Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hokkaido Popsicle

I just read this book by Isaac Adamson called "Hokkaido Popsicle" which is really funny. He goes on wierd little tangents in the middle of the book which have nothing to do with the story. I just have to excerpt one bit for you here- don't worry, it will not give you any clue about the story, but will give you a great example of Adamson's writing style:

" Every time I got a song stuck in my head I thought of Yunbo Umezawa, the lead singer of Autumn Wind. During a free show in Yoyogi park back in the eighties he was leaping around stage and cracked his head on the mic stand. He tried to soldier on, but they had to stop the show because the only song he could remember was "Postcards from Fuji." The condition didn't improve. He ended up visiting neurologists, Zen masters, Shinto priests, African witch doctors, Mongolian shamans, Malibu astrologers and when all else failed even a licensed psychiatrist. But it never got better. He could talk just fine, and even managed to write new song lyrics, but every time he opened his mouth to sing, out came "Postcards from Fuji." His loyal bandmates tried to make the best of it. They went into the studio and recorded the fifteen different versions of "Postcards from Fuji"- including a spoken-word version dubbed "Phone Call from Fuji" and a techno remix called "E-Mail from Fuji." Of course, Umezawa still sang the word "postcard" rather than "phone call" or "e-mail" in all the choruses. The album "Messages from Fuji" managed to chart, thanks to an ingenious marketing tie-in campaign featuring a booklet of actual postcards of Mt Fuji designed by famous artists, but it was a trick you could only pull once. The band split. Yunbo, last I heard, was working at Mt Fuji as a tour guide. "

Friday, February 10, 2006

Valentine's Day

It's going to be Valentine's Day soon, and according to Tom Shane, time to give your sweetheart a big diamond.
Personally, I don't know what use a big diamond has, except making a really good drill or saw. The inmates of a prison might really appreciate a big diamond, but they're probably not allowed there.
I guess I'll have to stick with chocolates.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All that jazz

KCSM just finished their winter fundraiser and amazingly made $400,000! I'm glad they're able to keep going since it's practically impossible to find jazz anywhere else. Even in LA where they have a station called KJAZZ, when I tune in on the weekends it's usually Blues and old rock from the 50's. And in Florida- well, it's about as easy as finding sushi.
I've been listening to jazz as long as I can remember, though I didn't always know what it was- lots of jazz on the radio in the early 60s, which I went to sleep by as a little kid. Then when I was a young teenager I sang a lot to myself with sounds instead of words, and my mom told me it was called "scatting" and got me an Ella Fitzgerald record so I could hear how it was done. Then in High School I played the trumpet in a local community band filled with middle-aged men, and we had fun playing Li'l Darlin and Satin Doll and a bunch of Dixieland.
But it wasn't until Kyra was in High School and all her friends were in the Gunn Jazz Band that I started listening to KCSM. Someone she knew was listening to it, so she turned it on one time when we were in the car- and I've kept the car radio preset to that station ever since. (Even when I got a new car.)
One adverse effect of listening to them all the time is that one of their main underwriters is SEES Candies, and I have to say I've definitely had the urge to run out and eat a few SEES from listening to them being mentioned on the radio. Tastey, but not REALLY, strictly speaking, good for me.
I'll try to keep this blog more up-to-date, and I'll have other things to write about-much sooner than 6 months from now.