SUNDAY APRIL 15 – TOKYO UNDERGROUND WEEKEND
three events in one! 2 nd floor was TOKYO DECADANCE, fourth floor was A LA MODE NIGHT, and 7 th was something called TOKYO PERVE.
I admit, I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Normally my excuse is, a) alcohol, or b) sheer misanthropy. But this time, the excuse is: there were like tons of professional photographers with huge million-dollar cameras and portable portrait studios and just crazy shit. so I figured this event would get pretty well documented without an greenhorn like me blundering around. It wasn’t until later that I realized that pro-cameramen don’t post their pictures online for free, where anyone can see. Maybe they hoard them in an underground bunker? So, oops. Next time.
For now, I recommend this gallery from the Tokyo kink society, (it’s a different event, but it should give you some idea)
PERFORMERS – at first I didn’t like the atomosphere of the event because everyone was so “You’re so FABULOUS, darling!” “no, YOU’RE so fabulous.” I was like, “Get the fuck out of here. Can any of you guys do math? Did you cure cancer? Did you translate Shakespeare? What have you done besides wear a costume and take pills?” but in the end, doing a club for exhibitionists is ok in my book. Because the audience is on the same level as the performers. Not only did 95% of the customers have costumes, but the variety of costumes was much greater than a “normal” fetish event.
There was fire performances, and some kind of sexy dance with medical needles, but mostly TOKYO DECADANCE was dj stuff. so, In lieu of describing the "official" acts, I’ll talk about the real stars- the audience!
Mummy guy – entoumbed head-to-toe in saran wrap, crawling on all fours around the place collecting abuse. This by itself would have been excellent but then he got up on the “gogo dance” platform and started doing this bugged-out bhuto writhing which captivated everyone. There were some short-skirt wanna-be-s/m-mistress bad-girl types on the other gogo platform, but they got neglected.
3 tiny jawa-like ladies with deep tans, rainbow hair, whose costumes consisted of so many layers of XXXL clothing that they looked like rave hobos. They looked like they could have been at a yamanba trance party.
This wonderful lady in a one-piece fire-engine-red minidress with brown suede boots and a wide-ass zebra-skin belt (and sunglasses indoors, naturally). She looked like she had gotten lost on the way to “backstage-at-Areosmith-concert”-land.
below, HEN NA YATSU–
a tall person on meter-high platform shoes, wearing this space-duck costume, dancing with everyone i mentioned.
Some wiseass, who knew everyone else would be dressing very decadent and sexy, so she wore her best grandma-librarian costume: high-necked blouse with broach, long tweed skirt, and low-heel buckle-up-pumps. she could dance, too. She was my hero but she fell asleep early and some creepy foreigner was taking pictures of her passed out. For a split second I had this fantasy that I would do some kind of Lucha Libre move on him and she would wake up and marry me. But I left my wrestling mask at home so I just slunk off shamefully without administering any beat-downs.
Then, just to make things even more interesting, there was a REAL grandma : some 70 year old lady who kind of sat by herself and was only mildly amused with the goings-on around her. I bet that she’s seen such an amazing variety of weirdness over her life-span, the kind of shit that most of the posers here could not deal with at all!
Then there were 2 people in matching white vinyl cat suits. I mean, literally cat suits with ears and tails. Also, some 7 foot tall European amazon transvestite guys that would have been scary if they’d come in a big group and marched around goose-stepping. But they each acted as if they didn’t know the others, which was cool. It implied that 7 foot tall amazon ladyboys were so common they didn’t even require explanation or comment.
Then there was a guy I called The Dungeon Master. Both because he looked like he could be running an s/m dungeon, and also because he looked like he played a lot of D&D. maybe he did both at the same time. My man was 300 pounds of shirtless, long-haired, coke-bottle-glasses-and-tribal-tattoos, walking with a cane and a pimp-limp. Uncomfortable and awesome!
then there’s THIS GUY
this photo doesn’t even do justice to his color-changing fiber-optic mohawk, which is only visible in the dark.
my friends were amused by his very Japanese-salariman-ish serious face, while wearing such a costume.
The big maid; a big sumo-sized Japanese dude in a maid costume who knew exactly when to show up for maximum impact. After the show, we walked back to the train station with him. My friend took a classic picture of him on the commuter train in full drag, waving out the window while some 10 year old kid from the countryside was busting on him.
The long-haired lady with red plastic devil costume who got too tipsy and was tottering after me on 6” heels yelling “whooo.” I escaped.
The disco samurai : this guy was so FUCKING AWESOME. I almost can’t describe him. Sunglasses, pompadour, Travolta suit. That sounds pretty normal so far. But there was something in the way he touched himself when he danced, his hypnotic unjulations, combined with his utter grim, stoic concentration on same. I guess the disco samurai has to be seen to be believed. He was a classic case of why dress codes suck ? in a “hardcore” s/m club they would not have let him in, but he had more of the “perv spirit” than most people here.
