Blog - April 2007 Archives

April 2007 Archives


Photo .29 Shinjuku
Food .28 Panda à la crème
Music .26 Record bag: Hosaka Akane, Bambino, solange et delphine
Music Stage .23 yume to Cosme: report
Other .21 Obey, Colette, Komaneko
Technology .19 MT tip: How to move an entry to another blog
Travel .19 Passport renewal
Music Stage .15 ZuTTO - hito ni yasashii Concert: report
Cinema .12 Le roi et l'oiseau
Photo .07 Sakura #6: Asagaya-jūtaku
Music Stage .07 The Fascinations in-store live: report
Photo .07 Sakura #5: Ukima-kōen (w/ bonus UFO tale)
Music Stage .05 Nomiya Maki Recital vol.1 ~Joy~: full report
Photo .05 Sakura #4: Azusawa-gashi hiroba
Music Technology .04 New feature: Listening blog with cover images
Technology .02 MySpam
Photo .02 Sakura #3: Kitanomaru-kōen, Shibun-kaikan, Jōenji
Music .01 Ino Hidefumi live report

April 29, 2007

Photo Shinjuku

Yesterday was a walk to and from Shinjuku. At first the weather was great, but later it got cloudy and we even had a bit of thunder and rain, in the evening it was ok again though. Here are some photos.


1. koinobori floating at a construction site in Nishi-Shinjuku
2, 4-6. View from the roof of Takashimaya. Did you know you can go outside from the 12th floor and walk upstairs for a nice view?
3. Tochō lit-up at night. I don't think I've seen it like that before, or maybe I just didn't notice?

I tried autostitching my photos taken from Takashimaya, but it proved that AutoStitch doesn't like oblique photos. :)


Also when first uploading to Flickr using Flickr Uploadr, for some reason all my photos got corrupted (although my files were ok), resulting in weird colors. For those interested...

Flickr bugFlickr bugFlickr bugFlickr bugFlickr bugFlickr bug

Larger size photos at Flickr

Posted on April 29, 2007 at 13:11 | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tweet |

April 28, 2007

Food Panda à la crème

パックンシューYesterday I was in Harajuku, actually hoping to drop by Jet Set Leger until I found out that it has disappeared!?! I think I last went a few months ago and it was still kicking. Shops sure are replaced quickly around here.

Anyway, on my way back to the station I found this new shop called Arumado, that sells panda-shaped chou à la crème ("chou cream" if you will). Considering that they have to cut small openings to stick in the ear cookies and put some sticky stuff to stick the eye cookies and then drop some white substance in the eyes for the pupils and add a chocolate drop for the nose, the price isn't bad at ¥250, a bit above average for a chou. The taste was alright too!

Btw, they're called "Pakkun! chou"... This isn't why I bought them, but Pakkun is the nickname of a comedian in Japan named Patrick. :) Actually Pakkun chou takes its name and inspiration from the panda hand puppet that used to advertise Namacha. Other products include ice cream chou at ¥250, and a panda "whole" cake at ¥1800, with new products coming out this weekend it seemed.

Staff wasn't too well trained, and it was obvious that the shop had just opened a week ago. But that's ok since the girls all wear panda ears on their head. :) There was also a related panda goods shop advertised in the basement, but the elevator right next to the panda chou shop wouldn't go down, and the only entrance I found had no sign or anything so it looked like it was for employees... Oh well!

Harajuku Pakkun! Chou Arumado is located on Omotesandō very close to Harajuku station.
1-14-24 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (map)

Photo page at Flickr

Posted on April 28, 2007 at 10:49 | Permalink | Comments (3) | Tweet |

April 26, 2007

Music Record bag: Hosaka Akane, Bambino, solange et delphine

In my record bag last weekend...

