Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bloodthirsty Butchers

I headed up to Sapporo this weekend.

The reason? Well, while it would have been fun to see the Nippon Ham Fighters victory parade, that wasn't my reason for heading that way.

Today was a day to ROCK.

I took off from Muroran and drove up to Tomakomai. On the way there, I stopped in Kojohama to buy a birthday present for a friend. Yep, I gave her crabs again this year. The cool thing about the store I went to is that the father of one of my students runs it. This guy is an awesome salesman. I just went to see what was there, and two minutes later I was filling out the shipping label for a king crab.

I'm still not quite sure how that happened.

We talked a bit, and after telling him I worked at Starfish High, he said, "Shipping's on me. You're my daughter's teacher, after all."


I also stopped by another store and picked up some salmon roe for some friends back in Izumo before continuing on my way.

In Tomakomai, I parked my car and caught a train to Sapporo. Once there, I checked in to my hotel, went and did some Christmas shopping for my family, met a friend and had some ramen, and then headed over to Bessie Hall.

Tonight's featured acts?

I was there to see the bloodthirsty butchers.

I caught a butchers show in Hiroshima last year about a month before I left Shimane. I'd heard good things about them, but after Number Girl's guitarist Hisako Tabuchi joined them after Number Girl broke up, I knew I had to see them.

Tabuchi is a guitar goddess. She's small, but the sounds she can make come out of an electric guitar...Gawd Awlmaighty!

So I saw them play live, and I was annihilated (in a good way). Listening to them play live is not so much actually listening to music as it is being showered in music, or crashing into a wall of sound. The vocals are just one part of the whole cacophony. Absolutely brilliant stuff.

So when I found out they would be playing right in my own backyard (so to speak), I bought a ticket and waited in sweet antici....






And they delivered again. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

Plus, Tabuchi-san is married to the vocalist, Yoshimura-san, and their kid was at the show. It was funny, because just as they were getting ready to play, I saw Tabuchi-san smiling. I looked to where she was looking, and saw her daughter giggle and wave at Mom.

That was a sweet sight to see.

Of the other bands there that night, I was most impressed by High Voltage. Loud, fast, passionate rock. Cool stuff. The first band of the night, Discharging Man, was rather bland. Their songs all sounded the same. It was funny to see how the crowd changed between sets, especially between High Voltage and Slang's set.

All of the sudden I was surrounded by guys in hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps who looked like they were there more to fight than watch a rock show. I felt, shall we say, slightly uncomfortable, perhaps even a bit in danger. Once Slang started playing, I knew why.

Chaos. Absolute, unbridled chaos.

But their guitarist was cool.

The butchers set was about an hour long and was as amazing as the last time I had seen them. I was lucky enough to get a set list, and after waiting around a bit after the show...

...I got everyone's autograph!

It was cool, because I also got to talk to Tabuchi-san, who I hadn't talked to since the last Number Girl show I saw back in 2002, right before they broke up. Tabuchi-san is very cool.

I went out drinking after the show, then headed back to my hotel.

Today, before heading back to Muroran, I went and saw Children of Men.

Wow. Good film. The scary thing is how believable the story is. It will leave you thinking for quite a while. Oh, and Clive Owen is The Man. That's all there is to it.

A little more Christmas shopping, then back on the train to Tomakomai, back in the car, and after a quick stop at a hot spring, I cruised on home.

Not a bad weekend.

bloodthirsty butchers rock my world.

New updated posts:
9/10/2006: Mashike - The Town of Increasing Hair
9/3/2006: Roamin' The Countryside
7/29/2006: The San Diego Chronicles - Day 7: Sea World
7/28/2006: The San Diego Chronicles - Day 6: Cabrillo

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bonjour Chevrolet?

...or something to that effect.

There's some fancy-schmancy French wine that hit the markets yesterday, and apparently it's a really big deal. Not being much of a wine drinker myself, I wasn't particularly concerned with it either way.

But earlier this week, I got an e-mail from the guy that runs Pivo Bar, a bar downtown with beers from all around the world. (I love this place because I can get Sam Adams there.)

It said, "Dasutin-san, maido-sama desu. 11 Gatsu 16 nichi Mokuyoubi, PM 9:00 ~
Bojore Nuubo (wain) o nomitai to omoimasu. Ohitorisama 3500en desu. Yokattara kitekudasai ne!(^^)!"

Loosely translated: "Dustin, we're drinking wine on 11/16 starting at 9PM. 3500 yen per person. Come if you can!"

The wine was the one that they always make a fuss about over here, and since I'd never tried it, and it sounded like fun, I figured why the heck not?

So I caught a ride downtown from a friend and went to the bar.

All told, it was a fun night of lots of drinking and chatting. And when it was all over, I caught a taxi home and hit the sack.

Yeah, I actually do know that it's called "Beaujolais Nouveau". I'm not dumb. I'm an American.

Here's a shot of me with a couple of the folks at the party. Let's just say that there was much of the vino consumed.

Also, I've updated some old stuff, so if you want to go and take a look at some posts that I should have written a while ago, here they are:

10/4/2006: The Field Trip
9/1/2006: Sixteen Men On A Dead Man's Chest
8/27/2006: A Bad Case of the Blahs
8/22/2006: Signs Of Life

As I update more stuff, I will let you know. Now that I've finally got pictures from a lot of the trips I did, there will be some fun stuff coming up in the near future.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hell (Version: Pink)

A friend of mine from my Shimane days came into town last weekend with a friend of his.

It'd been a couple of years since we'd last hung out, so I was pretty excited for him to get up here.

He is a great guy, but has absolutely one of the filthiest mouths I've ever heard. Absolutely foul.

Anyway, we checked out the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi and drove through the Noboribetsu Hot Springs area on Saturday, and then swung by Rantaro for some yakitori goodness.

Sunday, I got up early to help out with STEP Test interviews at Pure Water Hill High, and then cruised back to get them up and head out again.

We headed over to Date for some ramen at Tsuru-tsuru-tei, checked out Showa Shinzan and Mt. Usu, and walked around one of the craters formed when Mt. Usu went up in 2000.

Then we hit the hot springs at Poromoi before heading back home.

After dinner, I decided to take them downtown for a few drinks on their last night in Muroran.

So we hoofed it on down there and went to DJ Jam Bar, a local hangout and the one place young people might show up on a Sunday night.

No one did, but we spent four hours there drinking and singing karaoke.

Then it was back home.

It had snowed that day, so my friend and his friend, in their drunken revelry, started throwing snow at each other.

I tried my best to get them to stop. After all, I have neighbors.

Anyway, we headed up to my room, and as I opened the door, I realized that my friend had picked up...


And he'd pulled the pin.

I looked at him and tried to get him to stop, but four hours of all-you-can-drink had turned his brain to Yorkshire pudding.

And in the next second, everything disappeared into a cloud of pink smoke.

The dirty S.O.B. set the damn thing off.

We all start choking up.

My eyes, my nose, my throat...everything hurt.

According to my friend, he just expected it to fire off a short burst of foam.

Well, whatever the expectation was, that's not what happened, is it?


I got them to bed, then ran to Ippuku-tei to ask the master there for some advice.

After heading home for three hours of fitful sleep, I woke up, called the vice-principal and explained the situation, and then got those two up to help me start cleaning.

First, the hallway, which was coated in the pink crap.

Then my room.

No school for me, just cleaning.




And that pink crap is still all over the place.

I'm calling in a cleaning company.