Monday, August 30, 2010

Rant: Top 5 Artist/Musicians That Annoy Me

5. Tokio Hotel
Before crossing over to North America to make a name for themselves, I enjoyed their music, but when they broke barriers, the madness in their rabid fandom became reality. I got to step in this reality when I saw them live in 2008 and, unfortunately, it has scarred me to never see them perform again. As I probably mentioned before, I thought Humanoid was a nice step up from the earlier work, but they gradually became less visually stimulating for me. Bill has this whole Adam Lambert style to him now and it feels like their egos have taken over everything they do. I'm not planning on see them live again for a loooooong time, but I'll still keep track of their new releases at a safe distance.

4. Yoshiki
You've seen my rants about the man, but I do have a little sympathy for him with this whole lawsuit nonsense. I just wish I could see X in Texas. C'mon! You could practically make a phrase out of that. We're the only state that has an "x" in our name, but it's okay. I just hope you guys actually go through your plan of touring at all, because you always disappoint us. Maybe new music in the future too?

3. Linkin Park
I fell so hard for you guys when you brought Hybrid Theory to stores. Your remixes were genius, your music videos were rememberable, and the follow up album Meteroa was just as great. When the hype for Minutes to Midnight was the big thing, I was so excited. I thought, "LP never fails! They only produce the best of the best!!", but I was wrong. It was good temporarily, but it was a weak album. It didn't destroy my love for them, but made a bit nervous about their experimentations. A Thousand Suns has been placed in the spotlight and it seems like fans are a little hesitant on how it will come out. The preview for "The Catalyst" has been released on YouTube with and without lyrics. I enjoyed the musical preview, but once the whole song was uploaded, it didn't immediately cling to me. So, I feel a bit torn: Do I want to trust that LP is still an amazing band or hold my tiny grudge of disappointment from their last album?

2. Dir en grey
Ah, Dir en grey...I fell in love with you about 5 years ago and things have been good. I loved your visual kei days all the way to casual style. It never was a shallow relationship between us, it was pure passion through your lyrics and harmonious melodies. Seeing you live and listening to your musical growth has made my love grow stronger for you. Your fandom has increased, your music has populated in more accessible places for your fans, and you've gain more experienced performing for your overseas fans. But somewhere last year, you lost your spark, your passion, everything myself (and perhaps other fans) truly enjoyed. The members seem bored with their music and lost that energy they've been delivering for the past decade. I was upset upon the news of them touring North America with Apocalyptica, because I want new music so much! I'm tired of the same old songs being performed, live DVD after live DVD of the same array of tracks and emotionless deliverance. I don't even expect a new PV, they've become mediocre lately anyway. I just request an album. Lock yourself up with some coffee, energy drinks, anything to get the creative juices flowing to produce some quality music!

1. Kisaki
You have surpassed Yoshiki with your musical plots and twists. You've constantly teased us with so-called "retirement" announcement, revival lives for Phanatasmagoria, spontaneous releases for the disbanded band, your love denial for Riku, and the birth of Rin consisting of former chariots members and Riku. I knew the retirement was a joke like when Jay-Z announced his and he ended up releasing a new album and such. But all the Phantasmagoria nonsense has become annoying. Either let it go or bring it back!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Live: A-Kon 21

A-Kon 21
[2010.06.04] Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, TX
featuring: Inugami Circus-dan & SEIKIMA-II

Inugami Circus-dan

Inugami Kyoko: Vocals
Inugami Jouji-II: Guitar
Inugami Zin: Bass
Inugami Akira: Drums

