The Music Box

Okay, to start off my camera is officially dead. Which means that even though you can find two blurry cameraphone pictures that I tweeted last night over on my TwitPic, I’m not going to bother you with them here. I tried to turn it on at the show last night though and it beeped at me a lot and then just kind of … stopped functioning entirely. If someone wants to buy me a really late or really early Christmas present, that would be wonderful.

Last night was the first Dir en grey show I’ve been to in two years. I honestly haven’t been feeling their newer music (MARROW OF A BONE and UROBOROS were less than thrilling in my own opinion), so I’ve skipped out on their last few U.S. tours. However, they were doing three gigs in New York and people that I’ve known through the Internet for years, but still had never met in person were flying in for the week, so I decided to go to their last show down at The Gramercy Theatre last night.

The opening act for Dir en grey was a band called Suicide City. They were pretty cool, actually. They added me on MySpace a while back, but I had never seen them live before. Most of the other hardcore Dir en grey live show attendees seemed to know them too, so I take it they’re regular New York Dir en grey openers. They had great energy, and did a great job warming up the crowd for Dir en grey.

Dir en grey though – their concerts are still amazing. Even though I didn’t know any of their new music, I still had a great time at the show. To be honest I feel as though they were missing something that they used to have a few years ago, but they still just put so much into every song, and seem to have such a great time up there! They were smiling for most of the show, which was just great to see.

I was in a minidress and high-heeled boots, so I didn’t venture too far into the pit, but I left my usual concert post by the bar and went in for a bit to headbang and rock out with some of my friends.¬† It’s almost impossible not to just let go and kiss a stranger or headbang or just let loose a little at one of their concerts. I think that may be why their shows appeal to so many young people.

They also did a signing and meet & greet after the show – after all of the shows, actually – which I think is really great. I didn’t stick around, since to be honest it’s not really my “thing,” but such a level of accessibility from a band that sells out so many of their shows, and from a group of guys that are really so private, is wonderful to see.

01. Sa Bir
02. Obscure
03. Merciless Cult
04. Red Soil
05. Stuck Man
06. Agitated Screams of Maggots
07. Repetition of Hatred
08. The Deeper Vileness
09. Bugaboo
10. Toguro
11. Glass Skin
12. Inconvenient Ideal
13. Vinushka
14. Dozing Green
15. Reiketsu Nariseba

16. Amber
17. Kodou
18. Ugly
19. Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koto

NOTE: Please correct the setlist if there are any mistakes. I honestly snagged this off of since I was too busy having fun to record the setlist. And as I mentioned, I’m not familiar with their newer work, so I stopped trying after a while.

Suicide City’s Official Website
Suicide City’s Official MySpace
Dir en grey’s Official Website
Dir en grey’s Official MySpace


{8 November, 2009}   New Look

I updated the format of this blog. I think this is easier to read (I hope). I also updated the “About” and changed things around a little.

In terms of concerts coming up that I’ll be writing about, I only have two definite shows lined up so far:
2009.11.14 – Dir en grey @ The Gramercy Theatre (New York, U.S.A.)
2009.12.06 – Samy Deluxe & Tsunami Band Live @ Kampnagel K6 (Hamburg, Germany)

And have a Sunday video from one of my favorite¬† Japanese women, speaking of “New Look.” Happy Sunday!



Edit on 12 Nov.: More events added, along with an events page!



This past week Noah and the Whale was in New York to both premiere First Days of Spring, a film to accompany their second album, and to play three nights at the Mercury Lounge down on Houston. I had the chance to go see them on 03 November for one of these gigs, with so, so, so much thanks to Cherrytree Records.

I had never been to The Mercury Lounge, but I fell in love with it. It’s small with two rows of couches on either side. When it’s empty, it’s such an intimate venue, and when it’s packed you can’t breathe or move, but it still never feels too big or overbearing.

The opening act was Essie Jain, an incredibly charming young woman from England. She and her band are getting ready to put out a lullaby CD, and after hearing her voice for ten seconds, you can understand why it would be perfect. I actually would love to buy the CD when it eventually comes out. I don’t actually know her music that well, but I made a stab at the setlist. Please correct me if I’m wrong:

01. Up Until Then
02. The Truth
04. Afraid of the Dark
05. Stand in the Light
05. Love for You
06. Haze
07. ??? (Second Chance?)
08. Stop
09. ??? (Fall Into Sleep?)

During Robert Francis’ set, I actually left the stage area to find Andrea from Cherrytree Records to say “hi” and thank her. I caught a bit of the set, and it didn’t capture me the same way Essie Jain did. It felt to me as though he tried a little too hard to be emotional and artistic, if that makes sense. He does make good music, though, and no offense intended towards him.

John Norris of MTV was also at the show on Tuesday! I grew up watching him on MTV News, so I was a little stupidly giddy when he was pointed out to me. When we went back into the stage area for Noah and the Whale I wound up right next to him.

Noah and the Whale, though. I didn’t know too much about them going in other than really liking the few songs of theirs that I had heard, and knowing that the poor guys had their equipment stolen in England recently. Seeing them live is an experience, though. They’re one of those bands that you just close your eyes while they’re playing and just lose track of where you are, and what time it is. Charlie Fink is also a remarkably charming performer. He didn’t speak much during the set, excepting to apologize awkwardly into the microphone for, in fact, not speaking. He said he had nothing to say, so other than occasionally giving the name of a song or a brief explanation, he stayed with the music.

As a brief anecdote, the Mercury Lounge doesn’t have a “backstage.” The artists just step up from the back of the venue and walk up onto the stage. Noah and the Whale reached the end of their regular setlist, at which point Fink said (paraphrasing my own), “Now after this song, we’re supposed to go off and hide for a minute and thirty seconds, pretending it’s the end of the set. Then we come out again and play the encore. We don’t have anywhere to hide, so we’re just going to keep playing. But please, pretend this is the last song.”

01. Blue Skies
02. Our Window
03. Give A little Love
04. Slow Glass
05. Jocasta
06. Give me the Love of an Orchestra
07. Rocks And Daggers
08. Stranger
09. I Have Nothing
10. My Door Is Always Open
13. The Shape of My Heart
14. You Were Always On My Mind (Elvis Cover)
15. My Broken Heart

Essie Jain on MySpace
Robert Francis Official Website
Robert Francis on MySpace
Noah and the Whale Official Website
Noah and the Whale on MySpace
Cherrytree Records

I brought my actual digital camera this time. But you know what would be really cool? A digital camera that didn’t turn itself off at random that wasn’t ten years old and halfway broken. Yes. That would be awesome.

The Stage
Stage at the Mercury Lounge

Essie Jain
Essie Jain Setting UpEssie JainEssie JainEssie Jain's trumpet playerThe Crowd After Essie Jain

Setting up for Robert Francis/Robert Francis
Warming up for Robert FrancisRobert FrancisRobert Francis
Robert Francis

Noah and the Whale

Noah and the WhaleNoah and the Whale

et cetera