Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1991: Visual Kei

x-japan old2
Don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?

X Japan: Joker


Buck-Tick: Sakura


Luna Sea: Moon


So far we've mostly talked about what Americans were up to in 1991, until David just highlighted a Swedish group in the last post. Many of you have asked me what the Japanese crowd were busy with that year. By "many," of course, I mean "none." Still, I remain convinced you lot are undoubtedly wondering about it, but an unusual shyness has come over you.

X Japan, the premier Visual Kei group, was at their peak. The term Visual Kei was somehow derived from one of X Japan's catch-phrases, "Psychedelic violence crime of visual shock." It is probably more accurately translated as, "Your parents are gonna have (Hello) kittens when they find out that you fangirl us." The tune here, "Joker," is from their 1991 CD, Jealousy. Have fun playing "guess the English words" with this song. It's a pretty straightforward speed-metal rocker and showcases Yoshiki's intense drumming style that led to neck surgery last year and a bunch of cancelled concerts. At the end of this month, X Japan will finally play their long-delayed US tour, hitting Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York City. You lucky stiffs!

Buck-Tick (from "bakuchiku", or firecracker), another mover and shaker in the VK scene, released their sixth major album that included Sakura (Cherry Blossom). This is not to be confused with the classic Sakura I posted during Public Domain week. I get all tongue-tied trying to express the awesomeness that is Atsushi Sakurai, their lead singer. I'm clearly not the only one who thinks so, if the fanvid on YouTube is anything to go by – it's set to Tom Jones' Sex Bomb.

Luna Sea makes for a nice end to our threesome. Moon is from their eponymous first album. They, too, are reuniting this fall with a "20th Anniversary World Tour Reboot -to the New Moon-", slated to show up in LA, Germany, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Tokyo in November. Luckily for Sugizo, one of Luna Sea's guitarists, this doesn't overlap with X Japan's tour – he's in both bands at the moment.

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