Music Makes The World Go 'Round
There's been one constant factor that has kept my sanity in check for my entirity in Japan, one element of life that goes unchanged no matter where I travel. That factor, the most important cog in the machine that is Donald William Ames, is music. Music is universal, as people have documented when travelling to foreign countries or the deepest jungles of the most tropical of locations. No matter what country, what nationality, what language you speak no-one can resist a great beat or an awesome guitar riff. It is the solidified bridge that connects all cultures, and the amount of foot traffic that bridge gets is enough to undoubtedly show how stable that crux truly is.
Music has reared its beautiful head more than usual in the past week than any of my days here. The first instance came on Tuesday: I was just leaving work as I received a message from Rina (if you don't know who Rina is do your Blogger research below) asking me what I was doing. I texted her back and told her how I had just got off work and was doing nothing. Throwing off the time constraints of text messaging, Rina called me to ask me if I was interested in coming to a concert with her in Tokyo. I asked how much and she said the greatest word in the English language (aside from "money," "food" and "plethora") "FREE." I am there! So she gets me directions to the Tokyo Dome, the gigantic stadium where the concert is being held. I get there and find out that the concert we are seeing in none other than the Piano Man himself! Billy Joel! Now, I don't know Billy's extensive catalogue of songs but I do know that if he plays "Piano Man" and "In The Middle of the Night" I will be a cappy hamper!
The stadium was packed! Rina, at one point, leaned over and said "I've never seen so many black heads of hair ever! You really know you are at a Japanese concert!" Oddly enough though the concert was very subdued. Japanese people don't go nuts or yell at the stage like all of the Canadian concerts I've been to. Not that it was bad thing: Rina got the tickets from her new boss, who just happened to be sitting next to us, so making an ass out of myself would, in turn, embarass the heck out of Rina and probably make her career with this company short and sweet. After the show was finished, Rina and I had a very nice dinner at an Italien restaurant and celebrated the free tickets with desserts and great conversation.
The second instance of music taking the forefront of my social life happened tonight, Saturday, in Hon Moku, the place where my NOVA branch is held. Andrew, my roommate and renownd drinking legend, has a bar near his school called the Honey Style. The bartender of the Honey Style is this cool American cat named John. John plays in a mellow electro band that was holding a free concert in Hon Moku. Since it is literally a 2 minute walk away for me I was definately interested in going. Unfortunately, with me being so close it meant the wait time for Andrew to show with people lengthened to a ridiculous amount. After waiting for what felt like an hour (cause it actually was an hour) Andrew and the gang showed. We walked to this dive of a bar in the middle of a residential area. We travel inside to the smallest room I have ever seen! And it was packed to the gills with Japanese rockers, music-loving young parents, the children of said parents, random punks and band members. It was a lively tin of sardines, but a tin nonetheless. I have never really experienced a small dive of a bar. I've been to Joe in Waterloo, which is a slum if I ever saw one, but it's still big enough to hold more than a handful of people, let alone a gaggle of music geese!
The first band up sounds like a Japanese Rage Against the Machine (so Lage Agrainst the Marchine. Say it aloud and you'll understand) who are actually pretty good. The guitarist was fan-freakin-tastic and made up for my lack of lyrical understanding. Oh, the lyrics could've been in English but since Lage is a lot of yelling political slogans and hatred the feedback and fuzz was ridiculous. My fillings almost rattled out of my jaw it was so freakin' loud. I sound like a crotchedy old man who can't take loud music! It's just that the room was no bigger than a common room in Stong Residence and speakers lined three of the walls. How can you not go deaf. John's band finally took the stage and the set was really good. The guy is an awesome drummer and his band is really mellow and cool. Andrew and I left halfway through since Sunday holds nothing good work-wise but it was definately worth going, that's for sure.
There you have it! Music: Life's Tie That Binds!