hi from jenn....

Let your fellow fans know who you are, where you're from, why you love DCT, etc...
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hi from jenn....

Post by jgriffee » Fri Oct 18, 2002 5:33 pm

Since I've begun posting a bit here, I decided I may as well drop in and formally say hello....

The basics -- my name's Jenny, I'm from Seattle, and I'm a very new fan of DCT, having just started listening earlier this summer. To be honest, I came at this whole thing completely through the back door -- if you can call it a back door. It's more like down the road, through the alley, up the fire escape and through the access door on the roof.

Technically, it started with Barbie dolls.

Bear with me for a flashback. Back in the day, several of my childhood friends had the Japanese versions of Barbie, made by Takara at the time, and looking like they'd just walked out of an anime show. I liked them MUCH better than their American counterparts. Years later, through a fluke of searching through eBay, I discovered the whole story of how Takara eventually lost the Barbie license to Bandai but kept producing the dolls nonetheless, under a different name -- Jenny, of all things, which I found endlessly amusing.

Also amusing was Jenny's huge collection of friends, some of them being real-life celebrities. Takara put out dolls of several idol singers, including two editions of dolls modeled after Ami and Yumi of Puffy fame. Somehow those two in particular lodged in my head. Maybe it was the "Puffylization" shirts that did it. (Uh...?)

Flash forward to 2002.

Puffy AmiYumi was in town earlier this year, getting surprisingly good press for a group I'd assumed would fall under the "not particularly talented, but cute as hell and marketed to the hilt" category. I was already curious as to what they sounded like, so although I couldn't attend the show, I decided "why not check them out?" and bought the first CD I found -- Spike, as it turned out. Ultimately my original assessment wasn't far off, because it tends toward the bubblegum, but at least it's FUN bubblegum; and if you don't find yourself bouncing around the room like a hyperkinetic maniac on speed during "Boogie Woogie No. 5", you're almost certainly dead. So yes, I suppose I did get Puffylized after all... or something. I'm not quite far enough gone to buy the dolls, but it's still tempting.

There were other j-pop groups mentioned in the Puffy reviews I'd read at the time, some of whom I knew of, but to varing degrees. One group that kept coming up was this band called Dreams Come True. I knew I'd heard the name before, but couldn't really place it beyond the fact that they were A Big Deal -- so somewhere along the line I decided to track them down, too.

Puffy, at least, has a couple easily-available CDs in the States these days, but the lone American release I could find from DCT -- Sing or Die, of course -- seemed to have fallen off everyone's radar. So I went the expensive route. Mainstream Japanese CDs aren't hard to find around here; the nearest Kinokuniya bookstore is one (free) bus stop away from my office, and they have a fairly decent stock of everything. Besides, it's attached to the Uwajimaya, and I figured if I couldn't find anything, I could at least get my Pocky and something for lunch. :) (I later discovered they stocked Sokenbicha, too. I bought some. I'm such a sucker.)

First purchase: the MGO tour edition of The Monster. I think I fell for the artwork, and the inevitable "it's a special edition! gotta buy it before it goes out of print!" reaction. I also did a bit of a doubletake when I read the tour-dates insert and saw that these concerts were going on _now_... as in the same night... as in, "I'm in the wrong country, aren't I?"

But when I got back to the office and stuck it in the computer... I didn't like it. Somehow the style just didn't work for me: the keyboards seemed a bit cheesy, the vibrato too wide, something. I listened to a couple songs and felt increasingly disappointed, and for a moment thought of eBay again -- this time for sales.

Then I realized I sort of liked "Kirei Kirei", and "Asa ga mata kuru", and I told myself, "Jenn, you spent $30 on this album -- listen to it until you like it."

It stayed on replay for the rest of the afternoon. Despite the fact that I speak next to no Japanese (except the words for "goodbye", "good morning", "thank you" and, courtesy of William Gibson, the name for those guys who help pack passengers onto the bullet trains), I'd started singing along -- quietly, anyway, so as to not irritate the rest of the residents of the 19th-floor cubicle zoo.

