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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Visits Toronto

I have no idea who the person is that I am writing about.

Takemura Kiriko (surname first)  (竹村 桐子), was born on January 29, 1993, but is better known by her stage name of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ). She's a Japanese model and recording artist of J-Pop (Japanese pop music).

Her public image is associated with Japan's kawaisa (cuteness) and decora culture (over the top fashion) centered in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. She is also commonly known by her simplified stage name as Kyary (きゃりー).

Anyhow, if you know anything about the Japanese alphabet(s), there is NO way her name is anything but a bastardization of Japanese... with Kyary being the confusing one... it should be "Kyari" - but whatever... she's an artist...

Now… despite the fact that Kiriko-chan was born during my sojourn in Japan, I'm pretty sure we are not related. She's talented enough as a singer AND a model, so there is a chance I slept with her mother.

Okay… I'm kidding. While there is a chance I did do something non-regrettable, the odds are pretty good that I would have known about it by now. So… safe! Whew! Besides… condoms… I know they aren't 100% effective, but…

Anyhow… enough ego blow. Sent to me by Caroline, a woman who doesn't care for this style of music—she and I both saw Brit rock group Marillion perform in Toronto over 25 years earlier and long before we met or before she was ever a glint in my eye and long before she ever got married to some guy I secretly hate and respect at the same time. And trust me… that's not easy for someone to do. But I can do anything I put my mind to. LOL!

Anyhow… Kyary Pamyu Pamyu… what the fug?!
She is berry puretty garu.
Maybe it was because Toronto was hosting yet another comic book convention - how many of these are they doing a year?! - that there were plenty of people about who actually knew who Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is…

You know… there's always a bunch of people who like to dress up as their favorite comic book or cartoon character - and do a great job of it. I have nothing against people who do that.

Anyhow… on March 9, 2014, this Japanese pop princess popped over to Toronto's Sound Academy hall… and it was packed…. packed with happy dancing people who. by my cranky middle-aged estimation should be old enough to not care for this style of music or show, but didn't give a crap about what I think or say and just enjoyed themselves at the show.

As Caroline told me - this music is not my style, but, like I always say… if it makes you happy to be happy, then be happy.

At the show there were girls in animal ears, ruffles, pink hair, green hair, blue hair, tiny backpacks - what the hell is up with the tiny backpacks?!!? The whole show was described as an acid trip.

Now… as someone who takes antacid on occasion, I can assure you that what I take and what this show was like are two completely different trips.

Basically, it was a party… a Tokyo party to celebrate Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's first visit to Canada. I'm betting she had a great time, but I bet she will consider firing her booking agent for suggesting she touch down in such cool weather. Really? Toronto? Winter? It's not as bad as say Vermont, Boston, Chicago or Minnesota, though...

Like most J-pop, I assume it's less about the music than it is about the show. That's the main concern with hyper-popular pop music, as The Beatles found out… that no one can hear the music, as they are too busy screaming and having a party…

It's pop music. It's not head tripping music, but the casual visitor to a show might think they themselves are tripping.

On stage, there was a giant pink bunny leaping about, a troupe of precious dancers with Minnie Mouse headbands, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's own unique brand of hard-to-ignore head adornments.

I have no idea which one of these statements is the most disturbing…

I see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and I think underage anime character that I shouldn't find attractive, but I do, and thank god she isn't underage…

As part of her schtick, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has a lot of pink in her shows, and upon her clothing, because little girls like pink. That's what she is selling. Cuteness.

I'm still not sure to whom cuteness sells, but it sells. Actually… that's not true… When I was a serious comic book collector up until a couple of years ago, I would see that the purveys of cuteness were ultimately large-in-girth men who tended to lumber rather than walk… the type who sweat as they move… the type who don't appear to be cute, but at least admire cuteness for its pedophile qualities.

Yes… that's about right.

Now… the folks at the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu show… I have no idea what their sexual proclivities actually are, but I would suspect it was less than zero about pedophilia and more about being young and stupid… and… more power to them. I'm still stupid, just not so young. Then again, I'm still a suburban punk.

Anyhow… despite being a pop princess, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is anything but a pop diva. Maybe it's that Japanese politeness-thing…

Apparently back in 2012 on a Japanese television show, she was there as a guest talking to the show's host wearing a trademark humungous hair bow, that was so huge that she inadvertently blocked out Kanjani8, a seven-piece boy band who were sitting behind her.

What's more disturbing - the size of her hair bow, or the Ribik's Cube dress?
Unlike a lot of people, rather than just say or think: "get over it", she apologized to the group profusely. Aww… how nice… and human.

By the way... why does a seven-piece boy band require the number '8' in their name? And why do you require a seven-piece boy band? Everyone knows that all boy-bands only have five members. The Jackson 5, N-Sync, Backstreet Boys, The Osmonds... though Jimmy Osmond joined later to make them a six-sausage boy's group. Hmmm... the Bee-Gees also mess up my theory.

Jimmy Osmond, by the way, was the first Osmond to get a gold record, for My Little Darling... a song he recorded in Japanese in 1972, I think. He was maybe 7 or 8 years old!
Being Japanese, and only 21,  and already a Japanese phenom, I will excuse Kyary Pamyu Pamyu if she lacks even modest English-language skills—hey… she has other talents she was concentrating on rather than say higher education…

As such, when she did talk to her Toronto-audience, she spoke in Japanese - or that pseudo Japanese cutie-pie nonsensical English… you know… like when they actually have a name for their song in English… like Invader Invader or Candy Candy or Tyantyakatyantyan which may or may not be English…but whatever... she likes to repeat herself. Kind of like Abba with Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! and Money, Money, Money... at least Kyary Pamyu Pamyu only repeats the title words twice. Silly silly, silly Swedes.
So… with little English spoke, either Toronto is more Japanese savvy than I realized or no one really cared and just rolled with the flow…

She got an encore, so apparently people thought she was good.

Like the girl says… not my cup of tea, but, who am I to rain on your parade if it is yours…

By the way... I listened to her Candy Candy video (above)... it's not bad... even though it turned me diabetic. No, really... I am now. Anyhow... it's decent enough, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't listen to that song more than once.

Cheers,
Andrew Joseph

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