Archive for January, 2006

The big pink mutant and the woody boys cannot hide the fact that the Kyoto District Court decided that NOVA must refund the full price of classes that a student did not take!

[quote]English language conversation school operator Nova Co. illegally billed a student when it refused to refund her the full price she had paid for classes she didn’t take, the Kyoto District Court ruled.

Presiding Judge Mizuho Ebi ordered Nova to pay the student the 176,672 yen she had sought when suing the company.[url=]Mainichi[/url][/quote]

This is an incredibly scary outcome for NOVA as its points sales system relies upon people buying large numbers of points (used to purchase lessons) up front. If these people can get refunds on unused points…. Score one for the gutsy consumer who called bullshit!

Naturally NOVA will appeal the decision.

[Goth/Industrial Live] While Tokyo has been lolling around in the first few weeks of the year, Nagoya has gone totally ballistic (by Nagoya standards), with two shows in January and now ANOTHER big show in February. Make no mistake Nagoyans, if you don’t haul ass to the major events, then there is not a lot else out there to sooth your dark soul… I am NOT kidding. The organizer, Stigmatic’s Doom Spider, is the principal in the Nagoyan Goth scene, so support our brother as he brings a little darkness (and some great bands) to Toyota’s homeland.

Tonight’s live acts include very hard goth metal rock from Demonoid 13 (that’s Doom Spider’s live project), horned-screamer from Tokyo, Pineal (with one of the coolest ax-grrls around), Smells, Mangirl and two other bands.

Booking note: To book for live nights, just contact one of the bands (email should be fine). Provide basic information (name, no. tix and maybe a phone number). After confirming this, you can turn up to the event, give your name and which band you booked with at the front desk. This provides you with the discount price (sometimes bands offer a gift for booking with them as well). It also helps the band when figures are tallied at the end of the night.

Torture Technique Vol. 4 by Stigmatic
When: Saturday, 11 February 2006
Open: 18:00
Where:Day Trip, Tsurumai, Nagoya (nr Tsurumai station)
Address: B1, 5-11-33 Chiyoda, Naka-ku, Nagoya :: Map
Phone: 052-241-5019
Price: 1,800 yen adv. / 2,000 yen @ door
Live: Demonoid 13, Pineal, Smells, DxUxSx, Bionic O.P., and Mangirl.
DJ: Morbid Troops Sound System

Vengeance for Blood @ Ikebukuro CyberWhile the Gothic Lolitas had worked to suppress my urge to bounce and w00t in front of the stage, they could not stop me from having a good time!

Hauling ass to Club Cyber
Located a short walk from Ikebukuro station, Cyber stands out on the side street it is on; being the brightest lit spot there sitting adjacent the local TUC shop. The entrance was quite nice with enough visual kei band posters adorning the walls to make your average European Goth-mag editor salivate.

Inside Cyber, the stage space is well laid out. The center had a raised platform letting the players get right over the audience so you could get a good gander at band members. The crowd space was too small though. The place should rip out the DJ box on the crowd floor and stick it upstairs or somewhere.

Crowd :: Gothic Lolitas everywhere
Upon opening the blast-doors, I was hit by the reality of wall-to-wall Gothic Lolitas. We are not talking about your Tokyo Dark Castle-roaming GLs, but rather the younger, Harajuku-types who always seem distant from the rest of the crowd at events. These are the quiet ones sitting in the corner appraising the crowd, deciding who they are going to kill in some dark alley with those exceptionally long and pointy daggers squirreled away beneath one of those lacey bodices (oh, you didn’t know about that did you?).

Another thing you notice about these Gothic Lolita crowds is that they don’t make a lot of noise. They like hand-waving at the front, but are not likely to applaud unless they really love the band. I was the only member in the audience to let loose with a couple of w00ts for the bands during sets, but I knew it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I should have just quietly sipped my Blood cocktail in the corner (that was yummy).

I found myself tripping over daypacks dumped all over the place. I guess the girls must have got dressed up in a public toilet and brought their day-clothes along to the event. OH, COME ON! Japan is the “safety country.” You could walk about in GL style anywhere. Hell, I could walk about dressed as GL anywhere!