Hosaka Akane "nikoniko denki muzic"

An adorable CD-R album of a girl with her Moog and toy instruments, apparently sold only at Enban, and that for only ¥500! The fresh feeling reminded me of when I first heard Minekawa Takako's "Cloudy Cloud Calculator". Some songs also evoke Plone memories.
Best of all, when listening to track 2, and without even first looking at the track title, I thought "this sounds like Kurekure Takora BGM!". Sure enough it's called "Pocket of Music ~Takora to Chonbo ni sasageru uta~" and Akane says that was her inspiration. Great!!
I'll have to check out her other works, and hope to catch her live someday.

Bambino "il bambino ed Rock"

This is Bambino, aka Ban Hiroshi, who I had first known from the 524 Records re-release a few years ago. This is a 6-song rock'n'roll mini-album that was first released in 2001 on vinyl only, and then re-released a year later in this CD edition with a bonus Groove Unchant remix. Can't help but dance.

solange et delphine "Cosmetique Standards"

Their latest single/EP that I already said I picked up at their show. Mixed and mastered by Yoshida Tetsuto, this is by far their best sounding release to this day. Always with some Pizzicato hints here and there, some chord sequences also remind me of True Love Always (Teenbeat).

Update (2007/7/27): Hosaka Akane's music can now be heard at her MySpace.

Posted on April 26, 2007 at 21:00 | Permalink | Trackback (1) | Comments (0) | Tweet |

April 23, 2007

Music Stage yume to Cosme: report

Last night I went to an event named "yume to Cosme" ("Dreams and cosmetics") at Aoi Heya, organized by indies band solange et delphine.

First on stage was sono na wa Spade (aka The Lady Spade). Singer Ruby and her three secretaries-a-gogo gave a great groovy show, including their cover of "Break-A-Way" that I love. I also like their funny dancing DJ/MC, Mr. Shit Lives Forever. I just wish they'd release some more of their music, it seemed that they still only had that "Mission 1" CD-R that I got last summer.


Next up was the Aprils for a short set that included "ki-ra-me-ki Moon Diver", "Panda" (without the panda, who probably ran away with Imai-kun's memory for the lyrics), and "P.S. Boy Meets Girl" for which solange et delphine's Hase-san should have joined them on piano. Nevertheless it was a good and fun set! They talked about a new album around this summer, so let's keep our fingers crossed!


solange et delphineThen out went the electronics and in the acoustic instruments, with solange et delphine that played with a full band (piano, violin, wood bass, drums). Singer Yumi looked and sounded good, and so did pianist and composer Hase-san. They played the three songs from their new single, and then some, including the great "New York ~ walk on fame" that I love. Violin takes an important place in their sound, often reminding me of "Playboy Playgirl"-era Pizzicato Five, and violinist Tanaka Yūichi (mocha classic) gave a good performance!

After the show I rushed to their merch stand to buy their new home-made single, "Cosmetique Standards" that was mixed and mastered just a few days ago by Yoshida Tetsuto who was one of the DJs for the night. It sounds great!

Last up was Frenesi (MySpace), who I had seen almost two years ago also sharing a stage with solange et delphine at mona records (event "classico"). Frenesi is the solo unit of singer-composer pianist aka Kumasaki Fusako, who is lately accompanied by musicians playing guitar, wood bass and drums. Usually Frenesi performs on an electric piano that she uses at home, so this time was a rare chance to see her playing Aoi Heya's grand piano. It only takes a few seconds to be seduced by her soft and cute voice. Songs range from jazzy to pop to ones with a latin taste, and even some disco beats.


DJ highlights: Yoshida Tetsuto played Hosokawa Fumie's "sukisukisu-", and Usuyamada Yō played Hamada Mari's "futsū de ikō"!

A second edition of "yume to Cosme" is set to be held on July 1st at mona records in Shimokitazawa.

Larger size photos at Flickr

Posted on April 23, 2007 at 12:35 | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tweet |

April 21, 2007

Other Obey, Colette, Komaneko

I've been meaning to post more "stuff" that I buy or receive, so here's a recent selection.

