Tokyo Damage Report

decora alamode

 @ikebukuro CHOP,  October 18th.



Well,  since 2000, the A LA MODE team has been  the center of the gothic lolita scene. They put on shows and do a magazine. This event –  "DECORA alamode" is a visual-kei offshoot of regular alamode.  If I had known that ahead of time, I might well have steered clear. And I would have missed a good show.


This whole show was adorable because  the bands were losers. Bands with only 2 guys and a drum machine.  Bands with half a demo and no song titles. Bands with a borrowed guitar and no strings – all doing their best to project the image of pop megastar. 

That in itself would be kind of sad or awkward, but what made it work is THE FANS. The fans were just what you’d imagine: the bottom-tier, most unpopular, motley-est, goofy-faced misfits in a scene (visual kei) that is famous for having a lot of unbalanced misfits. 

So in fact, it was a PERFECT MATCH – everyone was on the same level.  The unspoken agreement was "We’ll treat you as if you were a famous pop band if you treat us as if we are attractive and popular groupies." The whole shit was much more friendly and intimate than a "real" visual kei show  – because at a  real visual show, the band is managed by the mafia and not allowed to come within 20 feet of the fans unless the fans pay a bribe. 


So I ask you, which is REALLY  pathetic?




OK, I said that the show was fun, but honestly-  the first band – Worst band ever.
I was mad until I saw the mad razor scars on the arm of the guy/girl/??? playing guitar.
OK, now I get it – it’s not a band. it’s a conceptual project: the songs, lyrics, and even performance don’t matter.
Dude is a masochist and he likes humiliation. So he set out to form the most humiliating band possible to get a sick thrill out of it.
It’s pretty impressive display of creativity – in USA, dude would just have joined the insane clown posse and that would be it. Anyway I had fun imagining what would happen if some yakuza godfather commanded them to play at his birthday party in some ritzy hostess bar full of gangsters, and these two douchebags were all shitting themselves trying to play.



The second band came out with pumpkin costumes and megaphones. Then they took off the pumpkins to reveal a middle-aged man with a Chipmunks voice, wearing hippy rags , and a severely anorexic woman in a maid costume. It was pretty sad because she clearly needed help. Her bass skills were up to par – she ran back and forth and controlled the stage better than a lot of people, but damn. I never thought I’d imagine the phrase “Nacho cheese IV drip” before, but I did.
The sickest part of the whole evening came when she put haloween candy in her mouth and fed  fat chicks in the audience the candy, all mama-bird, baby-bird style.  You’ll have to picture that in your mind because I was too shocked to use my camera: anorexic maid mouth-feeding candy to fat chicks. WTF????
The music was sort of electronic pop, I suppose. Bits of rock and samba could be heard but not bits of win.












The fashion-show-which-is-also-a-play-which-has-never-been-rehearsed is a staple of the goth/loli shows. This show started out with an innocent little girl taking poison for suicide reasons, then being ushered to the afterlife by a really slutty looking Death, who emerges from the girl’s bed. Then some other people come and do things for no reason, and at the end, the girl is re-united with her dead grandmother in the afterlife. Or else maybe an older version of herself, if she hadn’t committed suicide? Who knows? Some people would come on and do a story which advanced the plot, but other people would just come on and say, "OK this is my fashion costume, KTHXBYE. "









This band is pretty what-you-see-is-what-you-get: a Dude with furry mukluks and a pink Prince Valiant haircut, and a drummer that looks like Chris Issak, and that’s it.





(minus life orchestra)
Dude with half his head lookin’ like X Japan and the other half lookin’ like Ziggy Stardust and his friend with the dog ears made of hairspray. They played "regular" visual-kei music (to the extent that there is such a thing) and were terrible. Pretty much every band in this whole event has only 2 members.
Maybe it is supposed to be like auditions? They should have their little Craigslist projected over them onto the back screen: “Futile glamrock band fragment, lost and adrift, seeks most of band. Must be willing to fail over and over. Mukluks a plus.”






At first I was like, “Why is the guitarist stealing the hairstyle from S/M(the old stripper-punk band from back in the day) ?” Then I saw the singer and I was like, “Oh snap! It IS S/M. Why did they change their name?” 
They still have a lot of fun and everyone in the band is mugging for attention, but they changed their punk style to a more Cheap Trick sound and the singer doesn’t get naked anymore. I asked what is up with the name. He said, “We want to be on tv!”










Nobody told these guys that “The Beautiful People” is not every song ever.
They got a bunch of ugly girls to get horny. That must be a mixed blessing.
Girls were all banging with their hands over their ears – not because it was too loud. They were trying to keep their wigs from falling off.
There was one low-cut-blouse chubby-maid girl who was jumping up and down so hard – I thought her boobs would make like amoebas and split in half.  What’s that called? Osmosis? No, wait it’s just called DIVISION, right? I thought the boobs would divide right there and then start  rolling around the floor looking for organic matter to assimilate. I assume there is an anime about that but don’t have the time to check.
Dude was doing hula hoops with his guitars. Like no-hands making it go around his body one-two-three-four times.













 Takuya Angel runs his own fashion label, and is also a DJ. He played the best music of all tonight’s DJs, but unfortunately they had him perform AFTER THE MAIN ACT, so basically he played as people were leaving. This was bogus, but he was still good. Anyway check his page for swell duds.







8 comments Tags: , , , , ,

8 Comments so far

  1. Anja Flower December 4th, 2009 1:03 pm

    Loving the “generic gawth crushed velvet meets Lady GaGa” look in the last photo. Also, your beard is faring nicely… Good to see it’s still as delicious and prophetic and beardy as ever.
    Didn’t you have it all plaited at one time…?

  2. Tzench December 4th, 2009 2:47 pm

    I think it’s called mitosis.

  3. binky December 4th, 2009 5:01 pm

    nice return to form after all that american pop-culture observational stuff.

  4. admin December 4th, 2009 7:35 pm

    @tzench: Thank you! That is what I was trying to say re:boob
    @binky: Thanks – I sort of had a backlog of the american pop-culture stuff and from now on there will be a balance of, say, 3 japan things to one music/america-sucks rant.

  5. JapanSoc December 5th, 2009 6:13 pm

    Weird Kids In Ikebukuro …

    A bunch of misfit kids in Ikebukuro with no talent put on a the “DECORA alamode” visual-kei rock show. …

  6. locohama December 5th, 2009 6:36 pm

    the freaks come out at night (-;
    nice pics!

  7. Keith McX December 6th, 2009 8:31 pm


    What is the TDR email addy?

  8. uREKSA August 3rd, 2013 7:46 am

    > in USA, dude would just have joined the insane clown posse and that would be it.

    I laughed harder than I should have

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