Friday, May 26, 2006
The wonderful hybrid world of Visual Kei is a paradise for commentators on popular culture. This Japanese glam-rock phenomenon is marked by lots of cross-dressing, hair dye and lurid make-up and broad range of musical styles. The visual impact, and tie-in merchandising is every bit as important as the music itself. Here’s some stuff on the influential band Kagrra and this is their official website. Dir en Grey look pretty cool too. This is Tattered Cloth – a shrine to the group. Clicking on “Soup of sexual desire” takes you to pictures of the group which show their visual look. Cross-dressed glam-punk – what do you reckon? “Sweet curry with kidney” takes you to lyrics. They’re great fun. I liked “Deity” from the album “Macabre”.
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This is such an interesting musical movement, Guy! It's more like a band as a social phenomenon, than as simply a band.
And perhaps the whole visual kei is going to prove to be a popular export as well--I'm thinking here of Finland's Lordi, this year's winner fo the fabulous Eurovision Songquest.
Visual kei seems a bit of a niche thing. Most of the albums are on import-only Japanese labels. I think Kagrra are signed to Universal. I was quite surprised to get the lyrics of Dir en Grey (don't you think the name is linguistically so interesting?). I wonder if there's a glocalising trend in popular music/culture?
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