a The Transit Lounge: September 2006

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Friday, September 22

After The Storm

The last couple of weeks have been madness, although if you were to ask me what I have been doing I can't really put my finger on what exactly has been keeping me busy. I think I am just tired.
Started hostessing 3 nights a week so I have at least $5 in the bank when I go back home in December, so this has been making me tres sleepy. And I am trying to exericise with the running and swimming thing so that I can look half decent in my Halloween costume. Batman is going as...Batman surprise surprise so I am going as Cat Woman.
It still doesn't feel like I am leaving Japan. I think it will hit me when I get back from the Philippines (I am going for a week leaving next weekend) because at the moment, that trip represents for me the corner that rounds into the home straight. I know when I get back on October 7, I will experience a plethora of emotions from that day until D-Day, which happens to be December 9. I started getting excited today having booked my ticket. I mean really excited. But then I get so excited I start feeling sad too at actually leaving! And it is those sad feelngs I don't want to be touching on just yet. I keep telling myself how much easier it would be to stay, but now is the time for me to jump. I know staying here any longer will certainly be holding me back (from what I hope to have figured out by D-Day) - I feel I am ready now to leave, I know any time before I wasn't.
Got a heap - well 3 - articles out of the way this week too so I feel a huge weight has been lifted off the shoulders, which feels so strange as I have had them hanging over my head for so long now and felt guilty whenever I wasn't working on them! So I have felt quite free this week. Still have another 2 to get onto but I will attack those this weekend. I also have some to start, ideas I had a while back that the KS editor liked so hopefully I can make a start next week.
Cambosis - been tryna comment on your site and cannot for some reason....
Benny - nice drunk Benny. Thanks for the phone call.
Tam - Dec 30 11.15...can you pick me up from the airport?
MRM - Akira will have champers and 2 glasses on his arrival.
Akira - don't forget the champers.
Gitte - I will make sure he has the same when we come to check out your new house.
Akira - see above hehe.
Ohhhh damn it. Gotta go to work now.

Monday, September 18

Confessions Time

Last night I saw Madonna's Confessions Conert at Osaka Dome. The woman is amazing. Set List went something like this (for those of you who care):

"Future Lovers/I Feel Love"
Get Together"
Like A Virgin"
"Interlude: Dancers' Confessions"
Live to Tell"
"Forbidden Love"
"Like It Or Not"
"Interlude: Sorry [Remix]"
I Love New York"
Ray of Light"
"Let It Will Be"
Drowned World/Substitute For Love"
Paradise (Not For Me)"
"Interlude: Roller Dance Disco Inferno"
"Music Inferno"
Erotica/You Thrill Me"
La Isla Bonita"
Lucky Star"
Hung Up"

For me, well considering I thought I would never see Madonna live again after her once off Oz leg of the Girly Show back in 1993, this was a dream come true! I am not kidding, I got a tad teary when the lights dimmed and she appeared on the stage.
Most of the show, until she broke into a remix of Disco Inferno and Music, was extremely political. I am sure you have heard about the controversy surrounding the mock crucification during Live to Tell, as well as the 2 dancers portraying themselves as gay lovers from Israel and Lebannon for Forbidden Love. There were also many homages to Africa and a lot of video footage used to highlight the problems in Africa, as well as a few subtle and not so subtle (a big "if you don't like my attitude, you can F off, go to Texas and suck George Bush's dick" in I Love New York). She also had Yitzhak Sinwani with her on tour, who performs on Isaac on the album, and not only did he sing this, but he also joined her on stage for a couple of other tracks.
Just as the show was getting pretty heavy, she changed her song, and it was disco time. The old tracks she peformed had been revamped of course to fit into the show, and she performed almost every song on her Confessions album. The only touch up I didn't really enjoy was La Isla Bonita, it didnt seem to work properly or was out of time or something. Erotica was probably the most surprising song I heard - I forgot just how many songs and albums Madonna has released, and that I knew the words to everything.
The dancing, the theatre, the showmanship, the entertaining - it was all an uber class act. The woman undeinably one of the cleverest entertainers of our time. She knows how to shock and rock and still have a good time. The Japanese audience was another thing - of course for the most part, they would not have understood anything she was saying to the audience, and I think this reflects in the atmosphere of the crowd. You know she is askkng people to jump (tonde! damn it), sing or "show me your craziest dance" and generally met with nothing but a few screams from the random foreigners around the audience. Still she got into the audience, talked to people and anytime she uttered a random Japanese word, the crowd went mental.
It also helped that I got some free tickets to the show. So April and Naosky came with me, along withe Batman the one I had paid for to sit w a bunch of other friends and I have Batman the ticket I had paid Akira for (the two of them got very high and afterwards I found Batman wondering around outside searching for his people, and asking random objects if they were taxis - Naosky and I were in hysterics). I was pleased, Batman was very blase before the concert (I told them 5 minutes before we had to be there that I had scored free tickets) and wasn't keen on it, but he was the first to admit afterwards that show had a lot more depth than he ever expected and his views on Madonna have changed for the better (I don't know if that was the fact he was high or not).
Anyway it was a really powerful show and thanks to the Manchild and his crew we met for the free tickets!

