Alamode Night November 08

Since I didn’t have this blog when I first went to Japan back in November 08, I thought I’d import some of my entries from my livejournal. Here is my account of the first ever goth club I went to in Tokyo, Alamode Night (not formatted very well).

What an experience this was! On the one hand it was one of the strangest things I’ve ever been to. On the other, I felt warmly embraced by the gothic fraternity from the other side of the world. I’m just a big fangirl, I suppose, and was stoked to meet people I’d seen in the Goth Loli book and on various websites.

I’d arranged to meet up with Carmen, a Canadian Chinese expert in the Japan goth loli scene and author of a high-profile blog I’ve linked to before. Her account of the night is here:

On the way there, I was obviously looking lost and a girl rescued me. She could see by my gear that I was going to the same club as her, so off we went! Just a block or 2 from the club, Carmen herself appeared behind us.

Once inside, the first people I lay eyes on are the performers Rose de Reficul and Guiggles, of the Dark Marchen, along with King (chef by day, wing-hatted performer extraordinaire by night.) We also met the gaijin who performs with them as the Candyman. They all have characters, you see. There’s also a geeky clown (or otaku pierrot, as Carmen called him), and a clumsy gimp ballerina swathed in bandages. Rose and Guiggles you may have seen on the back cover of the Gothic Lolita book.

Before long, the organiser Dee’s Valentine came up and welcomed me (we’d exchanged a few mails on MySpace first). I felt really at home. People were nice to me, many many had dressed up immensely, and I was just soaking in all the weirdness. Unfortunately, tho I saw a cool looking guy with glasses and long dreads, I didn’t speak to him. I found out later he was DJ Chihiro, wearing really different make-up to usual. Doh!

There were a couple of singing acts – Pudding Alamode, and Noro, who weren’t really goth. But I guess anyone a bit weird can fit into this club. It was good fun when she sang “Take On Me” – Carmen and I were singing back-up in the chorus.

Then there was a fashion show, with a circus type theme and performers amongst the models. In between acts, I’d chat to a few people. One guy invited me to Midnight Mess, another goth club, but it was on after I left. Next time.

So, Dark Marchen. It’s a strange ethereal Victorian/Rococo mime act to music. A little is planned, but a lot of it is improvised. Dramatic and intense, I was spellbound by the act. Chatting to them afterwards proved that they were really nice as well as talented.

Their performance can be described as: “butoh-emo (underground/melancholic/angst), hybridized with Victoriana inflections of romanticism and sentimentality, dramatically infused with post Gothic dark-psycho-pathos.” Here is another item in Carmen’s blog about them.

Check them out here www.victorian666.com/ and on YouTube


I really didn’t want to leave afterwards, and it was with great sadness that I said my goodbyes. I’ll be back!!


d>
Carmen Carmen

She has a great blog all about goth loli fashion, Tokyo stores, clubs, etc. See La Carmina

Me at Alamode Me at Alamode

We camwhored near the lockers before heading to the 2nd floor for the club.

You lookin at me? You lookin at me?

Dee's Valentine the organiser of Alamode, and me. Dee’s Valentine the organiser of Alamode, and me.

Apparently he doesn’t usually allow photos of himself. You can see some normals in the background, who were there to see the pretty girls in the fashion show.

The amazing Dark Marchen group The amazing Dark Marchen group

They were sitting in this old-style circus booth – awesome!

Sometimes they smile :) Sometimes they smile :)

Me and the Candyman Me and the Candiman

He was from Vancouver Canada and has been with them a long time.

Me and ? from Midnight Mess. Me and ?

He gave me a flyer and invited me to the next Midnight Mess – but it’s when I’m back here :(

Rose de Refucil Rose de Reficul

She was lovely. Very friendly, and an entrancing performer as well.

Fashion Show Fashion Show

The label was Pays Des Fees.

Count de Sang? ???

Not sure who he was, but he looked great in his victorian garb.

the amazing mauve-haired girl the amazing mauve-haired girl

Noro Noro

No, she doesn’t look goth to me either. Her sound was synth electro, and we weren’t that into it until she sang “Take On Me”!

Me with my Kirin beer. Me with my Kirin beer.

Clown in fashion show, and DJ Chihiro Clown in fashion show, and DJ Chihiro

If you look at the person far left in the audience with the glasses and long hair, you see DJ Chihiro!! No, I didn’t recognise him either, and failed to meet him :(

DM DM

The wonderful King The wonderful King

You couldn’t even tell til the end, that one of his platform boot heels had come off. What a mover! What a trouper!

Rose getting emotional Rose getting emotional

Rose Rose

King strutting, in his amazing hat King strutting, in his amazing hat

The man was constantly interesting to look at.

3 of the DM men singing an aria 3 of the DM men singing an aria

or were they howling at this point?

King, Guiggles & Rose. King, Guiggles & Rose.

