The Bridge

Last blog ended with these words:

“And I believed him…
in a way I still do.
The bridge however… is another story.”

and then “To be continued…”
so now  will pick up where I left off…hopefully…

Right now I am going back in this very blog..
way back to 2011 when I first started blogging on Tumblr.
Once I started The Pink Spider Web I imported all the old
blog posts a total of 350 some pages, each containing 3-4 posts.
The migration didn’t go without technical issues though!
All titles got fucked up,
links broke, video plug-ins didn’t work and
all images got weirdly resized.
When I first started The Pink Spider Web, keeping up the
momentum was number one priority, so the old blog entries
got edited and fixed some 10 pages or so back in time…
the rest went on the back-burner.
That meant blogs about Seremedy in Japan,
Inazuma Rock Fes, concerts with TMR, MUCC, L’Arc~En~Ciel,
and many many more
… just had to wait for the day to come
and the need for it all to resurface.

It was OK, I had to focus on what I was wanting to achieve,
and the old blog wasn’t really aiding that
process.
Well now, when I’m in the process of writing this book,
all these hundreds and hundreds of posts,
the photos and videos are incredibly valuable.

When I now again read about my
dreams, hopes,
ideas, passion, 
motivation … the drive
that I had then 6 years ago,
it was very much the same as it is today:
Same dreams, hopes, aspirations, and motivation.
I want to build bridges.
Close gaps.
Help people reach outside their comfort zone.
Turn on passionate fires.
Increase Peace
Make people see their own values in all of this.
Help musicians understand and learn how to connect
with audiences they aren’t familiar with, or are even
physically far away from.
That HAS BEEN and still IS my ultimate goal!
I want people to learn from each other and
change in a good way. including myself!
Change their ways, become more open-minded to
‘the other’…
I wish to…
build bridges and show people how the can meet
at the middle of the bridge!

Rainbow Bridge

The bridge metaphor works well because it connects
two landmasses, two entities, and it is something tangible.
A bridge something we can step onto,  and walk or travel over,
from one side to the other.

When I first met Reds in April 2013, we instantly connected.
It was at a Live gig with Blade™ at Club Sensation.
The fact that we ended up meeting was quite amazing in
itself, but the blog is not the place to explain all that in detail.
I will go into more detail about that in the book.

I could feel his eagerness to wanting to reach out.
I had learned already prior to meeting him, that connecting
with Japanese people aren’t that easy in general,
and connecting with musicians maybe in particular.
Often the musicians in Japan don’t speak English,
which for our collaboration purpose at this level is
less of a problem.

Reds 04 2013

What is an issue however, is that they live on their end
of a bridge.
They are used to certain ways of doing things.
They have their ways of promoting themselves.
Their ways of reaching their fans.
Their already loyal fans, I might add, whom they wish to keep
and not scare by suddenly leaving them hanging.
Also most, like Reds, aren’t even aware of this.
Culture differences are more seen as peculiar ways.
Like we Westerners, we hug each other in public,
and we hug our friends.
The deeper differences cannot be seen, and are way
trickier to become aware of.
Because no one, is aware of them when we are around
people that are similar to us.
And keep in mind, Japan is a very homogenous society.
A society which also strives to stay homogenous.
We, as in mankind, cannot see how we communicate
within our own group,
how we socialize and hang out with each other,
as anything but .. well it’s the normal way!
that’s the way people are…
Not until we really start to get to know someone different,
from a different place, and meet with them a lot of over a
longer period of time.
So if you have few foreigners coming, and you cannot really
talk to the ones that do because you don’t speak English,
and you maintain an idea that the foreign is a bit scary,
then this bridge is seldom walked.

When I entered the music scene  in Japan, and I started
meeting with bands like:
Vagu*Project, DAZZLE! and Vorchaos to name few.
I almost immediately became aware of this.
Not soon enough maybe…. LOL
I presented for Vagu*Project some brilliant ideas,
only to later learn, that in their minds all this was good and
all, but really also very, very strange.
I had walked over the bridge and presented for them how
it looks on the other side of the bridge.
They liked it, sure they did, but added:
That only works on the other side of the bridge,
not here.
And Anna-san by the way…
What is Facebook?
We have ameblo アメブロ. (This was in 2011-2012)

I explained all this for Reds, I told him what I had learned,
and he said…Nah, I want this, my band (AURA)
and I need this:
I want to reach many people with my music.
This is wonderful and a great start!

