Archive for February, 2007

I just got a note that Psydoll will be playing the early set on Friday, so if you want to catch them and Zombie Lolita remember to turn up early. Event opens 18:00 and starts 18:30 at Headpower Shinjuku. Details here.

I just got an update on this weekend’s Midnight Mess from Maya. Apparently there are a few technical problems with the main site, so I’m slapping it in right here! Remember, if you don’t book let them know you are on the JGoth list to get the pre-book discount. Also remember that booking with organizers or bands helps reduce the worry of wondering how many folks will be coming!


The Japanese non-profit synthpop Goth EBM webzine, sukisuki-elepo is proud to announce the release of their Synthpop Calendar 07/08 to provide photos, artist birthdays and information to Japanese music fans. It is free to download and print out and has a helluva lot of birthdays!

The calendar features a different performers’ photos every month and includes birthdays for many artists throughout the year. This year Covenant, Iris, Technoir, Ayria, VNV Nation, and artists on Substream and Megahype labels have been added to the calendar.

This calendar will be uploaded month-by-month, so please visit sukisuki-elepo Web site from time to time.

Sukisuki-elepo is also looking to contact more artists to add to the calendar throughout the year!

The calendar is available in PDF format, prints on sizes up to A3, and includes Japanese holidays (did I mention it has scatloads of birthdays?). The cover of the calendar and February are out now, but more months will be added ASAP!

Sukisuki-elepo site
Calendar page

Here is part two of this week’s event stream. There is no denying Midnight Mess and Club Inferno as representative of Japanese Goth-scape, and Toge Toge Tokagee has managed to pull Psydoll and Zombie Lolita in for a well-rounded event.

Friday 23 February
Zombie Lolita & Psydoll in Toge Toge Tokagee @ Head Power, Shinjuku

[Gothy-alternative - Live] An art-pub style event mixing a range of bands and performances that you might not have seen at other Goth events in Tokyo. Along with the live shows there are various art exhibits in the lower labyrinthine level of Head Power.

Saturday 24 February
Midnight Mess @ Marz Shinjuku

[Goth - Fetish - Industrial - DJ & Live] Midnight Mess is a hot night out and one of the main regular Goth events in Tokyo taking place on the fourth Saturday of every month. Featuring a mix of DJ’d and live music as well as performance, Mess’ general sound-scape is Gothic, fetish, dark, experimental and industrial. As always with overnight events, entry is 18+ and drinking is 20+ (remember your ID). JGoth List: If you forget to book, just tell the folks at the door that you are on the JGoth list and get the pre-book rate (save 500 yen).

Sunday 25 February
Club Inferno @ Bar Shifty Shibuya

[Club Goth - DJ] A monthly dose of Sunday-evening Goth with Inferno’s Khimaira and friends. 2,000 yen gets you entry, two drinks and a special mix CD. Gothic, death rock, positive punk, dark wave, dark electro, technoiz and more.

This weekend has events piled on top of each other so I’m splitting it into two parts. The first part is edging toward the alternative rock scene (like Goth this sprawls across numerous genres). These events will tend to be less gaijin populated, so are recommended if you are looking to lose yourself in the local crowd. All good.

Thursday 22 February
Cry for the Moon @ Chop, Ikebukuro

[Alternative-progressive] Another of those indy live events that grab my attention. This one got my eye for having About Tess (kind of mellowed out progressive rock) and Muni Muni (various styling, but kind of power post-punk rock, etc.). Also appearing are Emmuree and Kara, both of which I have yet to hear. If you are feeling adventurous, or just looking for something not dressed in black, then here is an alternative adventure!

Friday 23 February
Cut the Crap “Revenge” @ Addict Ikebukuro

[Special One-man event] A whole show featuring one of the coolest dark heavy rock bands around Tokyo! Okay, maybe I’m emoting a bit too much, but they are damned cool and worth checking out wherever they may play. The opening act will be Be of No Use, a deft mix of dual vocals with axes in the back. When I first saw Be of No Use, I thought the first half was a little emo for my tastes, but the second half had them tearing out some great harder sounds – I went from meah to yeah in about 20 minutes. Good alternative with some teeth. Also, with just two good acts, the event will start at a reasonable time and avoid first-act blues.

Saturday 24 February
Twisted Clock (ex. Calmando Qual) @ Live Freak Shinjuku

[Various] Event #20 of the month is a general live event featuring Twisted Clock (ex. Calmando Qual) along with a bevy of other acts. Another adventurer’s event for those seeking an interesting event. Twisted Clock will be limbering up in preparation for the March European tour.

Big news. Really big news. Nova had on-the-spot inspections in Tokyo from METI with regards to suspected violations of trade laws. The suspected violations center around refund policies that refunded less than the expected amount to the student without clear reason for the reduction. This is particularly the case with cooling off refunds, which, by law, require the company to refund 100% of the amount paid if canceled during the initial “cooling off period” (this usually lasts a week or two after initial payment or contract signing). If found to be fact then Nova is up for some serious problems from penalties, short-term suspension of business, etc. etc.