Yesterday I received this book from Amazon U.S., "Supply & Demand: The Art of Shepard Fairey". It's a large brick with a lot of photos of Shepard's Obey and other propaganda art. It cost me less than $50 USD including shipping, no customs fees either. I think it was the first time I ordered from Amazon U.S. from here, and the Amazon box arrived in an insanely huge and clumsy USPS plastic bag.

Also I was given this Colette limited "I love Tokyo" bag, along with original たべっ子どうぶつ (tabekko dōbutsu) cookies! I hear they're being sold at Isetan in Shinjuku. :)


Last is something that I bought on Yahoo! Auctions a month or two ago, two small Komaneko key chain dolls. They're waiting for another one to arrive in July part of the limited edition DVD box that I couldn't resist pre-ordering.


Larger sizes at Flickr

Posted on April 21, 2007 at 12:42 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

April 19, 2007

Technology MT tip: How to move an entry to another blog

Byrne Reese hinted me that I should write about my Movable Type hack to move an entry to another blog (within the same installation). I had found this trick in my early MT days, some 3-4 years ago, and it has been helpful many times since.

Say you've typed an entry and saved it in blog #1, but the entry was really meant for blog #2. Usually that would mean that you have to create a new entry in blog #2, copy-paste your title, body, etc., and then delete the unwanted entry from blog #1.

What I do is simply edit the mistaken entry, and in the address bar's URL I change blog_id=1 to blog_id=2.

Before: .../mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=4454&blog_id=1
After: .../mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=4454&blog_id=2

The "Go to" drop-down at the top then shows blog #2, and re-saving the entry will successfully move it there! Magic!

Beware though that if you had already published the entry in blog #1, you will have to rebuild your indexes/archives to erase its traces.

Update (2007/11/1): No, do not call shenanegans.

The "bug" allowing the above hack existed in MT 3 but was patched in MT 4. To re-enable it in MT 4, patch lib/MT/App/ as follows.

1. Search for the word "shenanegans" (line #5147 in MT 4.01) and comment-out that if block by adding a # at the beginning of all lines.

#        # Make certain any blog-specific element matches the blog we're
#        # dealing with. If not, call shenanigans.
#        if (   defined($blog_id)
#            && ( exists $param{blog_id} )
#            && ( $blog_id != $obj->blog_id ) )
#        {
#            return $app->return_to_dashboard( redirect => 1 );
#        }

2. Find the save_entry sub (search for "sub save_entry {"), go 70 lines down (line #12171 in MT 4.01), and comment-out these 2 lines.

#        return $app->error( $app->translate("Invalid parameter") )
#          unless $obj->blog_id == $blog_id;

That's all!

Disclaimer: Be careful when editing MT system files. I'm not responsible if something goes wrong, or if the above patch doesn't work for you.

Posted on April 19, 2007 at 23:44 | Permalink | Trackback (0) | Comments (1) | Tweet |

Travel Passport renewal

Today I went to the Canadian embassy to renew my passport, same as 5 years ago. Of course I had forgotten about most of the procedure.

I had found the application form (PPT 040) though there's a requirement to print it on letter-sized paper (8½"x11"), which is nowhere to be found in Japan where the standard is A4. So anyway I printed it on A4 and filled it in, though one of the parts must be signed by a guarantor, a doctor or some authority that knows you for over two years, and I wasn't to take an appointment with my doctor to later find out that A4 paper is no go.

I also found out that with another form called "Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor" (PPT 132) a guarantor isn't needed, so I thought I'd give it a try. This one prints on odd-sized large paper but I also printed it on A4 just so I can at least gather the information.

There are also some strict requirements about the photos, requiring that they're stamped with the date and also the photo studio's name and address. Therefore I couldn't use the photo machines everywhere in town. I dropped by a small photo shop near my home, ran by an old friendly man who fixed my collar and made a pretty good photo. It cost me ¥1000 though.