Red banners with black script were set up on the stage and the lights dimmed down as the band members stepped on the stage, Kyoko being the last one. The room went silent as Kyoko stared out with a blank expression and the beginning of "Hone" began. She sung the song with such a stoic expression, it was very memorable. After that, they busted out with a more upbeat song and Kyoko started headbanging like crazy, flowers flying everywhere on the stage from her head. We did a lot of group participation hand movements and clapping. We chanted at the beginning of "Jisatsu no Uta" with a little hand gesture shown to us by Kyoko. The band had a lot of energy and Jouji's solos were...INSANE! Reminded me why I love the guy. Kyoko made sure to showcase Jouji's solos and had some fun interactions with Zin and Akira licked one of his sticks during an introduction I believe. Kyoko put a headband on and did a little paper ribbon dance to "人面疔" that was very imitatable. Most of the MCs were in Japanese, but she did manage to tell us that she loves Dallas in Engrish. She was adorable and I got to hear that wonderful devious little laugh of hers. ♥ The crowd was very into the music and it was definitely a concert I will not forget. I assume the Japanese fanclub member enjoyed herself as well because she was really, really into the music. One of the security guards in front of me raised a brow at her convulsing against the barrier hardcore Japan style to some of the songs. So, here's my guesstimation setlist, in no particular order of course and I’m probably missing some songs too (translations appreciated):

Zankoku Paradice
Inochi mijikashi koi seyo jinrui!
Tsugou no Ii Onna
Hikari to kage no toccata
Jisatsu no Uta


Demon Kakka: Vocals
Luke Takamura: Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jail O'Hashi: Guitar & Backing Vocals
Xenon Ishikawa: Bass
Raiden Yuzawa: Drums

Once their set was over, the staff removed the banners from the stage and began tuning the various guitars for the Seikima members. I looked at the final stage set up and even took notice of the dinosaur theme park looking cup on a stool with something covered by a little clothe.

People slowly started settling down and the lights dimmed once again, but occupied by "Create the Next Century" to welcome each member onto the stage. First Raiden made his entrance then sauntered off to the drums followed by Xenon on bass, Luke and Jail on guitar, and finally...His Excellency Demon Kakka (or H.E. Demon Kogure). They opened up with a high energy song “Fire After Fire” which made the crowd go wild. If I could describe the performance in two words it would be “overwhelming energy”! It was nothing less than satisfactory on stage and tons of amusement. Demon Kakka mused us by shaking his ass in his tight pants between nearly every song as he replenished himself with water from the dinosaur cup and all of his MCs were in clear English. He sung one of his songs upside down while a hand statue formed in the same way he holds a mic was placed in front of him on a pillow I believe. He also had a servant dressed in black hooded outfit that would bring certain items. A few of the most memorable MCs that he did was before they started “Adam’s Apple” [one of my favorites] and he gave us a little Japanese lesson. The servant brought over a wicker basket with apples in it and he told us that it’s called “ringo” in Japanese like Ringo Starr of the Beatles. Raiden played a snippet of a song and he added that it means “star of apples” [haha] then made us repeat “ringo”. H.E. continued with the lesson explaining how in Iwate prefecture in Japan it is called “manko”. He made us repeat it a couple times and a friend of mine told me what it meant, which made me chuckle. He made the audience say “I like manko” which was hilarious, then he explained that “manko” meant “pussy”. [haha!] He moved on to making the male audience members answer dirty questions like: “What do you like?”, “What do you want?”, “What do you eat?”, “What do you want to lick?”, “What do you want to suck?”, “What are you getting tonight?”. After all that hilarity and watching a couple girls giving a couple guys funny looks, the band proceeded with the song. It! Probably the most memorable songs of the whole set due to the apples. I will never look at them the same way again. During the song, each member took a bite of an apple and Demon Kakka would toss it into the audience and there were two apples floating around with his bite marks. I didn’t catch anything, but I really wanted to. He threw far~ There was another little Japanese lesson later on the show about how to say “kill them” in Japanese and Spanish and he made us make little noises: the screams of girls, the screams of birds...elephants...butterflies, then proceeded with "House of Wax". We also had a little melody test with Luke and Jail to "THE AKUMA SYMPHONY SUITE Number 666 in C# minor Overture" that we had to follow with our voices on each side. After two tries, we got better and it was a lot of fun. Another memorable MC moment was when H.E. introduced the band members. He didn’t really say anything special about Raiden and Xenon, but once he got to the guitarists...he had some comments to add. For Jail, he said that he loves screams of young girls and for Sgt. Luke, he said he likes women with big tits...specifically big “swinging tits”. Somehow the female audience were suppose to make the noise for that, but they just screamed instead. Here's another rough set list that might have some missing songs:
Create the Next Century
House of Wax
Jack the Ripper
Adam's Apple
Fire After Fire
El Dorado
Brand New Song
THE AKUMA SYMPHONY SUITE Number 666 in C# minor Overture
THE AKUMA SYMPHONY SUITE Number 666 in C# minor Dead Symphony

