Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kaya Monthly Live 『DIVA -Tears of Vega- 』

Okay, very quick round of indies today. No, really, I mean quick. If I get this one out of the way, I'll be caught up on blogs. Okay, Kaya (the drag queen I've written about on the blog a few times) has a monthly live at Ikebukuro Ruido K3. This live would be featuring his session band Kaleidoscope, but he invited some other bands along for the ride.

Anyways, Ikebukuro Ruido K3 is the one that's shaped like a banana, making it the most inconvenient and uncomfortable venue in Tokyo (besides the Rockmaykan). Ashley and I spent a good chunk of the live sitting on the floor. Luckily, the architects who designed the building must have come down off their paint-induced high when they were finished and realized the flaw in their project. Thus, flat-screen TVs are lined up along the walls so that you can watch the bands on stage playing while the people standing block your view.

First band up, Secilia Luna:

Between the white costumes, candelabras on stage, and the Renaissance style music, I would describe these guys as Bizarro Malice Mizer. Or if Malice Mizer and Versailles got together and had angel babies (creepy...). That could describe them. The vocalist actually had angel wings the entire performance, prompting me to nickname him Angel Food Cake. I suppose I don't need to get into this band any further since my opinion has become quite obvious. Only funny moment was when Ashley and I got bored and started making faces at each other, only to look up and realize the girls in front of us had sat down and Angel Food Cake was staring right at us. Oh shit, man, I'm sorry, hahaha.

Oh, and they had this one fan who was so unbelievably bad at the furi that I wound up nicknaming her CrazyLegs. It was like watching a trained monkey trying to do simple choreography. In fact, it got so bad that at one point she replaced this simple fist-move with actually hitting herself in the head.  She had the grace of a land-bound dolphin.

Next band up was Re:dis:

This was one of the acts we actually came to see, since they're hardcore and crazy and vocalist Ryuuji is a total nut-job. But here's the thing... this was a Kaya event, meaning 95% of the people in attendance only like Kaya and Kaya-esque things such as frilly dresses... cuteness... fashion... puppies and kitties... long, romantic walks on the beach... and probably rainbow-colored ponies. In other words, the exact opposite of whatever Re:dis is. The result was four tall, enormous, scary, bad-ass school girls on the barrier, one or two fans doing furi, and a crowd of about sixty people gaping in shock and horror at the shrieking, spitting, maniacal little monster that is Ryuuji. Ashley and I were stuck in the back doing furi behind all the horrified Kaya fans.

So yes, the band is a little loopy. Lots of screaming, rage, and general loud noise, though the band seems to do it all with an air of suit-wearing dignity. Not to mention the music sounds pretty good (for all my complaints about Ruido K3, it does have sound quality decent enough for me to actually hear what the hell's going on). Ryuuji really is a deranged little bastard who was running around in a ripped hoodie screaming like a banshee and making faces only a mother could love (well, Ashley and I quite enjoy it, honestly). I mean, seriously, this guy has, like, a gauged bar through the bridge of his nose or something. He's not friendly looking.

Well, Ashley and I had been creeping up closer and closer to the stage as the performance went on. When it was time for MC, just like last time, Ryuuji sat down on the crate facing away from everyone and the entire band turned around (except the drummer, obviously). While the band was facing away and Ryuuji was sitting, MC-ing to the wall in the distance, Ashley and I crept up even further. Some of the Kaya fans in the second row saw us moving forward and, seeing an opportunity to get away from the freak, they moved off to the sides and began beckoning us into their spots. Well, gee, don't mind if I do. While Ashley and I took second row, the first four or so rows of Kaya fans backed up and moved off to the sides of the venue. No, really, that's how afraid they were of Ryuuji. They completely cleared the front. Ashley and I were giggling because the band was facing away from the audience, meaning they were going to turn around to find the entire audience gone and two foreigners standing there smirking at them. We were also whispering with each other because, unless they just look really alike, we swear the drummer of Re:dis is the perpetually stoned-looking bartender from Ikebukuro BlackHole. But no, seriously, it has to be the same guy. They have the same face and wavy, permed hair, and muscular arms and everything. It's got to be him. I've mentioned that bartender before. He always looks stoned and gives us a weird smile every time we see him. Well, if the bartender and the drummer are the same guy, then props to him, he always gives us a good amount of alcohol in our drinks.

Well, the band turned around after MC and, being professionals, none of them reacted to the sudden switch in the audience. Still, it was better this way because the true fans now had room to rock out. So rock out we did... all seven or so fans who didn't run away in fear, lol. Ryuuji continued his rampage around the stage and took off his hoodie and shirt, revealing his oddly wounded torso (looks like he has some weird stab-wound scars). He also shot water, which made the Kaya fans retreat further, and he grabbed a girl on the barrier by her hair and dragged her around a bit. Ryuuji always has this strangely cruel, really entertained smile on his face while he performs. I get the feeling he's laughing at us and can't help himself.

After their set, the four schoolgirls dropped off presents for Re:dis. You know, some fans give bands really creepy gifts like cutesy drawings of the band... or underwear. But these chicks had the right idea... they gave Re:dis about four giant grocery bags full of chips and cookies and assorted snacks. Now that's what these indies guys really want. Food. Seriously, if you want to make a band happy, give them food or their favorite cigarettes. Rock on, crazy schoolgirls.

