November 20, 2008
News for Katsucon 2009
Katsucon announces Japanese musical guests YMCK and Aural Vampire
Arlington, VA (November XX, 2008) - Katsucon, the Washington, DC area's premiere anime and Japanese cultural convention, has announced that its 2009 convention will include appearances and live performances by international musical artists YMCK and AURAL VAMPIRE.
"We're excited to have YMCK and AURAL VAMPIRE coming to Katsucon 15," said Katsucon Programming Director Nick Ferris. "With AURAL VAMPIRE's energetic synth-pop style and YMCK's retro 8-bit gaming sound, we'll have a broad spectrum of Japanese musical genres represented. We're going to put on some amazing concerts with these groups that people will be talking about for years to come."
AURAL VAMPIRE and YMCK's appearances at the Virginia-based convention come courtesy of Avex Inc., a Japanese record label which represents some of the hottest musical acts across Japan.
"On behalf of Avex Inc. and both confirmed artists, YMCK and AURAL VAMPIRE, we are thrilled and honored to be attending this historical 15th anniversary of a great Asian pop culture convention known as Katsucon!" said Steve Harrell of Avex to those planning to attend Katsucon. "Of course it's not the same without you all there, so we look forward to meeting and speaking with you all in attendance at the various scheduled artist activities."
Katsucon will represent only the second appearance in the United States for both AURAL VAMPIRE and YMCK. Each group will perform in concerts on Friday night, February 13, 2009 and then on Sunday, February 15. In addition to their performances, both groups will sign autographs and appear at Q&A sessions open to convention attendees.
About AURAL VAMPIRE:
A product both of Tokyo's vibrant goth subculture and the city's underground dance music scene, synth-pop duo AURAL VAMPIRE puts even their most image-obsessed J-pop contemporaries to shame with their flamboyant stage presence.
Front woman Exo-Chika--a self-styled "vampire" who takes to the stage in Alexander McQueen-inspired Haute Goth couture--first met songwriter/producer Raveman at high school where they bonded over a shared love of new wave, post punk, '90s techno and 1970s/80s horror B movies. The latter explains Raveman's own outlandish stage wear--a freaky "Friday the 13th"-style hockey mask.
AURAL VAMPIRE's debut album, "Vampire Fantasy," came out in 2004, an independent release that nonetheless went on to shift 2,000 copies. In 2007, AURAL VAMPIRE toured overseas for the first time, playing dates in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. Despite the obvious language barrier, the group's exotic twist on gothic chic struck a chord overseas, helping them gain almost 50,000 friends on MySpace, where they also ranked for a period as the most popular Japanese indie artist and among the Top 10 most popular acts in the industrial and new wave categories. Their song 湘南族 -cannibal coast- was featured in 2007's Beatmania IIDX 15: DJ Troopers.
AURAL VAMPIRE on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aural+vampire
AURAL VAMPIRE on iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=293736222
Japanese electronic pop group YMCK formed in Tokyo in 2003 and quickly became flag carriers for Japanese chiptune, the electronic music subgenre based on 8-bit video game sounds. Consisting of vocalist Kurihara Midori, programmer Yokemura Takeshi and video producer Nakamura Tomoyuki, the group combine the sounds of Nintendo game music with a kind of jazz-inflected pop that has its roots in the 1990s Shibuya-kei scene of artists like Flipper's Guitar, Cornelius and Fantastic Plastic Machine. Their unique style of live performances using 8-bit pixel animation is highly acclaimed.
YMCK's popularity hasn't been limited to Japan. They have appeared at music festivals all over the world, including Microdisko in Sweden, FORMOZ FESTIVAL in Taiwan, and the Jeonju International Film Festival in Korea. They released their third album, Family Genesis, in January 2008. YMCK also recently announced that they have produced and recorded the ending theme song and animation for the upcoming "Slap Up Party" anime scheduled to air in 2009, based on the wildly popular "Dungeon and Fighter" online game.
YMCK Official Website: http://www.ymck.net/
YMCK MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ymck
YMCK on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ymck
YMCK on iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=274437119&s=143441
About Avex Inc.:
Avex, celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2008, is the world's largest independent total entertainment company offering high-quality talent and other popular entertainment content. Avex is based out of Tokyo, Japan with offices established and operating out of Hawaii, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China.
About Katsucon Entertainment, Inc.:
Founded in 1993, Katsucon Entertainment, Inc. is a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization best known for the Katsucon anime and Japanese cultural convention held annually in February over President's Day weekend. Katsucon Entertainment, Inc. will be hosting its 15th convention in February of 2009.
About Katsucon 15:
Katsucon 15 will be held in Arlington, Virginia at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City on February 13-15, 2009. In addition to featuring international musical guests YMCK and AURAL VAMPIRE, Katsucon 15 will include appearances by American voice actors Tony Oliver, Caitlin Glass, and Cristina Vee; legendary artist and animator Steve Bennett, author of Japanamerica Roland Kelts, producer Toshifumi Yoshida, writer Trish Ledoux, and many others.
Katsucon 15 will also host the region's first authentic, Japanese-style maid cafe as well as a Valentine's Day Ball. Other events at Katsucon 15 include hundreds of hours of video and live programming, panels, workshops, costume contests, anime music video screenings, live game shows, art show, artist alley, charity auction, karaoke, and video gaming. Many Katsucon events, including video programming and gaming, operate 24 hours a day throughout the convention weekend. Proceeds from the Maid Cafe and Charity Auction will benefit Relay For Life, the world's largest fundraising walk which supports the American Cancer Society.
Pre-registration for Katsucon 15 continues until December 31, 2008 at a discounted rate of $45 and into early February 2009 at the rate of $50. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more pre-registering together. Registration may also be available at the convention.