Monday, May 22, 2017

Grandfather Dies. Father Dies. Son Dies. Grandson Dies: This is True Prosperity



An ancient Zen Buddhist story goes like this:
A very wealthy family in China bought a large farm and built a beautiful palace upon it. They wished for good luck, health, and fortune, so they decided to ask a famous Zen priest to write a scroll for them to hang in their den. The priest accepted the job and went back to his shrine to pray for enlightenment.
After a few days, the priest returned with the finished scroll and the entire family gathered around in great anticipation to see the words that the priest wrote for them. The priest said a short prayer and opened the scroll and hung it on the wall.
The scroll said:

Grandfather dies. 
Father dies. 
Son dies. 
Grandson dies.

The entire family was furious at the priest. They shouted and demanded that he go back to the shrine and rewrite the scroll for them.
As the priest was rolling up the scroll, he sighed and said: “I will rewrite the order of names on the scroll in anyway you wish. But I think there can be no other sequence. If all die in this order, I think that is true prosperity.”
My own mother died in a freak car accident in 1994. Of course, I was crushed. I was in Japan and she was in America.

After the car accident, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I understand that she floated in and out of consciousness before she died. Since I was so far away, I had no way of seeing her, holding her hand, and saying: “I love you mom. Thank you for everything.” But at least I can be thankful that my father was there to do so when she went away. Many people who die are not fortunate enough to have a loved one with them, to hold their hand, to whisper in their ear: “I love you. We all love you…. Please rest. You may go now.” And with words like these, my mother “let go” and passed away. I will always regret that I couldn’t be there with my mother in her time of need. I thank God that my father could be.
There are too many people in this world who die alone. Could there be a more woeful way to die, than when loved ones cannot be there by your side to say their last, “Good-bye”?
After my mother died, though, I was angry. I was angry at the world and I was angry at God. For months after my mother’s death I had recurring nightmares and the most bizarre dreams. Many of the dreams involved times when I was a boy. I would be playing in a playground and I would see my mother on the other side of a fence. I would cry out, “Mom! You’re back!” And I would begin to sob uncontrollably. My mother would grow angry at me and she’d start to leave. I’d cry out again, “Mom! Come back!” As she walked away, she would turn around, look at me, and always say the same thing: “I cannot come to visit you, if you are going to cry every time I see you.” And with that, she’d disappear into a field of tall grass.
I would always promise not to cry the next time. But I couldn’t keep my promise. I think I saw this same dream just about every night for at least six months.
Then one night, I had the most bizarre dream of all. My mother, as usual, walked away because I was crying, I was on my knees. I had my head in hands to try to hold back the tears. And then suddenly, I found myself in a huge chamber. It was like a colossal courtroom. I looked up and there was an old man sitting in a chair, looking quite frustrated and irate at me. He was massive in size. He was huge, at least 40 or 50 feet high and he was sitting down! He was brushing his beard and looking at me as if he was considering what to do.
I knew exactly who he was, yet I was not afraid of him; I was furious.
I shouted: “It’s not fair! It’s not fair that my mother died in an accident. My mother was still young and healthy. She should still be alive you bastard!” The old man just stared at me. I continued to shout at him. And I began to cry.
Then he calmly said: “So you think it is unfair that your mother has died?”
“Of course it’s unfair!”
The old man sighed and said, “Very well then, I shall allow you to be reborn and I will give you a different mother, and that mother will still be alive today. Would you find this acceptable?”
“A different mother!?” I said. “No… No, thank you.”
I suddenly awoke from my dream. I was in tears.
I pondered this strange dream for many weeks after that. Then it dawned on me: Instead of being angry that my mother died in an accident. I should be thankful for all of the wonderful times we spent together, all the hugs and bedtime stories. All the laughs and the great dinners. All the special times that my mother made me feel special, and all the other times she cheered me up when others did not. I should thank God for all the wonderful memories I received from being the son of this loving woman. She was always there for me when I needed her. And now, whenever I see her in my dreams, I do not cry. In fact the dream I often have with her now is one where I am on her side of the fence and we are sitting in the field and having a picnic and smiling together.
I haven’t seen my mother in a while, but I look forward to the next time I do.
I told this story to a priest who has become my friend. He asked me to show him a photograph of my mother. I did. He said: “Your mother was a very beautiful woman. Always keep this image of her in your heart. You are most fortunate that it is you, and not her, who has but memories and a snapshot.”
“How profound!” I thought. And I have always kept his words of wisdom in my heart. I share these words with my friends whose parents have passed away.
If only I could have been lucky enough to be there to hold my mother’s hand and be able to say, “I love you” when she passed away. How thankful I would be; thankful for that moment that I could be there. But I wasn’t.
But she was there to share and be a big part of my life.
I wouldn’t trade those photos or memories for anything in the world.


