Tokyo Damage Report

reup : impulsive, hat trickers, the blast, pogo machines, dsb, order, slowmotions, tom and the bootbois, disclose, extinct government

 

EVENT: conflict for freedom

March 1, 2004

 

Today was a HUGE show with 10 very different bands. Oi, punk, hardcore, and ‘d-beat.’ The only thing that the bands seemed to have in common was NECK TATTOOS. like, almost every one of these bands had neck tattoos. Just totally painful looking, but as far as motifs go, it’s an original one, don’t you think?

1 ? IMPULSIVE

they had the guitarist from EXTINCT GOVERNMENT on bass. This guy has a fucking 3 inch anarchy symbol tattooed on his addams’ apple. The guitarist has a white skull on his neck, and a fake eyepatch. But the real star is the vocalist, who was just snarling and getting in everyone’s face and generally putting on a good show. Just all “Yarrh yarrh yarrh.”

2— HAT TRICKERS

everyone wore clockwork orange costumes. Not just any clockwork orange costumes, but the costumes from the SAME SPECIFIC SCENE. I can’t tell if that is ultra-violent or just ultra-film-nerdy. They all had the face masks with wacky penis-noses. Wait, was that scene even in the movie or did I just WANT that scene to have been in the movie? Anyway, they played anthemic 70’s british punk like SHAM 69. the best costume was the drummer: kilt and tam-o-shanter with clown nose. Just fucking brilliant. If it had been just a drummer by himself I would have been totally satisfied with that. The hat trickers’ problem is not that they don’t move around, the problem is they are trying to do very melodic music but they can’t sing or stay in tune. On the other hand, penis-noses. So, no problem.

3— THE BLAST

just dumb redundant fast punk. They looked like they weren’t happy to be playing to a room full of 500 people. So I left.

4-0— POGO MACHINE

sorry I didn’t take pictures of pogo machine, because my camera was running out of batteries. But they played oi-punk with this polka beat and the crowd got really excited and danced a lot. Plus the guitarist had many articles of faux zebra-skin clothing, with which it is impossible to go wrong.

5—- DSB

anyone who reads my page regularly knows I go to a lot of DSB shows. In my life I’ve probably seen them 9 times. But tonight was THE CRAZIEST MOST INSANE MOST OVERDONE HECTIC performance I’ve ever seen them do. they are unambiguously the best punk band in japan today. Unfortunately I didn’t take photos because why? I needed to dance is why. DSB is one of those rare bands that actually move around a lot, and do nutsy maneuvers like throwing your guitar up in the air, catching it, falling down, playing on your back, leaping up, falling back-first into the crowd so they hold you up as you play, then running to the drum kit, climbing to the top of it while soloing, then jumping off the top of the kit until you’re 14 feet in the air, then falling down again, nonstop, while wearing 40 pounds of black leather and spikes. I swear the audience got worn out before the musicians did. I cannot emphasize the non-stop adventure of this band: Obviously they decided, “there are 9 other bands playing and it is our duty to just kick their ass so severely they will stop playing music and find another hobby.” So, WHY DON’T ALL BANDS THINK THIS WAY?

when other bands speed up their tempo, it just looks like they are moving their hands faster. But when DSB plays fast, it’s like their whole fucking bodies start vibrating, it’s like being on a train that is breaking the sound barrier. Baba-san the bassplayer was attacking his instrument as if it had said some things about his mother in a crowded room. The singer KAZU was gesticulating with aplomb, just striking these totally vainglorious poses, like if Mussolini was a rocker. If you want to see more photos of this band, and you really should, go to some of my other DSB reviews here. and here.

then there was a 30 minute intermission. I’d run out of batteries. When did I run out? as usual, just as I was about to take THE BEST PICTURE EVER TAKEN IN HUMAN HISTORY. See, next to the livehouse there’s a supermarket. Just an average supermarket like Safeway or Vons or something. But for those 30 minutes it turned into THE PUNKEST MARKET EVER. All the cash registers were full of LINES OF PUNKS waiting like good suburban soccer moms to buy their goodies. It was this total Twilight Zone moment where the freaks and the normals had traded places. AND THAT’S WHEN I RAN OUT OF BATTERIES. Bitch. Anyway I spent the intermission racing home, hopping on the train just as the doors were closing, totally bowling some innocent guy over in the process, disembarking from the train, running to my house with my pants falling off because I’d ALSO forgotten my belt, and my kitty underpants were all visible, and then I got my OTHER camera and rushed BACK to the show.

6—ORDER

this band are from Nagoya, and their neck tattoo is a big red butterfly with a skull on the wings. The singer had these welders’ goggles and these preposterously oversized Robot Monster Franken-gloves. They played mid-tempo punk with lots of sneering and lots of groove.

7— SLOWMOTIONS

they looked so new wave ? EVERYONE in the band had wraparound sunglasses. The vocalist in particular had this CYLON WARRIOR model of wraparounds that was inspiring and made me want to wear a skinny tie, perhaps with some thin pants. The singer was amazing, doing ‘wacky’ new wave dances and singing while perched atop the drum kit. But the music was kind of dumb rock music. Like the plodding pace of Huey Lewis rock with none of the catchiness. Aside from the singer, the other guys just looked bored and not into it. but the singer ? his whole wardrobe was so accessorized. Yellow chuck taylor hightops. That matched his shirt AND his hair. Silver addidas tracksuit, with matching medical gloves and New Wave Cylon shades. The stripes on the trainer matched

the top of his hairdo and his single black eyeball. Like he should have just fired the band and taught a seminar on new wave accessorizing.

