When Typhoons Attack! [Tour Journal: 6/19/12]

JJ’s pose is, in a nutshell, last night’s gig experience. While we all had an awesome time, it was a rather damp affair - seems that whenever I gig at Yokohama 7th Avenue, insane mecha typhoons attack.

Last time I gigged there was the same night Japan was hit by a typhoon with wind speeds that hadn’t been seen in over 50 years. So you can imagine the amusing scene of salarymen and office ladies huddled in fear by the Kannai Station exit, as sheets of rain sliced sideways through Yokohama and umbrella carcases danced in the wind.

Then there’s me, the “crazy gaijin” muttering “f*cking pussies” as I step outside, scream out “THIS! IS! YOKOHAMA!” and proceed to punch/swim my way to Yokohama 7th Avenue, umbrella and dignity almost crushed. Soaked from head to toe, all I could do was shake my fist at the sky screaming “F*CK YOU, WEATHER PATTERNS!!! F*CK YOUUUUUUUUUU” But I digress…

Given the weather, we were happy to play for an audience of 4(?) but hell if we didn’t rock out with our cocks out, as it were - which in typical Danny Katz style, goes a little something like this:

Me: “What key is this song in?”
JJ: “F*ck if I know - you wrote the damn thing!”

Me: “This next song is about my dark, cold, heart. It’s a love song.”
Shinji: “Danny - that’s not next. Next is the conveyer belt sushi song.”
Manuel: (SMH, SMH)

And… scene.

Here’s a photo of last night’s lineup:

The other musicians were quite good and played with the same dedication and professionalism that they would if the show had been sold out (or if - say, 5 people had decided to swim to the venue). Gotta love Japan for that! Always polished presentation.

First up was オレンジグライダー(Orange Glider) who played good, strong, solid Jpop. He was followed by 岩崎秀夫 (Hideo Iwasaki) - of 岩崎商店 (Iwasaki Showten) - who totally struck me as a band front man (in a good way). He sounded a bit like a rawer Mr. Children, and I adore their work.

Here’s me checking out his set:

Then we took the stage to do our… whatever it is we do.

The last act was one of my favorite Yokohama musicians. 笠川良明 (Yoshiaki Kasagawa) is an institution, having performed Yokohama 7th Avenue for 28 of the 30 years it’s been around. This was the first time seeing him gig solo (and, if I understood his Japanese correctly, the first time he’s played solo in almost 30 years!)

Fortunately, he’s just as compelling solo as he is with his band. Plus I was happy to see that my Engrish to English lyric revisions came in handy:

And here he is, singing “Wide Road” (formerly “Widely Road”):

Towards the end of his set, he called JJ, Manual, Shinji and I back to the stage for an awesome jam session.

On account of the typhoon, the venue canceled their usual 打ち上げ (after party) and the four of us headed out into the street to be promptly demolished by the storm. 12 hours later, I’m still… damp.


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