Would you?
My mother and father sometime in the very early 1950s.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Become a Yakuza! Japan's #1 Online Yakuza Fashion Boutique! なんちゃってヤクザファッション専門店!


Folks! I have my nominee for "Best Website of the Year!" It is called "Birth Japan" (http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/auc-birthjapan/) and it is a Yakuza Gangster Fashion and accessories site on Rakuten. Rakuten is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. So, Rakuten is a name you can trust! (Insert diabolical laughter here.)

Birth Japan seems to be run by some (former?) Yakuza. On their website they say they've gone straight and so you can trust them too. Honest!


My best friend, "Ken" (not his real name), showed me the Birth Japan website yesterday and I loved it!!! "Ken"also told me that he had finally found his dream; his calling in life. He said he wants to become a Yakuza! 

Wow! That's cool! Me too! I'm totally serious here folks. "Ken Nishikawa" (not his real name) has found the website of the year. I haven't had this much fun and been excited about a website like this since the early days of the internet. I'm being dead serious here ("Dead" in a "figuratively speaking" manner, of course) you will just LOVE the Birth Japan webpage!

I want to become a Yakuza too! And you can in an instant with Birth Japan! They even say so on their webpage!. And when you go to their webpage, they've got gun shots and cool suspenseful background music too - so you can feel like you ARE doing something illegal when you visit their pages!

Don't move! Hands up!


(Above) It says something like, "If you are a good person, you can become a bad person instantly. If you are already a bad person, you can become a really bad person in seconds!" (with Birth Japan!) 

What are we waiting for? I'm in!


The above is a cool link from their webpage. It says that "Everything here (at this click) is only ¥1 yen but there is a, er, 'catch,' or a 'condition.'" Gee, I wonder what that 'catch' or 'conditions' could be? 

Well, I trust these guys, so I'm going to click it... If I suddenly am "disappeared" then you'll all know what happened.


If anything, "Birth Japan" is a name you can trust when it comes to buying stuff from and looking like a Yakuza. The above shot is announcing their big 10th Anniversary Sale! It's the 10th Anniversary of the boss of Birth Japan being released from prison! You can also sign up for their mail magazine that is full of outlaw stories from the boss (before he went straight!)

This is really hilarious. These guys have a sense of humor! I love that photo of the boss at the top right!


Keep your eyes open when visiting the site, there are discount coupons and all sorts of stuff flying by the screen at all times. It really does remind me of the fun sites from the early days of he internet. I really do dig Birth Japan!


Check it! You can order a wide variety of fashions for Yakuza as well as accessories like sunglasses, chains, belts, shoes, boots, buckles, lucky charms, dog tags, etc. You name it. They got it. 

And, if you buy it, WHAMMO! You become instant Yakuza bad guy! How cool is that?


Check it! Luxury for you and your favorite gangster and gangsterette!


Talk about Customer Service! What's this? Another sale? Yep! You can get a 5% discount on all deliveries to your friends who are currently in prison and a 5% discount for your friends who have been released from prison within the last 3 months. ABSOLUTELY NO C.O.D.!


Hey, and if you know what's good for you, you'll go and "Like" the Birth Japan Facebook page! (https://www.facebook.com/893fashion)

There's a few hours of fun and cool stuff on the Birth Japan site. Here is their "Image Video." How cool!
不良ファッションブランド「BLOOD MONEY TOKYO」イメージCM その2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgLjO5Lxaqk


Check out the Birth Japan website. It's fabulous! "Birth Japan" 
Tell them "Ken Nishikawa" (not his real name) sent you!
(http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/auc-birthjapan/) 


---------------------------

NOTES: Some folks reading this might think I am joking. And I am, a little bit. But I think the guys running Birth Japan might be genius. They could be onto something big here. Imagine of the Anime community found out about this? Birth Japan could become very wealthy.

Also, I have written about the Yakuza before and have no real complaints about them. They have always been polite and had manners.... They are much better than the government who, through coercion, extorts money from us at gunpoint and bombs kids in foreign countries. The Yakuza also follow a code of ethics.... The government? Ethics? Never in the same room or in the same sentence.