More intrigued now, I started searching the Web for something -- anything -- about the band that was actually written in English. It wasn't as tricky a search as I'd worried, as it turned out. dctjoy.com quickly became very handy, and after reading some of the enthusiastic comments about Monkey Girl Odyssey, I decided that that would be my next purchase -- with the caveat of, "I'll try this, and if I don't like it much, I'll call it a day." I'd seen the CD the first time I went to Kinokuniya, and wasn't sure what on earth to make of the monkey motif (the CD... comes with a tail??), so I went into this with a bit of lingering apprehension.

Suffice it to say that as soon as I heard "Flowers", and then the sublime "24/7", I was won over with a vengeance.

And yes, the monkey tail's cute.

Since then, Kinokuniya and eBay have become incredibly useful. In the past two months I've bought eight albums, four singles, and the Singaporean DVD release of Wonderland 91 & 95 (not sure if it's really official -- the compression artifacts from hell make me wonder -- but it's Region 0 NTSC, and the Next/Perv [sic] menu buttons are good for a laugh, anyway). Oddly enough, I went into this thinking that the concert DVDs were probably as close as I was going to get to being there.

Then the West Coast Mix was announced.

And surprise, surprise... it included Seattle.

So I'll be there at the Moore tonight, making clumsy stabs at phonetic accuracy as I sing along. ;) It'll be so much fun, and I still can't believe I got lucky enough to find DCT _just_ before a show right down the street. I may be a latecomer, but at least I'm making up for lost time.... :)

my best to everyone... maybe I'll see you at the show!
- j

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discovering DCT

Post by tachikaze » Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:52 pm

I was LIVING in Japan 1992-1998 before I really "discovered" them. I'd see them on billboards (for Magic in 1993 and for Delicious in 1995), even hear brief clips from the concerts (videos aren't normally played on broadcast TV, but appearances on music TV shows are more common).
I knew the lead singer had a great voice, but maybe an early exposure to 'Winter Song' (I saw it when it played in theatres before Sleepless In Seattle) put me off.
Anyway, I had seen clips of the band dancing in these weird skyblue-pattern getups from Wonderland '95 on TV, and seeing the concert VHS tape at Tower Records one day in 1998 I decided to buy it, and the rest is history...man, everything before 'Lisbah' is one heck of a production, while everything after blew my mind.
DCT sorta fell off my radar again, until I saw the SoD DVD in the store. Picked that up, not expecting much, but was even more moved -- and quite p*ssed that the band had been playing in Tokyo when I was living there yet I didn't even know about it.
Late '99 'Snowdance' came out, which was so great I decided to hit the local CD rental store to rip DCT's entire catalogue (CD rental is legal in Japan) to find out what else I was missing.
This summer I considered flying to NY to go see them, but figured $500 was a bit much for a substandard DCT experience (I'm not a big fan of their SoD English work).

Then last week I found out they were playing The Fillmore, got my ticket. made d*mn sure I was first in line, and had Truly Enjoyable experience, as I wasn't expecting to stand not 6 feet from Miwa sing all my favorite MGO songs in Japanese (and especially 'Ai suru kokoro') , not to mention having to sing-along LOVE LOVE LOVE's ending refrain just like in the WL '95 video.

The 2 new English singles look to be establishing a new pattern -- if they follow-ons are more 'catchy' they could indeed be playing larger venues here next year.

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Post by Jei » Thu Oct 24, 2002 12:56 am

Welcome Jenn & Tachikaze!
(A little late, but welcome nonetheless!)

I've heard about that 91/95 combo DVD in Taiwan/HongKong too.
Does the 91 come with a chapter where a very young Miwa is 'introduced' (Shows her wearing a number of different outfits...)? The official release had that as one of the special features..

I keep my mgo tail at eye level in my cubicle, hanging from one of the metal shelves. I always find it amusing that everyone seems to know that it's a monkey tail...I didn't know monkey tails were that common...;)
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