Tokyo Damage Report


Every band’s first EP should HAVE to be a live recording. And it should be made without any distortion. You should have to be CERTIFIED to earn your distortion. Live records should be the only records allowed, actually.

a)      recording clean makes sure that you actually know how to play your instruments,
b)     recording clean makes sure that you actually know how to write good songs, too. If you are using distortion as a crutch to have a heavy feeling without actually being a heavy, tormented dude, this will expose your ass.
c)      Most important of all, live recordings measure whether you can MOVE THE CROWD. Whether they are cheering or booing, at least you are affecting them and giving them something to remember. If you get no reaction, you should not be allowed to move to the next level. You don’t get issued any distortion. You don’t get to make another record. You are fail. Picture that – bands, desperate bands who are geniuinely afraid of not being allowed to make a second album, attacking the audience with knives, in a frenzied attempt to get SOME reaction. Now that would make shows worth going to! All these bands that ‘grimace musically’ or flex their muscles or shred really fast or have rad lyrics about veganism – all that doesn’t count for SHIT if the crowd doesn’t flip out.
d)      Actually now that I think about it – this rule is really really unfair to laptop bands, "djs" and twee indie-pop bands that don’t want to move a crowd in the first place. It eliminates them, in fact, and that is really really really unfair to them.  So it’s got that going for it, too.
e)      It would eliminate the problem of death-metal or grind bands that play a million notes but since they are playing in a dive bar with a shitty PA, you can’t hear any of the notes. These bands are wasting everyone’s time, particularly their own, since they practiced for years to learn riffs that no one can hear. But if you confront them, they’ll say “Well you can hear the notes on the studio version.” HAHA – I got news, Chester! There IS NO MORE studio version! This new law will force bands to write songs that actually are intelligible even on a shitty PA. In fact, I think part of the certification process would involve asking fans to hum, yes HUM, main riffs of songs. If even the fans have no idea what you played, you lose and are fail.
And even if you DO pass your exams and ARE certified to use distortion, you still have to record your SECOND ALBUM live. And if the notes are so distorted they sound like 30 minutes of BLEGGHHHHHHHHH or 30 minutes of a drop-D chugging away, then you are fail and you lose your distortion! You have to go down to the county clerk’s office or 区役所 and start doing your paperwork over.




7 Comments so far

  1. AnokPanda January 10th, 2010 11:45 am

    Going to a terrible show of band that sounds great on their recordings, is a special kind of disappointment. In some cases you feel betrayed, if you’re a big enough fan you make excuses for them, something like “the technically complicated aspects of the recorded sounds are just impossible to duplicate on a live stage”; the obvious response is, “so then why did they go on tour and take my money”

    What is still unclear is whither or not you’re trying to eliminate poor recordings or raise the quality of live performances.

    Let’s go over a few points:
    So after the live test, a band would have a live album – sounds alright. But for every band that has quality studio records yet preform horribly on stage; there’s a band that puts on a great show but release garbage albums. The ability to do both eliminates a lot of bands from album making contention.

    Points A. and B – I’m not sure the lack of distortion will make up for the fact that 99.99% of punk bands are unable to make a live recording that isn’t super crap. – I’m reiterating your final point I guess, This language must stay in the final draft for me to sign it.

    Taking that into consideration, I believe this proposition is good for music.
    1. no one buys records anymore and this plan encourages live music, which is better for the bands, because for many, live shows is how they earn a living.

    2. Given the resulting decrease of recorded music, people would have to go to more shows, which is good for society IMO.

    1. and 2. work like a cycle, beneficial to all involved.

  2. szaszha January 10th, 2010 12:20 pm

    ” this rule is really really unfair to laptop bands,”

    seriously! laptop bands need to get their shit together and put on a show. i make music on the computer and i’m constantly wondering to myself, “when i go live, how am i going to tear shit up and make people go nuts when basically all i have to do is push a button and stand there?”

    well goddammit i’m going to figure something out. and it’s not going to be “oh, we’re cool because we have girls in their underwear on stage with us” because that is a crutch and it is FUCKING WEAK. get your shit together and be impressive on your own before you go having a bunch of sluts up there with you, you fucking rejects!

    i’m going to have motherfucking earth, air, fire, water, flashing lights, a trampoline, and pure unadulterated sweaty rampage madness when i play. and if the crowd doesnt get into it then i’m fucking going to jail for assault.

  3. Hugh Codding January 10th, 2010 1:36 pm

    I’d like to add some addendum’s to the proposition.

    First albums should not only be live, but be recorded on crappy nylon string acoustics…with a minimum of one string missing. Bass can be electric, but must have a string missing too!

    Second album…No band is allowed to use top quality equipment. Guitars/Bass’s must be cheap crap (like the goofy sear’s catalog or First Act $89 guitar you can get at Target or Wall-mart). Same thing with drums.

    If a band can last through this and attains fame and cultivates a strong crowd following they can use distortion, good equipment, etc. BUT, if the band breaks up and the individual members form separate bands, it’s back to step one. So if Cronos quits Venom, The Edge quits U2, Lars Ulrich quits Metallica, and they get Barry Manilow to sing and play Piano…you guessed it crappy acoustics, no distortion, and a live album.

  4. Tzench January 10th, 2010 3:20 pm

    I’ve seen bands that were all preprogrammed and therefore consisted of only a vocalist on stage. They still teared shit up! However, this was before laptop concerts became a concept, and noone seemed to think desktop concerts was a good idea.

  5. silver January 11th, 2010 5:58 pm

    I just made a recount on how many years i’ve been visiting TDR, and amazed myself at how much time i’ve been lurking around this particular realm of yours. I really like your pseudo-socialist policy and feel that you have incorruptable standards which you should be proud of, really. I have laughed a lot thanks to you! When I see some weird ass kanji that I can’t recognize, I spontaneously remember a kanji you transformed into Bender from Futurama. Sometimes, when I see those hateable Santa Claus hanging from balconies, I remember one the most hilarious quotes I have read here, when you described the irony of christmas ornamentents outside bitch clubs: “As I walked down the street I came across one of the most tender, heart-warming scenarios: CHRISTMAS IN HOOKERLAND!” And so on.

    You have compiled some amazing stories and offered a real view of how Japan is to loads of people, staying loyal to your ideals and telling everything with superb narrative skill and sense of humour. You could give a fuck about greetings, but I feel compelled to do so, so CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Keep the fire burning, Schultz!

  6. Justin Hinds January 12th, 2010 12:39 am

    Yes but there are also crowds too shy to do more than three claphands in front of amazing bands…

  7. Voidmare January 12th, 2010 5:39 pm

    Let’s have them play in standard tuning until the 3rd record while we’re at it.

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