YFCz Might Not Get All My Love, But They Get Some

So after convincing myself not to avoid it purely on principle, which is an utterly wrong thing to do, by the way, I looked up the full PV for YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz’s All MY Love, which dropped yesterday. There’s been some good discussions on here lately concerning the internationalization of GACKT, and what’s up with this whole YFCz thing. Well, all those confusing musings and ponderous wonderings aside, may I just state this simple, basic fact of life: regardless of who sings it, how many band-members there are, be it Cascade or Morning Musume nevermind, actually, neither of those acts will ever be cool, when a song is good, it’s good. Get over yourself and enjoy it.

Life is too short and your tastes are too rad to waste time being ashamed of your playlist.

In any case, all noodling and whining aside, I am actually ok with how All My Love turned out. Aside from the fact that the PV was totally not entertaining or thought-provoking in any way, shape, or form, I basically have no complaints. GACKT loves him some gently falling snow and some military-inspired outfits, wish they had shown more Chacha since I miss that flaming goddess, and I highly recommend Jon invest some time into learning his own stage moves instead of just copying GACKT’s moves like some creepy puppet, but well, you can’t exactly use pet-peeves as the basis for criticism can you? I just did. 

I’ll even go so far as to (wait for it) state that I was actually impressed by (yeah you can’t believe I’m saying it either) Jon’s performance. While I still consider him completely and entirely superfluous, I actually really enjoyed the harmonies, give him two thumbs up for his Japanese, and thought his voice was nice.

The song itself is really decent. The English straddled a thin line between overly repetitive and catchy, but since it’s already stuck in my head we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. GACKT sounded great, and I thought the orchestral heaves (for lack of a better word) gave the thing a sort of sad-movie-anthem-feel. Nicely done, YFCz, and I am somewhat more hopeful about the whole studio-album thing.

On a final note….Maybe it’s just the season, but was I the only one who mentally auto-filled “holy night” into that first line?

YFCz, New Musical White-Meat

I have an idea, which I may or may not feel like taking down in writing and forwarding to GACKT: Like, maybe he should drop the whole band thing and found the GACKT Orchestra. Then he can have as many band members as he wants on stage and nobody will think anything of it.

I like to think of myself as an adaptable soul, and I’m pretty open to change. But I’m also pretty comfortable with the 5-member band formula, now that Visual Kei has pushed me out of the standard 4-man comfort-zone and into the whole almost-as-cool-as-it-sounds “dueling-guitars” thing.

But to have 7 band members just hurts my brain. And dear lord, what exactly does that coat on the chair symbolize? Surely not the potential addition of an eighth member? Seriously, this is not A-PeaceAnd I still can’t figure out for the life of me what Jon’s actual, serious purpose is in this group. I know all the fangirls who harbor tender teenage dreams of going to Japan and starting Visual Kei bands will hate me forever for saying it, but I’m honest-to-gawd just waiting for a logical explanation for his presence in this band.

I can’t figure out if GACKT is just working the edge, or trolling us.

Not able to scrape enough interest off the bottom of my boot to watch the PV for The End of the Day, after the redundant lyrics pushed me away initially, I will say that I’m not entirely disinterested in All My Love. The song sounds decent enough on its own. That being said, I’m not sure I’m tempted enough to pre-order a copy of YFCz’s new album, destined to drop early 2012.  Title is TBA at the moment, but I’m sure it’ll be something relating to the waning phase of a 24-hour segment of time.

GACKT will also be releasing a single (solo? As far as I can tell) on the same date (2.22.12), titled Until The Last Day. Still haven’t heard Graffiti, but my Jrock senses tingled as I passed the Christmas tree earlier, and I’m pretty confident it’s in my future, all thanks to myself Santa of course.

YFCz: Read As “WTFz”

According to the announcement on GACKT’s official FB as well as the YFCz OHP, GACKT’s grungy side-project is really getting crispy this summer. Not only did GACKT step up his international activities with a considerably more substantial European tour this summer, but he stated another interesting release to put on the list right under Disney x Visual Kei for September: On the 14th, the first-ever official YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz single is destined to drop.

YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz 1st Single

2011.9.14 Release

THE END OF THE DAY

●Limited Edition (CD+DVD) /¥1,890

●Regular Edition (CD) /¥1,260

It would seem that, for reasons I have yet to fully comprehend, YFCz also buffed up its members by….adding a few? Unfortunately this means saying goodbye to Jun-Ji and Chirolyn, but GACKT’s backup have always seemed relatively temp.
Apparently 4 new members have joined ranks: bassist U-ZO  (MIYAVI), guitarist TAKUMI (SUGIZO,  MIYAVI), drummer SHINYA (Luna Sea), and (WTF moment of the week? Month? Century?) vocalist Jon (formerly of Fade).

I realize that was a lot of parentheses. It’s alright to take a breather.

 This “new format” has been described as “triple guitars and double-vocals”, and is, for a purist and strict GACKT-ian conventionalist such as myself, an absolute and utter blasphemy. I can’t imagine what exactly GACKT plans on doing with this white boy, but as far as I can see, it can’t possibly be Visualist-kosher. And thus, under the weight of this intense suspicion, I will at least (based on my promise to myself to trust GACKT and his decisions enough to not read any books by any covers) try it before I denounce it entirely.

 That being said, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea– absolutely no disrespect is meant to Jon or Fade, or GACKT for that matter, and I respect and admire the “gaijin” who make it in the Japanese music industry… It’s just that GACKT + a second vocalist (especially an English-speaking one) is not a concept that computes. While collabs come and go, this “new lineup” is, in my eyes, one experiment that may have gone beyond my ability to accept.

YFCz has also been added to the prolific V-ROCK FEST ’11 lineup. The festival takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in October.

Seriously, though.

YFCz official website

KO’d in Munich, Back in Business in Bochum

I’ve been insanely busy this past week. It’s amazing how you suddenly start working 40 hours a week, and those few hours you have between getting home and going to bed (trying to make sure you get enough rest to make it through the following day without passing out at your computer…it almost happened last Wednesday.) become fleeting, and extremely precious. Before, it just took will-power to make sure I got things done, now it actually takes skill. Carrying on in this demented, self-absorbed la-la land of trying to make money, get rest, and still have fun, it’s like being in a daze of busyness. Things get seen more as if from out of the corner of your eye than full-on. There are a few things, though, that can rise right up out of your news feed and give you a nice, sobering slap in the face.

GACKT collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the arms of crazed fangirls is one of those things.

Friday was the final show in GACKT’s European debut tour. And from what I hear, even after the intense closure to the second-to-last show in Munich, he pulled another GACKT and got up on the stage in Bochum and rocked them just as hard. In fact, in his blog he stated that because he got, shall we say, KO’d in Munich, he rocked harder in Bochum.

Honestly, although this kind of news is painful to hear, I’m not surprised. And after the fact, I don’t think anyone is, really. When the first rumors went around about a European tour this summer, I don’t think I was the only one who thought it wouldn’t happen because “it’s not physically possible”. Between voice-acting projects, the huge process of being part of Nemuri Kyoshirou, releasing EVER, moving to Avex, organizing and touring YFCz around Japan, and everything else that goes with being one of the biggest celebrities in Japan, how could it look like a possibility? Now that I’m thinking about it logically, I’m shaking my head. What was he thinking? How was this, in any way, shape, or form, a good time for him to debut internationally?

There were already reports from the Japan shows of GACKT passing out after the lives. He even went to the hospital at least two or three times in as many weeks. And not to mention, we all know the stories. He discusses openly (psycho is probably proud of it) the fact that he has been known to collapse after shows, and even to be hospitalized with serious conditions such as pneumonia after extended tours. This is different. This is 3 hospitalizations in as many weeks. At the London on the 16th, GACKT was noted to be ‘unsteady on his feet’ at times. But this is different. This is collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the crowd of flesh-eating zombies.

