Musical Interlude

His cover of the Rolling Stone’s Brown Sugar is pretty good too.

An excerpt from his blog:

Even though I’m a ukulele player I don’t own a Hawaiian shirt. It’s not like anybody made a rule that if you play the ukulele you have to wear one. I never wanted one so I’ve never bought one.
But this year I think I’ll buy one because I started to want one.

Japanese Headbangers RAWK OUT

Name: Maria
Sex: Who knows? (lol)
Birthday: May 24
Occupation: Dream chaser
Height: 178cm
Weight: I’ve recently gained weight
Hobbies: singing, cosmetics
Special skill: vocal range
Hairstyle: rainbow
Favorite words: beautiful, Maria
Personality: extremely narcissistic, extremely selfish
Favorite Food: thick, juicy steak
Least Favorite Foods: shrimp, squid, octopus, crab, all shellfish
Favorite Drink: melon soda
Least Favorite Drinks: sake, shochu
Favorite Book: I hate reading (lol)
Favorite Perfume: One I have at home, I forget what it’s called (lol)
Favorite Sport: practicing vocals
Favorite Animal: Hamu Taro
Favorite Pastime: street performing
Favorite Karaoke Song: I sing my own songs (lol)
Dream for the future: to mobilize 1000 people without ever having to set foot in an office. That and to sing at the Budokan

Obon and other stuff

This week is Obon, the yearly holiday season similar to Dia de los muertos in Mexico, when people go back to their hometowns to visit living relatives and spruce up the graves of dead ones. It’s believed that the spirits of your dead relatives come back to visit, which is a nice thing to believe–you never feel too distant from the ones you’ve lost. There are many local “bon odori” festivals that involve dancing, taiko drumming, eating, drinking, etc. People take off work en masse, and many banks, city halls, supermarkets and small stores are closed. This is also the time of year when traffic jams miles and miles long make the news.

I don’t have off today, but my wife does, and she’s is taking our kids to see the new Harry Potter movie, which means I’ll have to download watch it by myself later.

Last Friday Oliver dragged took me to a live house to listen to a singer/songwriter he met during his travels. Let me say this–although I do like some music loud, to which my father will attest, there’s a point where “loud” becomes “way too loud.” When the venue is in the basement of a building behind two sets of vacuum-sealed soundproof doors, it’s a good sign that your eardrums are in for some serious punishment. I used my sound isolating earbuds for earplugs and it was still too loud. It was sparking my “fight or flight” response, and I spent half the time in retreat on the opposite, quiet side of the double doors and the other half wanting to pick a fight with an innocent bystander. On the bright side, I took full advantage of the “all you can drink” deal that was included in the entrance fee and spend the night curled up in a dumpster outside Koga station. (I nicknamed one rat “Fifi” and the other one “Cuddles.”)

So here I am at work today, having no luck finding a function in JavaScript for converting HTML entities like & and ” back into their proper characters. It looks like you have to roll your own. Stupid language.

Oliver and I almost recorded a podcast, but I was too inebriated and in a pretty foul mood. We started one before the gig, but it wasn’t turning out all that well so I’ll throw it in the chumbucket later.

[tags]music, Oliver, anecdote, podcasting, geek stuff, work, family, holidays[/tags]

More I’s CUBE ahead

I met with Kana (I’s CUBE’s manager) yesterday at a Starbuck’s in Hiroo. I brought my laptop intending to show her and hopefully convince her to upload some tracks to it. But Starbucks here don’t have wireless access (campers aren’t profitable) and I couldn’t siphon off enough bandwidth from an nearby unsecured access point. One of these days I’m going to have to buy myself a card with an external antenna jack that I can plug into a Pringle’s can.

We talked about the legal issues that come with playing and recording music. She’s far more familiar with the details than most artists are about their own music and warned me to be very careful. On of the things I want to do is help indy artists sell their music online, either by setting up a Zen Cart store or by helping them take advantage of iTunes, CD Baby, etc. by helping them getting set up with TuneCore. The question for me right now is, how do I find the time? I barely have enough time to even blog.

She also sent me a song from I’s CUBE that I’ll play on my next podcast–the one I recorded last night but need to edit.

Kana is someone I feel lucky to know. Her drive to achieve her goals is greater than her sense of fear–something I’m working on, so it’s good to have a role model. She president of her own record label to promote the bands she loves the most. This is no small feat, considering that the music industry is rife with organized crime and profits are small unless you have a runaway hit. But I have a strong feeling that she has what it takes to be successful. I doubt she’s the kind of person who looks at herself in the mirror every morning and repeats affirmation mantras. She seems to just naturally have confidence. (For the record, I force myself to fake it, kicking and screaming all the way.)

An I’s CUBE/Kana update

I just heard from Kana Tokura, I’s CUBE‘s manager when they were at Yamaha records. I lost touch with Kana when I dropped off the face of the earth last year, but she just sent me an e-mail with good news.

Kana started a new company and took I’s CUBE with her. She understands much better than Yamaha Records that people are changing what they listen to, the way they acquire music and how they listen to it. That being said, you can sample I’s CUBE’s latest CD online and purchase it via Paypal.

Show ’em your fandom (and make Kana all happy and giggly) by friending One Up Music and I’s CUBE on MySpace.

The Ass Hair Burger Festival

The underreported reason behind Mixi’s stock taking a nosedive less than a month after its stock went supernova on its first day of trading.

Please don’t post any personal details about the people involved, or even links to information. If you feel the need to know more, Google it.

Music by Plastic Soul Band

How I Became a Lifer

For someone who hardly ever talks, I sure talked a lot tonight. I found a printout of some questions someone e-mailed me back in January. Did I already answer them? If I did, did I give the same answers this time as last time?

Someone is going to mention this, so I’ll do it first. You know, I, like, you know, say “you know” too much. You know? Chances are you already know.

Let’s make it into a game. Wherever you are when you listen to this episode, every time I say “you know,” punch a random bystander in the face. Send me photos of the hilarity that ensues, and the person with the best photo will win a prize.

Obadiah Parker

Methlab Production

P.S. Wow, so far 90 people downloaded the 200MB hires version of Tony’s vlog. That’ll make him very happy. And I’ve only used 2% of my Dreamhost bandwidth. Merely a flesh wound. What surprises me the most is that it means I have at least 90 listeners. I only ever imagine around four, and that’s including my mother.