Monday, January 18, 2010

songs to `get into` visual kei

I think that visual kei is a difficult `genre` (if you can call it that) to `get into` or even understand as such if you live outside of Japan. What is `visual kei` and what does visual kei entail is a widely debateable topic, as the music can range from pop to heavy metal. Even the regualted fashions have changed along with changes of certain bands such as Alice Nine, Kra and Dir En Grey, who look less visual kei and more casual these days.

I am not here to define visual kei, rather I wanted to give a good starting point of songs and bands for those of you out there that are intrested in learning more. I think that discovering it for yourself is always the best way, but sometimes your first impressions count the most.

1.The GaZette
Filth and The Beauty

Before I Decay

The GaZette are undoubtably one of the biggest bands in Visual Kei and in my eyes one of the easier bands to get into as such, also they are one of my favourites. There music ranges from ballads (Casis), heavy rock (Cockroach) and even nu metal sounds (Filth and the Beauth). My favorite songs are Cockroach and Silly God Disco. Its importance to note that in visual kei the bass plays a more important part in the melody itself, rather than being a mere background sound it makes its presence more known.
For similar bands: Screw, Alice Nine, OZ
2.Dir En Grey


Child Prey

I not really sure what to say about Dir En Grey. Their stuff is fairly heavy and there really isn`t anything to liken it too. They have very strong horror-gore elements and their videos remind me of movies that I am too scared to watch at night like those of Takashi Miike. In my opinon their best songs are Zan, Ain`t afraid to Die and Saku.
See also:Sadie, D`espairs Ray, Lynch
An Cafe
Maple Gunnman

Smile IchiBan iiOnna

As you can see from this band, visual kei side of things. An Cafe err on the pop side of pop punk. I think that they`re realllllly cute particularlly their ex-guitarist Bou-Kun. I also love their guitarist Kanon. I love their bright colours and happy sunshine-ness. They are also a particular good example of oshare kei with has a more happy up beat message. Unfortunatly for some they are now on a hitaus, which I don`t really care about since I don`t like their music as much since Bou left and those other two dudes joined. Their lead singer Miku is now a model in nearly every issue of Kera.

The Revenant Choir.

I love Versailles, no band can claim to be more extravagant (well maybe Ali Project). They are def. over the top but I love it, nearly as much as I love their dual guitars or their tight drums...actually I probably love the guitars more....anyhow they're awesome and I don't really have anything else to compare it to.

Christy's other picks: Exist Trace, DuelJewel, Sadie, Screw, Eccentric Agent, Vanilla, Kagrra, L'Arc-en-Ciel, Penicillin and Moix Dis Mois

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pop music got me into alternative culture

I always wondering the power of pop music and now I am sure that one of my biggest influences to who I am today is the pop video. No, not now. But the good old days, when they were actually artistic and people took risks and cared about their "artistic creditability". A lot of pop music video's of the 90's present alternative ideas. Here were my favorites:

Oh yes. Look at those colours, the drappy blackness and all of those crows. There isn't a doubt in my mind that Madonna's 1998 clip frozen was influential to me. Right down to it Synth Midi track. I later also loved the clip for Hollywood.

Kylie Minogue's Confide in me (Embedding Disabled) was forever influential to those partial to pale skin, red lipstick and purple eyeskin. The sarine colours and the purring of her voice imprinted on my brain. Her newest songs however are well, to put it as nicely as posible....awful. You shouldn't dress/go the musical direction of 80's revival if you were famous in the 80's unless your Duran Duran, which in my opinon shouldn't have come back at all....(but what are you going to do)......onto the rock

Sour Girl by the Stone Temple Pilots could be considered "alternative", maybe if your 15 or something, but in my eyes its major lable-post-grunge is def. more mainstream. This was one of the songs that forever makes me nostaligic for 90's comericial rock, to which 00's sadly fails. We had Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Malvins, Jane's Addiction, Alice in list never ends. Stone Temple Pilot's Creep also had a big effect on during my high school period.

I loved girl groups growing up, I loved this song growning up. But unlike the Spice Girls, they could sing and they were hot and more importantly they're still hot. Seriously. (see "Rock Steady") I don't know what the whole reunion thing failed.