Next was to bring all this stuff to the embassy. The application was fine in A4, but not the PPT 132 which I had to copy. The surprise came when it was time to pay, skipping the guarantor cost me a whopping ¥5000 ($50), ouch! The 5-year passport itself costs ¥10000 ($100), or an additional ¥500 ($5) for twice the amount of pages (48 instead of 24).

At least I got this done with in just one visit, and my new passport should arrive in 3 weeks. Then I'll have to go to the Immigration Bureau again to get my visa and re-entry permit transfered. Whew. :)

Posted on April 19, 2007 at 23:30 | Permalink | Comments (6) | Tweet |

April 15, 2007

Music Stage ZuTTO - hito ni yasashii Concert: report

Today I went down to Shinagawa with Tsugumi to check out the free yearly 「ZuTTO - 人にやさしいコンサート」 ("hito ni yasashii Concert") organized by miso maker Marusanai, and held at Shinagawa Stellar Hall. Every year the concert is led and MC'd by ZuTTO, the unit of Matsumoto Eiko and Shinohara Tomoe (thanks to who we got nice 2nd floor seats!).

The show was about 3h30, featuring three guest artists and also some narrative bits. It seems like every year there's a theme, according to which people have to submit their thoughts when applying for free tickets. This year's theme was loosely "a song that reminds me of my home/favorite country/town", and people submitted anything from their home town's anthem to the Star-Spangled Banner (which was funnily more popular than Japan's "kimi ga yo").

The performance schedule went something like this:

- Shinohara Tomoe welcome video message
- ZuTTO intro song
- Tamashiro Chiharu
- May
- Hamazaki Takashi (ex-Flying Kids)
- Matsumoto Eiko
- Shinohara Tomoe

Each artist performed about 3-4 songs. The three guests were enjoyable, though not quite what I usually listen to. I especially liked a song by May, a Korean girl who has been in Japan for a few years, called "Wonderland".

Eiko's solo part was quite good. She looked very pretty in a blue-ish dress, and sang a new song called "kaerō" ("Let's go back home") that she chose according to the event's theme. Then, still sticking to the theme, she did a great set of two French pop songs, singing "Comment te dire adieu" and "Poupée de cire, poupée de son".
Before singing these she asked the crowd if anyone speaks French, seeming a bit worried that someone would be checking if her pronunciation was right. I waved my hand as much as I could, but she didn't look up to the 2nd floor, so she ended up thinking no one did... too bad. That made me quite curious anyway and I listened closely, her pronunciation was not perfect, but very good! If she doesn't speak French fluently, she did a good job at practicing those lyrics!

Then came up Tomoe, like a tornado! She was wearing some very bright clothes, sort of like back in the day..! With the excuse that she doesn't have any hit singles recently, she treated us to some of her old hits, namely "Story Book", "Anything" and "Rainbow rara ru-" (from single "Happy Point", albums "Megaphone Speaks" and "Super Model" respectively)! It was great to see her perform these live! She was as energetic as you would imagine.
Back to the event's theme, she sang "Tokyo Boogie Woogie" (a song from the 40's by Hattori Ryōichi), at the end of which she got the whole audience to shout "HEY!!!!!!" with her (even us lazies at the back!). Actually she had most of the audience standing and clapping the whole time.

As for ZuTTO, the two sang [I think] all of the four songs that have been released so far, one of which was performed as an encore. Good vocals and fun interaction on stage!

For the show's finale, they called all three guests and they all sang together "sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana"... a song that I can't stand hearing SMAP sing on TV anymore, but this time it was okay. :) While singing this one, the singers threw cherry blossom-like confetti on each other and on the band's musicians, as more confetti poured non-stop from the ceiling.

On our way out we got a 900g box of miso and four packs of soy milk and yogurt varieties from Marusanai. Thanks for the pleasant concert!

