The Bottle Above My Door

Hello, hello!  I have nothing writerly to talk about this week, so I thought I would share the (boring) story behind one of my weirder decorations.  Hanging above my door, alongside my collection of drumsticks and guitar picks, is a crumpled up plastic water bottle.  Whenever I’m hurting and need to lay back in the chair to shift my weight (or I get stuck on something while writing and just need a break), I usually end up staring at that bottle for a few minutes.  It has this weird ability to make me smile, despite being a piece of junk to everyone else.  I guess it’s because I get to think about that December night back 2011 when I got it.

Kyo's Water Bottle
Yes, I’m one of those weird people who keep things like this 

That year was a year for concerts.  Miyavi came around in November (pretty sure one of the drumsticks is from that one), which was a no-brainer for me.  I was definitely going to that show.  Then, I found out that Dir en grey was coming through that December.  I admit that I struggled a bit with the decision to go to that show.  I knew Dad wasn’t a fan (screamy Japanese metal just isn’t his thing, though I knew he wouldn’t say no if I asked to go) and it was a little expensive, but I had never seen them live before.  And you never really know if Japanese bands are going to come back through Texas, so it’s best to catch them when you can.  Ultimately, I decided to go.

Dad, the Minion (yes, I call my friend a minion, except I think he still had the title of Puppet back then), and I piled in the van and headed down to Trees in Deep Ellum.  It’s one of my favorite venues down there, though we haven’t been in a while.  The owners were super nice.  I heard they’ve reopened two other venues since the last time I went to a concert out there, which is neat.  But I digress.

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The Minion!  And yes, I wore a Mudvayne hat to a Dir en grey concert.

The concert was awesome.  Sat by the stage, right in front of Toshiya, the bassist.  At one point, Dad leaned over and said that he had just realized that that guy (Toshiya) was wearing a skirt.  Given other bands I listen to, it wasn’t a surprise as much as an observation, but it was still funny.  Then, when the concert was over and the band members were leaving the stage, Kyo (the singer) stopped and gave me his crumpled up water bottle.  Still high on the live music buzz, it was the most awesome thing EVER!  A little later, when asked what I planned on doing with his garbage, I vaguely remember a plan to harvest his DNA and clone him.  That never came to fruition, but I did use it as a wall decoration.

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Kyo!

And that’s how one man’s literal trash became my treasure.  What’s something weird that you keep around?  Do you have anything other people would look at and automatically think it’s trash?  Share your story here or on my social media pages!

J-Rock: How I Became A Fangirl

Howdy all!  Last week, I asked for some suggestions on what to blog about, so Lew and Joe asked how I got into J-Pop/Rock.  It’s not really that long or interesting of a story, but they wanted to know.  So, please excuse me while I fangirl (get overly excited, squee, and babble on about a certain subject) over some of my favorite music and musicians while I relive those early days.

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And there are definitely some pretty men.  That’s Miyavi, by the way.

 

I guess I got into Japanese music the same way a lot of people do: anime.  I grew up with the Americanized version of Sailor Moon, then Pokémon and Digimon and Cardcaptor Sakura and all of that came along.  But it wasn’t until I was sixteen or seventeen (around the time I started looking to the Internet for friends instead of hanging out with my sister and her friends) when I began searching for fansubs and the original versions of the shows that I started my brief voyage into the world of J-Pop, then my descent into J-Rock.

It wasn’t just anime exposing me to the music, but also the friends I was making by hanging out in anime chatrooms.  (Do you even remember those?  The Yahoo chats?  Oh how I miss those days.)  It takes a lot for a theme song to entice me into looking it up, so I was a total n00b to the music compared to most of the people I met.  So, I listened to every song people recommended.  For example, one of the people I hung out with was a rabid fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, so for a while, I knew every song (and every version) in that series because he would insist I listen to them.  It wasn’t that I enjoyed everything I heard, but I was open to the possibility that I might like it.

Then, I got into YouTube.  Back in the day, before Google and Vevo and all of the legal stuff, YouTube was a wonderland of obscure music.  Plus, it was great about recommending things based (no matter how remotely) on whatever you were watching instead of just suggesting whatever happens to be popular that week, which is how I found my way into J-Rock and all its lovely subgenres.  I had my first brush with bands like Dir en grey (awesome if you like metal), Buck-Tick (kind of an 80s vibe), Versailles (symphonic metal), and Miyavi (guitarist).  From there, I just kind of dug around on my own to find things that I adore.  It also doesn’t hurt that most of the beautiful women are actually men (a fangirl topic for another day).

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Versailles.  They’re all men.  Yes, even him.

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Exist Trace.  And they’re all women.

 

It was just something that happened.  There was no big plan involved.  It was just a new obsession stemming from an old one, like a slow descent into madness.  We all have these types of love, so tell me about yours.  What’s your random obsession that makes people wonder how you got into it?  And how’d it happen?

A Nod to National Poetry Month

 Welcome, all!  I fully admit that I had no idea what to write about today, then I remembered that it’s National Poetry Month.  I could take the easy way, and post one of my favorite poems, but I won’t do that.  Instead, I’ll show you a poem that I wrote for one of my undergrad poetry courses.  There’s not much you need to know.  It was inspired by my love of Visual Kei bands, and a particular song, “Psycho Butterfly” by Kaya.  In case you’re curious, I’ll put a link to the song at the end.

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Kaya. The man (you read that right) whose song, Psycho Butterfly, inspired the poem.

Psycho Butterfly
For all pretty females of the Visual Kei style that just happen to be males.

Pretty colors mask the truth, poisonous to some.
Seduce them in then blow their minds.
            Sighs entice
            Eyes alight
            Legs ensnare
            Innocence bare
            And beaten away
You’re not what you seem.

Caught in your deceptive exterior, there’s no escape.
            Meaning disappears
            Awakening fears
            Not yet voiced
            At the sound of your voice
Helpless when you sing for their souls,

Only finding out when it’s too late.
            Hidden in your wings
            Intriguing desires
            Zap their strength
            And exhaust their mind
            Keeping them from the truth
            Inches from their thighs

Beauty that demands attention, none can ignore.
Under sun, under moon, under sheets,
            Touching gently
            Ecstatic fantasy
            Repels the time
            Until the discovery is made
They only love you until they know you.

That secret that you don’t try to hide yet
Everyone blames you for.
            Keen eyes
            Aggravate
            Your insensibility
            And push you further into your cage
Reality crashes down on their fantasies

            Masculine tendencies
            Incense their senses
            Yet drive them away
            Angry at the world
            Vying against their own desires
            It’s always that way
Fly away while they fall.

Look for a new predator that’ll play for keeps, but for now
You’ll keep teaching that love’s not skin deep.