Tokyo Damage Report

‘Violet Trap’ early DJ Shisen event.

tonight’s event was in a place I’d never been before: IKEBUKURO 2-CHOME (where 2-chome = "neighborhood number 2"). Which just happened to be where all the prostitutes hang out. so I asked them for directions, naturally! As it turned out the directions were perfect but the club was closed for another half hour, so I just went back and kicked it with let’s-call-her-Pun. Pun is this totally nice, middleaged Thai lady who lives maybe 3 hours north of here and is supporting her 7 year old son by herself. Let’s hear it for single moms!! She wasn’t trying to hustle me with some sob story, she just seemed to be happy I broke up the monotony of her job. . . We talked about how expensive it is to fly to thailand, and the importance of good drag in an advanced capitalist society, stuff like that. Then a bunch of goth kids showed up, so we waved goodbye and I went to the show. .. . .

The event’s name is VIOLET TRAP.Violet is the promoter. In my review of DEPARTMENT H, he is the Gothic lady with Marge Simpson’s hair. Tonight he was a blonde harlequin with fangs for no reason.

like FRAGILE SAMURAI, VIOLET TRAP was another ‘carabet’ style event: a mixture of magicians, accordions, Satanism, drag theatre, and dancing!!

The drag queens are much younger at this event, some are even as young as me (for some reason, all the queens in tokyo seem to be kind of totally hot middleaged men). The Goths are still 20 year old art student girls.

 

But the fashion this time was not ‘gothic drag’ . . . it was more — er , dare I call it ‘traditional’ drag?? The feather-boa, sparkley-platform-heel, thrift-store fabulousness style. Even the goth girls were getting into the act. . . upping the ante by doing . . . DRAG QUEEN DRAG!!!

I asked this girl (who was later whipping some guy’s ass on the dance floor) what her costume was. .. . anime character? Famous musician? And she said without a pause, "oh, DRAG QUEEN!"

For my part, I had a cardigan with plaid Capri pants over silver docs, and A MOUSTACHE.

But my puny attempts to subvert the goth aesthetic were totally put to shame by this guy:

GIANT BUNNY SUIT DANCING WITH GOTH GIRLS.

What’s even cooler is, the Giant Bunny Guy seemed genuinely depressed!! I tried to talk to him and he seemed way sadder than any of the Goth wannabe people.

So it wasn’t just a night of cheap escapism and risque entertainment. It was total subcultural pastiche on several levels at once, all the time. Quite tiring, especially at 4 in the morning!!!

The first act was : DRAG CAN-CAN

Then: some drag performances. This charming young thing was wondering if it should be a lady (picture at left) or a guy (represented by a giant-dick Shinto statue, right).


And this lady was singing a kid’s song about fish, while spitting out candy into the faces of the audience.

SECOND ACT: REQUIEM DOLIS.

Great costumes, preposterous music. The tunelessness of ‘industrial’, combined with the excessive reverb of goth. If – judging from their campy Satannic props – they sold their soul, they didn’t get much for it.

THIRD ACT: crazy ACCORDION ball.

The guy would play these melancholy, wistful accordion pieces while dancers acted out scandalous slow motion tableaux behind him. it was pretty Fellinni. but what’s up with melancholy, wistful dragqueens? this was definitely the least gay thing of the whole night!!

 

FOURTH ACT: SECOND EFFECT.

Straight-up visual rock. the singer is a VAMPIRE BARTENDER. No kidding – he has a spooky bar somewhere where you can get your spooky swerve on!! Why does he look so surprised???

 

Maybe it’s . .. .because all his fans have morphed into HEADBANGING CHEERLEADERS!!! In the middle of the cheerleaders is a blonde lady in a trenchcoat. She’s dressed like a bosozoku – the Japanese version of a Hell’s Angel!!! Great, a goth band with both bikers and cheerleaders as the audience. Awesome!

 

FIFTH ACT; magic show.

It was kind of lame to put her on this early in the morning, I don’t think the audience had much energy left, and we had to be told when a trick was over so we could clap. The most unsettling thing was how strange ordinary objects would look when she held them. The OBJECTS all seemed to be suddenly a different size, instead of her being a different size. It’s like when you’re on the platform and a train is pulling out and you get a sudden feeling that the train is standing still and YOU’RE the one moving. Kind of.

Most people there were pretty nice, not fake-mopey or fake-‘do-you-know-who-I-am’! If you have fangs, an accordion, or a ‘gaff’, you should definitely go here.

 

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