And then, the usual assortment of Nazis, mistresses, disco-future people with neon fur, lolitas, and goofy-white-guys-with-hot-asian-girlfriends.
one of the djs:
bizune is a band with a therimin!
Up on the fourth floor, it was A LA MODE NIGHT, which used to be a gothic Lolita event and is now I don’t even know what. Less lolitas, more nerd girls, a smattering of confused hard-rockin’ Japanese dudes.
The first act for a la mode night was ROSE DE REFICUL ET GUIGGLES, which I can’t pronounce, so I’ll call them GIGGLES.
They’re a sort of gothic drama troupe. I was really looking forward to seeing them because their promotional photos were spectacular, lush, overflowing with Elizabethan lace, ruffles, and what looked like moss. The actual show did not live up to the hype, though. I was expecting either Grand Guginol shock value or intricate royal palace-intrigue plots a la Louis XIV. But basically the theme, such as it was , was, “goth nerds in drama club bust open the costume closet and mess around while Mr. Henderson takes a Sick Day.”
As near as I could make out ( since the whole thing was pantomime, interspersed with singing in japanese ) the story was this: king and queen relaxing at home, indulging in their hobby of sniffing roses and beating the help. Suddenly a Bad Guy (a truly inspired costume mixing Snidley Whiplash with Alex from Clockwork Orange) shows up and makes a Scandalous Overture to the queen. The king is subdued by some sort of Craven Minion (I should also point out that the king is Adam Ant). The King/Mr. Ant spends the entire rest of the play prolonging his death scene directly in front of the rest of the performers, as if to say, “Down here, you fools!! Don’t pay attention to THEM, you philistines! The action’s down HERE!!” meanwhile the Bad Guy ravishes the queen on a couch, and the craven minion chases around the servant. Then, songs! The play ends with the king and queen re-united on their Royal Couch, but the queen has been turned into a wanton harlot and the scenery has been reduced to rubble.
Oddly, I actually enjoyed it : in the end it wasn’t the costumes or the “gothic atmosphere” but the fact that everyone involved was shamelessly mugging and hamming the entire time, regardless of who was talking. Even the fuckin’ prop guy started coming on stage and mugging. I can’t help but think that the genius of GIGGLES is wasted on this small stage. I think their true calling is in Hollywood, helping big-budget directors. Any Tom Hanks movie would be 100% better if all the supporting characters were rolling around in agony, tearing up the plant-life, making sex-faces, and doing robot-dances THE WHOLE FILM.
DESPAIR played some fake-marlyin-manson-style music. and by “played,” I mean “pushed play on a computer and then sang and posed.” They all spoke with really thick Australian accents and used swear words. Normally this is not my thing, but the audience went nuts and even lolitas were moshing. Unfortunately some dudes decided this was a “real pit” and pushed the ladies out of it, but then the Big Maid came in all BANZAI!!-style and just knocked all the dudes down with his maid moshing . . . and then he vanished like a Western-movie hero. Also dancing to despair was this 2 meter tall Japanese lady who looked like she was a barbarian-lady-biker-gang-supervisor, and would have been frightening if she had ever stopped smiling. Nonetheless, I kept cringing because it seemed like she was about 3 seconds from whipping off a bike-chain belt and spinning it around her head.
GINKA from Kyoto.
under the flags, each member had a straw doll with a kerchief wrapped around its head, on their back. whether this is traditional festival garb somewhere, or just a bugged thought of a band member, i have no idea.
You’d think that, after 6 hours of sensory overload, I’d be pretty jaded, but GINKA just came of nowhere with like a million kick-ass new styles and saved the whole party!!! Every single thing about this band is startlingly original. The costumes are a mix of traditional Japanese with surrealism. The music, (described in the flyer as “tapping psychedelic progressive noise junk” with “minimal binary-system performance and very odd queer sound”) was almost like John Cage meets butthole surfers; the dudes finger-tapped everything. The riffs were simple gamelan-like, metronomic 8 or 12 note figures which would repeat for a few minutes, then change to a new riff which would also loop endlessly. The vocal would meanwhile freak out, shriek, dance, play trumpet, or piccolo, and generally get down. The whole thing was further bugged out by a lightshow, hand-done by assistants with gels and mirrors.
as much as I enjoyed the evening, in the back of my mind something was missing?superficial stuff can be fun, but as GINKA demonstrated, having actual skills and imagination will always kick the ass of "sexy or fashionable." GINKA didn’t give a fuck what was cool, but they were so skilled at what they did, that they ruled anyway.
Anyway it was a fun event, you should go, the end.