For last finishing notes on the band and their performance, I thought their appearance were very elaborate and nostalgic. Demon Kakka probably had the most distracting look of all because his pants were awfully tight and then there was this huge buckle/cock shield/whatever that could light up staring you in the face with its demon eyes. Raiden’s hair was by far badass. It was a bright orange and blonde Mohawk-type do and Xenon reminded me of the lion for the Wizard of Oz strangely. Luke and Jail were my secondary distractions with their opposite wardrobe and stage presence, but Jail stole my heart and kicked Die off the “guitar hero” pedestal temporarily. I couldn’t stop staring at him and the way his fingers moved. Definitely intranced by the various sounds coming from his side the most.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


[2010.07.04] House of Blues in Houston, TX
featuring: Miyavi

People tried to start some chanting/clapping thing, but it never really caught on like most lives. There was a little bit of idiotic screaming when nothing really worth screaming for happened. I gave a quick survey of the fans in the room. A few fans with glow sticks and other accessories waited above us in the balcony and the crowd in the pit had a good spread out for breathing room, even during the show! One reason I love Houston shows!

The lights changed and signaled the fans to burst out with shouts and cheers as the drummer came across the stage in his shorts. My friends and I agreed he needed to burn those things or at least get a tan on his legs...something! He settled in his seat and soon Miyavi came out in the slight darkness getting us pumped. He started off with "Survive" and everyone immediately became involved with the music. We were in sync and gave Miyavi everything we had. So, a brief break to throw in unofficial setlist which might have some missing songs, who knows, and it's definitely not in order:
Kimi ni Funky Monkey Vibration
My name is
Ekisentorikku Otona Yamai
Kimi ni Negai wo
Are you ready to ROCK?
Sakihokoru hana no you ni -Neo Vizualizm-
Subarashikikana, kono sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-
Super Hero
Shouri No V-Rock
Ossan Ossan Ore Nanbo

Alright, this might be a little scattered, but bear with me here. Of course, Miyavi's English has been gradually improving, but he still does that fast mumbling thing that Toshiya has a problem doing in Japanese. I'm guilty of it too. So, he would always say the name of the tour really fast and mumbly, but everything else was pretty easy to understand if you're used to non-native speakers speaking in English. Since I'm talking about his English skills, I guess I'll start with his MCs. We've concluded that Miyavi had the f-bomb English course where Japanese people always say "fuck" in nearly every sentence for emphasize. I find it amusing, but there's probably someone who finds it unnecessary and dumb. He introduced the two men accompanying him on stage. I think the drummer was named Noodle and he did a little awesome solo and then there was Bobo on keyboard and the mixing board. Miyavi picked on him a lot toward the end half of the show.

"Sexy, sexy boi. Sexy boi who like boy. *chuckles*"