This is why I was here and I was glad I came! The bands were an interesting mix of styles from dark synth-pop to glam to rock. Sure, they have heavy links with the [shudder] visual kei scene (this explains the Goth-Loli chans), but these bands play pretty damned well. Two of them have done Tokyo Dark Castle. Another has been globe-trotting quite successfully. There’s grittiness here!

Brand 0
Sexy hot-rocking stuff.

Storming though the entrance and trying to avoid tripping over Gothic Lolitas and their associated baggage, I already knew Brand 0 band were good. Even the phalanx of black froo could not stop my inexorable progression to the front of the stage. I was drawn like a fly the flame. Four axes, real drummer and vocals were onstage grinding out this hot mix of glam and hard rock  Esix freaking people! The music was not revolutionary, but it was done damned well and with a hell of a lot of energy. The costumes were great, but Brand 0 doesn’t need these props to pump the crowd  Ejust loud and powerful music with good stage presence from all. Band members had a symmetry about their moves in parts of the set working together to rip some emotion out of you. I w00ted a few times even though I knew the GLs wouldn’t approve of such ruffianism. Would I go to a gig just to see them again? Yes, definitely. Oh, yeah, I scored the guitar pick from the re-haired guy – 2cool.

Candy Spooky Theater
Dark synth-pop.

Candy Spooky Theater has been around for a long time and I think the band did a couple of sets at the early editions of Tokyo Dark Castle. A three-person dark synth-pop unit whose style might be described as a combination of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands. The first half of the set was heavily synthed with lots of DAT sequences and was largely an indulgence. The singer even had a little doll and told a story using a synth-warped mic. The second half of the set was livelier, with a bit of anarchy on stage. Would I go to an event just to see them? Possibly not, but I would not avoid an event where they played.

Dark, complex, emotional sounds with great visuals

Ah, this is why I came here. An interesting band as they seem to have quite a range of styles in their repetoire: classic Goth rock, moody melancholy, some Cure-esque layers and a bit epic J-rock akin to Gackt and the like. A difficult band to classify, because of this mix of sounds, but they have very listenable, creative music. Crisp and complex, their style will grow on you. Their costumes and magnificent and probably cost more than the average English teaching drone’s salary. Right from the start of the set you know these guys (yes, they are guys) have invested heavily on creating the look and feel of their music. The ax-work is precise with both lead and bass laying down the sounds with perfection. Fu~ki, the lead singer knows how to work the audience into the music. It was not the kind of act that you would jump to or mosh with, it was the act you’d just move closer to the stage to enjoy the songs and performance. I have to toast them for doing what they intend doing, which is creating a unique, quality band. It may not be the kind of thing you would see at Tokyo Dark Castle (because of their Japan epic rock influence) but they have kudos. Would I go to a gig just to see them again? Yes, definitely.

Calmando Qual
Hard rocking stuff.

A one-song set (!) alas as the lead singer was sick on the night  Eprobably a result of a long tour since last year. Fu~ki of Blood did a fill-in for the vocals and blasted a terrific rendition of the fuck you song! Un-fucking-believable  Eloved it.

All-in-all a pretty good event. The crowd was a little tame, but the bands were generally might fine. Blood put together a well-matched group of bands together and delivered a great night. Brand 0 and Blood will be doing a special two-man show at Ikebukuro Cyber again on March 18. Details for that shall be up soonish!

Tokyo Dark Castle[Uber-Goth] Japan’s biggest live Goth event launches its 2006 series of events at the new locale, Shinjuku’s Marz club. Every Tokyo Dark Castle is specially crafted to ensure maximum consistancy and enjoyment throughout the night. It is a badge of honor for the bands who play, and the acts that do make it to TDC are definitely worth following wherever they play. It is a major locus for those seeking to get into Goth and underground in Japan as players come from a cross-section of music scenes. Off-stage, the crowds are the best-dressed in Tokyo, but it is not dress coded so don’t worry if you are underdressed – just make an effort with what you have and enjoy. !! Don’t forget your ID !!