Carmen and Otaku Pierrot Carmen and Otaku Pierrot

She had a strange crush on the geeky one, for some reason! (My eyes were elsewhere…)

Rose singing Rose singing

The King and I (geddit?) The King and I (geddit?)

Yes, I have a bit of a girly crush :)

I got his hat! I got his hat!

Candyman, having retrieved his chuppa chup from the floor, intimidates the parrot Candyman, having retrieved his chuppa chup from the floor, intimidates the parrot

 There’s more pics in my gallery of the night, if these aren’t enough. pics.livejournal.com/trashtastika/gallery/0003k8dh

Overall, it was one of the best nights, and I am CERTAINLY going back!

Exciting new Tokyo bar – the Decadance Bar!

Lacking colour in your life??
Now there’s a place you can go…and it’s not ‘Cheers’.

Last week a very cool bar opened in Tokyo – the Decadance Bar!!!

OK, no surprises for guessing this is affiliated with the amazing Tokyo Decadance club…and is therefore in the Christon Cafe, Shinjuku.

Courtesy of DJ Sisen, G-suS, and the Decadance Bar blog, we have lots of info about this exciting event.
Instead of waiting once a month for the Decadance party, you now can go ANY NIGHT OF THE WEEK!!  A-a-a-a-a-a-a-n-n-n-d…your fave Decadance celebs are there tending bar for you! (even Adrien will be there – swooon) So you can stalk themogle Coco…er, chat with them :)
Monday: 6PM – 11PM (CoCo)

Tuesday: 6PM – 11PM (Poruko)
Wednesday: 6PM – 11PM (SiSeN)
Thursday: 6PM – 4AM (Poruko)
Friday: 6PM – 4AM (SiSeN)
Saturday: 11PM – 4AM (Poruko)
Sunday: 6PM – 11PM (SiSeN)

1 Drink costs 500yen (1 Ticket). The food menu varies.
You can buy two different types of “Ticket Packages”:
2 Tickets for -> 1000 yen, or
7 Tickets for -> 3000 yen! (Cheap for Japan’s standards!)

Just look at the yummy drinks on the menu! There’s Chuhai for the hardcore, or shouchu for me.

As for what you can expect there, in Sisen’s words..

The atmosphere of the Bar is mysterious…and magical. You can enjoy delicious drinks & food, play some cool videogames, watch movies, dress up in costumes…Just a place to ENJOY and have FUN, for EVERYONE!

This will definitely become a venue for visiting gaijin, a tick on their must-do list, along with seeing cosplayers on the bridge at Harajuku, and Elvises in the park.

It’s great for those of us who love to dress up, cos now we can go to a place anytime, and not feel like freaks!! It’s in a great central place…and just around the corner from the Golden Gai, which is one of my fave drinking areas in Shinjuku.  The bar is on level 9 of the building, with entry on level 8.

Check out the many pictures on the blog to get an idea of the atmosphere, but here’s a few:

Hula hooping competitions and hot chicks!

Wanna be served by a Stepford Wife?
Look at those tongues!
There’s a definite blue theme going on here….I like it! Check out the dessert!!
G-suS and Sisen getting down
Does my bow look big in this?
and the whole gang together
(All pics taken from the blog)

 
I’ve always enjoyed the colour and creativity of the TD parties – the photo in my banner was actually taken at the Tokyo Decadance Halloween Party last year. This bar likewise is obviously a fun place to be, and I know I’ll be there first night I’m back in Tokyo. 

Put it on your itinerary too!

Club Walpurgis – dark alternative Gothic night in Tokyo. Sisen, 13th Moon, Bella Lune.

Last Saturday night was Club Walpurgis, at Aoiheya in Shibuya.

It definitely had the character of a goth club back home – but it was much smaller. The music was authentically goth and deathrock (with a few exceptions with regards to other 80′s music), and while the decor was dark, the atmosphere was great. The main thing other than the music was the chance to catch up with the “Usual Suspects”.   

Such as Sisen (I don’t do V fingers for just anyone, you know).
Sisen is off back to the US in Aprl, then to Russia in May with the Tokyo Decadance crew – busy boy!
And the gorgeous Akie. Perhaps I’m wondering where I put my drink…
My lovely friend Naohira (yes, of 13th Moon)
And Michael, here with Akie and Sisen (yep, that’s an Angelspit shirt)
And I met new friends such as Setsura – she organises and performs at events such as the upcoming Komm Zu Mir, on April 17 – a Gothic/Fetish/Theatrical night with Buto.

There were also some members of US group Bella Lune, Fuchsia and Hurley, who were really nice, and who are playing at Midnight Mess this Saturday night.