I wasn’t at the Munich live when, during the encore, GACKT collapsed and fell off the stage into the crowd, and I didn’t experience what it was like to be standing in the front row when he lost it. Or watching from afar and seeing him suddenly disappear from the stage. However, I did read accounts of both, and some other, perspectives including his, and it’s obvious that it doesn’t matter where you were when it happened, really. I want to address it from a universal stance, anyway. It’s not just disturbing to see it happen – fans all of the world have been worrying for days without having seen anything.

It should be common knowledge by now that GACKT does everything in his power to avoid living only a partial existence. He wants to do everything %150+. This is an incredible quality in a person, and GACKT’s superhuman capacity to do and get done has been a huge source of inspiration for me, and I’m sure for others as well. In fact, it’s entirely because of GACKT that I was even able to realize that I was living my life so shallowly to begin with. If it weren’t for him, I would probably never have stepped it up. It’s because of his philosophy around living fully (or, in his case, to an extreme) that I have been able to work through some intense situations that may have potentially overwhelmed and drowned me.

But even though he has inspired me personally, and again, I’m sure many others as well, by being this type of person, it’s not %150 anymore, it’s %200. He’s moving at a velocity now that we can’t even really comprehend, even from a place of trying to understand the process of celebrity status. And obviously, it’s beginning to effect his health, and as a result, it’s causing a lot of concern among us, the fans.

In his blog post about the show*, he recounted the experience of the whole thing, of losing consciousness 5 or 6 times during the live, and the pain in his legs as he was about to collapse. They were, in his words, “absolutely human legs”. Yes, GACKT, you are a human too.

However, I don’t think he really realizes that. And so much of the time, I don’t think we do either. But now that this has happened, Fans are realizing it, in some way. Unfortunately it’s playing out more or less exactly how you might expect it to. It’s about this that I want to talk right now.

A bunch of fans have gotten together on Facebook recently (I’m not sure which account this is based out of, but if you search GACKT enough you’ll likely come across it) to organize a Facebook Event (of which I highly disapprove in general) based around “supporting GACKT’s health”. The event is to, on the same day, “spam” GACKT’s email account with a standardized block of text that says, to paraphrase, ‘GACKT: shut up, sit down, and rest yo ass or we fangirls gonna cry’.

Now, I want to make it really clear that I think the intention and sentiment behind this “event” is really commendable, and I think we all agree with it. We all want him to rest and regain his health, and we would all like for his strength and longevity to be his priority…But firstly, I really don’t believe anything is solved by spamming anyone with anything. And I really don’t believe flooding his email with these messages is going to help at all– in fact it will probably just result in annoying him on a deep level. Yeah, I’m sorry guys, but I have to say it straight up. I don’t believe hammering “you have a problem, we demand you fix it” into anyone’s head helps in any way. I do believe in focusing on the positive in every situation, and through the drawing of attention to the positive, the negative issues or aspects become diminished by the positive force funneled into the hopeful, helpful direction.

If you want to support GACKT, and you want to give him a message to encourage him to take care of himself, flood his email with messages. Flood it with personalized, individual messages written with sincerity, composed from the concern in your heart. Tell him how amazing his shows were in Europe. Tell him how much you are supporting him, and how many encouraging hopes and wishes you are sending to him with your thoughts. Tell him you are concerned about his health– tell him how much you care about his well-being. Don’t say “You’re going to die if you don’t stop.” Say, “You are the strongest person I ‘know’. I believe in you. You are what encourages and keeps me going when things get tough. Your music keeps me fighting for my dreams…and now, I want to help you keep fighting for yours. I believe in your ability to be strong. You can do this. I believe that this is the beginning of the increase of your strength, stamina, and health. I believe in you.”

Because you do, don’t you?

*To read an English translation of his blog post please check out amaiakuyume’s page. Special thanks go out to her for doing an awesome job making his words available to monolinguals.