The February edition features Goth/underground rock legends, Auto-Mod (headed by TDC organizer Genet), aggressive dark rock from Destruct System, the hellatious sonically intense noise-music from 666dB, sexed-up electronicka from Euthanasie and the sirens of the night, Selia and Violet as the Seirenes. Five live acts plus one extra performance should mean 30 minute+ sets from the bands plus ample DJ time.

[b]Booking note:[/b] To book for live nights, just contact one of the bands (email should be fine). Provide basic information (name, no. tix and maybe a phone number). After confirming this, you can turn up to the event, give your name and which band you booked with at the front desk. This provides you with the discount price (sometimes bands offer a gift for booking with them as well). It also helps the band when figures are tallied at the end of the night.

Tokyo Dark Castle Vol. 16
When: Saturday, 4 February
Open: 24:00
Where:Marz Shinjuku (near Shinjuku)
Address: B1F Dai-ichi Tokiwa Bldg., Kabukicho 2-45-1, Shinjuku :: Map
Phone: 03-3202-8248
Price3,000 yen adv. / 3,500 yen @ door (plus 500 1D)
Live: Auto-Mod, Destruct System, 666dB, Euthanasie, Seirenes (Violet & Selia).
Performance: Karissu-Mummy
DJs: Chihiro & Violet.
VJ: Kihito
Note: Must be 18+ (ID checks) – 20+ to drink.

Livedoor’s CEO, Takefumi Horie, was arrestedon Monday evening on suspicion of manipulating stock prices by spreading false information. So now it is official. Accompanying the CEO are CFO, Ryoji Miyauchi, Director Fumito Okamodo and President of Livedoor Finance, Osanari Nakamura. Gee, that is just one short of a full house. According to reports Horie denied any involvement on his blog… Blogs. My god.

To get an idea of the mad panic that the revelations of shinnanegans going on at Livedoor had in Japan, one need look no further that the Tokyo Stock Exchange closing early last Wednesday as a result of record-levels of orders being placed (can you scream SELL SELL SELL?). Other startups on the little-league boards (Mothers, JASDAQ and the like) felt a lot of downward pressure on their prices. Everybody’s favorite pink mutant rabbit has not been left unscathed sinking down to 229 yen a share, but perhaps the mutant has other problems (like the Woody Boys who tried to usurp his position as company mascot).

Rather than prattle on, I think I might leave you in the hands of Rising Sun-Times’ own spoof-report Horie makes Jail bid.

[Alternative/Hard Rock] Cut the Crap have done TDC twice and 101A is a hot alternative rock band that keeps getting better as the members mix digital with the hard retro rock mix. With four more bands this event is looking good.

Cut the Crap’s Vari-Tech #19
When: Saturday, 4 February
Open: 17:30
Where: Club Chop (nr Ikebukuro station)
Address: B1, Shema 100, 2-46-3 Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-0014 :: Map
Club phone: 03-5951-1127
Price: 1,800 yen adv. / 2,300 yen @ door Booking FAQ
Live: Cut the Crap, 101A, DaTURA, Divine Mind Circulation and Be of No Use

Two reports came in on the weekend. One report had the wife stabbing the husband to death before taking the two children away to die together of carbon monoxide poisoning. Apparently there were problems with the marriage. No shit. I wonder how they could tell.

The second had a couple off their own children before deciding they could not off themselves. Guess they did not think too carefully about how serious they were until after the kids were dead – tragedy. These cases differ from your average group suicide where (in principal) all members in the group are happy to off themselves together – apparently there is greater appeal in doing it together. Still, since I am following the macabre again, I thought I better mention this.

Another thing to consider is that while group suicides make great news they do not really represent the vast majority of the problem which puts Japan at the top in the industrial world for people offing themselves.

Another issue often missed by the media is the impact on the living who have to live with the gut-wrenching horror of losing someone they love.

Looks like Danse Macabre, a club event that included Danse Macabre and Vertige has closed up according to their site.

Of course it could mean anything in terms of Japanese Goth scene. The organizers may just be having a holiday, re-inventing the event under a new name, getting involved in a new event, the owners forgot the login codes or that the event is well and truly dead.

Time shall tell.

Akemashite omodetou gozaimasu. Kotoshimo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Happy New Year. Please continue extending your favors/kindness.