How Nova’s system works… It sells super-sized English point packages (points are used to “pay” for classes) with some discount (looks good on the surface). The only problem is with this kind of deal there is little hope of anyone actually consuming all the points in the time limit (a lot of people drop out, have no time, can’t get the class times they want, move, die, lose interest very quickly, etc.).

The problem arises when customers want a refund on the unused portion of the points (or cancel during the cooling off period), as they do not get a full refund. Customers, once passive, have started to fight this policy. In one case a customer sought a complete refund for many unused points late in the contract period, took them to court and won 700,000 yen in 2003. Going to final decision is odd, because the law generally tends to be on the consumer side, just the process of law very time-consuming – so you would expect that a company would work to settle sometime between 1) realizing the plaintiff is going to take this the whole way and 2) final decision. Going to final decision means there is a precedent in future cases…

This lingering lurgy of unhappy clients has been simmering for a long time and slowly gaining heat as consumer protection laws change, and the average Japanese Joe discovers they can do more than walking away out of pocket.

METI Minister Amari said there appears to be many customer complaints. This is serious stuff kids.

Unlike foreigners getting busted for drug possession (which is just a side-show) or making complaints, the METI inspection is getting major playtime in the newspapers and online. If METI decides Nova has indeed crossed trade law boundaries (and they don’t do raids for the sheer fun of it) then this could have major repercussions for the eikaiwa called Nova.

And Nova’s response… There was no wrongdoing.

Surprisingly, a positive story about Japan’s king of Eikaiwa (English conversation companies). Ginganet, the online English-learning service looks to be getting rid of the dedicated lease line and piggybacking on Yahoo! Japan broadband service. Note that this newsy is served up to show that I don’t just lambaste this company, but actually pay close attention to it. Just search for Nova in the box on the right to see some of my fire and vitriol!

About freaking time too. Ginganet was originally plugged as a service for online learning, but later devolved into “we run out of ideas, so we’ll plug it as a way for grandparents to connect with their grandkids” model. You know there is trouble when ads pretty much throw out the original purpose and just try selling it to old folk. The new sales model, however, would make a lot of sense as it is very easy to get an add-on to your Yahoo! BB connection and save the hassle for a seperate lease-line. I couldn’t be bothered reading details, but I think you still have to get the video conferencing unit, but it goes through the BB connection.

The company’s stock bumped up today on the news, but whether it comes into full fruition (and actually gets taken up by punters) is another question. A good idea with logic behind it.

The last big hitter for this company was a mutant pink rodent with a bird beak – which totally defied logic to become a key generator of income for a couple of years. This was followed by two talking pieces of wood – which followed logic and failed… miserably.

[Goth and more] Harshrealm’s first CD album release party – Awesome! Harshrealm has a great gritty industrial and post-mode-esque soundscape and have been doing overtime to bring it all together for the Veronica.09 release. Not being a regular follower of the Fukuoka scene, I cannot make any comment on the other bands, but Harshrealm will ensure at least on set will grab your attention!

Full Details!

While the Europeans are enjoying their hot blood workout with Aural Vampire, Tokyo will be lit up with three events spanning noise-alternative, alt-indy rock and Goth DJ styles.

Friday 16 February
Utero ZZZAAA and Xenophobia @ Chop

[Trash-noize industrial, alternative rock and other stuff] Definitely worth checking out for some extreme aural assault from Kansai’s Utero ZZZAAA. Xenophobia is also worth a look-see – I only have an old demo, so want to see what some over-sized amps can do to the sound! The other bands are beyond my small realm of knowledge, but it looks fun.

Saturday 17 February
Gadget. in Orgasm #69 @ Yotsuya Outbreak

[Alt-rock] A general event made special with the appearance of Gadget. Gadget have a sexy retro-funked out rock style going on and have done a number of Tokyo Dark Castle events. Definitely a band worth checking out. Also, if you are looking for doses of alternative rock it could be worth checking out the Orgasm schedule for some variety.

Saturday 17 February (Overnight!)
Club Walpurgis – St. Valentine’s Death @ Aoi Heya, Shibuya

[Goth/80's - Live & DJ] Club Walpurgis began as a Goth/Punk club in the 1980′s and became a kind of underground mecha in its day. 18 years after the original club closed down Walpurgis returned as a regular event in 2005 with a heavy emphasis on 80′s alternative, glam, Gothic, industrial and electroclash. Club Walpurgis plays every third Saturday of the month.

Hot damn! [sin:kwai] #2 is going all out with dark synthpop from Aural Vampire, moody Goth rock from JPT, macabre theater Rose de Reficul et Guiggles and surrealist experimental from Autopsy Report of Drowned Shrimp. All this hooked together by [sin:kwai]‘s organizer, DJ Elmina. This is the kind of event that I expect from Kansai. Go wild.

Full details for [sin:kwai]