Sunday, 19 August 2012

Summer F*ing Sonic

I really don't like how they organise this festival.

You see all the bands on the poster and think, how cool the lineup, and the sheer number of bands on the schedule. Creativeman or better put, UNcreativeman, should get a big hard, violent pat on the back for making the days as unpleasant as possible.

Where do I start?

This year like every year (yes I went last year, but I was too exhausted/peeved to write about it), they have a LOT of overlap between the bands. There is no way to catch the full sets of the bands. Either leave early, or miss the beginning of the next band's performance.

The staff also make it extremely difficult to get to the next stage, quickly moving the entrance and exits to as far as they can to give you good practice for next year's marathon. In the end I ignored them and went in the exits anyway.

The photo nazi security made it difficult to take photos, but I managed to capture a few choice band moments of the festival.

I've heard Gotye's "Somebody that I used to know" everywhere in Tokyo, even in the supermarket. This performance was definitely one of the best of the day. He also speaks fluent Japanese. Who knew?

Nelly Furtado was another act I was looking forward to. The guitar initially sounded a bit fizzy, but improved later on. A couple of songs I would've liked to have heard but a good show!

As you can see, pretty far away watching Green Day's long two hour set. They've got a large repertoire, and fit the stadium well. Great interaction with the audience. 

When I think of Sigur Ros, it's hard not to use words like "ethereal". Listening to them live, I felt like it was putting me to sleep, but in a good way. Sweet Icelandic lullabies for sure.

Perfume's fans are totally nuts. While I got reasonably close, the amount of pushing was pretty insane. Bit dangerous. Amazing for a group that I'm sure do a whole lot of miming. Nice eye candy. Interesting to hear them REALLY sing, Seiko's "Fresh".

I had high expectations from the Cardigans. Gran Turismo was a favourite CD, but it was a slow-paced set. Nina's looking a bit frumpy here, and her voice sounded a bit drained. "Love Fool" and "My Favorite Game" peaked my interest.

Garbage were truly back in form tonight. A powerful set. Definitely in the top performances of Summersonic. Unfortunately had to leave early. F*** you Creativeman, honestly F*** YOU!

Now this is going BACK. I grew up with Tears For Fears. A fantastic performance. You wouldn't know this band originated way back in the 80s. I never knew Roland did the falsetto in "Seeds of Love". Wow. Funny to see the audience of oldies getting down here.

If I had a choice I'd rather see these bands on their own tours. Unfortunately this is often my only way of seeing them when they come to Japan. Such a shame.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Lost My iPhone :(

In my haste of rushing to get food to go to the beach, it fell out of my pocket. I wanted to blame H & M, or their sweatshop in Bangladesh for making my short pockets only an inch deep.

I realized as soon as I got home it was missing. I backtracked over and over. I tried calling, but there was no reception at all. It was either broken or "lost".

I went to the police box to report it, but two weeks later, I hadn't heard back. So much for the wonderful police service and the good samaritan citizens. I found that Facebook had been accessed on the 28th, so now I can likely say that it was now, not only lost but stolen.

I hadn't password locked my phone. I changed all my passwords. In hindsight I wished I had installed a GPS program to locate it, but having said that I didn't always have location services on all the time anyway.

After a few days I was thinking it wasn't going to come back to me. I called Softbank to see what they could do. They couldn't trace the phone, and being a prepay they didn't make it easy to get a replacement.

To keep my phone number and email, a replacement SIM costs about 2,000 yen. BUT, they wouldn't be able to give me a phone to go with it?! I could get a new phone number with a prepay phone though. I was considering doing that, but I still had a month left on my old SIM, and about 16,000 yen of credit. I went to Akihabara and picked up a cheap Samsung secondhand for 4,000 yen.

Initially it was hard to go back to a non-smartphone (dumb phone?), but I figured this will do, especially as the iPhone 5 was going to be out soon. Overall it's not a bad phone. I'm missing the GPS , and camera. But hey, the battery lasts about five days! The lack of predictive text is REALLY killing me though.

I still miss my iPhone. The phone has a white carbon-fibre sticker back with a black Apple logo. If you know of someone who took the phone, punch them in the face for me, or tell them to 'fess up and return it. It was a hassle and a lot of money to get it :(

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Cup Noodles Museum

After a failed attempt of coming here back when we went ice skating, I found some discount tickets so we couldn't pass it up.. or could we?

The title is not a misprint. Japanese often get plurals messed up as it is, but when they're used for describing things, things don't look much better eg. bicycles parking.

I don't know why I had high expectations. Basically it's like a shrine to the memory of the founder of Cup Noodles, Momofuku Ando. There is a room where I did see the Chin noodles, the first "food" I bought on my arrival in Japan WAY back in 2007. Wow nostalgia!

The entry is (usually) 500 yen. The highlight of the place is the chance to make your own Cup Noodle um, cup (300 yen). Well, sort of.

You get a cup, decorate it with markers. You choose one base flavour (I chose curry, but I wanted to get curry AND tomato. No dice). Then you get to choose four additives.

After that it gets sealed and vacuum-packed, and then you put it in a blowup cushion bag for protection, or probably to advertise the place on your travels home.

Not highly recommended to come here, but if you were always wondering about the origins of instant noodles this is your place. I have to say though Ando's philosophy of creative thinking I should take on board, if I weren't so goddamn lazy.

This wasn't the only reason to come to Yokohama. Oh no, of course not. It also happened to be the time of the Summer fireworks. I love them fireworks. I think we found a better area than in the past.

 As usual people had "reserved" their places with tarps, but we did find a nice place for a good view, and a steady place to rest my tripod. I brought along my GH1, along with my fisheye and 200mm zoom.

I like coming to Yokohama, and Minato Mirai is a great place for a short day trip from Tokyo. I'm planning to go to one more fireworks show again in Kita Senju soon.