Blog - September 2008 Archives
September 2008 Archives
September 28, 2008
Kanazawa day 1
Last week I took my summer holiday and we headed to Kanazawa, a town in Ishikawa prefecture near the west coast. We had good weather (just little bits of rain on the 1st day) and a great time eating sushi and "hanton rice", and doing some sight-seeing around town. I took about 150 photos of which I'll post the best along with daily summaries.
On Monday September 22, we left Tokyo early in the morning and took the shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa (Niigata pref.) and then a normal train to Kanazawa. The whole took about 4 hours.
We arrived at Kanazawa station around 11:00 and we went to check-in to Miyako Hotel just across from the station. It can be seen through the large "Motenashi-mon" that's on the east exit. Kanazawa doesn't have train public transportation within the city, only buses, but then again a lot of it is walkable.
Our first destination was a nearby department store to have some sushi for lunch at Morimori-zushi, a spinning sushi restaurant. We enjoyed the recommended local shrimp and kajiki maguro (marlin?), and a lot more. Kanazawa is renowned for fresh fish, being that it's near the sea of Japan.
We then walked down towards the center of town, where are located Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en. It was raining just a little bit when we arrived at the castle but the sky cleared up quickly and we could enjoy some nice sight-seeing. Kanazawa Castle doesn't look like the typical Japanese castle, its main building has a long structure. It has been rebuilt in very recently in 2001 and is being used as a museum.
It was interesting that by the walls there are holes in the floor to throw stones to enemies who would try climbing, and also that the main room was made with a diamond shape (skewed) that made its construction very complex.
Then we went over to the adjacent Kenroku-en, a large maintained Japanese garden and took some time to look around it. It was very beautiful.
The last picture is of what's said to be the oldest fountain in Japan dating from 1861. It uses only potential energy from the water coming from an elevated point, no pump involved.
We were getting hungry again, and we wanted to go for some "hanton rice", a yōshoku meal very specific to the area. We looked for it a bit everywhere but were surprised to only find it in the places that we had looked up before going. The first of these was Lucky (1-26 Yokoyama-chō), but we weren't so when we first passed because it wasn't open yet. So we decided to go for some more walking and to come back later.
We walked along Asano-gawa in direction of Kazue-machi.
Kazue-machi is an old area of town that used to be known as a men's night spot. There's some wall next to a shrine hiding an entrance to the area, rumored to have made it easy to be making a quick wish at the shrine and just disappear the next moment..!
After having visited these streets, we found by chance the Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, and being a music fan I couldn't help entering. The museum contains over a hundred of very old but working record players, going as far back as the very first Edison models that used cylindrical records (I think I had heard of such before, but I had never seen one), and also a lot of very old Victor and Columbia players.
There are three daily demonstrations where records are played on a dozen of different players, and we were lucky in a way to catch the last song from the last demonstration that day (starting at 16:00), but I'd really have liked to hear all of them.
We looked through the museum, appreciating that great collection, and an old man who works there came to give us some explanations. We saw needles that consisted of rose thorns and bamboo, and an Edison player used diamond. He told us that on some of the players used in the demonstration, they change the needle after 2 plays to avoid damaging the very old records, all of which are 78 RPM. In Japan they call 78's "SP records" (vs LP).
Then we continued walking around the area, across the river to Higashi-chaya-gai, another very old area of town. Of interest was a building that was entirely gold plated, in and out.
We then walked back along the river and went to Lucky again which was now open. We rewarded ourselves with "hanton rice", an omrice with ketchup rice and topped with fried white fish and tartar sauce. Simple and just great! I wondered why this meal doesn't make its way to Tokyo. :)
We caught a bus back to the hotel, and used complementary drink tickets at the top floor's bar. We enjoyed our free cocktails while getting some useful tips from the barman.
September 21, 2008
arcorhyme live at Grand Cru (vol.6): report
Until last time, they had been holding this monthly event on a Sunday afternoon, but after CD shop Après-midi Seleçao has moved together with restaurant Grand Cru, arcorhyme has switched the event to Monday evening at dinner time. Last Monday was a national holiday so they held it on Tuesday instead.
This time, instead of the usual two arcorhyme sets, one set was given to Love of Peace and Hope, a neo-GS side-unit of Takanami K-tarō together with The Phantom Gift's Sally Kubota (bass) and Charly Morita (drums).
arcorhyme went first, and Sally Kubota joined them for the last 3 songs, and I was delighted that they also played my Les 5-4-3-2-1 request from last time!
