Friday, January 30, 2009



In a very brief existential crisis, I wrote a post that struck an overwrought tone. There was no hyperbole, but it appeared like I was considering just throwing in the towel, all too prematurely.

That venting, coupled with the good ol' "sleep on it" method, I've got my head on a little straighter. It's not clear what I should do yet, but I'm much more steeled. And all in all it's not even that big a deal yet.

I asked you for insights from your own lives, which some of you provided, and many of you came out to give me encouragement that I hadn't been expecting. I just wanted to thank you all for come out and saying some neat things that could apply to anyone struggling with decision making, which is awesome.

Anonymous #1, you're right as to how much being one with your own range of ability makes one misjudge just how much play luck has in our lives. And you have a great suggestion with having a chat with those around me: they have done so much for me thus far without my asking, surely they'd be willing to have a little chat. :)

Klisk: A wise friend agrees; he told me yesterday that one should only take on as much debt (or risk, or whatever) as one feels comfortable with. And I know of a few bands who honestly do not have pro-level aspirations and are deliberately keeping themselves at such a small-time level.
You name yourself a failure, but honestly man, it's never too late for anything, and while that may sound like a platitude I totally mean it. According to you, what do have to lose anymore? :)

Volt: Montaigne manages to take a simple, universal truth and put some purty words on it. :) And I read some study recently about how overthinking and not going with your gut instinct can be detrimental in most cases any of y'all wanna link me that?

Scatter in Depth: Yeah I didn't realize the bredth and scope of this mob! O_o

And Riz with the Bukowski! Famous writer #2.

Liath: I'm glad you reminded me that not all doors remain closed.

Second Blossoming: I really like the idea of balance (clearly beause I'm a Libra!!!! no I do not take astrology/etc. seriously in the slightest and the Japanese can't fathom how I don't know my blood type), and I get this really cool feeling of swagger in your words. I shall adopt said swagger and swagger on. :)

Ken: Yeah, mostly my end goal is to be the old grandpa on the rocking chair on the front porch who tells bizarre Big-Fish-like stories to the neighborhood kids. :)

Fuzzurin: Good point; on some occassions others are far better judges of our abilities.

Lisa: I'm so glad you think so; I really appreciate that. As an aside, many of these people want me to play for them sight unseen--by which I mean even at this point only a tiny handful of the people who want to work with me have actually heard me play! They are crazy. Also I guess word gets around. And I'm not too worried about "crappy" jobs; I haven't had a boring job yet, even at their "crappiest". :)

Lemon: And with Johnathan Black we're at #3! But thank you for that Orpheus-like caution. Also for the mention of "beasts", and "small beasts", which has me thinking of kittens, and kittens are cute. I like where this metaphor is going but I think I've got it all backwards by now look what youve done

Kagami: Well I hope you can learn from all these other peoples' wisdom too! :)

Go: Haha! VERY good point. I mean if I wasn't trying to do music at this stage in my life I'd probably be much more in my other career than I am now, so I guess I'm just sort of glad that there is some sort of fallback. And yeah those goth chicks are fun to hang with until, like, 2am, but then what am I gonna do until the first train? :-P Also I'm far less crazy than my surroundings so maybe I should scale UP the crazy?? I DUNNO

Toaster keeps it nice and succinct, as does Anon #2. :)

Stephen is, despite his worries, right on the ball, and I can't believe how that sounds like exactly something I would say. And in the back of my head I've always wanted to give a chunk of money back to the Japanese orphanage I lived in six years ago.

Anon #3, funny you mention X, because I look at my musical output when I was in high school and man, I am GLAD I never pushed forward with that! :-P

Anon #4, you overestimate me! ^_^ That sounds like a good idea, and it would be cool to be the singer/composer in my own project, but first I need to get some basic home recording equipment... I'll keep that idea in the back. :)

Fundy Photographs: Nope, no car, but the Japanese brand of homeless are a hardy breed in a society that pretends they don't exist, but I do not have the fortitude. But thank you for your advice too.
And I can barely stay up past 1am now. O_o

Erin: No mortgage (yet), no wife (I keep forgetting to look for one), and no kids (not my own anyway!), and there'll be plenty of time for that later. And I sure hope this is building up toward something!