Read this: Yakuza: Japanese Modern-Day Cowboys 
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2006/01/mike-in-tokyo-rogers/japans-modern-day-cowboys/  

Friday, May 19, 2017

History and Old 1955 Video of Chindon'ya! (Japanese Marching Band)


Yesterday, I put up a blog post and video of Chindoya: Japanese Culture - Chindon'ya (チンドン屋) Japanese Marching Band! (https://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2017/05/japanese-culture-chindonya.html)

That blog post got lots of hits (Thanks). Some people asked about chindon'ya. So, I did some research.




It seems chindon'ya started in Osaka in about 1845 with a candy seller named Amekatsu. He blew whisltes and rang bells to attract people to his shop. He had a great voice and decided to not sell his candy but sell his voice to theaters and other shops.

In Tokyo, chindoya didn't arrive until 1885, when a newspaper hired performers to advertise and they called it "Hiromeya." While, in Osaka, single performers did well, they found out that in Tokyo, they needed groups to perform in order to attract people's attention. So Tokyo's early chindon'ya groups were anywhere from three to ten people.

As technology advanced, other forms of advertising came along and competed with the chindon'ya. In 1910 newspapers became common place in Japan. About 1920 balloons and airplanes began carrying large banners through the air. Also in the 1920s, the first neon signs appeared in Tokyo. When sound movies first appeared in Japan in 1929, that had another massive effect on the performers. Economics caused the performer groups to cut the size of the groups to 4 to 5 people, and in the 30s they became known as chindon'ya.

After the end of World War II, the chindon'ya had a popularity resurgence and there were an estimated 2,500 chindon'ya performers in Japan between 1946 ~ 1960.

Today, there are about 30 ~ 35 professional chindon'ya performers left in Japan, mostly in Tokyo. They average about 60 years old.

Chindon'ya is a tough job too... They average about ¥15,000 a day (about $135 USD) for performing from 10:30 am until 5 pm.

Oh, the life of a performer! Catch a chindon'ya if you can... 

They won't be here anymore in a decade or so.

Here's a very old video of Chindoya from 1955: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBTDDHCa-EQ



What the video is about:

The video is about a day in the life of the members of a chindon'ya company in Mizonokuchi in Kawasaki. There are 40 performers in this particular company as they arrive to prepare their hair, faces and costumes for the day. 

They get a S.O.S. call from the local shopping street and they are on their way. (Hilarious scene of a chindon'ya riding a motorcycle to get to the performance!)

These were the days when there were many chindon'ya. Some of the chindon'ya do part time jobs entertaining as they are much cheaper than geisha.... And, they always get paid in cash!

Read more here: Japanese Culture - Chindon'ya (チンドン屋) Japanese Marching Band! https://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2017/05/japanese-culture-chindonya.html

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Japanese Culture - Chindon'ya (チンドン屋) Japanese Marching Band!


This is volume one of a new thingy I just thought up: Japanese Culture Vol. 1 - Chindon'ya (チンドン屋). A new super cool and special series (maybe)....


Chindon'ya advertising the opening of a new pachinko parlor.

What is "Chindonya"? Chindon'ya (チンドン屋) is also called a "Japanese marching band." A very long time ago they were called Hiromeya (広目屋 or 披露目屋). 

Ok, so what this is is that way back when, before there were TV's and radios, etc. These elaborately dressed musicians would march around the shopping areas of town and advertise the opening of new shops and establishments.  They also could be seen around these shopping areas promoting sales and events. They were still commonplace in the sixties and seventies (Thanks Roger Marshall) and you saw them sometimes in the eighties, but they've become rarer as the days go by. Nowadays,  Chindon'yas are pretty rare in Japan. The only time I ever see them is when they've been hired to promote the opening of a new pachinko parlor or sometimes at matsuri (festival times)... of course, whenever I do see them, I shoot a video.

The Chindon'ya consists of Japanese sound symbolism chin and don to describe the instruments, and the -ya suffix which roughly equates to the English "-er" suffix in this context.

Enjoy this video... This is a glimpse of the past! Chindon'ya (チンドン屋) (If the video doesn't play, click here for higher quality video or if the video doesn't play: https://youtu.be/jnMb9-kd9ZU)

video

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cool & Strange Music Countdown May 17, 2017! Alexandr Misko! Vlad! Sesame Street! Stevie Riks!

Welcome back to another episode of Cool & Strange Music for May 17, 2017!



And do I have some hot tunes for you today. These tunes you can really dig and you can use to clear the dancefloor or have those pesky guests leave your place and go home when you are ready to sleep! 

