We hope we’ve whetted your appetite with part one of our yearly review! Now it’s time for part two, the conclusion to JRockRevolution’s year in alphabet form.
N is for North America Lives. Goodness, fans got spoiled this year! Besides the many conventions to attend, BLOOD made a return run to the States in February. March was a month of empty wallets. It opened with the ROCKSTAR Taste of Chaos, which is our R for this article. At the same time, MAXIMUM THE HORMONE opened for Drop Kick Murphys. By the time fans found about it MAXIMUM THE HORMONE performing in the US, nearly all the lives had been sold out to the DKM crowd. The Pillows, ACID MOTHER TEMPLE, and the six-group tour called Japan Nite made their annual visit to the Knitting Factories across the coasts. Melt Banana, Miyavi, -ayabie-, POLYSICS, GLAY, and Dir en grey all toured here as well. The JapaNoodle Fever Tour passed quietly over the US in September. SUGIZO joined up with Juno Reactor to bring some ethnic love to the United States and Mexico. Speaking of Mexico, they got GPKism down there as well. Last but not least, FLOWER TRAVELLIN’ BAND performed in Toronto, Canada after a November stop in NYC.
O is for Overseas Media Action. More Jrock music is leaking into the CD stores. MUCC, girugamesh, Dir en grey, Swinging Popsicle, and D’espairsRay all released domestic albums in the United States; MaruMusic released An Café and Versailles albums as well. the Underneath released Moon Flower in the US before it was even released in Japan! European fans can find -ayabie-, Kagrra,, Wizard, Kra, the studs, L’Arc~en~ciel, Nightmare, Dio ~Distraught Overlord~, Gallhammer,…the list is endless. There was even a compilation called J-Visual[ism].
Cure magazine began releasing promo copies in English, with plans to make it a solid magazine in the near future. Poor neglected Australia finally got BLOOD/GPKism over there and Juno Reactor with SUGIZO hit Australia after their European stops. Even-more-neglected-Russia almost got Gagaaling but they had to cancel.
P is …you tell us, what is P?
Q is for Quantity. PSCompany is celebrating ten years in the business, they’re even working on a new Indies division. B’z turned twenty, and shows no signs of stopping. They even created a special site just for the occaision, and released two 2CD + DVD compilation called The Best ULTRA Treasure and The Best ULTRA Pleasure. Lastly, it has also been ten years since hide of X JAPAN passed away (see hide Memorial Summit above).
R is for RockStar Taste of Chaos. From Denver to Seattle, RTOC was thirty-plus stops of head banging joy of not only domestic rock acts, but Japanese ones too. MUCC, the Underneath, and D’espairsRay showed the world how rock is done in the Land of the Setting Sun, creating many new fans in their wake. This paralleled with Jshock releases of the Underneath’s Moon Flower and D’espairsRay’s MIRROR.
S is for South America. Applaud them, they had a fantastic year. JaME Brazil worked with the management brand Noix to convince PSCompany to add South America to Miyavi’s World Tour. JrockRevolution.com invented a poll to see how many Miyavi fans were down there, and the answer was over 8,000! Eizo Sakamoto flew in for an August live. TOSHI (X JAPAN) created a new project called TOSHI with T-EARTH, a musical group with environmental focuses, and they performed in South America in October, even singing in Spanish! MONORAL charmed Brazil, Chile, and Argentia with their strange appeal.
T is for 2009. This year is already looking quite fantastic, although it will start off with a bit of sadness. BLOOD fans received the bad news that after a farewell tour in January, 2009, BLOOD will disband. Around this time, LM.C is going to “rock rock” Brazil and Chile. An Café is going to Europe, including Russia. Aural Vampire has already signed up for anime convention Katsucon in 2009. Also on the topic of conventions, girugamesh is gonna rock Seattle along with HANGRY&ANGRY before you know it. Miyavi has been teasing his fans about S.K.I.N.; official staff on L’Arc~en~ciel’s forum are teasing fans about a 2011 World Tour. Dir en grey has signed up to tour the United Kingdom with the Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour 2009. Mix Speaker’s, Inc., Moi dix Mois, and Wakashima Kanon are all releasing European versions of their CDs in January of 2009. A month later in the United States, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright will open a store in San Francisco. And of course, we cannot leave this paragraph without mentioning that X JAPAN will storm into Hong Kong (the live is already sold out), Korea, and Taiwan in winter and spring of 2009. This will be their first Asia tour. What else will happen this year that will make it revolutionary?
U is for the Underneath. Reformed from the ashes of Transtic Nerve, this band released their album Moon Flower in the United States before it even went on sale in Japan!
V is for Versailles. Kamijo, Teru, Hizaki, Jasmine, and Yuki thought that one stop in Dallas was going to be it for the year, then a Los Angeles date was added. In the autumn, they came to New York City and Arlington, VA. After facing copyright issues when they wanted to sell their music on iTunes, Versailles became Versailles ~The Philharmonic Quintet~ (abbreviated by fans as TPQ). They celebrated the end of 2008 with tipping off their fans that they were going major!
W is for WARPED TOUR. Punk rock and skate boards, Warped Tour has always been an American icon of fresh and raw music. ORESKABAND, an all female Ska band, represented Japan on this tour. Congrats, ladies!
X is for X Japan, of course. I hope they keep doing things or else I am going to be without an X for these articles! X JAPAN had their big reunion live in March this year. The 28th was “Night of Destruction”, the 29th was “Night of Madness, and the 30th was “Night of Creation”. Despite their drummer Yoshiki over-exerting himself and passing out on the first night, the other two nights continued flawlessly to sold out crowds of fans from all over the world. Yoshiki worked quite hard to make tickets available to the fans.
SUGIZO played the part of hide, their deceased guitarist. Richard Fortus (Guns ‘n’ Roses) and Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) attended as well. Fans who had listened to X in high school dressed up in costume and even brought their children to witness the biggest music event that has been in the works for nearly a decade. Also, X JAPAN even had a New Years party at Asakasa Blitz! They’re planning to tour Asia in spring of 2009.
Y is for Yoshiki. Despite playing a huge part in producing the reunion night above and generally reliving his glory days as an epic drummer, Yoshiki was busy in the ‘States as well. He was the executive producer for the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera, produced the soundtrack, and wrote a song on it as well. There was also a jewelry line created, which was aforementioned in our F section. Along with X, Yoshiki teamed up with ROCKSTAR energy drink’s production in Japan (http://www.rockstarenergy.jp/). They’re doing active coverage on his works.
Z is for Zibet, technically Der Zibet, but I needed a Z. Fronted by well-known musician ISSAY, ex-EXTASY band Der Zibet hasn’t been together since 1996 (they were born in 1985). They reunited last year, late in December. Throughout 2008, Der Zibet (and other ISSAY projects like Hamlet Machine) played in various lives in Japan, plus released a three-track rerecording called reD biteZ. Der Zibet also announced a new album in the works, Primitive, which will be their first new album since 1996.
Written by Hikari
Contributions by Kara
Edited by Kara