Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: japan (Page 1 of 2)

My Valentine’s Day Gift To You

This is Bob Seger (and his Silver Bullet Band) live at Cobo Hall on 6/15/80.

This is not Bob Seger (or his Silver Bullet Band), but don’t hold that against it.



This is a YouTube-to-MP3 ripper that’s been working well for me, and it’s free. The file gets added to your computer as one big chunk instead of as individual tracks, but I mostly use it for live shows, and you’re supposed to listen to the whole damn thing.

Yokohama ‘Bama

You’re just living your best life, aren’t you?

“Much more fun being The Big O now than, uhhhh, two years ago. For example, I’m drunk.”

You always did like your beer.

“I’m way past beer now. Been starting the day with margaritas. I’m a Hawaiian shirt away from being a Jimmy Buffet song.”

Retirement suits you.

“Not even wearing underwear.”

Didn’t need to know.

“C’mon. I was, uhhhh, the sexiest President. Hands down.”


“Pssh. One-pump chump. Not even close to my steez.”

Who is?


Rutherford B. Hayes?

“Gorgeous. Not alluring and exotic like The Big O, but still very doable.”

I don’t know about that. Lemme look.

Ay, chihuahua.

“Told you.”

He looks like the lost Wilson brother.


What exactly did Hayes do?

“Not much. First President to lose the popular vote, but win the Electoral College.”

We gotta get rid of that thing.

“Not my problem anymore. Barry’s got himself a shorty, and he’s got himself a forty. And some sort of Japanese sex-car.”

Is that what that is?

“You, uhhhh, control it with your boner or something. Between you and me?”


“I do not understand the Japanese.”

No one does.

“Lovely people, but they invent new ways of being weird.”


“So, uhhhh, how come you didn’t rope Dr. King into one of your little make-’em-ups for the 50th anniversary of his death?”

I thought that would be disrespectful.

“You’re not as dumb as you look.”

Yes, I am.

“I was being nice.”

Please come back.


L’ego Pour L’ego


When this year gets you down–and it should have by now–remember that people are still delightful on occasion, and that though there is evil and strife, there is also a guy in Japan who makes Lego dioramas of of a semi-defunct choogly-type band from two continents over.

Also: as stated, that is the 1978 band with Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean, and Maria Muldaur with the curly plastic hair; the inevitable John Kahn on bass, and the wonderfully-named Buzz Buchanan on drums.

It would be wrong to say that the Maria Muldaur Lego looks like Whora the Explora.

Also also: Garcia’s long-lost twin from the Sub-Continent, Curry Garcia.