But first up, let's get serious. First up is some awesome guitar playing from a 19-year-old guy named Alexandr Misko from Russia. He says: "My fingerstyle guitar world here - covers, originals and more. Hope you like it! Cheers from Russia!" Check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alexandrmisko/ 


Holy shit! This guy is incredible! Tons more amazing stuff on his Youtube page: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdZe3OmKYiIwyrLFEEbNwVw

#4) Alexandr Misko - Michael Jackson - Billie Jean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx4okVd3K14



Next up is something that always makes me laugh. Back in the day, Sesame Street used to make some funny music video parodies. Besides that, Sesame Street was basically useless for anything but babysitting kids. It certainly didn't teach them anything (Trust me. I know the rights owners!) Anyway, they made some really great musical parodies. This was one of my all time favorites! It's the Beetles!


#3 Sesame Street: The Beetles - Letter B   https://youtu.be/WmVd9F1fW00?t=8s



OK? Cool, eh? OK, let's keep up the laughs. Next up is Stevie Riks. Stevie Riks is a Multi-talented Comedian and Impressionist, Comedy Writer, Voice Over Artist and multi-instrumentalist Musician from the United Kingdom. He does some really funny "Misheard lyrics videos." 

There's lots more funny stuff at his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MrStevieRiks/

#2) Stevie Riks: The Bee Gees Misheard Lyrics - Stayin Alive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtQmBQxcaEk




At #1 is a song that I picked especially for my friends Lee Popa and Jolee Popa of Pinksideofthemoon. Lee and Jolee were hanging out with me in Tokyo when I mentioned (for some reason) this song. I don't think they'd heard of it....Lee! Jolee! I think this is simply genius. Zlad is actually named Santo Cilauro. And this is the funniest parody of an 80s track you'll ever hear! Wikipedia saysSanto Cilauro is an Australian television and feature film producer, screenwriter, actor, author, comedian and cameraman, a co-founder of The D-Generation. He is also an author and former radio presenter on the Triple M Network, and achieved worldwide fame with the viral video Elektronik Supersonik. 

Pay close attention to the lyrics. This is hilariously genius.


#1) Zlad! - Elektronik Supersonik    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNyG-xu-7SQ




Well, that’s it for today! Hope you have a great rest of the week and hope you stay Cool and Strange!
See more Cool & Strange Music countdowns here: 
http://robot55.jp/?s=cool+%26+strange+music

And if you like new music and alternative artists check out the weekly Top 3 here:
http://robot55.jp/?s=Top+3+videos

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lightning Strikes: Producer Lee Popa, $30,000 in Cash, His Wife and Me: A True Story!


The other day, super-dooper famous Lee Popa and his lovely wife, Jolee, came to Japan. I got to show them around a couple of days for a few hours. I'd like to tell you about the scadalous hi-jinks that went on while they were in Japan. Hence the cool title: "Lightning Strikes: Producer Lee Popa, $30,000 in Cash, His Wife and Me: A True Story!"


Lee and Jolee at Sensoji Shrine May 6, 2017

Lee Popa is a humble man but he is super famous. He is a VERY famous engineer and producer. He served as live engineer for X-Japan and Hide. Discogs writes: "(Lee Popa is) A primary figure in the industrial rock scene since the late 1980s, Lee Popa served as live engineer for Ministry’s legendary 1989/1990 “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste” tour (as documented on the 1990 live album, “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up”) and Killing Joke’s 1990/1991 “Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions” tour (as documented on the 2007 compilation, “Inside Extremities, Mixes, Rehearsals & Live”). Popa’s extensive resume as a remixer/producer/sound engineer includes work with Tool, Living Colour, Korn, Cheap Trick, Prong, White Zombie, Danzig, Phunk Junkeez, KMFDM, Queen, Gnarles Barkley, Phantom Planet, Bad Brains and Bush, and pinksideofthemoon among countless others. Popa was the frontman of Slammin’ Watusis, a Chicago-based group that released two albums on Epic Records in the late ‘80s and toured with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour and King’s X." 

He has also worked with Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Macy Gray, Tina Turner. Many more....

Mrs. Popa (Hereinafter referred to as "Jolee") is actually the boss and she is also a fantastic songstress and singing coach to the stars too. Together they make up a fab artist named "pinksideofthemoon." Here's one of their tracks: (pinksideofthemoon - Keep on Dancin'  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp-yoyJ2XBU)



Cool, eh? Anyway, I asked them how it was that pinksideofthemoon came about and Lee told me, "We were in a studio waiting from some musicians that never showed up so we decided not to let the studio time go to waste."

Makes sense. As a producer (sort of) myself, I totally 'get it' as to the "what are we gonna do now?" type of situations. "Producer" sounds like a high-falutin' title, but it's actually a fancy term for "Baby-sitter." As a producer, I spend most of my time making sure there's no arguments or fighting; everyone has a coffee and a donut; and that there are enough hand-held mirrors for the prima-donnas to go around. That's what a producer does.

