Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kobanes Japan Tour (Journal) 2009: Sept. 22, 2009

Hiroshima - Kei's parents' home:

The festival that day went great. I don't think we ever fell back asleep after my last entry. I think we went back out to get food. I had a burger, coffee and a hash brown that tasted just like at McDonald's. Anyway, we pull up to Club Goodman and unload our stuff. We moved it down the street to the other venue, where they had three floors, each floor, a very tiny room where the bands played. Very hot. Does It Float? was the first band I saw play and they were awesome. Seventeen Again was great too. The rowdiest band - fuckin' crazy. Jumped into the crowd. I got kicked in the face. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all. I got a bunch of free CDs. Stoked to listen to Weezie And The Moelies. I guess they sound like the Kung-Fu Monkeys. So yeah, I had a beer and some convenience store food - sandwich slices with no crust and a pastry. Eddie doesn't have any yen, cause his ATM card doesn't work in these ATMs. So he can only use it at places that accept Visa like convenience stores and stuff.
I was walking back t the club and saw a group of people outside playing Nintendo. Old school Mario Nintendo, so I watched and the girl asked if I wanted to partake, so I did! I finished the level and handed it off. They all went in some building nearby, so I played another level and went back to the club. Kei sold about 20-25 of the new Kobanes CDs ("Japan Invasion") and some T-shirts with the album artwork on them. There was an after-party Sunday night, but we were all too tired and still jet lagged to do anything of the sort. I think I lost a pound in sweat playing in that room. We quickly crashed.

We woke up early around 6 or 7 a.m. Kei was back, I guess he only stayed out after dropping us off from 10:30 to midnight. He doesn't drink or anything, which is good in some ways, especially for us. He's the only driver we have. He's a "tax man." His mother's a protestant Christian and his dad is a Buddhist. Interesting mix. Kei said he has not yet found a religion but someday hopes to. I guess I can empathize with that, having also been raised with no religion. We left Hotel Kamatsu for a little bit and got McDonald's. I ate the cheapest thing, a sausage breakfast sandwich. Only 190 yen! Like $2.20? Afterward, I got some lemon-flavored 8% ABV drink and in Japan, it's legal to drink in the car as long as you're not the one driving. So that was cool. The drive from Tokyo to Narita was a long one. About 8 or 9 hours because there was so much traffic, plus getting gas here off the highway takes like an hour because there are so many cars in line for it.
So we stopped. I had a burger, fries and a soda, which I think was diet...I got Kei two burgers and a Coke. Came to 970 yen. I guess we passed up Mt. Fuji, but it was hazy, so we couldn't see it. He said on the way back, we'll check it out. I hope we get to see a lot of cool stuff.
Anyway, we got to Memory Pops in Nagoya. The first band, Navigations came about 4 hours father than we did to play first of five bands. Crazy. hey were good though. It was fun to hear a Queers cover of "I Only Drink Bud" and a Sloppy Seconds cover in Japanese. I think they were amused by us singing along in English too. I guess music really is the universal language. Sense of Identity played too, they were pretty cool. The Because was also pretty good. Nice too.
About 30 people were rocking out to us. A bunch singing along too, which is strange to see. I think Kei is our biggest fan though. They love pop punk out here. Some girl was wearing a patch on her hat that said "I Read Zines" so I went out to Kei's car and grabbed some Squid Pro Quos to give to her, even though I know she didn't read English. But hey, what the hell, she might know someone who can and at least she can listen to the CD.
After the show, I was asked to autograph three CDs, something I've never done before. Two were in silver autograph pen ink even! I guess now it's official - we're rock stars. Haha. I grabbed five pot stickers for 100 yen and 5 dumplings for 100 yen and a chocolate cookie thing too. It was sustaining. Nice of the convenient store to microwave them for me. From Nagoya, we drove straight to Hiroshima. Actually, we stopped once for gas. And Kei's girl cigarettes that he says smell like raspberries. Pretty funny. The car was really uncomfortable. My legs were tired and my neck and back hurt. We stopped near Kei's parents' home and I bought rice crackers, a corn dog and some traditional Japanese sake. Have yet to try the sake though. Anyways at last night's show, Kei was surprised we did "Surfin' Bird" and "Have You Ever Seen The Rain." Did them last, in opposite order. I went to a small grocery store before the show and bought two cans of 6% ABV oolong tea. At first, it was disgusting drinking fermented tea. Some guy traded me his tall boy of beer for it, so that was nice. Then I had one more, and it wasn't so bad after that first one. The guitars really weren't too distorted at this show, which made us sound weird. But it was fun. The venue was full of American '50s nostalgia. Memory Pops. Pretty cool. So anyway, we got to Kei's parents' home. His mom laid out bed mat things and stuff for us, which was really nice. I gotta remember to give his folks some chocolates. I wanted to get Jenny something at the convenient store - it's like a card, really beautiful though, meaning "Happiness and Pleasure" but I held off because I want to get her something nicer than a card. Perhaps kimono PJs? I want some too. So yeah, I'll figure out something. My suitcase is only so big. It's a carry on. Later today, we're playing at Okayama, Japan! I can't wait to see yet another city in this awesome country. Then tomorrow, we play Hiroshima! Then sightseeing. I want to see temples, go in hot springs, get some souvenir-shopping done...I want to see more and not just sleep. But now, I must sleep. It's almost 8 a.m. Not running on much. Plus I took two sleep aids Eric gave me. Mark's fuckin' snoring is countering their effects though. Eddie's typing either (This is all taken from paper, if you didn't figure that out already, that's why it's being typed out now!). Anyways, more to come soon!

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