Where I think I failed early on was to explain, truly convey,
is that this requires you to change.
This failure however, went on under the surface….
the whole time… and still is there ..unfortunately!
What I failed to make him understand is:
YOU must walk on that bridge and adopt to other ways,
at least 50%… HALF WAY.
You must do a lot of the work, and the change.
I haven’t been able to make this happen!
Also you have to change and you must be brave, 
and go against what people around you want you to do!
Being brave… hmm that is very difficult for anyone to be,
also for Reds.
For any artist, also for Reds, being liked, is so so important.
Being liked by others kind of clashes with the idea of
being brave, and doing things against those around you,
or as in Japan in particular, above you!

Thing is Japan … well..Japan is very demanding society
also for the Japanese themselves.
They are proud of their harmony,
proud of their low crime rates,
proud of having a stable society.
Which is great!
Great …but not yielding change.
You can’t go against the people above you!
You can never stir anything similar to conflict,
never oppose, instead instill group harmony.
So that doesn’t help any kind of change.

Neither negative change,
nor positive…
In a way it kind of muffles and even hinders creativity at times.
Not that Japanese might agree with me here,
but that’s OK. Because if everyone around you
.. on the same side of the bridge as you are…
agrees with you, and knows this to be true,
then it is.

This is of course true on both sides of the bridge!
I just happen to be writing about my experiences in Japan.
I need to adjust and take in to account the social rules
in Japan, and listen to how they do things and what they
desire and wish.
Also one cannot behave in a Western way and assume
people will listen to you or even like your
ideas. Often though they really do listen!
They just won’t act upon it.

This is why I was delighted to meet Reds though,
because he intuitively felt like it fit in with his own
ideas about the future, AND maybe more importantly
he smiled and was very positive.
We did have some problems communicating this evening,
because Reds did not speak any English,
and I still did not speak Japanese.

How did we communicate?
Very creative way actually…
and I will tell you in the next blog!

 

 

 

New encounters – 三宿BLACK

First an important note about “the Pink Spider Web”….

Many of you have commented and asked about the  fact that when clicking on other menues on this site you get a log in window.
It asks you to please enter a membership ID and Password.
There is in fact NO need to register for a membership.
There is not even such a thing as membership at the moment.
This is just a way for us to technically keep the rest of the site “locked down”
while it’s being developed!!
So for now ENJOY the blog, don’t worry about membership,
and I will tell you all when the rest of this portal will open!
(It’s huge project so please be patient)

The Pink Spider Web site, or portal rather, is intended to become a meeting place, for all who have interest in the Japanese Rock Music Scene, but who aren’t necessarily living in Japan.
(but of course we also welcome all of our visitors living in Japan!!
Finding information about Japanese bands, can be troublesome if you don’t read Japanese fluently.
This is also why “the Pink Spider Web” has been collaborating with individual bands such as Vagu*Project, to create web sites accessible and understandable for people who don’t speak/read Japanese, and who want to download and buy their music from outside of Japan.
Currently many bands, like Vagu*Project, only sell their albums as CDs at Live Houses, and a few sell them also at record stores such as Tower Records.
Vagu*Project’s current web page (not working well outside Japan and only in Japanese) can be seen here:
http://homepage2.nifty.com/vagu-project/
But in a few weeks the new more international web site will open in conjunction with their One Man Live and new album release June 10th !!
So that is something we really look forward to!!

For many bands however, creating their own web site and making their songs and merchandise available for sale online just isn’t helping much, as the audience who really wants to do so, have a very hard time finding their sites. A needle in the haystack on Facebook, iTunes, Amazon etc. and many many Japanese bands don’t even have a presence at such places.
“The Pink Spider Web” intends to be like a small town square in the times before internet, or even before TV and Radio. Where people, who have a mutual interest in, and passion for, Japanese Rock music can find their band, discover new bands, and find the web sites for such bands, such as Vagu*Project.

