Dye Lot 501: ‘Russet Mother’

I’m….I’m having some problems….and I was hoping if I put this up, someone would be able to offer me some kind of assistance…or at least some sympathy.

Ever since I developed my capacity to be neurotically fixated on something with those 5 posts dedicated to that Jrock phenomenon, The Perm, I have been highly sensitive to the hair trends among Visual rockers. I was checking out some of the “new looks” for this season, and I noticed something of a disturbing new trend.

This particular hair color was first introduced into the Jrock fashion scene when Nishikawa Takanori started wearing it about, what, 20 years ago?  The difference here is that Nishikawa actually has a cool haircut.

Tetsuya

Tetsuya no longer feels confident in his physical appearance. He has, for the past year or two, had his secret twin sister take his place for photo-shoots and album covers. Pink skulls, pink boots, and fashion-denim? I mean really? Gone are the good ol’ days when Tetsuya still looked like a man, wore rubber-soles, and was never to be seen without at least ten different plaid garments on at once. Only in Japan do all famous men become Californian women when they turn 40.

SCREW

Who’s the hot chick on the far left? And more importantly, why is Kazuki wearing traditional pajamas and a smoking jacket? Middle man Byou there is rocking a pretty much picture-perfect rip-off (just parting it on the right won’t fool me) of the look Ruki started wearing earlier this year.

The GazettE

Aoi and Uruha aside, I have so many issues with this new look for The GazettE— don’t even get me started. Between Ruki’s metallic layers and Kai looking like he’s about to strangle the chef who made the Chicken Cordon Bleu late for table 7, I just don’t know what to think anymore. At least their music is still— oh, wait…

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THE PERM: ROUND 5

Here are a few of the slightly more normal variations. In general I think that the (dare I say it?) “perm-mullet” is somehow acceptable. Despite having possibly the two worst hairstyles ever invented on earth implied in the name…ugh. When they have the bangs straight and swept to the side with the back permed, it’s really feminine, but it can sort of work. It’s the face- obscuring kinked waves that essentially lie at the root of all my problems. When guys are trying to be bad-ass and evil, stylistically ringlets are just…well…ringlets, I mean come on.

Both Schwarz and Jimi (center L+R) of up-and-coming Visual Kei band Chemical Pictures are puffed up on the perm. The left-hand example is one of the slightly more feminine styles of perm abounding in Jrock at the moment. The right-hand example is just…I haven’t found words for it yet, and likely won’t- ever.

Even when Als Dead, the Perm Will Go On....

I have never even heard this band before, but I fatefully found this image, and instantly wanted to give the vocalist a prize for how much Gatsby he must have used to get his permed waves to stay piled up like that.

It would seem that despite being a 40 year old man with a great reputation as one of the most-loved bassists in Jrock, even Tetsuya cannot avoid looking like an awkward adolescent girl sometimes. It’s a combination of the russet color and the fluffy bangs that make it so unfortunate. I recognize this same shade from the Hyde example in an earlier round…Maybe they have the same stylist.

Although I don’t have a direct image (I’m not that advanced yet.) the bassist of R-SHITEI [I realized this doesn’t link directly to the member in question. You can find him at: 七星] is also sporting a perm, not too different from that of Schwarz (Chemical Pictures).

That should about wrap up the perm rounds. I’m relieved somehow that I was able to make an even 5– horrific as the concept is. I should have been able to stop at just 1 round of perms, but they just kept appearing. I hope that my neurotic inability to drop this pet-peeve hasn’t triggered some horrible psychological reaction in the brains of Jrock stylists to force this coiffure on every Jrocker in the scene…

Thanks to Reitsu for the Chemical Pictures image….And for not telling me those weren’t their actual stage names until after I released it to the public!

Image credit for Tetsuya’s golden locks goes to perverse_imp. Thanks!

Summer Single Shortlist

Let's see some summer shockers, please...

Hiroto’s (front right center) expression in this picture basically sums up how I’ve felt about most of the new stuff I’ve heard the past couple of months. For example, at first D’espairsRay‘s Love is Dead sounded passably cool until Jrockers net-wide reached the unanimous decision that it sounds too much like You Spin Me Round to actually make it casually listenable. Usually I try not to listen overly much to any Visual Kei that makes me think of Adam Sandler in the ’90s. It’s not that the single is bad or anything, because it’s not bad, it’s just that I, and I’m not sure about anybody else, have started feeling a bit lethargic about the recent releases. There have been quite a few “best-of” collections and “nyeh” status singles released lately, I need a real stunner lest I should go catatonic.

And before any devoted and emotional fans start frothing at the mouth– I do concede that there are some releases that I know would be unfair to include in this generalization.

I don’t usually organize release information like this, but since there are so many awesome bands releasing summer singles in the next few months, I thought it would be worth compiling instead of doing a million one-liner posts announcing them (which I pretty much never do).

Summer Releases (they had better be good..)