I met quite a few new great people, but left my camera in the bag as the beers started flowing so have no new photos to regale you with this time. But the various peeps will be at Midnight Mess this Saturday night, I’m sure, as will my camera…

Wild Mood Swings in Hell

Had a blinding night at Wild Mood Swings last night – well, not literally – I wasn’t drinking absinthe! WMS is a free DJ night run by Gaijin Tonic, Craig of Tokyo Gig Guide and others, and last night was the first. It was held in Hells Bar in Sangenjaya, conveniently close to Shibuya, where I’m currently staying.

I walked in absolutely on my jacks, knowing no-one, and walked out having talked to a dozen people both western and Japanese. I initially planned to only stay til 2am or so, but it got to 6am before I hit the road; I was just enjoying myself so much.

There were some really good talks thrown in there (thank you Kif and Mark), some hilarious ones (thanks Sam and Money Mark), and I got hit on and told I was pretty, which is always good for the ego. There were Aussies, Brits, Americans and Japanese – some of whom had lived in Australia. Everyone seemed to hit the dancefloor at some point, as well as chat in the “lounge” area of the toilets!

The important thing was, of course, the music. A great selection was played with some surprises like Oingo Boingo and Pavement, some gothy tunes by the Cure and Sisters of Mercy (thank you DJ with glasses), and old faves by Morrissey, Madness and Happy Mondays.

If it’s on next time I’m in Tokyo, I will definitely go again. If you are, so should you.  But enough gabbing from me, here are some pics:

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Theatic Alamode – Blood Stain Child and Calmando Qual

Resulting from my hangover and the quake, I was a tad late for Theatic Alamode last night.

I did get to see 2 really interesting bands, as well as checking out the gothic lolitas and metallers there, so I got my money’s worth. Unlike Tokyo Decadance, I was virtually the only westerner there – I *think* I spotted one other. But now, the bands.

BSC’s music is metal/screamo/electronic – Wiki calls them melodic death metal. There is a melodic electronic track underpinning each song, overlaid by big powerful riffs and fierce vocals.

Formed in 2000, they have released 4 albums, the latest being Mosaiq. Their influences range from In Flames, Children of Bodom, and HIM, to Soulfy, Black Sabath, Megadeath, Slayer, X-Japan, Trivium and Linkin Park.

The singer Sadew is fantastically charismatic, and with his dreads is very much the Japanese Jonathan Davis. Yes, he’s very pretty. Ahem. But also an amazing singer, whether vocalising melodically a la Serge Tankian, or howling like, well, pick your fave screamer.

 
The other members are Ryo, GSR, Violator, Aki and Ryu – the only chick in the band – who has blue hair!!
Although I’m not so much into screamo, I enjoyed the gig immensely, such was the vibe and the musicianship. The fact that all of them are nice looking doesn’t hurt. Check them out at the BSC website or MySpace page.
Following Blood Stain Child was a very eccentric band indeed.

If  I thought the BSC frontman was charismatic, I couldn’t take my eyes off Hibiki, singer of Calmando Qual. CQ is an experimental goth/deathrock band which formed in 2001.  Originally Visual Kei in appearance, there’s more of a weird circus/vaudeville/dandy flavour now, it seems to me, as if the carnies have escaped from the asylum.
Hibiki cackles maniacally whilst rolling his eyes and generally acting like he’s insane, with hair teased bigger than Robert Smith’s. Every facial twitch is mesmerising, as is his and offsider/bass player Kenka’s storyelling before each song. I had no idea what they were talking about, but it seemed to hold the crowd. Kenka seemed to be some ancient deranged pirate, while drummer Maya and guitarist Tak didn’t seem to have characters as such.
I found the music less accessible than BSC’s and vocally Hibiki wasn’t as strong, sometimes singing a bit flat. Maybe that’s not the point – Nick Cave in the early Birthday Party was pretty hard to listen to. But there’s no denying the band is intriguing to watch. Newly signed to the Darkest Labyrinth label, CQ has a new single “Doors” being released on May 26.
If you want to experience Calmando Qual for yourself, head to Calmando Qual’s website, the CQ MySpace page, or watch the videos on the Spirit of Metal website.
Both bands are touring now, so if you’re in japan keep an eye out for them.
As for the club itself, there was the usual array of lolitas and some cyber kiddies, as well as the more casually dressed kids there for the metal. I used to be surprised to see little lolitas throwing themselves around to gabba, but after a few of these clubs, the novelty wears off and it seems normal. There were no photos being taken, so I took my cue and refrained.

So there’s no outfit pic for the night, lthough I snapped a self pic for the record. I
toned down my make-up a bit for this club, seeing as I had to get a train to Ikebukuro and knew I’d be asking for directions numerous times. It was cold enough to warrant my fake fur scarf, and I paired it with my icy blue “Angelic” contact lenses. Yes, the Takuya lashes came out again :)

Next up…my visit to an amazing accessories exhibition at the Bunka Fashion College in Shinjuku.

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