Wednesday, September 24, 2008

AREA preview


Man, it just does not feel like I have a live today.

Friday, September 19, 2008

kitty :(


The kitten in the picture in the entry below is one of several we saw in Ikebukuro, but my parents just had put my 11-year-old cat Siesta to sleep and buried her in the backyard.

She was the guardian of our perimeters and while she would frequently incur battle scars from her toussles she never failed to give intruding animals a terrific beat-down. She left increasingly and inexplicably large prey on our front porch, placed neatly next to the newspaper every morning, clearly as some sort of offering and tribute to us, her high priests. She would come when you called her name and used to follow me around like a loyal dog when I was 13 and had a paper route.

Pets are kinda jerks because they kind of worm their way into your lives and then when they're gone you sort of feel disconnected from the natural world temporarily.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Live Report 8/31/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Cinema Strip, Cheeky, Mistes, CKroll, Baby, Az:Madius, Dorothy


We were 4th out of 8, so here are the bands I didn't see, to get them out of the way:

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CKroll, the scary-looking blue dude is ridiculously nice and down-to-earth

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Baby, who were excited to catch me and Ryota playing along to Sugar tunes backstage

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We took the stage and were pleasantly surprised to see an absolutely full house, and plenty of people up toward the very front ready to rock along with us. They weren't necessarily people who had come just for us, but still, it really helped us feel good. We kept up the energy from the previous live very easily and had a great show. I can't help but grin like an idiot up there, so apparently I've become the "smiley one", which is honestly just fine by me. It's fun up there and I'm not about to hide that.

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almost after

We didn't call out enough people to break even, of course, but still it was a great turnout. A few coworkers came out, coupla housemates, and Bunny came out too, which was really sweet of her because Narciss is far for people who aren't me. There were also a couple of other girls who said hello but didn't stick around long enough to chat! :(

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We sold a small handful of photo sets and were asked to sign them, which is still surreal, and we got presents of snacks from a few girls.
The Closet Child CD sold out way fast, and "Rose mary" is all given out, so the only available Laverite CD is the free Sephirot/Criticism thing in the indie shops.

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By the way, I think I've brought this up before, but it gets asked about a lot, and someone (who?! Thanks!!) kindly explained it in one of the comment threads, but here goes:
We have to pay to play a live.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, but it does. This isn't just a Japan thing, either. Here's how it works.

We enter an agreement with the live house that we'll be able to bring in a pre-established number of people; say, twenty. At the door, everyone is asked what band they came to see, and if they reserved a ticket. We give our reservation list to the front before the house opens. You can also show up on the day and say you're there to see whoever, but reserving gets you a slight discount.

For every ticket we do not sell, we pay for. Sometimes, only 4 people come. Tickets are between 2,000 and 3,000 yen, so you can do the math there. That is, of course, on top of equipment rental and the cost of having a sound and video recording made of our performance.

Back when I was playing in punk and ska bands, however, often times we'd just play for free and if the house made enough of a profit we'd typically get $100 or some chump change, but it was just for kicks and at least we weren't operating in the red so it was all good. I don't know what I'm doing in a VK band, though.

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Okay, other bands. Cheeky was a lot of fun as usual, and their vocalist Sadon and I got along really well, and the backstage almost turned into an eikaiwa for a second.

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Cinema Strip continues to be ridiculously solid, and since Leo and I have similar performing backgrounds we got along quite well too. He had me teach him some psuedo-moonwalkin' dance moves, so I hope he uses them onstage so I can be like "I taught him everything he knows!"

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Mistes are also pretty cool actually, and good dudes. Three of them went to high school with Yue, which we discovered randomly last time we played with them. Pretty neat.

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Az:Madius is three chicks and they're certainly no Danger Gang or Exist Trace yet. But, to be fair, we're not exactly a Lareine yet.

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Another fun show under our belt. The next live is at Takadanobaba Area on 9/24, and we play first. That's going to be somewhat of an 'audition' live for us, because we've never played at Area before. I've never been there before, even.

That's kind of a ways away, so I've gotta find something to talk about until then!
Work is pretty sweet and stuff on the money side I suppose, but it affords me pretty much no more free time anymore, which is why this report is like a week and a half late. Last night I met up with Masaki after work at our respective half-way-home points for drinks and both of us couldn't believe how much work it took to make a plan to chill out.

Welcome to adulthood I guess!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Political Action Hero


Putin gives us another compelling argument to the idea that he is the reincarnation of the stern Czars of old as he shoots a tiger to protect a camera crew.

Two live reports coming up, and I'd actually love to make more political commentary but the internet just doesn't seem to be the place to do much of it because so much of it goes beyond "healthy debate" and into "tinfoil hat" territory, so I'll stick to tales of awesome like this, and whenever Biden lays the smackdown on anyone.