Jei's DCT Introduction

Let your fellow fans know who you are, where you're from, why you love DCT, etc...
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Jei
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Jei's DCT Introduction

Post by Jei » Fri Sep 20, 2002 1:18 am

The Swinging Star was my introduction to DCT... Or more specifically three songs from it on a tape that my Japanese pen pal gave me. I don't remember the other two songs, but the first one, 'Kessen wa Kin'youbi', grabbed me right from the start. I'm a sucker for a good set of horns and Kessen has it in spades. It also was my first encounter with Miwa, my first experience with a JPop singer who actually had a set of serious pipes on her. It was difficult not to enjoy a song as long as she was singing it.

My previous JPop experience before then was just what other pen pals had exposed me to: Miho Nakayama, Checkers, Wink. Anime had given me access to PSY*S (Great band, BTW), the hard rocking Bubblegum Crisis music and the lovely ballads of the latest Miyazaki movie. All well and good, but nothing that made me want to pursue any deeper at the time. DCT changed all that.

The same pen pal sent me 'Magic' as soon as it came out. I enjoyed it and more and more as a listed to it, especially the simple 'a little waltz' (which I could imagine a parent singing to a child) and 'Happy Happy Birthday' which should be the replacement for the regular Happy Birthday song worldwide. :)

'Magic' gained much more respect with me after I finally got to listen to the rest of their albums. I was amazed at how much they have changed and matured in all areas of their music in such a short time. It was also pleasing to find out that they were the top music act at the time...well deserved. ^^ It was also pleasing to Find out that two of my musical heros, Ella Fitzgerald & Earth, Wind & Fire were also the personal heros of DCT (Miwa and Masa respectively).

After that I only got scant DCT injections. An old girlfriend (a DCT fan herself) at the time bought me Love Unlimited. I liked Romance, but a quick skim of the CD didn't impress me much. (Yes, I like it a lot more *now*, especially Love, Love, Love). What impressed me was the CD-Extra: Samples of all their songs from their past albums. That hit the spot and refueled my interest. Getting their "Best of" (Grey) CD the next year finally gave me a good serving of all their hits.

And then came April 1999. My first trip to Japan...Osaka to be more specific. My first stop at a music store wielded the motherload. I completed my DCT album collection..was even able to find the Seventh of July soundtrack too! The cashier gave me smile and nod of approval when she saw all the DCT CDs. ^^

At the same time, 'The Monster' had come out the previous week. It was great to see the DCT marketing machine in full bloom. Posters of many sizes all over the place, 'Nante koi shita n daro' over the speakers in subways and mall areas, Monster displays that I wished I could have taken home, even DCT quicktime videos playing on laptops in the electronic departments. I think my favorite was seeing Miwa's giant, yet still lovely face, roll by on the side of a bus. :) It was a very pleasing showing. Might have gotten more attention if the country hadn't been in the midst of Utada Hikaru mania, but she's great too, so I can't complain. ^^

Ever since then I've been as much devouring as much DCT information and merchandise as I can...as well as trying to spread their music around to as many as people as I can (at least those who I know have an open enough mind to listen to music in another language). I think such efforts are needed these days. While DCT is cemented solidly as a supergroup (They still sell out the Tokyo Dome regardless), they don't seem to have the same chart topping power that they did before. (The music is just as good or better...but the kids don't get it?).

Anyway, that's my story. What's yours?
-Jay
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http://www.dctjoy.com/

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zberry
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The evolution of DCT

Post by zberry » Fri Oct 18, 2002 4:01 pm

Great story JEI.
Here's my take on where DCT is with their career. They are in a kind of transition phase. Obviously, their music has evolved a great deal over the albums. In fact, it is this artistic growth that makes them the great band they are. They are clearly committed to exploring new musical horizons.
They have reached a point where they now have a loyal core audience who will go with them in whatever musical directions they want to go. I mean, if Miwa wants to sing about the joys of making coffee or reading the newspaper, that's cool. They don't need to set sales records anymore. They've proved they can do that.
This gives them a kind of freedom that most successful musicians only can dream of. It also bodes well for lots more great music in the future.
They really do seem to put the music first and foremost.
They obviously like playing in the U.S.
Will they be successful in the U.S.? To a degree, they already are, as the recent shows showed. I was really impressed with the way Miwa worked the crowd. But they don't fit any niche, so they'll have a tough time getting played on radio (even English songs). I mean, it's not even JPOP, though I understand people use that for lack of a better term. They play DCT music. It's really a style all its own, and the quality of it cannot be denied.

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Jei
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Re: The evolution of DCT

Post by Jei » Thu Oct 24, 2002 1:19 am

zberry wrote:Great story JEI.
Here's my take on where DCT is with their career. They are in a kind of transition phase. Obviously, their music has evolved a great deal over the albums. In fact, it is this artistic growth that makes them the great band they are.
I agree. In fact whenever I've heard someone say "I don't like DCT", I try to point them in the right direction. Just because a few DCT songs don't strike your fancy, others certainly will. 2002 DCT is different from 1997 DCT is different from 1994 DCT, etc. Even their greatest hits album has more non-singles than singles on it....There's bound to be something that'll work for you. :)
zberry wrote: They are clearly committed to exploring new musical horizons.
New industry horizons too...Producing other groups (not just side projects) in addition to their own music. (Have you heard SAL?)
zberry wrote: They have reached a point where they now have a loyal core audience who will go with them in whatever musical directions they want to go. I mean, if Miwa wants to sing about the joys of making coffee or reading the newspaper, that's cool.
Or salads even ^_-
Personally, I'd love to heard another jazz album from Miwa....
zberry wrote: Will they be successful in the U.S.? To a degree, they already are, as the recent shows showed. I was really impressed with the way Miwa worked the crowd. But they don't fit any niche, so they'll have a tough time getting played on radio (even English songs). I mean, it's not even JPOP, though I understand people use that for lack of a better term. They play DCT music. It's really a style all its own, and the quality of it cannot be denied.
I quite agree. Their work is far too reaching into many genres to be pigeonholded and unfortunately the US has a hard time with such things. The fact that the only Japanese groups to actually have any success here (Pizzicato Five, Puffy, Kitaro, etc) are very niche-ized doesn't help either.

They obviously have what it takes...they just need to find a way in. I wonder what they'd be willing to do. Try the Moby route and sell music for commercials? Miwa guest stars in other group's songs so the public gets to know her? Keep playing live shows until word of mouth breaks it open for them (like Tina Turner's solo career)? *grumble*

Of course, if Utada Hikaru's US release becomes big, that'll certainly help things...but that's a big if....^^

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see how they'll progress from now on... :)
(And we'll all be here to help 'em out, right? ^_^)
-Jay
DCTJoy.Com - The Joy that is Dreams Come True
http://www.dctjoy.com/

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tachikaze
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Post by tachikaze » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:44 pm

I think if they can get 2 English songs together that can get them onto Saturday Night Live -- that would be a pretty good 'break', or at least entre.

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