Alice Nine // “Untitled” 8.04.10

Their latest release was a best-of in late ’09. Now that the boys are off duty for a few minutes (in regards to touring) they can actually write some new music. Hana was a pretty good single before the best-of, and although it wasn’t particularly ground-breaking, even the B-side Cross Game was pretty cool.

Creature Creature // “Untitled” (album) 6.16.10

I didn’t buy the first album, because I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one night and find Morrie standing over my bed….But DEAD END rocks, and Tetsuya rocks. Not that that means that CC rocks. I always got a real kick out of the caption on an upload of their “Paradise” PV: “Tetsu is at it again, with his creepy looking band and creepier lead singer”. –BanhBaoX That all being said, I thought the song Kaze no Tou rocked. It was reminiscent of L’arc, but on an even deeper tier of emoism.

D // “Untitled” 6.30.10

After warming up considerably to their brand new album 7th Rose, I feel slightly more lenient with the goths.

GACKT // “Untitled” 6.16.10

He likes to keep everyone guessing.

girugamesh //”Untitled” ??.??.??

First real venture after everyone declared them sucking because of NOW. After NOW became one of my frequently listened-to albums, I realized that I don’t give a damn what the rest of the Jrock community says; you can bash giru all you like, and I will still buy their music. Just make the A-side feel like an A-side

MUCC // “Yakusoku” 6.09.10

I’m slightly give-or-take about MUCC on the best of days, but I feel like this one sounds like the anime theme song it was made to be (seriously).

VAMPS // “Devil Side” 5.12.10

When I saw the cover art for this in the sidebar of my blog, I thought “Who put this ero pic in my sidebar?!” I was appalled. Naked girls with devil-tails don’t appear there unless I say they do.

+ VAMPS // “Live 2009” (DVD) 5.12.10

I want a Region 2 encoded DVD player.  I seriously think my computer will take drastic action if I try and set it up to handle R2 DVDs.

+VAMPS // “Untitled” (single) 6.09.10

I hope nobody reports me for indecent imagery in the sidebar .

Tetsuya // “Roulette” 5.19.10

In contrast to Hyde becoming very vagabond, Tetsuya remains as well behaved as ever. Still, you can’t resist bass lines like that, nor can you really say no to his happy-go-luckiness, even though, if you’re anything like me, you’re a jaded, macabre, and demented Visualist.

The GazettE // Film Bug II (DVD) 8.04.10

Only seasoned Jrockers can call things “I” and “II” without actually presenting evidence as to a chronological system. Where is Film Bug I?

+The GazettE // NEXT SCENE 7.21.10

I hope I can redeem the shame of not even remembering the last thing they released by pre-ordering this one!

**Pick ’em up at my favorite spot**

Note: titles subject to change prior to release date. “Untitled” is pending the release of complete information.

Tetsuya’s R’ockin R’oulette

Have you ever gone gambling before? Well, here’s your chance to gamble and win. On May 19th, L’arc~En~Ciel bassist, Creature Creature partner, and solo-artist Tetsuya will release a brand new single, Roulette.
Roulette / TETSUYA

Tetsuya, who was previously solo as “Tetsu69”, first started making his voice heard (literally) to L’arc fans with the L’arc~En~Ciel mirror project  P’unk~En~Ciel which appeared as b-sides and other-versions on singles and albums. P’unk~En~Ciel showcased L’arc members’ variety and talents by rearranging the roles of its members. Hyde switched off to guitar, and Tetsuya took over the vocals. The sound also changed to something much more punk and indie feeling. My first introduction to P’unk stuff was the song I Wish, which I thought was way too catchy and awesome. I didn’t get full Tetsu exposure until I found his solo album (Suite November) in a used CD shop in Japan. It’s a mellow, but great, collection of chill punk-pop that any Tetsu or L’arc fan should own.

Tetsuya

In 2009, Tetsu turned 40 (yeah, he still looks younger than most 20 year olds), and (although I’m not sure whether the two events are related or not) dropped the slightly sketchy Tetsu69 stagename and went straight with “Tetsuya”. Roulette will be his first single under the name Tetsuya.

Here’s a preview of the new song, and a follow-up talk with Tetsuya:

Video credit: adadeoh, Yannh

Takanori Makes New Single

It’s an inside-joke.

I want to move to Shiga prefecture when I move to Japan. Shiga, located a little north of Kyoto, is where amazing rock artists come from. Including, but not limited to, GACKT, Tetsuya (of L’arc~En~Ciel), and T.M.Revolution (Nishikawa Takanori). That’s a busy area for talentos in general, as Kyoto is also a regular outlet for major stars and idols. In any case, it’s T.M. we’re talking about today.


Being the biggest, most internationally renowned star to come out of Shiga (Tetsuya fans don’t hurt me– it’s true), last year Nishikawa was named the Cultural Ambassador of Shiga. In any case,  on March 3rd T.M. will release a new single, available only as digital download. The song, titled “Lakers” was performed live several times last year, and will also be used as the image-song for the 65th Biwako Marathon. Lyrics were written by Nishikawa’s personal friend, Inoue Akio, and the production was taken care of by Asakura Diasuke.