Posted on April 15, 2007 at 01:36 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

April 12, 2007

Cinema Le roi et l'oiseau

Le roi et l'oiseauThis month was released a remastered edition of French animation classic "Le roi et l'oiseau" by Paul Grimault (1980, English title "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep") on DVD. This is part of Studio Ghibli's "Ghibli ga ippai" ("Lots of Ghibli") series, as it seems that the film greatly influenced Ghibli's Miyazaki Hayao.

The DVD is offered in "standard" and "collector" editions. Even the standard contains a bonus DVD of about 10 short films by the same director, while the collecteur edition contains yet another bonus disk with documentaries and other stuff.

I had watched this film many times when I was very young, and to this day it was still very vivid in my memory. Last year it was shown in theaters here but unfortunately I had missed it, so this time I made sure to get the DVD. I've already watched the film twice since the weekend, and it's as fantastic as I remembered.

Instead of describing the twisted plot about a mean king, a bird, a shepherdess and a chimney sweep, I'll just say that the details and colors are beautiful, the story is deep and touching, dialogs are funny, and the pace is so tight that to me the 80-minute film feels like 30 minutes.

I believe that this film is one that's worth seeing by everyone, so go rent or buy it already. :)

Official Japanese site

Posted on April 12, 2007 at 23:33 | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tweet |

April 7, 2007

Photo Sakura #6: Asagaya-jūtaku

Today the weather was great, so for lunch we got some bread, salads and snacks and went to have a picnic in hanami fashion at the very nice park in Asagaya-jūtaku. Not crowded at all, there were at most about 5 groups, the place was very quiet and just perfect for relaxing. There was still a good amount of cherry blossoms in the trees, some of which the wind sometimes shook down upon us.


Larger sizes and several more at Flickr

Here's a short bonus video clip of sakura falling. My first try with YouTube.

Posted on April 7, 2007 at 23:41 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

Music Stage The Fascinations in-store live: report

Tonight after work I headed to Shimokitazawa where we met with Tsugumi to go watch The Fascinations playing in-store at Village Vanguard. They played a short 30-minute set of about 6 songs, starting with my favorite "Sail Away" (an original), and also playing "Cool Struttin'", "Take 5" (in their controversial 4/4 version), and closing with "My Funny Valentine" and "Fascinated Groove", which included solos by each musician.

The FascinationsThe Fascinations
Larger photos at Flickr

Even though the space wasn't optimal for a full band of their rank, they did a great entertaining set that pleased the small crowd. This time I was mostly mesmerized by keyboard player Norioka Tetsu, who played some really rocking bass on his SH-101 (great monophonic synth that I also own), replacing the absent wood bass player. Drummer Miura-san later came to greet us, and he said that he put together the drum set especially for practice and small venues, it uses a floor tom in place of the bass drum!

After the show, we walked to Ikenoue to have dinner at restaurant Koan, where used to be held the Showa Dance Party event that unfortunately I never got around to checking out. It was the first time we went there and it was delicious! The people were very friendly, the prices cheap (dinner set at ¥1200!!) and the menu holds over 30 plates to choose from! I went for the steak chahan (fried rice) that was suggested to me, and didn't regret it. :)

Posted on April 7, 2007 at 01:31 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

Photo Sakura #5: Ukima-kōen (w/ bonus UFO tale)

After some winter weather days, spring is back! Today is very warm and perfect for hanami. While a lot of the flowers have fallen down because of the rain and winds, trees still hold a lot, and the petals are just fragile enough to be slowly carried down by the wind.

A few days ago, my workmate reminded me that Ukima-kōen, that park with the phony windmill (#1, #2), must be full of sakura. So today I went there for the whole lunch time and did hanami on my own. Thanks to the great weather, the park was actually full of people (mostly moms and their kids, and some groups of students) doing hanami. The park was also decorated for a sakura matsuri.

Just as Roy proclaimed that hanami season is over, I'm glad to prove him wrong. :) I predict that hanami is still kicking over the weekend.


