Category: Kiss

David Bowie, T-Rex/Marc Bolan, KISS: Where do they fit in the mix?

Glam Rock didn’t die in 1975; however this is only an opinion of one academic student in Asia 201.  I truly honestly beleive that these resources were passed on to a new ERA of “GLAM” close to a decade later. Glam died in the US and UK; Kiss tried to do disco – but  by 1986 X-japan was using upside down methods to making their hair stand up with Aqua Net and hairdryers.

Visual Kei was definatley not something completley fathered by X-Japan, but by several bands at the time.  Many branching the different ideas and styles that were to become such a complex genre with several sub-genres inbetween.

While many beleive on several internet based forums/websites and other formats, that X-japan’s “Psychadelic Violence Crime of Visual Shock” was the beginning of it all, many still argue that Kote Kote Kei came first.  (That’s like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg)

Buck Tick is more your Bowie-esque dark side of the moon cross Pink Floyd with a handsome Atsushi Sakurai (later mixed with industrial project Schwein), with X-Japan being your testosterone laden Bon Jovie on Asahi and Sapporo brew.   Other lesser known bands at the same exact point in time existed, but due to lack of knowledge and reference on them they will be omitted.

In terms of professionally categorizing how Glam Rock influenced, or even 70s rock PERIOD; we have to go back and take a peek at the listed influential bands and even unlisted ones.  While the Biased history of Glam rock states “No you still won’t like Elton John”; i’m going to assume still that i’ve never been able to find his Japanese equivalent either.

Some don’t realize the influence that is put forth between these decades, and how it’ll reach towards other formats or other genres in other areas.  This is where my argument about where we market music, and why do we market others, well we market other genres and other formats to comparatively show our own musical identities. Identities which are defined in a personal way towards how we live our lives (yet not always) and how we feel about things (yet not always).

Take this picture of the commericalism side of the industry

Ebay Inventory from Anime Mate

Banpresto X-japan UFO Catchers

Wild, unearthing products that most parents in a conservative nature would not let their children attach to even if they won it in a claw machine at the arcade. Remember the video I posted earlier in the blog about Celebration?  That conservative parent would’ve burned these, probably along with the people that are burning Qurans in the USA… as offensive as either gesture is, passion and security do not run hand in hand.   Music has a profound effect on how we deal with daily lives, so the fact that the difference remains in such musics from overseas – look at Bollywood Music or even music from Afghanistan.  Every country has a different beat; while at the same time every country still has a load of those cookie cutter bubblegum glittery unoriginal bits.

This is where I mention “Morning Musume.” (As my lecturer in Japa132 constantly jokes; that this is what my essay is all about, how much i supposedly adore Morning Musume.  A joke that started largely because a younger classmate of mine enjoys their music.) largely talented young individuals but are slated into a popular “Idol” or cookie cutter format.

I’m going to apologize that i should’ve done the essay first and then this second – but i find it so much more amazing to get through every point this way than the usual way.  Especially since, this is a subject i am quite interested and passionate about.  I would like to note that maybe someday i could write more on this.  There was so much information and i needed to reference it all because it’s all relevant! (This is where i am estatically grinning and admitting as tedious as essays are, i’ve actually done my homework for once!)

But the Morning Musume bit wasn’t meant as an offensive additive, I personally just do not like their music – but they are considered as a possible “kawaii” type genre.

An example:

Back to the influence of 70s glam, i’ll add some more referential videos to prove my point in a moment – yet the thing i should remind people is that even in an essay research can be based on opinion as well as fact.  Because some of these artists are either of a foreign nature, or some even have passed away; you can’t always get the truth or fact on influence.   As Rock was actually something that was influenced and born out of Jazz, Folk and Blues.  As a lot of music has inspired itself from either Classical or Traditionalist nation based music – you can always perceive where the roots came from.

With the notation that music grew from something else; and adapted itself into something new – I can safely say that’s how much of Japanese Popular music begins to form.  Some of it is largely again; similar and unoriginal, with similar styles and beats that mix from all over the world.  Rock is just as mainstream as the next thing, and when you look at US based rock – a lot of people will always say “Rock is Dead”.