The set went as follows:
Sugarbabe's itsumo dōri / Yuming's kitto ieru / arcorhyme's aoi neko / Les 5-4-3-2-1's Miracle Manège / arcorhyme's koi no jigoku / Hippy Hippy Shakes' hen na onna no ko
Then there was a set of Love of Peace and Hope, and while I didn't recognize most of the songs (I think they were mostly neo-GS covers), I think they did play a few songs by The Phantom Gift. Charly sang and played tambourine, Sally played bass and K-tarō guitar, and these two also sang back vocals, the whole sounded great!
At the end of the set Ikuyo came back on stage for a session of these two songs:
Bang Bang's "ichigo hakusho" o mō ichido, The Phantom Gift's Heart ni OK! ("OK in your heart!")
I bought a T-shirt of Love of Peace and Hope, and some dead stock Phantom Gift badges. When telling Charly that I have the album, he gave me a bonus set of badges. :)
arcorhyme "aoi neko"
Pinky Aoki (The Phantom Gift's singer) with New Rock Syndicate "Heart ni OK!" (live in 2006)
September 19, 2008
KCBL 2nd live report
I've been busy and am running late with my reports. On Monday September 8, I rushed from work to go to Kōenji Enban where Kawashima Circulation Bus Line would perform. That's Hosaka Akane's side-unit together with DJ Peaky. This was their 2nd show, following the one they gave in June at the same place.
I got there just a little bit after first band Cookin' had began playing. They used guitar, pianica, trumpet, shamisen and other instruments, and while some of the music was intentionally cacophonic (especially the trumpet guy), the whole still sounded in control.
Next on stage was KCBL. Their set was quite different from last time. They sequenced loops on the spot, laying melodies on top, and the music drifted from calm to upbeat. It was a very nice set, and didn't make me as sleepy as the previous time. :) You can hear for yourself in the short video clip below.
Last up on stage was fockea crispa, a band of three with guitar, mandolin (sometimes banjo), and accordion or sometimes a strange small instrument that sounded like a sitar and that gave the band a unique sound. All of the songs were great, but I was especially caught by really beautiful cover of "Video Killed the Radio Star".
After the show I could talk briefly with KCBL's DJ Peaky for the first time. He said he's quite nervous playing with this unit live, and although he can teach things to Akane when rehearsing (being that he has some more experience), on stage he leaves it all up to her "power". :)
September 13, 2008
Yesterday's set list
Last night was a lot of fun! I was there from 8 until past 4am!
I really want to especially thank all my dear friends who came! It was great to be able to catch up with everyone! Let's meet again soon!
And also big thanks to my friend Matsuno-san (Donbei) who invited me, organizer Nagata-san (momo 8), and the other DJs, and everyone else who was there. :)
Here's my set list:
Denki Groove X Scha Dara Parr / Machine shōjo tamtam
電気グルーヴ×スチャダラパー / マシーン少女タムタム
Hori Chiemi / Wa-shoi!
堀ちえみ / Wa・ショイ！
Halmens / Motor Humming (feat. Nomiya Maki on chorus)
ハルメンズ / モーターハミング
ushirogumi hikaretai / gokitai kudasai
うしろ組ひかれ隊 / ご期待ください
Pizzicato Five / Boy Meets Girl
Akane Hosaka / 5acrobat toys for baby
Micropupazzo / roctamia
Denki Groove / eine kleine melodie (overrocket 8201 mix)
onyanko Club / koi wa Question
おにゃん子クラブ / 恋はくえすちょん
Tika Tika / a-chi-ko-chi Motion
チカチカ / あ・ち・こ・ち モーション
Akiyama Emi / Kyonshi!!!
秋山絵美 / キョンシー!!!
PINE*am / ikari no jūshin
PINE*am / 怒りの獣神
p&art sasanoooha / Sentimental Journey
パンダとササノハ / センチメンタル・ジャーニー
arcorhyme / fukigen na shinjitsu (Displeased Truth)
アルコライム / 不機嫌な真実
(End of 1st set)
Karly / Girls In Love
Chromeo / Fancy Footwork
Aira Mitsuki / Romantic Rope
Orangers / Heartbreak Taiyō-Zoku
オレンジャーズ / ハートブレイク太陽族
Onuki Taeko / Carnaval
大貫妙子 / Carnaval
Aprils / nagisa no [...]
エイプリルズ / 渚の「・・・」
Yasuno Tomoko / Angel kitaru
安野ともこ / エンゼル来たる
Juicy Fruits / Jenny wa gokigen naname
ジューシーフルーツ / ジェニーはご機嫌ななめ
I think that's incomplete, and surely in the wrong order. There was also a lot more that I wanted to play but didn't. There will be a next time (hopefully). :)
For hire: Anyone who needs an amateur DJ, let me know! I can play not only techno-pop but also club/house, Shibuya-kei, lounge/café, and some hip-hop.