Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween Madness!!!!!!

Just got back from our HUGE Halloween bash at the Corkheads. Kenya is staying here for the night, but we dont have much time to rest because its 3:30 now and we have our next gig tomorrow morning at 11:00 at the Tsukuba style festival main stage.
Tonight was certainly a success, especially in terms of turnout.It was so crowded that I couldnt do my usually thing,
which means dancing like a madman all night, because I was jammed up against the rest of the band, completely cornered. Thats just as well, since for some reason i had almost NO energy tonight. In fact I thought I was gonna pass out!this might have been because I had no dinner but more probably because I did the first set in mask and heavy shirt and I got overheated
It was also great working with DJ Makoto, who kept things going during our much longer than usual breaks. His selections were also much more to my liking than the DJs we have had at the barge Inn.
Jon and I spent some quality time together shopping for costumes and then getting a new mike for me! That was definitely a great buy, and with Miki`s skillful mixing.I was about to project my voice even though I was at about 20% of my usual energy.
Jon did a great job emceeing the costume contest and I was impressed by all the great ideas the contestants had.
I guess its lucky the police shut us down early, since we have a gig in a few hours anyway. But tonights dance responce was phenominal! We could have gone on till dawn!
Id better get some rest though I dont feel very tired.
More later............

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Contemplating the course of history at Enryaki Ji temple on Mt. Hiei

On a recent trip to Kyoto, I started out the day in Shiga prefecture, at Ishiyama Dera Temple,where it is said that lady Murasaki shikibu wrote parts of The Tale of Genji.
The ancient wabi and sabi reeking wooden buildings set among the lush early autumn greenery were not only'Picture Perfect' but refreshing to the soul.
A short train ride later I was atop Mt Hiei where Oda Nobunaga finally put an end to the power of Enryaku Ji Temples warrior monks by incinerating them along with the thousands of temple structures which had been standing on the mountain, which was burned until nothing but ashes remained.
Proceeding down to the Kyoto side of Hiei Zan and on to Jakko In in Ohara I was further overwhlmed by a sense of the passing and vanity of all things, recalling the unfortunate story of Kenreimon in who went from being a pampered aristocrat, the consort of an emperor and then the mother of the child emperor antoku, to living the last decades of her life as a nun in Jakko In after her entire clan, including her infant son was wiped out.
Ahhh the impermanence of all things!
Just the stuff for a new tenGooz song!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fireworks in Tsuchiura!

One of the big annual events in our area is the Tsuchiura fireworks festival, held each October. People really get excited about it and huge crowds gather to enjoy the latest creations of Japans top pyrotechnical artists.The best way to get there is by bicycle, though the sidewalks that lead there have bcome violently bumpy over the years becauseof protruding tree roots.Dont let that mislead you 1 Japanese roads are usually as smooth as silk even in the most remote areas.Translation problem that i have had in the past has been finding the Jpanese equivalent of the common English word 'pot hole' !The fireworks are launched from the site made famous by our frequent TenGooz barbeque parties, and on the festival day that peaceful enbankment is transformed into an audio war zone, jam packed with tens of thousands of ooers and ahhers.One thing that always disturbs me is thinking about how the remnant of the local wildlfe must feel about the thundering intrusion upon there rest.Anyway, as often happens, things did not turn out as planned on that day, and I never met up with Jon or Miki.Jon took some good pics though, he even got some good video footage so you can get a little tatse of what its like to be there....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Since Avi didn't actually make it to the fireworks festival, I took it upon myself to write the next entry.
Every year we look forward to the Tsuchiura Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Competition) It's a huge event. Actually, I think it might be the largest fireworks display in Japan. Thousands of people flood around the Sakura river, fighting for the best place to have a picnic and check out the action.
To start, Mik and I were throwing around a few plans. We knew we wanted to BBQ, but we also had to work until 5pm that day. We also had decided to ride our bicycles to the event. Mik said that last year it took him about 15 minutes to reach the event, but for some reason, it took nearly an hour on this particular day. Don't forget we had to BBQ, so Mik had the grill in a plastic bag in his bike basket. What a sight to see.
So the plan was to hook up with some friends who had gotten there early and have a nice peaceful BBQ while watching the spectacle. But oh no, that wasn't the case.
See, it's more crowded than you could imagine. We are talking 3 square kilometers of wall to wall people. After parking the bikes, we set off on foot with the BBQ grill and random bottles of wine and a lot of beer. To make a very long story short, it took forever for Mik and I to find our friends. And when Mik finally found them, he lost me for another 15 minutes. It was not a very relaxing experience up to that point.
Well, I finally found Mik and friends and we settled in to watch the show which had now been going on overhead for an hour. Our friends had a really nice spot and that's where we took this little video. Pretty cool huh? Since it was so crowded, we were not able to BBQ. That made us a little sad since we lugged the grill with us through the whole ordeal. We decided to wait until the crowd cleared away and re-positioned ourselves near the river bank and had a great BBQ while watching all the traffic flee the scene.
At the end of the night, it was time to go home by bicycle, uphill the entire way, with the grill and all left over party supplies. It was a journey that I will never forget. What a great adventure. Next year I will take my van for sure.