Ino Hidefumi record and CD

Ino Hidefumi the Fender Rhodes player who is a guest member of Hiroshi’s band hooked me up with a copy of his new album on CD and a copy of his single on 45!

Super stoked to get this collectors limited edition record! Wow a 45! He has done a cover for his new album of the classic song “Suicide is Painless”. Ok now tell me what TV show that was the theme song? OK I didn’t know it either …… M.A.S.H.! The classic show from my childhood. The final episode where Alan Alda has to suffocate that little baby on the bus because the enemy is so close they will hear the baby screaming….!!! I actually remember that shit! Do you? That scene has left some serious trauma in my life! Anyway Ino-san covers the song on the new album. The new album has only three covers and the rest are original tracks. This guy is an amazing musician and I highly recommend you pick up his CD at a store or on the net. Check out the 45 jacket below! Thanks Ino-san!

We chatted at the after party dinner and hopefully sometime soon we will be able to work on a music video project together. I am listening to the album now and would love to do something from this new album.


Second day in Hiroshima

Today day went by really fast. The first day of a trip always seems exceptionally long, then the second day flies by so fast. Why is that? Anyway, today began slowly with a lunch time start, then off to the band rehearsal. I decided to really shoot a lot at the rehearsal because I had a feeling it would be hard to shoot the concert with a lot of people etc. So I set up my remote flash and shot as much as possible while the band warmed up. Was able to get a couple of cool shots with the flash.

The stage was a terrace on the side of a hotel facing a public walkway along the river. Perfect place for an outdoor concert. It rained right up until 2 hours before the performance, then the sky cleared! the band was covered by an awning, but the crowd would have gotten pretty wet. Thanks to the awning I had a place where I could tape my two flashes. One on each side set to  different channels. With my pocket wizard I could choose which channel or flash I wanted to pop off! I could not move or adjust the flashes after they were connected and I was setting them up in daylight so there was no way to really check to see how they would work. Such is life.

I replaced the batteries right before the concert and just left everything on standby mode. The flashes worked out well in the end, but I actually wish I had a third flash to illuminate the crowd. When shooting from behind the crowd it was too dark to see the size of the crowd. It would have been nice to have a third to throw a little light on the audience. Speaking of flashes, when the special guest Kiyozuki-san appeared on stage the audience went photo crazy and started shooting like it was a press conference. I saw people with both hands in action, cell phone camera in one and video in the other, try to get the “Shots”. There are probably already a bunch of shaky videos up on Youtube right now. Amazing how people are so into recording everything these days. Everybody was so busy trying to capture the event, I wonder if anybody actually got to see what was going on.

The concert was quick, lasting about an hour total, maybe less. I am glad I shot a lot at the rehearsal, as time seemed to go too quickly during the actual show. I’m not really sure how much I was able to capture. After the show the VIP on the 10th floor was filled with Moet and good catered snack food. I downed a few glasses of the bubbly acting like a fashion photog then Detz and I headed back over to the FIL store to take some shots of the interior without any customers inside. With my cheap travel tripod I set up and did a few stock shots of the inside and outside. Then we packed it up for the night and headed to the after party, which was a sit down dinner Japanese izakaya style. Nice food, a lot of grilled vegetables and then a few meat and fish dishes, good healthy stuff. I hit the bed at about 2am, but Detz and the rest of the crew went on for a few more hours ending with another Okonomiyaki meal at 5am! Nuts.

Now for the interesting side notes. Did you know there is a “Mafia Lawson” in Hiroshima? Lawson is a chain of convenience stores like 7/11. The store is known for the super bright blue and white sign that wraps around the front of the building. The fluorescent lighting in the sign is ridiculously bright and inside the store as well. So AK told me about the Mafia Lawson that is located on the first floor of a Mafia owned building in Hiroshima. We went to check it out. The building was very suspicious looking, blacked out windows and all curtains drawn, but the Lawson sign was the best part. They had actually blacked out the sign itself, leaving only the word Lawson lit up. We went in and I found a DVD sale rack right by the counter, guess what movie was on top? “American Gangster!”

