We stated off in Shibuya, took a little stroll through the Chocolate Rain, and ended up outside my house having a late night chat in lawn chairs.
Tony, Andy and I are in the car in this episode talking about various stuff, including my stories about when Tony and Andy were born. I had a binaural mic clipped to each visor. You can hear my voice crack as I remembered a little too vividly how hard it was to watch my wife suffer through hours and hours of labor. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard on her–of course it was– but it was hard for me too. And very emotional.
Right now, for the first time I’m listening to the title song from the CD I bought from them earlier tonight. Holy shit. If I’s CUBE doesn’t end up making it really really big here, then either there’s something seriously wrong with collective musical taste of this country, or there are hordes of incredibly talented Japanese female vocalists that I don’t know about yet, and Ai Ujita is just a drop in the bucket.
And to think that not just me, but all of us were less than a minute away from totally missing their performance. It’s funny how fate works sometimes, isn’t it?
Warning: This episode is neither work safe nor podsafe. It will corrupt your children and jeopardize your career. And if that weren’t bad enough, it’ll probably hurt your eardrums too.
Last night I had fish & chips with cider at an English pub in Akasaka, took a stroll, talked with a few kyakubiki (customer pullers), and finished up the evening with karaoke. Recently I showed off some photos of me when I was younger, and a friend told me I looked like Freddy Mercury when I was in college, so I chose a song from Queen to sing.
Wow, youse guys are so lucky! Two and a half podcasts flom Japan in one weekend! Oh how I envy you.
There are photos in the gallery. The truth is they’ve been there for quite a while.
Some of the topics of discussion I had with the woman who cut my hair:
- I am a podcaster. That’s why I took all those photos while I was waiting, and it’s also why I have microphones in my ears.
- She never heard of podcasting, but she knows about MP3 players.
- She said, “So this is kind of like watching a video clip filmed while riding a roller coaster and feeling like you’re there, eh?”
- She’s still using Windows 98. Needs to upgrade but not looking forward to the pain of transferring all her programs to a new computer. The other day she cut a guy’s hair who said he has three PCs that are still running Windows 95. I said he must really like it.
- Until 8 years ago, it was illegal to run a shop like QB House because of strict sanitary regulations. Also, the minimum price for a haircut was regulated. ($30-$40 minimum) In fact, the association for hair cutters still requires members to fix their prices. QB House isn’t a member.
- The 300th QB House in Japan will open soon. There are stores in other countries too. She mentioned Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
- You get to keep the comb.
QB House links:
- Business is booming. The number of customers is in orange, the number of stores in blue
- The “service unit.” Nice and sterile sounding, eh? You can hold your mouse over areas of the image to see explanations most of you won’t be able to read. But it’s cool because it’s in Japanese, right?
- The next generation cutting station will include a video monitor to
bombard customers with advertisementsdeliver various information to customers.
- Employment info. Full time employees make about US $22-45,000 a year. Part-timers make $10/hr and up, which means the company is really raking in money, but keep in mind that rent and electricity here are quite expensive.
My first podcast! What an ordeal it is to put one of these things together, but the most fun I’ve had by myself in a long time. Guzzling red wine probably helped.
Intro: Guano Apes
See the photo gallery! If there’s nothing there, I fell asleep before I got a chance to upload photos. Check back later. I’ll get them up, promise.
The JET Program
Masagoro’s home page. In addition to being an accomplished artist, fluent in baby talk in two languages and performing original songs on toy piano outside the Shibuya station, a Google search reveals that she’s also a published poet.