I was very pleased that this batch of fans had the common courtesy of being quiet when need be and when to be loud. Matsuri failcon had it's advantage of 1. variety of songs he didn't perform this time around and 2. knowing the hand motions for "BOOM HAH BOOM HAH HAH", which a few people struggled with at first, but soon got the hang of it. You can tell an artist is having fun when they want some group participation lyrically. For "Kimi ni Funky Monkey Vibration", there was a moment where Miyavi would sing "Funky Monkey" and the crowd scream every time he sung it without music backing him up. He paused and told us we were suppose to repeat him, so we tried our best no matter how crazy his voice was. From low to high and short to drawn out. He teased us and told us that we suck when we got to the high part, then he wrapped up the song. I forgot my pink bandana for "Shouri no V-Rock", but I improvised and used my newly bought tank top to replace it for swinging around. Bobo directed us as such. I really enjoyed his and the drummer's energy they brought to us. "Ekisentorikku Otona Yamai" and "Ossan Ossan Ore Nanbo" were two tracks I was surprised and happy he incorporated into his setlist. Oldies, but goodies for sure. "Are You Ready to ROCK?" seemed to be the infamous neverending track like Phantasmagoria's "Kami Uta" or Dir en grey's "Ugly". I didn't mind it and everyone else felt the same way. He played a few new tracks from his upcoming album for those of you who didn't recognize "Gravity", "Universe", or "Revenge". I'm really looking forward to it as I was kinda weary on the Kabuki Boiz era material. And since it was Fourth of July, he played a little bit of "Star Spangled Banner", I believe.

"Happy birthday, America!"

I think "Kimi ni Negai wo" is now his signature song for all serious, personal announcements. He played this song at Matsuri failcon before explaining how happy he was being there, that he was starting his own company J-Glam, his marriage to Melody., and the arrival of their baby daughter Lovelie. This time around he started off by apologizing for the cancellation and going over his previous accomplishments with the company and being a family man, then he threw in a curveball by telling us that he has another baby on the way. It seems as though we were the first to find out about this new baby before he posted it on MySpace. It was quite an honor!

"I wonder who the father is. Haha!"

Overall the energy was extremely high, from the stage to the pit to the balcony. The crowd had good behavior and responded properly to each and every song. There was passion flowing through and through and I loved every second of it! Miyavi moved around the stage evenly, giving every section a little love and making us cheer and shout. He accepted one of the signs being held in front of my group and thanked them. He constantly told us how happy he was being in Houston again and how he loves us all. I hope he makes a reappearance, because he seems to enjoy the Houston energy.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Greetings Cult followers & readers!

Thank you for supporting Muddy Cult! I'm sorry that I haven't been keeping this place as up to date as much as I wanted, but now I have more time and I will try my best to post every once and a while.

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that my comment link isn't working, so I have added a little chat box on the side for any comments you may have. I have also added my email address to my profile if you would like to contact me that way. I'm hoping to have more interesting and useful things for you guys. So, please continuing support Muddy Cult and spreading the word about it!

Your Cult Leader,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Live: Quaff

[2010.05.06] Fitzgerald's in Houston, TX
featuring: Quaff & Nancy Silva Project

Nancy Silva Project

Nancy Silva: Vocals & Guitar
Rai "Rai Rai" De La Cruz: Guitar
Joel "Diablo" Martinez: Bass
Jesse Avila: Drums

The Nancy Silva Project is a San Antonia based band with a female lead that doubles as guitarist. Their music kinda falls under the lines of Paramore and VersaEmerge, but they have their own original sound that makes them stand apart from the others. They had great energy and Nancy talked a little to the audience between a couple songs. Strangely, I found Rai Rai and Diablo a little intimidating in appearance, but they are decent musicians for sure. They performed a familiar cover song, that I can't place my finger on to this day. I'm also not completely familiar with their music, but I enjoyed their set list and hope to see them again later. Here's the first music video for "Letting Go":


Seiya: Vocals
Ukisemi: MC
Makito: Guitar
Takuma: Guitar
SNG: Bass & Flute
Hal: Drums

I was very pleased with their set list. They played some tracks from their Shake Your Booty! CD and their singles compilation for their tour, Unknown From Overseas. I was really happy they did a few of my favorites. They also did a new song about Osaka and Michael Jackson's "Beat It" with choreography. Ukisemi did a little storytelling in English because he is an alien and Seiya encouraged us to be happy and smile throughout the whole show. Guitar solos were awesome and poor Takuma almost hit his head with his spiky hair. SNG's flute sounded extra beautiful in person. There was also an introduction song to help us learn their names which was a lot of fun. Best part of the whole show for me was their performance of "Shake Your Booty!". It was high energy and I was one of the chosen ones to shake it with them on stage. So, here's a rough set list of the live which might have missing songs in no particular order:
Ghost Jungle
more than blue
Alien's Attack
Boots & Joker
Beautiful Way
Deep Space Network
Silent Devil
Judge Man
Love Is
Beat It (Michael Jackson cover)
Osaka (which may/may not be the title)
Place of Love
Ghost Busters theme