And you know, even if not, I've come this far, and that's pretty neat. Maybe not in the cosmic scheme of things, but I certainly never thought I'd be playing music or acting again, as I'd all but given it up in college.

As a thank-you, here's a dinosaur.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reality of Rock


I know I shouldn't be complaining, but recently I've had a lot of people ask me about playing music with them. I'm in a position of picking and choosing that's a little more difficult than I thought.

On top of that, we had a discussion about money last night, during which I was thrown for a serious loop. Everything I wrote about in regards to Laverite and money was small change compared to some of the figures we're talking about here; amounts that I cannot even properly fathom at this point.

I'm not sure how much I've got 'the dream' in me. I do all right here and I'd rather not jeopardize my ability to stay in the country or pay bills/feed myself by taking that big of a leap.

I'm sure something will work out and everything will become clear as to what I should do, whether it means I continue with music (that'd be fun and nice!) or not (a bummer, but way safer). But at the time it was just a bit of a shock.

I'm not much of a gambling man. Has anyone had an experience in which they 'gambled' with their life and it paid off? Or when it didn't pay off? Or what life lessons you gleaned from either result?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jimi & Ten^2



Went and hung out at Tenten's for awhile today; he picked me up from the station on his motorbike and basically screamed at the top of his lungs how cold it was all the way back to his place.

I'm excited about this disc of raw tracks he gave me, and regarding other music, we have surprisingly similar tastes. And for a self-described beginner, he's a pretty competent guitar noodler.

I got three absolutely ridiculous job offers this morning and by the end of the day all three had fallen through. Ah, the transience of this silly business!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stood up and down


Last night Keita and I were going to do something with a couple of people, but they fell through so we canceled. That had me pretty bummed out, as I had been looking forward to it. Then Hizaki called and said he had some people who wanted to meet me.


Remember Tokami, and how when I first saw them back in '06 and they had the pope singer? That's Kaito, and he was with us, so it was neat to catch up with him. Also his presence put a couple of puzzle pieces into place, and when I mentioned that I'd finally figured it out, Hizaki called me slow. ;_;

Tenten (KuRt) and I bonded quickly, and Yomi (Nightmare) was also there, inexplicably. His speaking voice is much higher than his singing voice would have you believe. He's got tons of energy and we got along well.

Some older guys in a regular rock band showed up, all from Osaka, so Hizaki and all those guys spoke a rapid stream of Kansai-ben, which, just from Hizaki's unapologetic refusal to speak Tokyo-ben, certainly trains your ear pretty fast. One of the guys there, almost twice my age, was familiar with a lot of places in CA where I've spent my years, and it was nice to talk about familiar landmarks and hangouts.

The restaurant we were all at was closing so we then headed to the Rock 'n' Roll bar of one of the Osaka dudes, and just lounged about til morning.

Also Kiyoharu showed up. 30 minutes later he left.
I didn't speak to him personally, but you should have seen Tenten and Yomi freak out hard.

Hizaki and I left the place around 8am (>_<) and I came home and CRASHED SO HARD and I must have slept 9 or 10 hours, and it's currently 8pm, so there goes an entire day and my sleeping schedule! Tomorrow's a national holiday though, so I think I'll be fine. I miss daylight though!

I am not cut out for that kind of schedule. O_o

Saturday, January 10, 2009



The "after" picture from this week's shoot.

It was a thirteen-hour overnight shoot, so when i ended at like 3am they paid for a hotel for me. Lots of fun, but a hotel by yourself is lonely!

"Before" pictures I'show in February.o(^-^)o

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Smoke Signals



I had originally forgotten to write this up, but my film shoot today got pushed back a few hours so I have a few hours to kill before I head into the studio.

