Monday, March 27, 2006

Toshiya Would Be Proud

If you're a Dir en grey fan, last Thursday was you night! The playlist is as follows:

Dir en grey - Amber
MUCC - Ware zai rubeki basho
Enomine - Mitternacht
Coaltar of the Deepers - Star Love
*Don't Buy BLACK*
BUCK-TICK - Buster
The Back Horn - Kiseki
Suicide Ali - Favorite Song
D'espairsRay - Dears
*Psycho le Cemu Farewell*
Psycho le Cemu - Omoide Aruki
X Japan - Celebration
Sex Machineguns - Onigunsow
HIM - Rendezvous With Anus (The Theme Song for the Yaoi Fangirl/boy)

*The Dir en grey US Tour Celebration Super Block Countdown*
7. Drain Away
6. Raison Detre
5. Umbrella
4. Cage
3. Kodou
2. KR Cube
1. Embryo

*Dir en grey NYC - Getting there*
BLOOD - Wings of Rebellion
Candy Spook Theater - Nightmare
Schwarz Stein - Creeper
Gackt - Redemption
*Dir en grey NYC - Waiting in Line*
The Pillows - My Foot
Berry - ai . hakujou romansu
BLAM HONEY - Suspect
*Dir en grey NYC - Preshow*
Dir en grey - Saku
Isabelle - Tenjouura no YUU
Okuto - G
*Dir en grey NYC - The Show*
Dir en grey - wake
*Hey... guess what*
hide - Beauty and Stupid
Moi dix Mois - Nocturnal Romance
Dir en grey - Akuro no oka
Dir en grey - Shokubeni
Kagrra, - Satsuki
*Webcam Event - Craig Screams Clever Sleazoid*
Dir en grey - Clever Sleazoid
Fear Factory - Edgecrusher
Deadman - Jukeisha no nikki
Rammstein - Keine Lust
Schwarz Stein - Last Hallucenation
Miyavi - ♂papa mama ♀~ nozomare NU Baby~

Special Events in**
Requests in Italics

Of course, the night was dedicated to Dir en grey, and them finally invading the US. Through out the night, we honored DEG requests, had our fan voted countdown, and shared fan stories of the NYC show (which will all be published, unedited, right here later in the week!). Craig even showed up later and enlightened us, as he needed to blow off some steam, by screaming Clever Sleazoid for the webcam viewers!!!

Also, unexpectedly, a bit of news was posted on http://www.jmusicamerica.com . The news was that seek had released a message on the band's official website announcing that Psycho le Cemu was dispanding, perminately. Caught of guard, we tried to pay tribute to the band for the time being until we could prepair a more fitting tribute next week, as we played Omoide Aruki. However, now there is speculation as to weather or not this has been translated correctly. We hope to have the message correctly translated for you by this Thursday, as, I, myself, am a HUGE PLC fan and need to know the truth!

Apparently I was a mind reader during the show as, no more than 8 fans, as well as Craig, said they were just about to request a song, just as I started playing it! As a result, for the first part of the show, there were only a few requests!

We also had a legnthy discussion about the game Black. It wowed us in some ways, but left us disapointed in more. Bottom line, if you like short, curse ridden, smoke filled, blood lacking shooters, this game's perfect for you. Otherwise, only rent this. There's not even any multi-player.

As stated on the show, the Artist of the Week is indeed Dir en grey. I wanted to give a review of the US release of Withering to Death, but it seems to have been delayed by reasons undeknowst to anyone on TR. So, instead, the review will be based on the Japanses release of WTD and will make refferences to the upcoming American release. As also stated on the show, this is something I have been wanting to do ever since the CD was released. So, here it is, my most ambitious CD review yet, Dir en grey's Withering To Death

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I was going into this CD expecting Dir en grey's St. Anger. The way everyone was talking about this CD, it seemed DEG had put a half assed effort into making a generic metal CD. And, by the word in the community, they had almost completely dropped their visuals. Things were looking gloomy for DEG on my part. So, I finally got my copy of the CD and listened to it for the first time with Craig (He probably barely remembers it. IT WAS IN ADVANCED AUDIO LAST YEAR WHEN WE WERE DICKING AROUND WITH PROJECTS ONE NIGHT! 'member now?)

I kinda just let it play a bit first, trying to get an idea and feel for the album as I tinkered with my work. However, the tunes were getting to me. By the time Jesus Christ RnR came on, I crooked an eyebrowl, turned to Craig and said "Ya know... this ain't so bad."

That was indeed an understatment. Today, Withering to Death is not only my fave Dir en grey album, it ranks amounst my top 10 favorite albums of all time.

Before the die hard DEG fans crucify me, yes, I have all of DEG's CD's and have listened to all of them. This CD, I am not afraid to say, is the first CD where they didn't steal someone else's musical style (Don't lie to yourselves. And I'm not just talking about Obscure sounding like a KoRn song). I'm not saying pervious albums were bad at all, but there's only so many times I can hear Kuroyume in a different voice.