I really enjoyed myself during the live. There were a couple other acts that performed before Nancy Silva Project that were untalented and laughable, but aside from that I would love to see more from both of these bands. Nancy and the Quaff members were very kinda. The crowd was respectable and energized and the space was intimate. Definitely made for Quaff!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rant: X Japan Revival

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing the new possible PV of an old X Japan song by the name of "Rusty Nail". This was one of the first PVs I saw when I joined the jrock fandom and marvelled at the nostaglia of old school anime glory. It was entertaining and the song immediately stuck to me. It became one of my favorite X songs. So, I was curious how this new version would play out without their late guitarist hide taking over the world with giant animated eyeballs, being a little bit older, and having Sugizo on their team.

Honestly...I laughed! I thought it was ridiculous and Yoshiki is really trying hard to put X back on the charts. I kinda admire his effort, but in the end all I can do is shake my head at every decision he makes for X and how everyone just sighs and goes along with it.

Why do I keep ragging on poor old Yoshiki? Because it's fun and he really needs to stop sometimes. It reminds me how people complain about bands experimenting with their sound and wanting thme to go back. Well, this is what happens when a band stays the same. Sure, people are excited about a new release, but it's practically the same old material with a new package and possibly a new arrangement. Then there's all this hype about "taking the U.S. by storm" with tour plans. I'm sorry, I'm not gonna get excited until plans actually followed through and see them with my own eyes on stage.

I think if Yoshiki wants to get serious about resurrecting the X Japan hype, then new material would be greatly appreciated and I don't mean the same old stuff from back in the day being re-recorded in English either. If you feel a little uncomfortable or uncertain about the idea of putting out a full album with new songs then mix it up like Seikima-II and maybe nip it in the bud if you're not completely satistfied with the direction.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rant: D'espairsRay Cancellation

This month of August, hundreds upon hundreds of people in North America are/were anticipating the invasion of Japan through a brilliant, dark force known as D'espairsRay.

D'espairsRay first made their appearance in 2005 reaching out to San Jose, San Francisco, and Dallas. Then they joined popular acts such as Miyavi, Vidoll, Avenged Sevenfold, and Bullet For My Valentine in JRock Revolution (2007) and Taste of Chaos (2008). They were able to share a little of their music by releasing their second album, Mirror and their latest live, Spiral Staircase #15 Final, in music stores across the nation for a reasonable price.

So when these four talented young musicians announced that they would be stepping foot on North American soil, fans were extremely excited. They had a decent variety of locations from East Coast to West Coast and from North to South, but soon drama erupted between fans and a man by the name of James. For those of you not familiar with Mr. James, he runs the official D'espairsRay Facebook and part of the Swords company. He's also the target of many fandom controversy.

From what I've picked up, Mr James didn't have many fans to begin with due to lack of professionalism and proves to gain more dislike for this lovely little personality flaw. It began with a pit against North American Mania (D'espairsRay's official fan name) and European Mania when a post about "slow ticket sells" were announced via Facebook. People complained about James's assumption of "sad band members" and some Europeans pushed North Americans' buttons by bringing up their sold out shows in a few locations the band would be touring after crossing North America. Some North Americans calmly explained the lack of transportation in our nation and that some are still planning things out. There was also the questionable age restrictions in some of the venues which some Mania pointed out.

Mr. James finally picked up on the age restriction ordeal but mainly named New York in his next update. There was still a bit of hesitation as some people lacked trust in James and a few dates conflicted with the starting of the school year.

