there's not a lot of time here in japan. it's very frustrating. i thnk it's truly the first place i have found that i would come back to on vacation. i mean. i always think, or say that i will go back to paris or copenhagen or somewhere european. but i really think it's gotta be japan. i feel like there is so much subtext happening here. so much i am excluded from by the language barrier, by the lack of time i have to do things outside of work and by the culture in general. it makes me want to immerse myself in it. i get really jealous of the westerners i see over here living and speaking japanese. maybe i'll take a japanese class this winter when i am not working.
like i said, there's not a lot of time to do anything. larry and i walked around yesterday after breakfast at the hotel. but the stores didn't open until 11 am. we had a 12:15 pm lobby call. see. frustrating. and by the time we are finished for the day the jet lag, hunger and hour means that you aren't going anywhere but to dinner and then bed. we went to an amazing toy store yesterday but due to lack of time i couldn't wrap my head around buying anythng. i WANT to get people souvenirs but i just never have the time to pick out the perfect one. and the choice is overwhelming.
last night we played a small club show at the quattro in shibuya. it's a great club. it is the epitome of the difference between japan and the rest of the world. this stage has more lights than all clubs in america of the same size combined. they vacuum the stage after each show. and at least half the production staff were women. this is the very first club i was at in japan almost 7 years ago with le tigre. AND! the very first place i met J and noel (our sound guy). actually, i don't remember seeing noel. i do remember someone coming up to me and telling me that j mascis was ut front and wanted to come backstage. they had come to see le tigre play. and i suppose my fate was sealed from that moment.
i just realized that i love par can lights.
here's the deal. when i worked for le tigre i ran this slide show that they projected behind them. if i was a the back of the club behind the crowd, projecting over their heads, i would just stand there and press the button at the appropriate time. but sometimes, say if there was a low ceiling like at quattro, i would have to be set up on the front corner of the stage. and since i was up on stage i felt like i couldn't just stand there looking bored. so i would dance. and if you know me that's not something that i generally do. but i would spazz out in front of hundreds of people. noel was telling me yesterday that he remembers j saying, "heh. i like that dancing roadie. we should get that guy." and 7 days later when i was in hawaii i got a an offer to go on tour with j and be his guitar tech. essentially, i had never touched a guitar in my life. let alone was i in the position of being able to take care of a guy that spin had dubbed "god" on the cover of their magazine. so i said "thanks. but no thanks. i am not qualified." the tour manager wrote back, "j says don't worry about. see you in texas." and now we're back here.
other notable things that happened that night:
- melt banana, the japanese noise band had opened th show that day. i was a fan and they had given me a set of pins. i had put them on the table in the dressing room. i sat there, dubmfounded, as i watched mike watt steal them. one by one, he would pick it up, look around and put them on his coat! i didn't know what to say so i didn't say anything. plus i thought it was funny. and to this day i give him shit about it.
- i chipped a tooth there.
- this is also the place where i first met james murphy. this was pre-LCD sound system. he was running sound for BS 2000 whom le tigre were supporting. we shared a hotel room a couple of times on that tour. he had just started dj'ing and would tell me how much he enjoyed it. he is in tokyo now too! i'll see him later today.
it's funny to realize that i have so many memories of this tiny club in tokyo. i guess i was making some pretty profound choices in my life at that time. at least career wise.
so we played there. and lucas and ally showed up in tme to have their ears blown out. i am such a bad photographer when it comes to taking photos of people. i never ask cause i get self concious. so i don't even have a photo of my two friends. so many friends in tokyo! but i'll see them today at the festival soundcheck and i'll get some then.
after the gig (this is an epic post) we ran the gauntlet of fans to a restaurant. some of these kids stayed with us for like the equivalent of 10 blocks! just snapping away with their cell phone cams. some too shy to say hello. others hugging j like every 30 feet. j is not really a hugger. unless you're amma.
and look who showed up at the restaurant! the only aussies i like! the presets! the last time i saw them was in a hotel lobby in castellon, spain. and now random run in in tokyo, japan. i love that. they are about to stop touring for the first time in like 18 months. i was their first tour manager on their first US tour. i love them.
then i ate. then i took the glass elevator down 35 floors by myself and went to bed at midninght. i woke up at 4 AM.