Thoughts On Japan Without Research

  • This is either gonna be real short, or real racist: most of my knowledge of Japan comes from WWII propaganda cartoons and Sonny Chiba movies.
  • I will try to not be racist, but sometimes you just have to be.
  • What?
  • Japan is very old.
  • It was settled by people at precisely the moment you’d expect that landmass to have been settled.
  • There were a bunch of competing rich fuckers from all over the island who thought they should be in charge.
  • Then there was one rich fucker who was in charge, and he was the Emperor.
  • Having an Emperor never ends well, and Japan was no exception.
  • Now, Japan is a democracy, kinda, and capitalists, definitely.
  • But not like us.
  • I say this with no value-judgement; I refer back to my scale of American-ness: if Canadians are mostly American, then the Japanese have no American at all. (Perhaps there are trace amounts of American: they do like baseball.)
  • This is a culture not just thousands of miles away with a different religious, cultural, and moral history than mine, but it is an island culture, and therefore given to the dramatic evolutionary shifts Darwin saw in his finches on the Galapagos.
  • That said, the Japanese are some floor-sleeping motherfuckers.
  • Get up off that floor, Japan.
  • It is drafty down there.
  • I will sell you a bed, Japan.
  • Stop it.
  • Back to the history: speaking of the both the island and Emperor aspects, Japan has a lot in common with England:
  • Lords/Shoguns fighting for control of land and serfs.
  • Consolidation of the islands.
  • Outward expansion.
  • A bunch of good years.
  • Some awful ones.
  • Important again, but not as dickish.
  • And that, Enthusiasts, is the History of Japan.
  • Excellent food.
  • I was halfway through writing a sentence saying that everyone had excellent food, but y’know what: they don’t.
  • No one had ever thought of not cooking their food before the Japanese did.
  • They have made an art out of not cooking things, and cooks from around the world journey there to learn the secrets of how to properly not cook a piece of fish.
  • You think you know how to not cook fish?
  • You have no idea how to not cook fish.
  • The knife is important.
  • The rice is important.
  • There is a thesis to be written (probably has been already) on the differences between wheat-based and rice-based cultures.
  • (Historically, I mean: America has become a corn-based culture, which is not supposed to exist.)
  • One of my favorite things about humanity is that you can always tell what crop a culture values by what they make their booze out of.
  • Not particularly fond of outsiders.
  • Not particularly fond of other Asians.
  • Ambivalent about South Americans.
  • On this date, 74 years ago, Japan made a mistake.
  • We’re cool now–tight, even–but for a while, we had to go ultra-America on them.
  • (Electing a bad actor and sending him to yell at the Berlin Wall is also pretty damn American, but in a sadder way.)
  • We think of the Second World War Two in the Pacific as being between us and Japan, but there were a lot of other players: China and the Philipines and Indonesia and Japan behaved quite abominably in all of those places.
  • You would rather be occupied by America than Japan.
  • We actually may or may not have facilitated Japan’s move into China by cutting off oil sales. (There’s a 50/50 shot that’s right, at best.)
  • And here’s the part that confuses me and always have: let’s assume the Pearl Harbor attack was an even greater success, and that all of the fleet was in port like they were supposed to be, and that the whole of the Pacific Fleet was lost.
  • Did they think we wouldn’t build more?
  • Like: that was all we had?
  • What was the plan after that – invasion?
  • They were going to invade the West Coast?
  • Did anyone tell them how much West Coast there is?
  • Maybe the Japanese plan was to wipe out the fleet, then take over established ports along the West Coast and insert heavy artillery and troops and whatnot.
  • That is a terrible plan.
  • That couldn’t really have been the plan, could it?
  • Whatever the intention, Pearl Harbor turned out to have been possibly the greatest unforced error in the history of warfare, and just a poor fight to pick.
  • The Pacific War doesn’t get the recognition of the European Theater, but it was worse.
  • Normandy was hell, but there were many Normandies in the Pacific; each island you took had another island right after to take next.
  • If you are offered a choice between tactical positions and were offered “the beach” or “fortified bunkers on hilltops,” you should always choose “bunker.”
  • Japan had the bunkers, plus in between the beach and the bunkers was a jungle, and the jungle was full of poisonous and mean animals, and the jungle had also been cleverly booby-trapped: it was the worst place in the entire world.
  • This is, of course, if your ship didn’t get blown up or had a plane flown into it.
  • You know that kamikaze is Japanese for Divine Wind, which is a very poetic name for flying a plane into something.
  • Flying a plane into something is not a subtle act; there is little room for interpretation.
  • Those suicide flights were acts of last resort, obviously: that’s not your first move.
  • They were out of good pilots by then and would grab teenagers with a couple dozen hours of flying lessons, jack them full of speed, and stick them in a patched-together Zero without enough fuel to get home.
  • Welcome to the Air Force, kid.
  • Were kamikaze pilots–and the mindset that enabled their common usage–a peculiar outcropping of the Japanese psyche, or would any society in such a situation behave that way?
  • The Germans–whose soil was conquered and occupied–seemed to have little stomach for suicide attacks like the kamikazes.
  • Had the war turned the other way, would we have chucked young dustcroppers from Iowa in armored-up Cessnas and hurled them at the Japanese ships steaming towards the San Francisco Bay?
  • No answer can be given, and certainly not without research.
  • Japan also has many comic books and cartoons I do not understand and maybe judge you a little if you’re too into.

Found In The West

A terrifying moment earlier in the evening, Enthusiasts: informed of a new post on Lost Live Dead, this one about Philadelphia and its crucial but overlooked role in the Dead’s success, I sprinted (in an internet sense: I actually moved a finger slightly) to the site only to find it temporarily down!

Gratefully, it has been restored and we can all enjoy it; I have not read it for fear of becoming obsessed with Philadelphia before getting the Japan thing fully out of my system. I can now share with you Similarities Between Japan And Philadelphia:

  • You can get Japanese food in both places.
  • There are movie theaters.
  • Most people sleep at night, but some people do not because of work or other reasons.
  • There is rain.
  • Other times, it is bright and clear.
  • They take sports seriously.
  • Ninjas are feared.
  • A touch of psychopathy and a deep loathing of their neighbors.
  • If you get hit by a car hard enough, you will die.
  • Although, you probably got hit intentionally if it was Philly.
  • You angered one of them, I don’t know, why’d you go to Philly if you didn’t want to be hit by a car?
  • Doodies are made in both places, but in very different ways; the Japanese are beating us in the Toilet Race.
  • My fellow Americans, there is a Tushee Gap.
  • You ever used a Japanese toilet?
  • It’s like checking your asshole into the Four Seasons.
  • iToilet.
  • BOOM: billion dollar idea; I just disrupted pooping; where’s my start-up money?
  • Plus the iToilet weighs and analyzes your leavings and tells you just how healthy and special you are: every yuppie asshole in the country would buy one, especially when they hear that it syncs to your phone and fitness tracker, and is a WiFi hotspot.
  • Japan and Philadelphia enjoy many varied pornographies.
  • Never won the Super Bowl.


deadhead japan samurai
I don’t know why I’m surprised that the Dead have a Japanese following: the Japanese have liked American music since the war (I have no backing for that statement) and rock bands have toured Japan since the Beatles; that the Dead never went there can be chalked up to a combination of their overall loathing of cross-border travel and a particular wariness of Japan’s notoriously strict drug laws.

But, then, it surprise me when anyone other than an American* loves the Dead. They’re specific, more so than Bon Jovi or Whitney Houston or anyone else playing Budokan.

To me, the Dead seems like the NFL: they don’t make sense unless you know a lot of other things, but, like usual, I am wrong and am reminded that there are weirdos everywhere, and that we are everywhere.

Let a Grateful Dead bloom in Hokkaido, with cherry blossoms instead of roses, and samurai instead of cowboys. Everyone deserves a Grateful Dead, and to make it their own.

*Listen, we all know my love for Canada and her hardy, brave citizens and industrious, territorial beavers: they are Americans in denial. Everyone knows this to be true, but we do not say it to be polite. “Canada” is a shared delusion among two or three million cold white people and we should stop humoring them and tax their moose.

None of that is true.

No, but out of all foreigners, Canadians are the most American. They are the least foreign a foreigner can be.

Is that why you like them so much?

Of course. I judge all people on how American they are. Now, obviously, they are not as American as I’d like–which is to say, “as American as possible, please”–but they are American enough.

Stop talking.

Like, if I was going to the 7-11 and decided to get my yearly Slurpee and they didn’t have cherry, I would get Coke; it would be fine. I would have preferred greatly to have the cherry, but I’ll accept the Coke Slurpee.

The cherry in the analogy is America, and–

I told you stop talking.

–the Coke is…aw.


japan deadhead miracle

Most of your “truths” about Deadheads turn out to be partially true at best, but I can tell you this with no hesitation: this guy got taken care of.

Within minutes of hoisting this sign, some half-Japanese/half-Jewish guy from Long Island or hippie chick who spent a year in Japan found him and treated this fellow to some world-class hospitality.

If you’re not careful, a Deadhead might hospitality you right into the hospital. Hope this guy’s okay, we should check on him.

Also, that seems like a ton of work to say “miracle,” doesn’t it? I googled it (if you thought I actually spoke Japanese, then you can’t sit with us at lunch anymore) and all of that in the red and blue is one word: miracle. The guy who invented Japanese was not a minimalist; there is no kanji sumbol for “brevity.”

“Japanese Johnson-san?”

“Yes, Japanese Boswell-san?”

“How shall ‘miracle’ be spelled? I notice the foreign devils get the idea across in seven letters, though not the letters you might think.”

“Which foriegn devils do you speak of, Boswell-san?”

“Who can tell one of their heathen tongues from the next? I think the British.”

“Ugh. Provincial island-folk obsessed with tradition, status, and tea.”

“To the question at hand: miracle. How is it spelled?”

“Umm…guy standing on top of house, guy in a cape at a gas pump.”

“Gas pump, gotcha. Next question: should we cook fish?”

“Fuck, no.”



Oh, no.

“Why did you STEEEEEEEAL?”

I didn’t steeeeeal anything, Swaggie Maggie. Get back in the Comment Section.

“fite me. I WILL CUT YOU, OLD MAN.”

Either speak English or stop threatening me.

“What is this?”


Oh, that’s the tweet that shows it was your idea. The Japan thing.

“Ya BURNT. You thought it was Fozzie Bear–”

Buzz Poole.

“–who said it because he is A MAN and it was AN IDEA and ONLY MEN HAVE IDEAS according to you because you live in the PROBLEM ATTIC.”

Maybe a little.

“You sleep there.”

I don’t want to sleep in the Problem Attic: it’s cold and everyone up there is in blackface.


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