Tokyo Damage Report

reup : ‘Fragile Samurai’ drag carabet

 

Mar 13, 2004

Went to FRAGILE SAMURAI, THE CARABET.

OR KABARET. OR SOMETHING..

 

 

 

Anyway, we go to the club. It's much more carabet-y this time.
Instead of the punk club 20000v, this installment is at AOI HEYA. A shibuya club that has a hundred tiny footstools, Panty Lamps, and no stage. It's like a cozy little hole in the wall, not a rock club. Kago shintaro-san is DJ ing. . . he's only playing traditional folk / festival music. Japanese traditional folk music has the simple perky singalong quality of American kids' music. But it's not just for kids. . . .


FIRST ACT: NEW RED CHINESE HOTEL. Last show ever. Same songs as last time but with the addition of HACHIYA-san on vocals. He's wearing full-on gothic lolita drag and doesn't move once during the whole performance. He's got a good 'goth loli' facial expression (vacant and sad) but he's still a Third Level Drag Queen: he hasn't learned to turn his toes in yet. Their encore was, as usual, WAITING FOR MY MAN. I really love Japanese guys saying 'hey white boy, what you doing uptown?' plus, Tanken, the bassist, was wearing what must be the shortest skirt in Tokyo. In TOKYO. That is some serious business.

They asked me to write the lyrics for one of their songs. . . they were tired of singing 'pretend english' and wanted 'nonsense English' instead.

Here is my contribution to Japanese culture:

when the morning comes /
Don Quixote's rash /
and he's got the boob /
with a magic ass /
in the evening rain /
doctor dre is sad /
and he wipes himself /
with a hygiene pad

translated into Japanese and back again:

morning is becoming
don Quixote itches
also he breast is existing
regarding this breast, an enchanted ass is being brought
evening's rain is falling at this time
doctor dre has sadness
his body wiping
woman's napikin with wiping

ACT 2 hanamaki gumi
with no warning, A BUNCH OF WOMEN came running in. they had identical silver wigs and granny-glasses, with matching white t-shirts and skirts. . . and were covered in white balloons. They danced around with a big red monster and lip-synched LAWDY MISS CLAWDY (little Richard) while popping the balloons. The grand finale: bowing with their backs to the audience, showing their underwears. Each bloomer had a big letter on it so when they all lined up it spelled 'B-I-T-C-H-(skull and crossbones). '

Then they ran away, only to come back with cheerleader costumes and do basically the same thing. Some amazing queen dragged a 5 foot wide white balloon into the middle of the crowd and popped it, sending goose-down everywhere: the balloon had been stuffed with feathers.

Their third number was some show-tune called 'money money money.' The leader came out with this absurd and nasty red lace outfit with a charming glitter-covered dildo. A two inch long glitter covered dildo!! Everyone else was wearing sequined-up cabaret style costumes. I think the gist of it was, the lady with the 2-incher was trying to pimp them out to the audience: pulling them up one at a time and gesturing for us to look at their sequin-encrusted boobies. . . but at the end they got even with her: they all dogpiled on her and ripped her clothes off. then, out of nowhere a mink coat appeared, and a bowler hat, and the disgraced drag-king ex-pimp turned into LIZA MANELLI. She sang some kind of Liza song, running into the crowd and harassing people. Then the monster came back and they all took a bow.

Then THE WORST DJ IN THE WORLD played between bands. Music was too loud, AND no one danced. Seriously, there was no room for dancing. So you couldn't dance AND you couldn't talk either. But you couldn't complain because the dj is an ARTISTE and he is PRACTISING HIS CRAFT. That dude practically ruined the whole night.

ACT 3 : RACHEL D'LAMOUR
She did a 3 act drag show. She's also the MC for the now-defunct DEPARTMENT H. but tonight she was doing some bust-out solo performances. First was . . . jesus, I don't even know WHAT the first costume was. The theme seemed to be Inca Princess Meets Post -70's – Elvis. But the music was Belly Dance Disco. Actually I have to say her music was as interesting as her costumes. No shitty gay disco or corny old showtunes. Just really eclectic, obscure, energetic tunes. After belly dancing inca elvis finished, out came s/m leather bikini queen with riding crop. I should add that throughout the entire 3-act performance, she was wearing these INSANE combination platform boots with stiletto heels, AND dancing AND not falling. Granted, she wasn't exactly doing head-spinning breakdance action, but even doing a simple pirouette in those boots is some mean, mean stuff. the finale was this sort of 'kimono / bikini' costume complete with bare midriff and fan. At the end, she opened up an old traditional Japanese umbrella . . . full of glitter! And showered the crowd with it.
Act 4

Then SOME ELECTRONICA BAND played. Oh wait, they have a name: SUPERSAVER.
They weren't much to watch, (laptop computer, guitarist sitting down). But the music was actually really good-inventive rhythms and slow unobtrusive melodies.

Mostly at that time we were chilling with the club owner, and Rachel D'lamour, and this fabulously drunk old guy that everyone kept looking at each other like, '. . . but I thought he was with YOU!' he was awesome though. All hitting on my girlfriend and yelling in rapid Japanese as if being loud would enable us foreigners to understand, and forcing everyone within a ten foot radius to get free drinks from his bottomless pit of whiskey.

ACT FIVE: TOGAWA MASAKO, BIG MAMA CHANTUSE

After that, this lady – WHO LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE JAPANESE MRS. ROPER (from 70's sitcom Three's Company) (exactly, seriously). She came out with her afro and massive rhinestones, and did some real (i.e. not lipsynched) cabaret. This involves:

a) singing pre-written songs with LOTS of ad-libbed lyrics that make fun of the audience
b) a real piano player who has to slow down and speed up to accommodate all the ad-libs
c) singing in mixed French and Japanese, but with the gravelly vibrato of traditional Japanese vocals
d) lots of jokes between songs
e) walking into the audience while singing, and flirting with / smacking them.

Needless to say I understood exactly none of the jokes. But then again I never understood Three's Company either. togawa masako -that's her name. She's also a famous author of mystery books! I wanted to ask her about it, but all I could say was, "dare shinda?" ("who died??")

 

 

—- new red Chinese hotel!

 

—-

 

—- —

 

—- hachiya-san, singing this song that I wrote the words for. It goes something like this: when the morning comes / Don Quixote's rash / and he's got the boob / with a magic ass / in the evening rain / doctor dre is sad / and he wipes himself / with a hygiene pad … isn't that emo?

 

—- tanken-san with what has to be the shortest skirt in a city notorious for skirt-shortness. Damn.

 

—-

 

—- BALOU. These were the djs that were ok.

 

—- HANAMAKI GUMI

 

—-

 

—-

 

—- hanamaki's monster friend, dancing to little Richard (of course)

 

—-

 

—- they came back as cheerleaders. Dancing to.. THE SPICE GIRLS. Oddly enough, the spice girls themselves tried to get booked on this same show but they didn't have enough draw.

 

—-

 

—- the tiny dildo of the pimp.

 

—-

 

—-

 

—-

 

—- RACHEL D'LAMOUR. Fat Elvis meets Brrrrazilian Carnival

 

—-

 

—-g

 

—-

 

—- can you believe homegirl was DANCING in these things?

 

—- g

 

—-

 

—-

 

—-

 

—-

 

—- the grand finale…

 

—- super saver

 

—- TOGAWA MASAKO, BIG MAMA CHANTUSE

 

—- mrs. Loper, er, I mean, TOGAWA MASAKO

 

—-

 

—-

 

—-

 

—- ms. Togawa's Panty Lamps. How cool is that?

 

—- the panty lamps with a softer, more rrrrromantic lighting.

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