8—TOM AND THE BOOTBOYS

far from a huge phalanx of skinheads, this is only 3 mop-haired dudes. But the dudes drink the same amount as a phalanx of skinheads. Instead of a crucifix, the bassist has a can-opener on a chain around his neck, which should give you some idea. at first I thought they were boring because the songs were unmemorable and they didn’t move around. But I like them because of 3 things: A) short songs. B) musically inept, which is something that used to make punk unique and defiant, but you don’t see much of it anymore. . and C) lots of singalong chorii. just like POGO MACHINES. I think there’s just something about OI that makes the audience react better than ‘regular’ punk. I guess the many singalongs have something to do with it. When they stopped singing they exuded a sort of boyish charm; they kept apologizing for being too drunk to play. At one point, the guitarist got confused and started playing his guitar inside-out which was impressive, as he didn’t seem to be kidding. But despite (or because of) this, the crowd was really active for this band.

9— DISCLOSE

I’ve known for a long time that Japan had a whole genre of music based on the English band discharge. Most punk bands rip off older bands but try to hide it. but the discharge clone-bands revel in their similarity to the original. They all play discharge songs and all the bands’ names are ALSO English words which begin with ‘dis’ (spelled with the same font). If you look at it ethnographically it’s really more akin to ‘folk music’ (the acoustic guitar-strummin’, railroad-jumpin’, labor-union-organizin’ kind. . . arlo Guthrie, for example) than punk. In folk music the point was not to be creative. The point was to be traditional but adapt the songs to your present circumstances, and it looks like what is happening here.

Anyway I’ve known about this sub-sub-sub-subculture for a long time but I finally found out its name: D-BEAT. Sounds like a kind of Jamaican music but it means DISCHARGE.

Some of the other D-BEAT BANDS ARE; DISCHANGE, DISCLOWTER, DISMISE, DISSERTATION, DISPLACE, DIS-WHATEVER. . .

But today’s token d-beat band was called DISCLOSE. And, while they DID have neck tattoos, their music just sucked. They just looked tired and bored. I kept thinking, “here is a band that would be much more fun to watch if they were having sex with one another,” and then I left.

10— EXCTINCT GOVERNMENT

I have no idea why these guys are famous. Motion Girl told me their bass player is ‘the most famous punk still active in the Japanese scene:’ the ex-bassist from some old-school jappacore band called TETSUARE (dumb-bells). Granted, he has the punkest butt of any Japanese musician and he looks totally brutal Road Warrior, but he doesn’t really move at all, and neither does anyone else in the band. The singer is some 8 foot tall, 45 year old Gaijin with this preposterous 4 foot Mohawk. He kind of struts around like he’s all that, which I was not convinced he was any of that. Looked like a big rooster strutting around the farm yard. I guess some of the riffs were good though.

The audience was just fabulous though. I have no complaints about the audience. There was some guy with a huge afro, and some other guy with WWI aviator helmet and matching goggles, and lots of purple hair and just an unreal amount of spikes, and this only-in-japan thing: BLACK LEATHER SURGICAL MASKS. This trend dates back to like 1979 and legendary band THE STALIN. I have no idea what is up with it. Oh, and there were many attractive young women as well. But they didn’t get in the pit or on the stage. They just stood around, as if they’d been placed there, strictly for decoration. So that was lame. on the other hand, the singer for D.S.B. lived up to his name (Destructive Shit Bastards). . .after the show he passed out on the stairway of the club. me and 4 other guys were trying to lift him out, but then he decided to pass out on the sidewalk. His wife was really not happy about this rock star behavior. it was then that i realized this simple fact: Being a rock wife sucks because the very things that drew you to the rock star (the danger, the irresponsibility, the out-of-control recklessness, mystery) immidiately become a huge pain in the ass once he's your man.

note to self: don't become rock wife.

further note to self: continue to rock when possible.

 

 

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—- IMPULSIVE

 

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—- HAT TRICKERS

 

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—- THE BLAST

 

—- THE BLAST

 

—- pogo machines! NOTE ZEBRA ACCESSORIES.

 

—- POGO MACHINES' fans.

 

—- THE AMAZING DESTRUCTIVE SHIT BASTARDS

 

—- 5audience.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- d.s.b. again. What the hell is the guitarist doing?

 

—- let's look at that more closely. Yes, he's jumped off the drum kit and is now about 12 feet in the air with one foot over his head. Jesus. Fuck you Gene Simmons.

 

—- ORDER

 

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—- ORDER

 

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—- THE SLOWMOTIONS and their new wave glasses.

 

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—- TOM AND THE BOOT BOYS AND AUDIENCE, everyone caught in the act of going OI OI OI OI!!

 

—- 8audience.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- so drunk he's trying to play his guitar backwards.

 

—- 8bassblurr.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- and more stagedives!!

 

—- 8dive4.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 8dive6.jpg" type="image" />

 

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—- 8vox.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- DISCLOSE. Yes I used photoshop.

 

—- 9bass.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 9sing.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- EXTINCT GOVERNMENT

 

—- 10minagood2.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 10voxbass.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 10voxgood.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 10bassclose.jpg" type="image" />

 

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—- 10gtr.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- GIANT anarchy tattoo on his adams' apple.

 

—- 10mina.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 10mina3.jpg" type="image" />

 

—- 10redheads.jpg" type="image" />

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