Everything seemed well, fans did not fret about ticket sells as fans understand fans when it comes to purchasing tickets. Some get theirs in advance, some have to wait a little due to travel, work, school, or money, and others wait until the day of to buy their ticket. Plus, there were several weeks until the tour would begin and the dates were released after the European leg.

As people anticipated the upcoming shows, it was announced that the southern locations (Dallas, Houston, & Atlanta) would not be getting a visit from the boys of D'espairsRay. People were upset and curious what the reasion would be over the cancellations. They wondered why only the south was selected as they had a good, strong fanbase; Miyavi being proof as he toured in the mid-summer season and had great reception.

Fans tried to figure out possible reasons for the cancellations. Maybe ticket sells were actually slow and James asn't lying. Maybe management was discriminating against southern locations. Or maybe management had poor planning skills and they didn't put enough effort into advertising. There are a few people who logically believe there might've been venue conflicts, but wouldn't the band's team be prepared for anything despite their lack of tour planning experience. I say if Dir en grey's first headlining North American tour went smoothly, why can't D'espairsRay! They're on the same boat: new to North American soil, toured with other well known American bands, and knew the music industry for the same amount of time.

Aside from unhappy fans from across the world, James had to fuel the fire by breaking the #1 rule of Texas: "Don't Mess with Texas", by insinuating blame on "our fellow Texans" and the "businesses". (I was going to place the actual quote here, but it has been deleted.)

This led to some explosive results and fans were not happy with the way James handled the cancellation situation. Although, the lovely people of Askew Magazine tried to pacify the situation by offering cancelled ticket holders a chance to own the special tour edition of their magazine with only the cost of shipping. Pretty reasonable idea! And OnStage Events even stepped in to stop the rumors of a "no refund policy".

Days passed and the D'espa Facebook community calmed down, until the announcement of a new date was posted for New York. The emotions were scattered from rangers of joy, fury, confusion, and suspicion. Some fans thought of it as a good business move as the first New York show they had scheduled was sold out and this would make up for any possible losses from teh cancelled shows. This would also give New York Mania another opportunity to claim tickets if they missed out the first roundabout. Some fans found it suspicious that the date seemed so spontaneous as it was planned on a free day and not a date the other lives claimed previously by cancelled shows. This reason might also be a source of confusion as well.

Once again things calmed down, fans accepted facts, and other ticket holders anticipated the quickly approaching shows. After being upset over possible favoritism with a special meet and greets in San Francisco only, unnecessary slow ticket sell announcement, cancelled southern shows, and the surprise live add-on in New York, fans figured the drama had ended and people could move on to anticipating future make up dates. Unfortunately, without even a proper announcement on either MySpace or Facebook from the management, fans posted the news that the newly added second New York live was cancelled. The sources came from a disappearance of the date on the band's official sites and emails from ticket selling sites saying the show was cancelled.

Now I kinda wonder if D'espa's management are idiots or just plain masochists. They've shown nothing but unprofessionalism since the creation of this tour. Not having articles of band to show North American officials, posting North American dates after European dates even though the North American circuit is first, openly complaining about ticket sells and intiating drama among fans, and not keeping fans up to date with the happenings of the tour. I'm already pacified a little with Askew and Laura was a very pleasant person to talk to about this sudden cancellation. People demand answers: What should we do about our tickets? Should we consider refunds? Why were these four shows cancelled so soon?

These questions need to be answered soon, before they fly off to Europe for a fear they will be sued for their disorganization like Korean Pop idol Rain and his team. They were accused of trying to steal money by cancelling various overseas tours. We don't want the boys to go through that! Management needs to get their act together and start producing some answers. As fans, we should stop assuming cancelled ticket holders are upset with the band we're going to stop supporting them when in fact we're upset with the poor set up of this whole tour and our killed excitement of the boys giving their all on stage since it's been 2 years. We also need to start demanding answers without tearing them down immaturely (...and perhaps hope their reasoning for cancellation is to support Daisuke's memorial service.)