Let's move onto something that wasn't at all talented! I don't even have a picture! The band following Re:dis was Toranoko no sesshon (The Tiger Cub Session Band). A bunch of oshare guys jumping around, not even that enthusiastic about their own music. I'm surprised I have any braincells left after them.

After the session band cleared the stage, we had lam. (which stands for Like Absolute Myself):

We've seen these guys before. They're pretty good. They had a fairly good crowd of fans considering the overall fluff of a Kaya event and the fact that lam. is fairly hardcore. They're pretty enjoyable and I had fun doing furi for them. Not much else to say about them, other than the fact that their vocalist's fake eyelashes were dangling off. Okay, seriously, indies guys... you cannot wear fake eyelashes in the summer. I've now seen yo-ka of Valluna's fall off, Chihiro from Ha;qch's fall off, Yuuki from UnsraW's fall off, and now this guy... all within a couple weeks! No more fake eyelashes in the summer! The glue won't stick and then the eyelashes get stuck like dead caterpillars to your face and it's creepy!

Also, it was the vocalist's birthday. The barrier girls each held up a fan that contained each of the syllables for "happy birthday" (o-ta-n-jo-u-bi-o-me-de-to-u). This would have been fine, but they had pictures of the individual band members pasted to the back of these fans with hearts and stars and shit. Funny thing is, the vocalist looked pretty put off by the fans. He was kinda like "oh... uh... great..." But he thanked everyone politely nonetheless and said Kaya had brought a birthday cake to the venue for him. Aaaaaw, way to be awesome, Kaya.

Lam. was responsible for one of the best moments of the night, though they didn't mean for it to happen. It's no secret on this blog that I hate spot-holding. I've made that fairly clear. If you don't like a band, get out of the fucking way. I don't care if your OMG favorite band is next, don't block everyone in the meantime just to guarantee second row for yourself. It's rude. Well, these lolitas had been blocking second row the whole show and seemed all annoyed when the lam. fans were headbanging and whipping them with their hair (oh, go cry me a river). Anyways, when lam.'s set was over, the vocalist threw a half-filled bottle of water and hit one of the lolitas right in the head. Ashley and I both burst out laughing immediately. I wish someone had filmed the moment. The girl was fine, but she got bonked pretty hard. The vocalist didn't even notice, so she didn't even get an apology. Well, that's what you get for spot-saving!

Aaaaand last but not least, we have Kaya's session band Kaleidoscope. There's some picture of Kaleidoscope out there, but I couldn't find it in any non-microscopic size so... here's a picture of Kaya in his new costume to tide you over:

Except... that photo's not particularly relevant to the live. Well, it was a session band. They had a female on keyboards, as well as a guitarist, bassist, and a drummer who seemed to be the unofficial "leader" of the band. And Kaya on vocals. Kaya... without a dress, costume, or make-up. No, I don't mean "boy Kaya" either. That Kaya still has make-up and a costume. I'm talking Kaya in a shirt and rumpled, black sweater, black pants, no make-up at all, and just a bit of gel in his hair to spruce things up. He literally could've been any adorable pretty-boy in Tokyo. I almost didn't recognize him from the side when he first walked out, but then he faced the crowd and his face was still unmistakable. Plus his singing voice is 100% unmistakable, that's for sure.

But yeah, this was a real life "casual Kaya." According to Kaya during his MC, this was the first time he's appeared on stage with no costume or make up in twelve years. He admitted to feeling naked and embarrassed, lol. I think we all thought he looked adorable. The funny thing is, he's not all that different without the costume. I always thought his cheesy, big-toothed smile and absurd, near-maniacal laugh was part of his drag queen shtick. Actually, it turns out that's his real laugh and smile. Whenever the band bantered during MC, Kaya's smile was the same, and he would sometimes giggle at the jokes the same way he would in a dress. Really, it's not an act. He's really like that.

Anyways, the band itself was a sort of straight-rock band with a little bit of jazziness to it. Pretty good overall. Not quite my kind of thing, but it was enjoyable. And it was fun to see "casual Kaya" perform. His voice still has the same intensity and his movements are near-identical to the Kaya we're used to. The only difference between the two is that casual Kaya seemed a little more subdued and modest. But that's to be expected.

Also, Kaya announced that he's bought a new, black kitten. He hasn't named it yet, though.

Anyways, that's about all I have to say for this show. To finish off the post, I'm going to post another Random Blog Translation that Ashley requested me to do.

Once again, this post is featuring our beloved Chihiro from Ha;qch. I may never see that kid again, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy his (pissed off) blog! For today's translation, here's Chihiro's take on mosquitoes:

I am soooooo angry at the mosquito that bit me.

I cannot endure this itchiness.

I'm looking for a spray to kill these fucking mosquitoes (note: he literally writes "kill" and "fucking mosquito" in katakana-English as "kiru" and "fakkingu mosukiito").

I am totally gonna force-feed them cockroach insecticide.

My room smeeeells.

It smells like millipedes.

Thanks Chihiro. You always brings a smile to my face.

See you all next time!