As Masaki and I were walking around trying to find a temple at which to make our first respects of the year, he was making various calls to people. We had originally invited the Meekster but she was being a good family girl. Hizaki picked up, they spoke for awhile, then he asked if I was there and if he could talk to me. He then invited me to the Sherow Artist Society New Year live party thing at O-East.

Going through the guest line, their manager greeted me and they had us sign our names with a calligraphy pen in a nice big guest book. I wrote 慈弥, and then noticed that right next to my name was "Leda".

I go upstairs too, spot a stool overlooking the balcony and plop myself down, relieved to have a seat. I was scanning the crowd below when one of MO's sweet makeup girls, whose name I forget at the moment, came and said hello to me and the fellow sitting next to me. It was obvious we didn't know each other, so she introduced us. "Jimi, Leda; Leda, Jimi." That was pretty much the extent of our interaction.

The show started out with a side-stage set up with a kotatsu and Kamijo and Teru in kimono, just sitting and talking. It was pretty entertaining, because although Kamijo may be verbose at times he is far more interesting to listen to than many other MC's. Teru went to the main stage to sing a T-Bolan song, accompanied on keyboard by one of the guys from Shinjuku's Heavy Metal Disc Wave. Teru's got a surprisingly deep voice and he's not a great singer but he was having fun.

Then he threw on a guitar and he, You, Yuu, Anzi, and some guy named Kage did Sic by Slipknot and a song by Arch Enemy.

Jasmine You came out in some ridiculous gold thing and did an incredibly camp "Natsu no Yuuutsu" by L'arc.

Sono, Hizaki, Yuu, Anzi, and You (I think, I could be wrong on all these little sessions) did Luna Sea's "Wish" and X's X. Both were just killer. I adore Wish, and Sono was spot-on for X. He is really fantastic.

Kamijo made Yuki drink, then he went out and sang surprisingly well. It was a song I'd heard before but whose singer I could not remember. He was actually quite good.

Yuki, Jasmine You, Ayame, Hizaki, and Kamijo then performed Malice Mizer's "au revoir" and Lareine's "Fleur". As a long-time Malice fan it was a nice treat to hear that, especially considering what I missed out on at Dis Inferno this year. I don't have the heart to admit to Kamijo that I am almost completely ignorant about Lareine, but still, it was quite obvious that this was a special performance for long-time fans.

And finally the real show started; MO played a coupla songs, then as Versailles ran on they ran off and Versailles did a coupla songs; it went back and forth like this for awhile totally seamlessly. MO are disgustingly good musicians. For the encore, everyone came out and did an MO song then a Versailles song. I'm bad with song titles and I'm not on my own computer at the moment and don't want to snoop for other reports from this. :-P

Afterward I went back to say my otsukaresamas and chat with everyone. Teru seemed playfully disappointed that I wasn't familiar with his song but was with Yuki's. Hizaki and I talked a little bit more business, but that's kinda far off, and Kamijo also lightly threw an idea or two at me. And then, as I was about to leave, he admitted that although he knows I'm Hizaki's friend and who I am and what I do, he can't remember my name. D: And then Yuki goofily called out "See you later, Billy!" >_<

Whenever they invite me out with them, the shindigs always end at like 3:30 or 4 in the morning, and their manager gets them all cars home, but those of us who aren't Versailles or MO are kinda stuck. Most of the others live in the area and can get home a little more easily than I can, so usually I just head to a McDonald's (pretty much the only other thing open than a manga cafe and much easier to locate) and read until first train. I had other plans and work and stuff later on so I abstained from the uchiage this time. Luckily though I ran into Inertia & Co., had a quick curry dinner with them, then headed home.

Go wrote a pretty cool article going over the past year, with great succinct yet vibrant punchy descriptions that only he is capable of, and I am mentioned an awful lot! It's a very strange feeling. I don't usually feel important or anything other than small, and while I'm typically content with that, it's humbling to realize that some people are excited for me. Now that's inspiring. :)