Wednesday, September 13

Go Yasa!

Yasa placed 2nd at the DMC Scratch World DJ Championships in London over the weekend. His manager sent me a link to the 6 minute battle he played so check it out. Hmm having probs with the link, will put it up asap.

And for those of you who can read Japanese...tell me what this says. Just kidding.

9/11にLONDONで行われた「DMC WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIPS 2006」にてマンガライフ所属のDJ YASAが好成績を修めた事をご報告させて いただきます。一言で言えば「甲子園には魔物が棲んでいる」w今年は1着を獲りに行ったのですが世界の壁は厚かったです。見てた感じ、かなりの接戦だったと思います。NETIKとYASAのどちらかだろうというのはすぐ分かりましたがジャッジの好み(プレイスタイル)も左右してくるので結果発表までどっちが獲ったかわからなかったです。今回の悔しさをバネに世界目指してゆきます。しかし前回出場の2003の4位を上回る2位となり確実に世界一に 向かっていると確信しました。これからもKireek(DJ YASA&DJ HI-C)としてまたDJ YASAと してよろしくお願いします。取材やイベント出演など気軽に連絡下さいませ。

Tuesday, September 5

Another One Down

The most recent article I wrote for ITM was posted today, on Japanese DJ Yoji Biomehanika, and linked here. He is one extremely interesting persona and his shows really are something else, although I felt the interview itself was not very good for a number of reasons, hence the article rather than the Q&A format (although I tend to think the Q&A format is taking the easy option anyway).
Let me know what you think.

Just Say No - The Fun Comes Later

Another crazy whirlwind of a weekend that...whirled on by.

And this time not because I was out and about slamming tequila - or absinthe for that matter. In fact quite the opposite. I was swilling champagne and oolong tea, in an effort to speed up my weight loss efforts (swimming daily seems to be doing jack, so I figured something in the diet must go. Alcohol seemed like the obvious, although saddening, choice).
From Saturday night on, it was a mass of interviews and writing for me. I began at Absinthe interviewing David Simpson, who is just about to launch his fashion career here in Osaka, in the form of Illectric Sheep (his site ain't quite up and running yet so no link).
That was followed by a couple of hours and 4 red bulls upstairs at Pure, listening to Cliffy DJ in the VIP, me saying no to a constant stream of tequila shots bought for me, me trying to get rid of the Veuve Champagne I was given and failing dismally (I could not have paid somebody to drink it for me!) so I just left the various glasses I was given untouched around the room, me trying to fend of an "older" Kiwi bloke who just wouldn't take no for an answer, despite me almost purposely gouging his eyes out when he tried to nuzzle me, me aiding a very drunk Brett on the bike ride home, and finishing up with me lying awake for 2 hours in bed trying to sleep and realising that Red Bull friggin sucks.
But I would not have traded all the 'Nos' in the world as yesterday was a pearler of a day. Again was filled with various interviews, the last being with Kireek, who you might remember from this post. Yasa won the Japan DMC Scratch Battle a couple of weeks back, Hi-C coming 3rd. I am interviewing them for October's Kansai Scene and Sunday was a wrap up. Yasa will head to London this week to scratch it out for the title of World Champion. This is the same title that Aussie DJ Dexter of The Avalanches won a few years back, and which Kireek's friend, Kentaro, won 2 years ago. I have asked Yasa, whether he wins or not, to help me write a seperate article on his experience there. Yasa has a solid chance of taking the crown, and he is on the tip of being the name on everyone's lips. After we finished talking (thanks to Monkey for his help with all the translating), Asami and I had a bite to eat with Kireek - I don't think I have laughed so much in my entire life. Very lovely, lovely guys indeed and I will be checking out their upcoming gigs, at Candy on Sept 22 and then We Love Music on Sept 23, where quite possibly there could be a world champ in our midst. Best of luck to Yasa, it could not have happened to a nicer guy. Both he and Hi-C are refreshingly humble, loads of fun and genuinely nice. Go Kireek.
I had such a good day because the vibe of it all was totally unexpected, including the interviews Asami was helping me with in Ame-mura at Triangle park, which were all street-talk style with young Japanese people who had "interesting" hair (also for October KS). I got home at 9pm, after leaving before lunch, totally exhausted but feeling so good - totally worth all the Nos I had to utter the previous night.
Throwing it back to the readers, you had any similar experiences recently?