer guy (AKA “GACKT’s Secretary” -insert expletives-) laughs and says “heh…EVER.” was… was…very…let’s just say I bet GACKT thought up that one personally.

Nightmare Spills the Beans with Tell[All]Ism

Nightmare, or Naitomea as they are commonly referred to, will be setting out to blab all (musically, of course) on a decent Summer tour around– no, you guessed wrong. Not your country of origin.

NIGHTMARE 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ACT VOL.2 re:START of TELL[ALL]ISM

7/10 (Sat) Misato City Cultural  Meeting Hall (Big Hall)
OPEN/START 16:30/17:00
info. Disk Garage 03-5436-9600

7/15 (Thur) Hiroshima Aster Plaza (Big Hall)
OPEN/START 18:00/18:30
info. Candy Promotions: 082-249-8334

7/17 (Sat) Fukuoka City Meeting Hall (Big Hall)
OPEN/START 16:30/17:00
info. Kyoudou Western Japan: 092-714-0159

7/19 (Mon) Osaka International Assembly (Main Hall)
OPEN/START 16:30/17:30
info. Kyoudou Information: 06-7732-8888

7/23 (Fri) Niigata Citizen’s Fine Arts Cultural Assembly Hall Theater
OPEN/START 18:00/18:30
info. Kyoudou Western Area Ticket Center: 025-245-5100

8/04 (Wed) Aichi Prefect. Fine Arts Theater (Big Hall)
OPEN/START 17:30/18:30
info. Sunday Folk Promotion: 052-320-9100

8/13 (Fri) Sapporo City Education and Cultural Meeting Hall (Big Hall)
OPEN/START 18:00/18:30
info. WESS 011-614-9999

8/15 (Sun)Tokyo Electron Hall Imperial Palace
OPEN/START 16:30/17:00
info. Kyoudou North-East: 022-217-7788

【Tickets】
All tickets appointed ¥5,500(tax in)
※Everone older than 3 years old must have a ticket. Everyone younger than 3 years old has to stay home.
General sales begin: 5/22 (Sat)

Image: gangrenka.pinger.pl

Out of All These ONE Must Shock Us!

Back before Zero was a creep

It looks like the second round of summer releases have been announced. Have I ever mentioned before how stressful I find it that Jrockers all release their stuff on exactly the same day? There are like two dates in a given month when they’re allowed to release material. For June you can expect to go bankrupt on the 2nd and 23rd, so get ready, guys.


D’espairsRay // “Dead or Alive Complete Covers Album” // July, ’10 (Album)

For the first time ever, a Jrock band will feature nothing but covers of the one band probably everyone is perfectly happy going the rest of their life without ever hearing!
Just kidding. It’s true, I’m being uncharacteristically vindictive (I’m not usually vindictive, right?). I mean seriously. The actual news is that they will, in fact, be releasing a brand new album right in time for adding songs to the set-list for their world tour, which will kick off in the US sometime in August. But, y’know, please don’t let us know what the dates are UNTIL THE DAY OF.

Out of all this second round, I think this is the most exciting news. Although all we know at this point is that it will be released sometime in late July.  Love is Dead itched the darker aspects of my dementia, but I thought b-side Medicine (I haven’t figured out how to make backwards N’s yet) was a really cool song. It was congruous with the single, but also got heavy and angry to counter the dancey thing that preceded it.

Exist Trace // “Knife” // 6.2.10

I always look forward to these bad-ass babes. I’m sure they aren’t going to release a techno song.

Inaba Koshi // “Okay” // 6.23.10 (2 types)

A barely-optimistic title, but surely a single that won’t disappoint from B’z frontman Inaba Koshi.

Nightmare (ナイトメア)// “a:fantasia” // 6.23.10 (2 types)

What the hell was with them releasing an entire album with ONLY ONE SONG ON IT. That’s what they invented the “repeat” button for, hello Nightmare?

Ayabie // “Irodori – Tour Final Live @ ZEPP Tokyo” [title subject to change] // 7.14.10 (Live DVD)

To be honest, I haven’t really followed these guys since I got irrevocably bored with their Rikkaboshi +A album.

Rin //”As if Forever Exists” // 6.2.10 (3 types)

Kisaki’s new band.

Phantasmagoria // “Diamond Dust in Truth” (live DVD) // 6.23.10

Kisaki’s old band.


**Pick ’em up here**

For anyone who forgot:

Sadie just released some new stuff yesterday (4/28); a Singles Collection, and a maxi-single (which hopefully isn’t included on the singles collection…) called DRESS. The PV is pretty cool, and the song is awesome.
If you haven’t heard it yet, check it out:

D’espairsRay album release source: CDJapan

Video: shuujiHysteria

Beat Shuffle

Get your dose of hardcore Visual Kei this spring with the BEAT SHUFFLE LIVE SIDE 2010 event. The event has 3 scheduled dates in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo, and will feature D’espairsRay, Sadie, and others. The major excitement? Ruka of Nightmare’s new solo project will have a debut performance.

BEAT SHUFFLE LIVE SIDE 2010 Spring

3/19 open: 18:00/18:30
NAGOYA ElectricLadyLand
The LEGENDARY SIX NINE, D’espairsRay,Jinkaku Radio, Sadie

BEAT SHUFFLE: OSAKA BIG CAT

3/21 open: 17:00/17:30
OSAKA BIG CAT
The LEGENDARY SIX NINE,D’espairsRay,Jinkaku Radio, other

BEAT SHUFFLE: Tokyo SHIBUYA-AX

3/26 open: 17:00/17:30
Tokyo SHIBUYA-AX
The LEGENDARY SIX NINE, D’espairsRay, Jinkaku Radio, Sadie, lynch., other
1st floor, 4,500Yen / 2nd floor (seated), 5,000Yen

All tickets: 4,500 Yen-except Shibuya- AX (see above)

Tickets on sale 2/13

TICKETS information (Japanese)

By Special Request

ナイトメア

NIGHTMARE Request of GIANIZM the tour

4/13(Thur)Nagoya Daigaku Cultural Meeting Hall: Aurora Hall
OPEN 17:30/START 18:30
info. Sunday Folk Promotion 052-320-9100

4/15(Tue)Zepp Fukuoka
OPEN 17:30/START 18:30
info.Kyudo Nishinihon 092-714-0159

4/21(Wed)Zepp Sapporo
OPEN 17:30/START 18:30
info.WESS 011-614-9999

4/27(Thur)Osaka International Conferance Center Main Hall
OPEN 17:30/START 18:30
info.Kyudo Information 06-7732-8888

4/29(Tue・祝)Tokyo International Forum Hall: A
OPEN 17:00/START 18:00
info.Disc Garage 03-5436-9600

【Ticket Charge】
All Tickets:¥5,500(tax in)
<Zepp Fukuoka・Zepp Sapporo>
1F Standing:¥5,500(tax in)
2F Reserved seat:¥5,500(tax in)
※Drink charge extra

【General Sale】
3/6(Sat)
※Tickets necessary for everyone older than 3 years old. Please don’t bring anyone younger than 3 years old.

+Source+

Official Website