Now then….what have the Pink SpiderWeb been doing since last blog entry..?
Well here it goes… this is a start….April 26th PSW went to Shinjuku as planned to see TSP and I was not disappointed. (also See earlier blog entry for more info.)

As you all might have understood now from the above text entry, is that  this ‘blog’ is not intended as some editorial reviews for Live gigsbut my idea with it is more to introduce you all to bands and places in Japan that might catch your interest, so you can find out more about them {elsewhere].

I will try to post as many links as I can to Official Home Pages , sound cloud files, or Facebook/ twitter pages etc etc
To TSP I didn’t bring the camera as this was for pure pleasure for myself and when I shoot a gig, I can’t rally relax the same way as when I’m not behind the camera.
This was a fun night together with my friend Miguel from Mexico who lives here in Tokyo and is engaged to a Japanese girl.

After the gig we went to a bar in my neighborhood called Hard & Sweet BLACK to meet up with the band members from
Re:VIBE, and with
Reds☆ (vo. AURA and Gu. 湾岸の羊 Wangan Sheep)
and Taka (Dr. BLADE_tm)

BLADE are by the way here below on the blog… a few entries down… and there will be more on AURA and 湾岸の羊 Wangan Sheep in a few days.

http://www.blackers.jp
http://ameblo.jp/revibe-blog
http://www.facebook.com/revibeofficial
http://aura-station.com/
http://www.blade-web.com/
http://www.tsprock.jp/

a wonderful FUN FUN FUN party and connecting night.
As I didn’t have my camera with me this night, photos below were taken with iPhones in Darkness… tough for any camera…
It is a totally BLACK awesome space kind of place ha ha ha, but you can probably tell beyond the image quality of the photos that YES it was FUN!
Just HOW FUN this was…. well… I did get in trouble the next day for VoRCHAOS Live gig at Kichijoji Crescendo, because I lost my glasses this night and was practically blind Saturday….(more about that later)

ReVIBE_taka_Junko_Reds_ego_042613_100000_92From left to right in photo:

Reds☆ (Vo. AURA and Gu. 湾岸の羊 Wangan Sheep) , Anna (the PSW), Junko,
村上貴洋 Takahiro Murakami (Ba. Re:VIBE) , 滝上修幸 Nobuyuki Takigami (Gu Re:VIBE),  奥村光幸 Mitsuyuki Okumura (Gu. Re:VIBE) , 江田智樹 Tomoki Eda (Vo. Re:VIBE)
In the middle: Masataka ‘TAKA’ Tokiwa Dr. BLADE
In front: SAJI Bartender at BLACK, DJ and host of Ustream channel http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mishukublack-aostv

and one more… same people….minus Junko and Saji

ReVIBE_taka_Junko_Reds_ego_042613_200000_91

and ….April 26 27 28 and 29……

Coming up…

April 26 TSP at 渋谷THE GAME

TSP is band I have been wanting to see but never had a chance to until now.
TSP was formed in 2010 by Taiji (X Japan, LOUDNESS, D.T.R, Taiji with Heaven’s and more….)
TSP – Taiji & Shu Project –  had Taiji on bass and  Shu on Guitar (Cloud Nine, Crazy Quarter Mile), vocalist Dai (Taiji with Heaven’s) and drummer Hina (Crazy Quarter Mile).
You can read more about their current line up on there site (link below)
Other bands on Friday:
Sense Of Stability(OA)
almoSphere
Fear From The Hate
HARVEST

Photo is from their web site 4-24-13: http://www.tsprock.jp/

Photo is from their web site 4-24-13:
http://www.tsprock.jp/

 

 

and here’s a video with a song I really like

TSP  -“ASH & RAIN”

 

 

April 27 is VoRCHAOS 

….you all know how close VoRCHAOS is to my heart (。´ ‿`♡)
They are so skilled, so full of passion for what they create and perform,
and five totally pleasant and charming guys!

