Tokyo Damage Report

gekiteki 9 : akiba kei

Akihabara style = akiba kei.  Music from the anime subculture can be gekiteki because people do acting: they pretend to be batman or whatever. . . they wear costumes and perform "in character." Within "akiba-kei", there's a whole genre of wanna-be teen idols that just sing one anime theme song after another, but the people […]


gekiteki 8 : burlesque and cabaret

Burlesque is definitely a part of gekiteki – especially when there is rock music and instruments involved! Unfortunately I have no idea of most of the burlesque / cabaret crews in Japan, and no idea of the "lines of influence" between them. So anyone who can help, please leave a comment!   情念 (jounen) MEANING […]

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gekiteki 7 : retro japanese pop

Besides war nostalgia and religion, another  way to be "wayou" (east meets west) is to fuse rock with old-timey Japanese music.   Minyou kyoku= folk songs kouta = early Meiji era : traditional short, fun songs roukyoku =  also early Meiji : dark, manly ballads about duty and honor Ryuukouka =  1920's music that sounded […]


gekiteki 6 : noise/performance art

I'm putting in noise bands that have a theatrical aspect – props, costumes, interacting with the audience, etc. Of course the theatrics come from  performance art moreso than  Shakespeare-type "theater"!     非常階段 (hijokaidan) MEANING : :  emergency exit CITY . . : Osaka ERA . . . : late 1979~ SOUND . . : JAPANESE […]

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gekiteki 5 : militarist

These bands are "theatrical" because they are inspired by  the pomp and bombast of  – to say nothing of the shock value of – Japanese military culture from fascist era (roughly '31 – '45)  Any discussion of militarist Japanese rock has to start with "the nazi thrash epidemic" of the late '80s: a sort of  […]


gekiteki 4 : pagan

Religion is another way to mix up East and West. Some of these bands are serious, deep Buddhists, and some are metal-heads who embrace  Japanese pagan or shamanic stuff in order to reject Christianity and Christian Rock (this is a common theme of metal worldwide ever since Norwegian rockers started wearing Ren-faire garb and singing […]


gekiteki 3: literary bands

Literary bands  – for some reason all metalheads – use old-timey Japanese authors for their lyrics. Usually horror or surrealist writers from the Modernist period of the '30s. Literature is a big part of ANGURA (underground) culture  . . .even if your band isn't metal, even if you don't  have literary lyrics, you're supposed to  […]

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gekiteki 2: shironurikei

shironurikei (白塗り形) means "white-painted face style". The white face thing has been around forever – geisha and all that. But shironurikei is not just a matter of doing geisha makeup. There's a whole  iconography to it. A sort of "japanese goth" that is different from your fakey Marilyn Manson-type goth bands AND different from your […]


gekiteki 1: theatrical

This isn't ALL the "gekiteki" bands, just  the ones who are the most like "regular" theater troupes. In the next week or so I'll post the rest of the bands.   J.A. Caesar MEANING : Terahara Taka'aki ERA . . . : 60s, 70s SOUND . . : : a mix of heavy Psychedelic and […]


Introduction to 劇的なロック (geki-teki rock)

Gekiteki (劇的) means dramatic, or theatrical.          Since coming to Japan I done seen a lot of "genre" shows: punk shows, metal shows, even shows with punk and metal on the same bill!   But every once in a while,  some wacky bands will sneak on the bill, bands that defy categorization. […]