Larger photos and a few more at Flickr

Oh, and on my way to this park I had one of the funniest encounters. It involved a UFO but was not of the 3rd kind.

I was hungry and riding my bicycle full speed when I passed by two guys wearing suits who were walking in the opposite direction, one said "konnichi wa!" so I stopped to see what they wanted. He was carrying a large bag from which he pulled out a boxed remote control UFO toy (something like this). I first thought he wanted to give it to me, the box was pretty big and I almost wondered how it would fit in my bag. Together they were carrying three of the things.

The guy started telling me that they are importing these (the box only had English text). He showed me the $39.95 price printed on the box, and asked me if I wanted it for ¥2200? Without hesitation I said "no thanks", and right away he dropped the price to ¥1100! Then I said I have no interest in buying one, and wished them good luck and left.

Minutes later I was still laughing to myself about this stupid scene of the two failed-remote-controlled-UFO-import-venture guys trying to sell me dead stock in the middle of nowhere. At that moment I passed some obasan who seemed to think I was laughing at her. Sorry! :)

Posted on April 7, 2007 at 01:20 | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tweet |

April 5, 2007

Music Stage Nomiya Maki Recital vol.1 ~Joy~: full report

(Sorry for the delay, here's the Maki recital review I promised.)

On Tuesday March 20 evening, I hurried to go see Nomiya Maki's first recital, "Joy". This was the 5th and last representation, held at Aoyama Spiral Hall. I had been quick at getting my tickets and got 2nd row seats! I didn't have a good idea how good that was until I got there and saw the hall of about 30 rows or more. I was right up near the stage and, I could have been dreaming but, I think I got eye contact with Maki many times. :)

Before entering the hall, I quickly bought the show's book which includes a 2-song CD containing a version of the title song "Joy" and also "Twiggy Twiggy", both produced by Richard Cameron. The book opens vertically, and each bottom page has a photo of Maki while the top page has text about the show. The best of it is an unfolding Maki paper doll that looks really great, with costumes and accessories from the show!
Update 2007/5/10: The single is now available on iTunes Japan! 野宮真貴 - JOY - Single

Now, while the Tokyo representations are over, the show is set to hopefully travel to Europe and North America later this year, so I won't tell anymore... not before a proper "spoilers ahead" warning.

This entry is FULL OF SPOILERS about a great show that might travel the world later this year. Those who think they would go see it may prefer to not read what follows.


Posted on April 5, 2007 at 22:40 | Permalink | Trackback (4) | Comments (5) | Tweet |

Photo Sakura #4: Azusawa-gashi hiroba

It's been rainy these last few days, and a lot of the cherry blossoms have fallen down. Luckily yesterday there was still a lot up in the trees as well, as you can see in these photos taken at Azusawa-gashi hiroba (小豆沢河岸広場) in Itabashi-ku, a very nice spot by Shingashi-gawa.


Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Posted on April 5, 2007 at 07:33 | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tweet |

April 4, 2007

Music Technology New feature: Listening blog with cover images

Just a little upgrade...

My listening blog (seen in the left bar, with archives here) now shows cover artwork, taken directly from my agenda when available. For the visual ones out there. :)

Posted on April 4, 2007 at 23:53 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

April 2, 2007

Technology MySpam

Nothing much worth complaining, but I thought I'd mention that since signing up to MySpace, I've got a number of "friend requests" from Japanese artists that obviously don't know me, obviously just wanting me to jump to their profile and listen to their latest song.

If it does look half decent, and if their own "top friends" reflect my own tastes (e.g. if we have common favorite artists), I'll often have a listen and will gladly accept their friend request.
However, most of the time it's not, and they obviously didn't care whether their sound might fit my tastes, and to me it's just spam and it's not the right way to promote a band.

MySpace's interface does provides a "spam" button for messages, but not for friend requests. Some of those spammy artists do send me a message too, saying "please listen to our music" or stuff like that. Is it ok if I mark those as spam, or is that "spam" button meant for real spam like v14­gr4 offers?

