Friday, May 30, 2008

Samurai Chop

Yoyogi Park is one of the larger and probably the most active parks in Tokyo. It borders the biggest fashion districts, Harajuku and Shibuya. If you have seen any photos of "crazy," over the top style Japanese style, it comes from one of those two neighborhoods. On Sudays if you walk through the park you'll see a lot of cool things. You'll probably see the Tokyo Rockabilly Society, who are aging punks dancing in a circle showing off their massive pompadours. You'll see people walking miniature dogs with clothes on that actually look cool, as opposed to the dog clothing I've seen in the US. You'll also see plenty of takoyaki, or octopus ball stands, which if you have not tried, you are missing out.
You will also see an average of five to eight bands playing the street. Most are young, hopeful up and comers, some are older, established bands with a limited appeal.
Last weekend I went with a few Aussies, who were themselves in a band on tour and are now long gone back to Oz. We took a walk through and saw a pretty good slice of modern Japanese pop music. A Visual Kei band (image based goth), a girl punk/metal band, a boy punk/metal band, some older, established guys playing in a mid-sized jazz ensemble, some teens playing indie-like rock, etc.. We also saw a band that rocked harder than any band I have seen in my entire life: Samurai Chop. Just look at the picture.
With a shaved bowl cut, a pink guitar and thick rimmed glasses the lead singer's look alone was enough to know they meant business. This is not even to mention the wind chimes attached to a rotating stand for easy kicking access.
I can see how one might think that people watch because he's nerdy and funny, and that an audience would form out of mocking and pity. That is not how it is. You really just have to see it. Yes, it was nerdy, but it was also pure rock and roll passion. They gave out free CDs but I haven't been able to upload songs to ezarchive since I got to Japan. So here is the Myspace.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I love it when Koreans boys wear shirts they don't understand!

I had to steal this pic from my sisters flickr page as I'm guessing he is one of her students. It appears as though the kid is living up to his shirt... But I thought Soju had special properties to increase virility, especially in young boys.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Origami-Schmorigami, the class

Things heard during my first class teaching origami:

- My nervous heartbeats (I'm sure).

- "These instructions are retarded".
- "I'm sorry but these instructions are totally retarded".
- "Yes, the instructions are retarded."
- "Actually, don't look at the instructions for the crane, they will only confuse you more".
- "No, fucking, way. I'm not doing this" (Dangerous Minds-type student) And then, later: "I'm gonna practice all weekend and then I'm gonna come back and fold the crap out of these papers!". I asked him if he was being sarcastic by any chance, and no, he wasn't. Youtube will help him he said.
-"No that's a valley fold, it's supposed to be a mountain fold, dumbass". (Really cocky student who just learned how to fold something).

All in all, I think I did OK. Everybody learned how to fold something. Two of them went modular, which, heh, is pretty complicated. One girl was a freakin' genius and made up her own flesh-eating plants. A shy heavy metal guy sporting the obligatory thin blond baby-moustasche learned how to fold a pretty pretty flower which he was extremely proud of and couldn't stop looking at for the rest of the class. (If he's anywhere near as smart as he looks, and I think he is, he'll eventually understand what an amazing babe-magnet origami truly is).

Flight of the Concords- Ladies of the World