Miyavi disagreed with this theory in his track from the 2005 Miyavizm album aptly named “Rock N’ Roll is Not Dead”; an answer to previous single “Pop is Dead” from his 2002 single of the same name.  Flamboyant colors, and outlandish statements that connect to a real world idea of what things are; compared to most “Metal” which glamorizes a gothic nature (to some satanic.) and an unreal world for their audiences to lose themselves within.

So with Marc Bolan recreating Tyrannosaurus Rex into T-Rex, and David Bowie never straying from his experimental style is there a way to connect the dots per se?

Officially it’s reading between the lines, and connecting style and sound with the comparison in research.  A previous quotation from Hayley Ayto stated that she seemed to hear Metallica influentially inside the Blue Blood album of X-japan.  This again rings that research can only sometimes come from opinion, without the literal answer from the artist themselves.  As music being an international thing, one can only surmise that many similarities exist within many countries and many bands.

Jimi Hendrix was largely along side Jim Morrison considered the forefathers of Rock, with Marc Bolan and David Bowie riding the Glam wave.  Kiss was their own genre in my opinion, there’s nothing you can do to explain Gene Simmons in death defying platform heels and lipstick.  X-Japan offiically, and same with Hideto Matsumoto notifies the public and audiences that influences in their music were because of Kiss.

That’s your connection.

(I’m a bit over the mark on this question, i’ll be more considerate about  how i write the other ones out, i missed a few turns and went off subject on this one.)

The next few posts will be more media based- to show examples (Which is basically to break up the longer posts)


How can we continue to listen to music

If it’s only as good as the next gig out of town?

With the current research topic being that almost of an accusatory fact, that music is no longer original and it is becoming more cookie-cutter as the years pass by.  Glittering Pop from both sides of the ocean continue to flutter international and local airways, and even the “rock” people consider to be music is far becoming the same commercial output.

How can we continue to listen to this and have a way of human beings finding something different to experience? Is this not what music was meant to be, something different to experience?  Well, I for one cannot answer that as I would have had to been around when music was invented.

With the books i’ve looked through, read in and examined evidence of such topics – how can I not admit that most popular music and in this case Japan, is cookie cutter and unimaginative?

I can’t – but what I can admit through this research mixed with personal knowledge is that inbetween the cracks of modern popular music is a revival of originality.  Breaking the trends, and breaking the mould of society that once was the plan of Punk Rock band Sex Pistols.


Off the Blue Blood Album, Released in 1989

I’ve obviously left this a little late, but there has been a lot more to research on this topic than my annotated bibliography had implied. Here’s the first outlines i’ve created to begin the essay i’m turning in on Tuesday/Monday.

Argument Sections:

Introduction Argument:

  • How can we continue to listen to music if it’s only as good as the next gig out of town
  • Classifying music seems like such a tedious job, however when academically reviewing it the knowledge behind the notes and melodies become much more clear.  (Thus the argument of incorrect classification)
  • Why Promote Japanese music when we have our own?

The influence on 70s Glam rock, but how it wasn’t copied or imitated but adapted and rebuilt.

  • 70s Glam Rock: David Bowie, T-Rex/Marc Bolan, KISS

The current problem on incorrect categorization of rock music from japan in recent years.

  • X-Japan’s classification as a form of Death Metal
  • The lack of proper classification for overseas bands, which can make it harder to classify their originality

Fandom and it’s relation to differences in cultural aspects

  • Groupies vs Fangirls
  • Yoshiki vs Hiroshi Lawsuit
  • Perceptions of Rock Idol personalities

Examples of Japanese Rock and Bands within the “Visual Kei” Sphere in question to The Glam Influence

  • Dir En Grey
  • Miyavi
  • X-Japan
  • Luna Sea

The comparison of Marc Bolan and Hideto Matsumoto in requirement to the essay topic

  • Film the Psychommunity Performance
  • 20th Century Boy
  • Knowledge of Marc Bolan from sources