First, a big thanks to all those who got on board and got some stuff down. It is not easy getting up front when things are a bit quiet, and I’m not the most personable creature on earth (some might call me a right whatever), so it’s great to see some people jumping in. I really mean that. Thank you & Don’t stop!

:: Glitches…
There are a few glitches that keep popping up now and again. Those ditzy glitches have kept me amused for the last couple of weeks as I try to work out why a couple of problems occur. Minor things, but they keep me in the backroom. Board and comments are okay, but news submissions are off for the moment.

:: New stuff: Gallery
I managed to drop in a gallery for snaps from the events. It is still in the basic testing stage and I may replace it later, but for now you can find it here. New galleries include Blood @ Cyber and Despair @ Electrock.

:: Live stuff
Well, the Tokyo Goths are stirring and the Nagoya’s dark souls are going full pelt (by Nagoyan standards). Osaka still seems to be sleeping fitfully, but give them a couple of weeks and they should start slooking into action. Junk Children, Midnight Mess, Walpurgis and Tokyo Dark Castle all get moving in the weeks ahead with more events expected to be announced soon.


January 21 (Saturday) :: BAAL
:: Junk Children :: Junk Baptism #1 @ Urga, TOKYO 24:00

January 21 (Saturday) :: Death-Metal listing from Golybs
:: Death-metal Militants Syndicate #3 @ The Wall, TOKYO 17:00

January 22 (Sunday) :: Phantasmagoria
:: Kaz Tattoo Operation Vol.11 @ Apollo Theater, NAGOYA 17:00

January 26 (Thursday)
:: Metal night @ Chop, Ikebukuro, TOKYO 18:00

January 27 (Friday)
:: Toge Toge Tokagee @ Head Power, Shinjuku, TOKYO 18:00

January 28 (Saturday)
:: Midnight Mess @ Marz, Shinjuku, TOKYO 24:00

January 29 (Sunday) :: Agent Murder & Suicide Squad
:: Quadrophenia @ Live Labo Yoyogi, TOKYO 17:30

February 4 (Saturday) :: Cut the Crap & 101A
:: Vari-Tech #19 @ Chop, Ikebukuro, TOKYO 17:30

February 4 (Saturday) :: TOKYO’S UBER-GOTH EVENT!!
:: Tokyo Dark Castle #16 @ Marz, Shinjuku, TOKYO 24:00

February 11 (Saturday)
:: Club Walpurgis 6 @ Aoiheya, Shibuya, TOKYO 24:00

February 11 (Saturday) :: Demonoid 13 and Pineal
:: Torture Technique Vol. 4 @ Daytrip, NAGOYA 18:00


:: Igor
:: Web slave

[Hard Goth/Metal Live] Cheers for Gsson for dredging this up. If Genet is the lord of the goth/underground, then Awi would be the dark prince. The announcement came from Awi’s pre-Agent Murder band mail, Nameless Cult, which was where Awi was his bloodiest, but it looks like this is for Agent Murder as he did his last official blood-letting early last year.

Along with Agent Murder, you have some great shreiking metal from Suicide Squad, who just let the insanity rip at Adultery 3 last year, Arcania, who have a t-rif mix of goth-metal axwork with more classical sounds (and one kick ass screamer), and DLRM. I couldn’t find DLRM, but at least three of these bands will be bashing it out hard and fast with a heavy Goth bent. Good value at 1,800/2,300 yen.

Booking note: To book live nights, just contact one of the bands (email should be fine). Provide basic information (name, no. tix and maybe a phone number). After confirming this, just turn up to the event, give your name and the band you booked with at the entrance. This saves you money and helps the band at the end of the night.

Quadrophenia Vol. 1
When: Sunday, 29 January 2006
Open: 17:30 :: Start 18:00
Where: Labo Yoyogi (near JR Yoyogi station West exit)
Address: B1F Nisso Yoyogi Bldg. 1-31-12 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053 ::
Phone: 03-5354-3120
Price: 1,800 yen adv. / 2,300 yen @ door
Agent Murder, Arcana XIII (check the second sample!), Suicide Squad and DLRM.