OK next. Did you know there is some kind of ring, probably Mafia related that buys and sells limited products on the Internet here in Japan. Stores like F.I.L and Head Porter specialize in making limited products in all categories, from T-shirts to shoes. So this group has set up a system where they hire homeless guys to stand in line outside the shop before these items go on sale. The homeless dudes don’t mind sleeping outside overnight waiting in line. They are given a list of the things to buy and the cash to pay. The items are prelisted on the Internet auctions and sold to the highest bidder. Yesterday at the opening of the F.I.L store in Hiroshima a huge line formed from early in the morning. The first 20 guys in line were all homeless people! The next 15 were all Chinese buyers, then after that it was a mix of normal people and more homeless buyers. I have heard about this and seen it at a “Babe” store in Osaka, but never really had a good look. Check out these dudes in line waiting to buy stuff yesterday.

Interesting underground culture!

Long first day

Arrived in Hiroshima at about noon after a four hour train ride from Tokyo. We got picked up by our local connection in two Mercedese Benz, a Gelende and a nice new B series. Got straight into the sightseeing and photo shooting. First stop was lunch at a small noodle shop. Rei-men or cold chinese style noodle soup. Very good, lots of vinegar and wontons. Then we drove to the Japanese Naval Base and got a special private tour of the war ships and submarines that are stationed there.

Great experience. I am from San Diego which means I have seen Naval ships up close and been on aircraft carriers etc., but this was a great firsthand look at the Japanese Navy. Three submarines were docked, very bad ass looking black one we got to see up close. Battle ship we got to board and walk around the deck. I learned how a ship needs to have a set of missiles pointing straight up. If an enemy submarine approaches from behind they use those missiles to fire behind the ship.

We also got to see a high tech ship that is used when a submarine has a problem and can’t resurface. They send down a special unit that docks with the submarine and off loads the sailors and brings them back to the surface. There are only five of these ships in the world, it has some kind of special decompression unit built in.

After the Navy base we did a quick tour of a bunch of cool old shops and stores in the area. Local snake food, Melon bread, a 70 year old bar that serves only beer, a really old billards club and more.

Great photo of the Japanese Emperor playing a game found in the billiards club.

Great culture and food in Hiroshima. Then we headed to dinner about 8pm and did a marathon tour of the famous local food Okonomiyaki. Get this, we went to and ate at 3 different Okonomiyaki places and one Udon shop. The food was good, but it all started to taste the same at the third shop.

On the road again.

Back on the road, this time heading to Hiroshima for three-day shoot with I am spending the night in Shinagawa tonight in order to catch the early train to Hiroshima tomorrow morning. We are going to be shooting the city and from what I was told some giant salamanders! Whatever! On Friday will be shooting HF and band at the opening of the new F.I.L. store in the city. More on Hiroshima in the next report.

Moerenuma event flyer back

I recieved the back of the flyer for the 9/23 event will post here with a link to large file if you want to read. Also posting large data for the front.

Had a question about Car Danchi event in Osaka! Car Danchi 3 will actually be coming to Osaka on the 21st just two days before the Sapporo event. We are planning to be on the roof of Spotaka sports meg store, over looking the Dotonbori river for a special showing of the movie. Start time is now scheduled for 5pm but could be affected if the Hanshin Tigers win the championship! I hope that happens, I was in Osaka last time they won the championship, now that was a party!!! Wow, would love to witness that again. Anyway more info about the Osaka event as I get it. Hope to see all Car Danchi family in Osaka 9/21

Premium Preview flyer

Flyers for the 9/23 Premium Preview will be done in a few days, just got the design back from Etsu. The photo was shot at the location we will be having the movie showing a live performance. Should be great if we get a sunset like the one in the picture!
Its me in the picture and Key shooting.

Big Fun Sunday

Yesterday spent the afternoon with family and friends at the yearly “Big Fun” event. This year is was at a new location in Hakkenzan on the outskirts of Sapporo. Only a 10 minute drive from my house. The Big Fun event is an outdoor dance party basically that has been created by the owner and staff of Sapporo’s legendary underground club “Precious Hall” This was the first time for me to go to the event and I was really impressed. Live performances by Kuniyuki, Moochy, DJ’s, Yakko, Seiji, and Danny Krivit from NY kept the crowd jamming. The location is a place called Wild Mustang, kind of a Japanese cowboy horse farm/BBQ/fishing lake/fruit farm. Yeah I know it sounds weird, but it actually works. I mean how often can you dance to Danny Krivit in the middle of a orchird, while people BBQ nearby and horses wander around eating carrots. Except for a little rain just after sunset the party for great, thanks to Satoru-san for another great event that Sapporo can be proud of!