This is the first time they have really searched for any sort of autonomy, and damn did it work well! They have achieved a truely original rock sound that doesn't manage to repulse like an overly expirimental album. That word "rock" is key. This is an inovative rock album. Weather it be in heavy freak out mode in Saku, somber, depressing, and emotional in Dead Tree, poppy and catchy in The Final, to just flat out, true to roots rock in Kodou, this is a rock album through and through. This album captivates, intrigues, and most of all, entertains. This CD is a rollercoaster ride that never lets up and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last note.

They key to this CD is the bands maturity, which is apparent throughout the CD. In many ways, their writing style is almost completely different. However, you can hear traces from Vulgar and Kissu throughout the CD, the good traces. The sporatic jumpiness of several Vulagar songs can be heard in Itoshisa wa fuhai nitsuki and Machiavellism, while a forboding creepiness reminicent of some Kissu tracks can be heard in Higeki wa mabuto o oroshita yasashiki utsu. However, on this album, they just pull off these sounds better and do a far better job of invoking the emotions they want to make you feel. Long story short, their writing style has come a long way since Missa.

Alot of people's arguments against this CD to this day is that the band is not visual anymore, and this is therefore, their worst CD. The visuals, to be honest, I don't care about. Seeing the PV for -saku- made me wonder why everyone was going nuts about them ditching visuals. Yeah, they aren't as colorful as they oncee were, but that was pretty visual if you ask me. Then they made Kodou, where you almost never get a clear shot of the band, and I could see where the complaints were coming from, but to be honest, it still didn't matter to me. I fail to understand when, at any point in time in ANY band's history, that visuals had any kind of effect on the writing of a CD. Dir en grey did the right thing with this CD: They cared less about what they looked like and more what they sound like. Reguardless on if you're VK or not, this is how the mind set of EVERY band should be. I don't care if you're visuals are the only thing on the face of the earth that could turn me 100% due to your incredible beauty and craftsmanship that pulsates from you image. If you sound like shit, you're not getting any support from me! I love my VK bands and all, but if a band wants to ditch its visuals for the purpose of a fantastic sounding album, the sacrifice is WELL worth the price!

Dir en grey got everything right with this CD. They finally made an orginal sound that seperates them form other bands and sets them at the top of their game. The visuals may be gone, but it was for the purpose of something better: an exceptional peice of music that is presented as just that, music. They left the visuals behind so that people would pay more attention to this. While this may have backfired with many fans, it has made people like me very very happy and more willing to support the band. This is probably the best new rock CD I have heard in a long long time, and I can't encourage all of you out there enought to buy Withering to Death as soon as it debuts in the US.

Dir en grey's official site - http://www.direngrey.co.jp/
Dir en grey's US Record Lable - http://warconrecords.com/
Dir en grey's Management (Free Will America) - http://www.free-will-america.com/

Also, as stated before, the US package will come pack in with a live DVD. Please support the J-Rock scene and make this CD a success!

-Roger

7 Comments:

Anonymous Zach said...

It was a really good show last thursday! ^_^

And I've already commented about the review.. Hehehe

Yeah, also, I want to know about PLC, so tell me what you can. I hope they don't disband..

9:55 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Becky said...

From what I can tell from their official site, PLC isn't disbanding permanently - just "indefinitely." Of course, no one really knows what that means where J-bands are concerned.

Anyway, nice DEG block. Glad some of their cooler and somewhat overlooked songs made it in.

4:11 AM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally my gripe with Dir en Grey dropping the visual has nothing to do with their sound. Yeah I think they've sacrificed a lot of technicality in their playing to achieve their new more marketable sound but that's a whole different rant.

I think that they dropped the visuals to go mainstream and make more money. Its a sell out move in my eyes and it does a disservice to people who supported them as sort've the vanguard elite of Visual Kei when they just ditch the scene for a quick buck as soon as they start making it big. It also reinforces that horrible trend of VK bands dropping the visuals as soon as they start getting major.

Also I take issue with the notion that it's cool for a band to drop their look to concentrate more on music. A band doesn't have to sacrifice one for the other. Crafting visuals and crafting music are both highly worthwhile artforms and, to me at least, having a band come out and say that they have to drop one to concentrate on the other seems lazy and like a mockery of the whole reason VK is awesome (that artistic combo of image and sound).

12:06 PM, April 15, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Reality said...

Thanx for your comment! It's about time someone really went out there and spoke their mind, as that is what the comments section is used for! Thanx for taking the time to share your opinion and write this carefully crafted response. We encourage you to do it in the future, as we always love to have cross opinions on the show. I just wish I knew who you were so I could thank you more formally!

-Roger

12:11 PM, April 15, 2006  
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