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Today In CA

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Over 462 Served



Updates, updates. It's media review week here in Tokyo, read on to find out more.

Elsewhere on the site, I added a couple of new links, namely Fan Boy Films and the much under-appreciated Soviet Sindikashun site. But wait! Due to popular demand I now have a photoshoped picture gallery. Pretty barren right now, sorry. Perhaps now I will get proper recognition for my own much past its prime contribution to the world of AYB. If you're particularly good, I might start a pic of the week tradition. Of course, both Santa and I know you aren't good, so it may be a while.

Message to people I have linked to: what's with all the moving around?

Today, if I finish this update at a decent hour, I may clean my room. I'm almost tempted to take a picture now so you guys can see the filth in which I have been wallowing.

Other news… hmm. I got the textbook for my Kanji class today, which is boring news but from my perspective, the tests are included in the book so I’m content. I also bought hazelnut coffee. Food products make me so happy.


Went with Brian to Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, then back to Sangenjaya for a two-hour session of "Mr. Donut". We had Denny's for dinner. They’re better here than in the US, due in no small way to the fact that each country’s menus have absolutely nothing in common. The only thing at all familiar was the club sandwich, which I ordered. And that was made with toast, lettuce, tomatoes, chicken and eggs. CHICKEN and EGGS. It's not a club; it's an oyako sandwich. The wait staff here moves at super-glacial speeds to boot!


I finally ran into the Keio kids with whom I'm supposed to be forming a band. One of them is going to lend me a guitar! I think we decided on covering The Ramones. During lunch I gave them a dissertation on the meaning of straight edge for the second time this week, followed by an explanation of the difference between pretty and cute.

After school I went home and read Banana Yoshimoto’s book "Kitchen". I had heard about Banana Yoshimoto from Ridge Tracy, but decided to buy it because my "friend" from Book 1st was going to suggest it to me but balked because she thought it was too girly for me. She was wrong; I enjoyed the book terribly. Parts of it were sad, parts weird. It reminded me of "The World According To Garp" by John Irving, except that it was an 8th as long. It also brought me out of this gloom I had been feeling for a couple of days.


As promised I went to Tower in Shibuya and bought the much-awaited (four years) new Cornelius album. It's more subdued than his previous works, but still as complex as ever (just not so obviously). Still, getting married and having a kid will do that to you. The highlight has to be his rendition of "Brazil" towards the end of the album. It sounds like it was modeled after the wacky version of the song from the movie of the same name, with somber parts added for character.

I met Jesse in Shibuya. I had to bring Brian along for protection. Brian and I were both famished, so while we went out to eat Jesse split off and ate a sandwich he had brought from home. He told us to call him after we had finished eating. We tried, very briefly to call him, before running away to wait three hours at a coffee shop near my house. Then we met up with Dana (the Korean girl we met at Brian's dorm) and went out for Yakiniku.


In the vane hope of running into the mysterious Book 1st girl again, I went to Shibuya. I had already finished reading the charming Osamu Dazai book I had bought on her suggestion and needed to buy a new book anyway. Unfortunately, nothing of any interest happened, so, dejected, I began my trek back home.

On the way back I was enticed by the dark power of Heaven's Door. The next day I had off and there was nothing holding me back but the steep $20 entrance fee. As usual I went up to whoever happened to be standing in front and asked them who was playing, It turned out that one of the people out front happened to be from the group that I met the last time went to the club. He was with the lead singer/guitarist from one of the bands playing that night, who was feeling generous or something because he flat out decided to put me on the guest list even though I wasn't sure if I even felt like going.

The bands that played were Shikomoko, Two Hump Camels, Polyhedron, Maternity Blue, and Green Velvet Crapper. Shikomoko I missed, so on to Two Hump Camels, which happened to be the band of the guy who let me in. They sounded mostly like they were jamming but were at least fun to listen to. My pet band of the night was Polyhedron who had that "wall of sound" sound combined with a moody indie-rock feel. I got a two track CD of theirs for the quite low price of $3. Later, the band personally came up and thanked me. Now I'm an official supporter of the Japanese underground music scene. Maternity Blue was okay and Green Velvet Crapper put on a decent show.

The people I knew all left pretty early because they had some sort of thing to attend later on, so I was alone most of the concert, aside from the thank you from Polyhedron.

About halfway through another gaijin came into the club. If I were to describe the sensation I got from seeing him, if there existed a band made up entirely of bass players, he would be the bass player for the band. His hair was all gross frizzy and he was dressed very shabby. I tried to avoid him initially because I already know annoying white people, but then he started talking to a Japanese girl in English (because he didn't speak a word of Japanese) and she wasn't understanding pretty simple stuff like "dirty". I couldn’t take it any longer and decided to offer my services as an interpreter. He was standing right next to me so really; it wasn’t as weird as it sounds.

The guy was a musician from Canada. He specialized in psychedelic-garage or something equally obscure. The girl was the lead singer to Green Velvet Crapper. Mr. Psychedelic-garage was in Japan because his fiance was here right now, and he was talking to the Velvet's singer because he had met her outside and was trying to scam an English teaching job off of her.

SWhen the show ended, I felt obligated to talk to the guy (Jesse) some more. After the Green Velvet Crapper girl finished taking down their set (they were last), she came over and talked with us. Slowly it worked it's way through the club that I spoke a smidgen of Japanese, and so little by little people started coming up to me. I started talking to this lady named Maya who is the wife of Green Velvet Crapper's bass player, and her friend, who was the lead guitarist of a band that had not played. We spoke about the meaning of straight edge. I exchanged numbers with Maya. As for Jesse, he asked me to meet him in Shibuya the next day. No matter how much I wanted to turn him down, I was already going to Shibuya to see whatever the whole Cornelius record pre-release something or other thing is all about. Maybe he'll be there, I don't know. So I gave him my number and took his. His fiance's a sound designer, so maybe I can use this to my advantage.

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