Being a MySpace newbie, I'm curious and would like to hear from the old-timers.
Is this accepted behavior that everyone tolerates? Am I expected to feel compassionate and blindly "approve" all requests? Is it only Japanese artists that use MySpace for this kind of direct shameless promotion?
(So far 100% of those requests were from Japanese artists, though of course my profile says that I'm in Japan and links to mostly Japanese artists, making me an easy target.)

Posted on April 2, 2007 at 21:14 | Permalink | Comments (9) | Tweet |

Photo Sakura #3: Kitanomaru-kōen, Shibun-kaikan, Jōenji

Yesterday we had some great weather, and I took more sakura photos while walking around Chiyoda-ku.


1. Kitanomaru-kōen
2. Kitanomaru-kōen, seen from the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MoMAT)
3. Shibun-kaikan
4. Marunouchi line peeking out between Ochanomizu and Saiwaichō stations
5. Jōenji, in Nishi-Shinjuku

Also involved was a bit of graffiti watching.


More photos, larger sizes and some exact locations at Flickr

Posted on April 2, 2007 at 12:22 | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tweet |

April 1, 2007

Music Ino Hidefumi live report

Last night was Fender Rhodes player Ino Hidefumi's first live show in Tokyo! He had previously only played in his home town of Fukuoka. The show was held at Ebisu Liquid Room, and the place was really packed.

The band had two other musicians, drums stage left and bass stage right. There was also a piano towards stage right, sharing the stool with Ino-san's Fender Rhodes that stood sideways in the center.

Ino-san played most songs from his first album "Satisfaction" (though one of my favorites, "Midnight at the oasis", was missing), plus some others he played on xylophone, glockenspiel and pianica, and then there were also some interludes he did with electronics. His great playing skills showed mostly on piano, but I definitely prefer him sitting at his Rhodes.

There were some special guests in the middle of the show, first of which was Fujiwara Hiroshi. This one was already expected as he had appeared at the Fukuoka show, and also they both had written about it on their blogs. HF accompanied on guitar and sang three mellow songs he selected himself, two of which Ino-san played on piano. The last was Culture Club's "Do you really want to hurt me?".

The next guest was the real surprise of the night. Ino-san announced "I think it's been a long time since he played bass on a stage... Konishi Yasuharu!" Wow!!! Konishi-san playing bass on stage! I think I've only seen that when I saw Groove Room Orchestra in 2002, and maybe at the P5 tribute recording for TV show Factory? Konishi-san replaced the band's bassist for two songs (who played subtle guitar instead), the first of which was Jackson 5's "Never can say goodbye"! Great sound and feel, he just kicked ass! (to put it mildly)

Then there was an encore which started with the piano version of "Spartacus". I thought this was quite predictable, as the song is featured in both Rhodes and piano versions on the album, and felt very fulfilling.

Ino-san also announced that he will have a new 4-song mini-album out in June in collaboration with Tower Records. While he had only released covers so far, all four of these are originals.

Another thing very worth noting were the lights! Ino-san definitely having a liking for things analog, most of the lights weren't controlled by electronics and motors, but by human staff. At times two guys would hold flexible metal sheets, reflecting waves of light throughout the venue. During "Billie Jean", while two guys held projectors in their hands, two others held in front of themselves large mirrorball-like discs that they appeared to be bending from the inside, making for some really psychedelic result! And during the encore's last song, guys stood below three normal mirrorballs and manually held and waved a projector towards these, while other staff was pulling the mirrorballs' strings to make them wiggle like crazy ("just don't drop it, please!", thinks the projector guy).

One word: "satisfaction".

Update (2007/4/2): Photos can be seen at Ino-san's blog (Konishi-san is on the top-right one).

Posted on April 1, 2007 at 12:19 | Permalink | Trackback (1) | Comments (3) | Tweet |

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