Shoegaze And A Hangover (12 Days of Anime 2016 Day 4)

So following up my post two days ago about the nadir of my life and my post yesterday about getting back into writing about anime and gaining a greater appreciation for anime analysis early in the year, I am now going to transition into a major part of my summer. Which was getting drunk alone after work on blisteringly difficult 70+ hour work weeks. The reason I was getting drunk was fairly simple. I hadn’t drank in over 9 months while getting back on my feet financially and getting in a good head space, as well as to maintain a heavy work schedule I wasn’t used to.

But I love to drink. I’m pretty sure I inherited my Mother’s and Grandfather’s propensity for overconsumption of alcohol and just like them it’s led me to trouble more then a few times. Luckily it hasn’t delivered me to the Grim Reaper like it did them. But morbid tales aside, when you’ve settled in to working 70+ hours a week and have unchecked insomnia, you might find you look to the sauce to pursue any scarce bit of shut-eye you can scavenge. Oh wait, that is kind of morbid…well whatever. And at almost exactly the same point in summer I found out about Demolition D’s [“Demo” henceforth] Ustream channel.

I was definitely a fan of anime analysis at this point, but I needed more of it in video\audio format so I could listen to it at work. But there are only so many times you can rewatch Digibro’s massive stock of analysis videos before you crave other analytical perspectives like a connoisseur craves fine wines. Demo does not not have a large amount of analysis in most of his videos, and they aren’t very long in total – I’d say 8 minutes on average at best. But I hadn’t yet explored much of the YouTube analytical sphere, so after I exhausted most of Digibro’s collection I turned to Demo. He hadn’t been making many videos so I checked his twitter and wound up following a link to his UStream. And after that, endless drunken nights of reverie ensued.

A screencap of one of Demo’s streams on my phone.

It had turned out that instead of making more videos about anime, almost every night starting at between 12:45am and 1:30am, Demo would stream music, movies, anime, music videos, short films, and more on his Ustream and would be in the chat with a bunch of crazy drunk weebs just like me. Demo would often imply he was drinking, and others (like me) would mention we were drinking every night. So it was like we all got drunk in our respective places after work and told bad jokes in a chat client while we binge watched artsy shit. Oftentimes, streams would spiral out of control as the sun came up and devolve into droning music videos, minutes of looped anime gifs, long blank screens, and obscure anime shorts; like the much more emotional than it sounds Kanamewo, where a woman finds an alien frog girl, brings her home, and fucks her – all set to a heavily experimental post-rock/shoegaze song. Not that I had any idea what I was watching until much later, as Demo would usually no longer be attempting to communicate in chat at this point. Sometimes I didn’t make it through the whole streams, as I would successfully drink until passing out and manage to sleep for at least an hour or two before getting up to chug massive amounts of water, shower, and head to work barely sobered up.

So in a quest to be able to fill my time at work listening to the interesting music that Demo played on his streams, I found his SoundCloud and started with his “This Shit Right Here” playlist. I spent days at work listening to this playlist and related tracks continuously while I monotonously cleaned university carpets with boiling hot steam and a rotovac. And so I discovered Tokyo Shoegazer, through Demo’s repost of their song “Bright”.

What is Tokyo Shoegazer? Tokyo Shoegazer is a Japanese shoegaze band. What is shoegaze? Essentially it’s alternative rock with heavy distortion in the guitars, fuzzy singing, lots of feedback, and a blurred format overwhelmingly suitable for lengthy songs. the reason it’s called shoegaze originates from how the bands perform their songs. The genre involves a lot of on stage tweaking of the whammy bar and more notably playing with a large number of floor pedals to create layered tones and experimental sounds. Hence, looking at the ground – shoegazing.

Now that I’ve recently discovered what it is, I’ve realized I love shoegaze. It’s the perfect genre for me right now. The vocals are dream-like, the soundscapes epic and sweeping, and the format inspiring in it’s incredible artistry. It’s MY FAVORITE aesthetic. And I’ve only just scratched the surface. I could get into a lot more detail about this genre, but I’m running out of time to get this post up and I want to explore the genre more before I talk more about it again. I also don’t want to embarrass myself talking about music when I have such a narrow understanding of the medium. Here are a couple wide-appeal Japanese shoegaze albums for you to listen to if you are interested in the genre. The first one is more blurred and dreampop-esque and the second is more like post-rock.



If it was Digibro who got me in to anime analysis, then it was Demolition D who got me in to shoegaze. Now that I think of it, the summer I spent watching Demo’s streams and drinking my insomnia into submission was a lot like the winding narrative and blurred imagery of a shoegaze record. I hope you found some intrigue in this sprawling post about nothing in particular. Have a good one. until next time, VasA out.


VasA’s Twelve Days of Anime, Day Four: I Like Beer… – And Shoegaze!

This post is part of the The Twelve Days Of Anime, which is an event where over the 12 days leading to Christmas (the 14th to 25th of December), Bloggers and YouTubers share 12 impactful moments they had relating to anime during the year.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time.


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