Biwako, (Biwa Lake) is a beautiful regional lake located in Shiga, and the new song, LAKERS, is dedicated to this regional natural monument. Nishikawa comments:

[Last year in September I was able to take a look at the landscape around Biwako during the Inazuma Rock Fes. During that time, the impressions of the Taiko-Drums and the sound of the wind have influenced the making of the song. I think the greatness of Shiga-Prefecture, including all the players, and its landscape can be felt, while the tempo is a little more daring. With the tempo of a lake without waves, the song is completely influenced by Biwako and its surroundings.](1)

On March 24th T.M. will also release the song Imaginary Ark, which will round off his collaboration for the T.M.R.×GUNDAM SEED SPECIAL PROJECT [X42S-REVOLUTION] for the 30 Anniversary of the GUNDAM Series.

(1) From MusicJapan+

L’arc’s Immaculate Conception of New Album…

Although I really hate being nit-picky about things like this, I just can’t stop myself. What was L’arc~En~Ciel‘s wardrobe-designer thinking. I mean, seriously. Tetsuya looks like he’s going to some 19th century French gala, and Hyde looks like he just took part in some out-of-season Nativity. Is it just me, or does he make a really bad Immaculate Mother?

On the other hand, Ken looks very sharp in his rocker duds, and Yukihiro is really Kei-ing out in that evil-Visualist getup. If only that were enough to counteract the trauma of seeing one of the classiest and most stylin’ Jrockers dressed up as Mother Mary.

Here’s the full information for their Member’s Best Selection: Quadrinity. For anyone who didn’t get the original announcement, this is a special new best-of release for the rainbow boys. The album is a four-disc L’arc-a-thon, with each disc featuring 7 songs selected and remastered by each member. It should be awesome– oh, by the way, I checked hyde’s selection, and there’s no Hallelujah pieces.

<Disc.1>
hyde best
1. I’m so happy
2. HONEY
3. flower
4. さようなら [sayonara]
5. Anemone
6. いばらの涙 [ibara no namida]
7. In the Air

<Disc.2>
tetsuya best
1. READY STEADY GO
2. Blame
3. Time goes on
4. DIVE TO BLUE
5. 砂時計 [sunadokei]
6. Link -KISS Mix-
7. あなた [anata]

<Disc.3>
ken best
1. 花葬
2. ガラス玉 [garasutama]
3. MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM
4. Coming Closer
5. 真実と幻想と [shinjitsu to gensou wo]
6. the silver shining
7. 虹(Album Version)[niji]

<Disc.4>
yukihiro best
1. a swell in the sun
2. cradle
3. drink it down
4. get out from the shell?-asian version-
5. new world
6. revelation
7. trick

Regular Edition (4 CDS): ¥3,980
Full/Limited Edition (4 CDS + DVD + Gift-box + Photo booklet): ¥4,980

L’arc Playing Hyde and Seek?

Hmm…Hyde is actually still associated with L’arc~En~Ciel? Joking, joking. That was a bad joke. In any case, after slowing down tremendously with the L’arc activities in order to pursue his VAMPS project, it looks like Hyde is back for a L’arc~En~Ciel best-of album and a brand-new DVD release.

For a band with a bit of a history of hiatuses, as well as having some pretty prolific members (Hyde does VAMPS, everyone else has solo-side projects, and so on), it’s not really a surprise that things would wind down after a while. I mean, yeah, they’re one of the most internationally acclaimed Jrock bands in existence, but still, people need a change sometimes, right? It seems like they’ve been spending a lot of time working on their side and solo projects, and Hyde tours with VAMPS quite a bit…But who knows, maybe 2010 is going to see another L’arc come-back? We’ve already seen two recent releases (Hurry XMAS remastered Winter ’09, and Bless which hit shelves Jan. 27th ’10), and now they’re ready to take us on a stroll down memory-lane with a killer best-of set that looks like enough to make any fan swoon.

Quadrinity~ Member’s Best Selections will be released on March 10th. A whopping 5 disc L’arc-athon, the collection features one disc per member– “hyde best”, “ken best”, “tetsuya best”, and “yukihiro best”, with the respective member’s choices, totally remastered by master engineers chosen by each member. The fifth disc is a compilation by the band as a whole, with 7 remastered tracks.

The limited edition release features a DVD of a bonus-feature 65 minute long game-show type special hosted by Oowada Shinya and Nakada Aki. External bonuses include pictured-label, cruciform digipak, and a clear slipcase. Includes 4 photo poster-type booklets. All that for only JPY4980 ($52.25).

They will really send us somewhere over the rainbow later the same month with the release of their live DVD Tour 2008- L’7 Trans Asia via Paris on March 31st. The DVD covers footage of their Tokyo Dome final on June 1st ’08 which concluded a major tour across Asia and France. JPY 7980
Tour 2008 L’7 -Trans Asia Via Paris- / L’Arc-en-Ciel

Note: Prices, cover artwork, and product descriptions subject to change. Please check with CDJ closer to the actual release date for the most up-to-date information about this item.