Listen to them on Soundcloud


(from 2011 recordings).
They will be releasing a full album this coming FALL!

or check a few posts down here on the Pink Spider Web’s Blog for a video.

Bands Saturday at 吉祥寺)CRESCENDO  are: 
THOUSAND EYES / CROSS VEIN / SCREAMING LOVEHOLE / Vorchaos / 兀突骨

Links:

http://vorchaos.com/
https://www.facebook.com/vorchaos
http://www.kichijoji-crescendo.net/

Vorchaos 042413

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday April 28 QUORUM

I want to tell you about a sweet and very talented guy I met last week. His name is Yuta.

First time I met him was at Yoyogi ‘Zher the Zoo’ on Friday (4-19) when my friend Yusuke (Dr. Moneyqueen) was playing at an After party for Heesey’s Birthday Live.
Yusuke was of course very busy, so he introduced me to his friend Yuta. People in Japan are considerate, thoughtful and kind like this!

We had a great time together across the language barriers. We then ‘ran’ into each other again on Saturday night in a bar in Shimokitazawa, as well as on Sunday at Club Sensation for BLADE. 

Yuta plays guitar in QUORUM. I have never heard QUORUM play Live yet, but I’m pretty sure it will be good times.
Yuta is a talented musician himself, so I’m sure he wont bargain with what the band does together.

Just listen to this!!! I liked it the first time I heard it.
Second time I was like ‘woah what a voice’ ..he ‘feels’ it… he has it…. and then yeah …then the guitar….Mmmmmm..
Third time I was hooked


so I don’t only listen to heavy rock …
I just listen to what I feel reverberates within me.
And it can differ from one day to another what I ‘plug into my ears’
That’s why I have a hard time with questions like:
Who is your favorite artist? Which band is your favorite one? etc etc

This song “above with Yuta for ex gives me peace and loving feelings….

Links:
http://quorum-rock.com/
http://www.heesey.com/
http://ameblo.jp/quietrose-yusuke/entry-11512878258.html
http://moneyqueen.sitemix.jp/
http://www.blade-web.com/
http://www.ukproject.com/zherthezoo/

 

Last but not least…
Monday 4-29 at Club Sensation – KEIKO WALKER

I just LOVE her voice, and to add to it, she is the sweetest person ever!
(She also has an adorable dog named Angelina )

I will get back to you all with more about how it was some time next week,
so check back here to read more about it and the other Lives I mentioned above!

Poster image from her site, please visit:
http://www.keikowalker.com/
You can just click on the image (^.-)

Keiko Walker at CS 042913

 

 

and NOW photos…. BLADE at Club Sensation

BLADE

what a perfect BAND and PLACE
for CELEBRATING the GRAND OPENING of
The Pink Spider Web

On
Vocals: Toru Tanaka
Guitar: Ryo Suganuma
Bass: Masaru Onoda
Drums: Masataka Tokiwa

 

Gorgeous looking as well as they ROCK!! \m/
http://www.blade-web.com/jpn/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/BLADE.tm

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BLADE_042113_98000_96_brdr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLADE_042113_99000_96_brdr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLADE_042113_94000_96

BLADE_042113_99300_98

BLADE_042113_92000_98_brdr

BLADE at Club Sensation

YAY!!!
Blog is now totally moved from the tumblr site here to “The Pink Spider Web”!
Due to this move and the development of the site, there will be a little ‘gap’ in time.
This is also partially due to Anna’s health issues this winter.
However NOW is the TIME!!!

Today is the GRAND OPENING of the site!

For now, as you can see, only the BLOG menu is OPEN!
Some pages on web site will state:

“You are required to log in to view this page”.
BUT this is just because it is a way for us to keep certain pages locked
until development of the portal is finished,
BUT meanwhile please enjoy the blog!

ウェブサイトのいくつかのページでは、「You are required to login to view this page(このページを見るためにはログインが必要です。)」とページ閲覧にログインを求められますが、これらのページはサイト全体の構築が終るまで未公開のページとなっています。

I hope you will be happy with the new place and follow the vibes on the Pink Spider Music Web!

Here’s BLADE….. first a video…
http://www.blade-web.com/jpn/index.html