GACKT YFC Tour +Japan Circuit+


ツアースケジュール

June 10 Zepp Tokyo      July 04 Zepp Osaka
June 11 Zepp Tokyo      July 06 Zepp Osaka
June 13 Zepp Tokyo      July 07 Zepp Osaka
June 16 Zepp Tokyo      July 09 Zepp Osaka

June 17 Zepp Tokyo

June 21 Zepp Nagoya       August 11 Zepp Sendai
June 22 Zepp Nagoya       August 12 Zepp Sendai
June 24 Zepp Nagoya       August 14 Zepp Sendai
June 25 Zepp Nagoya       August 15 Zepp Sendai

June 28 Zepp Fukuoka      August 17 Zepp Sapporo
June 29 Zepp Fukuoka      August 19 Zepp Sapporo
July  01 Zepp Fukuoka      August 20 Zepp Sapporo

July  02 Zepp Fukuoka

The tour schedule has finally been decided, confirmed, and released for the Japan circuit of GACKT’s metal-head livehouse tour. This certainly won’t be an amiable round, but I guess this is the kind of thing GACKT gets off on. He needs to be driven %150 and everything, so I suppose sandwiching a European debut between all of these Japan dates should suit him perfectly fine.
Looks like good business for the Zepp clubs, in any case.


Source: Official website

Images: one asian world, gackt.com


GACKT coming to Europe 2010 ATTACK OF THE “YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz”

Being a passionate anthropologist, I always find it interesting to observe people’s reactions to things. Some people jump up and down in excitement, some people scream obscenities at the tops of their lungs, some people throw furniture and rip down curtains in anger, and some people bang their head against the wall. What kind of person are you? I’m the type of person who can radiate such a thick aura of darkness that storm-clouds actually gather above my building.

Right now there’s about to be a tornado.

Around the time that GACKT announced the transfer from Nippon Crown to Avex, a rumor hit news sites that this would also mean wider international promotion, including a possible European tour in the summer. Although I, like a lot of hardened fans, brushed this aside as a physical impossibility and general fancitement, we’ve reached a point where this rumor had better be true, or else GACKT comms all over the web will mutiny so hard that the internet just seriously breaks. According to several German events sites and the English web’s own twisted talent concerts, GACKT will, in fact, be touring Europe in summer 2010.

However. I do want to make it very clear that I try and avoid any trollish rumors that go around the internet– usually, even if it means being behind with the news, I prefer to wait until official statements on official websites (namely that of the artist in question) have been released before I post anything. No information pertaining to GACKT’s rumored European tour has been released on his OHP, or any major Japanese news sites. As a result, I’m still somewhat skeptical about this information. That aside, the fact that actual cities, venues, and dates and ticket sales have been projected means that either this rumor is on the level of Emperor Troll, or it’s true and just got slipped before the OHP got on it. So that’s the disclaimer we’ll all be playing by in this game.

GACKT EUROPEAN TOUR SUMMER 2010:

GACKT coming to Europe 2010 ATTACK OF THE “YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz”

“Brace yourself, July will be very very HOT! For years legions of fans have waited for this moment, now finally the legendary GACKT will tour Europe for the first time! GACKT will perform at a very selective choice of clubs in London, Paris, Barcelona, Munich and Bochum. Don’t miss the rare chance to experience a true legend of Japanese Rock live! Seeing this mega superstar in such an intimate atmosphere will make these shows an unforgettable and unique event for all fans world-wide. Tickets will go on sale on June 7th and are strictly limited!

16.07.2010 – O2 Academy Islington, London [UK]
18.07.2010 – Alhambra, Paris [FR]
20.07.2010 – Salamandra 1, Barcelona [ES]
22.07.2010 – Theaterfabrik, München [DE]
24.07.2010 – Zeche, Bochum [DE]

Quoted: twisted talent concerts

So…May the rumors be true! Until there is an official announcement/denouncement from the OHP, I will not be adding this to the lives page. Once everything is Kosher, I will make another affirmative/negative post. In the meantime….North Americans. Come pray with me.

Sources: dears comm. at LJ, twisted talent concerts