But I digress.


Lee and Jolee in front of Mt. Fuji May 2, 2017

Lee and Jolee were in Japan to do some investigation on making a charity event for the kids who, to this very day, suffer from the effects of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. At this moment, plans are being formulated and set up but it looks like its shaping up to be a life-changing experience for everyone involved and, hopefully, a few smiles and good memories for the kids who have gone through so much. 

I'll have more information for you as things get settled.

While I was chaperone for Lee and Jolee, we went a lot of places. We went to see Mt. Fuji from afar, had some great sushi.



Anyway, we did the tourist thing but I wanted to take them to places that most tourists never see.

"But, Mike! What does this have to do with $30,000?" I hear you say. Well, hold on, I'm getting there.

So, one day, after sightseeing, I reckon that Lee and Jolee were waiting for the ride to the next Jet-Set Happening Thingy they had planned. They were famished. So, I guess they popped into a fast food Burger-World type of place. There, a miracle happened! Lightning struck! When Lee went into the men's bathroom, he found a wallet that had about $30,000 USD cash in it! Woah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Our ship has come in!

Unfortunately, I wasn't there when our ship came in (story of my life).... And.... And... Lee, being too damned honest for his own good (er, I mean 'MY' own good) took the wallet and... Are you sitting down?... Are you ready for it?.... He took the wallet down to the police station and handed it in!

Argggghhhhh! 

Why, dear Lord? Why wasn't I there to, er, um, "take care" of that wallet for my dear friends Lee and Jolee????

Anyway, I guess a few ten or fifteen minutes later  some guy comes screaming into the burger joint faster than a dress comes off the prom queen after the big dance looking for his wallet. The guy is freaking (well, duh!) Lee looks at him, and then takes the guy down to the police station and helps the guy get his wallet back.

WTF? An honest foreigner? This dude's gonna give us all a bad name! Chuckle. 

Later on, Lee and Jolee are all smiles and telling me all about it as I try to hold back the tears and my sobbing.... Because I'm so upse... er, "Happy"! Yeah, happy! That's it!

Anyway, a couple of days later, we're walking around Tokyo and then it was Jolee's turn to break the unwritten law. There was a kid's festival (it was Boy's Day, or something like that... I can't keep track of this stuff...) and they were having a Children's Festival over by Okachimachi station.

There they had that silly-assed kid's game called "Kingyo Tsukui" where you take this flimsy paper scoop and try to catch as many goldfish as you can. 



I hate that game. I've done it a few times and have never caught even one goldfish. I figured since Lee and Jolee were here doing the "tourist thingy" they might as well try catching the goldfish in the impossible traditional Japanese festival game of Kingyo Tsukui.

I asked if either of them wanted to try. Jolee said she was eager to give it a go. I laughed. Laughed, I tell you! I laughed at her naivety. Why, I have been here over 34 years and have never caught even one goldfish in this silly scam game. But try she wanted, so try she did. 

It was ¥300 for a go. She tried to scoop a goldfish and the scooper fell apart immediately. I smirked. The guy running the booth gave Jolee another scooper. He winked at me knowingly.  

I proclaimed, "I've been here for over 30 years and have never caught one goldfish in this ridiculous game."

But, then, again, lightning struck again! On her second try, Jolee actually scooped up a goldfish. My jaw dropped! The guy running the booth looked right at me and he was shocked too! 

Jolee tried to give the fish away to some kids who were scooping up fish left and right... But when they seemed uninterested, Jolee did something that all REAL fishermen cannot ever forgive: She did "Catch and release" and put the goldfish back! 

I couldn't believe it! The last time I went fishing with friends and one guy did that catch and release, we about whacked him with the boat paddles.

So, in less than a few hours, lightning struck twice! Not only did I lose out on $30,000, I lost the fish that was caught.

Oh, the agony!

pinksideofthemoon on "WTF?" InterFM 897 May 7, 2017.

Dejected, I took both Lee and Jolee back to their hotel. They seemed happy and oblivious to my pain... 

Sure. Like I said, "Story of my life."

Lee and Jolee say they are coming back to Japan in Autumn to help set up that charity for the kids. I will help them if I can....

I know one thing, though for sure... Next time, I am going to be with them every second of the day watching over them like a hawk....

They say "Lightning always strikes twice." Maybe, I can be there the third time because, you know what they say, "...the third time's always a charm!" 
  


Monday, May 8, 2017

Packed Tokyo Trains and Subways Used to be the Best... Now? Air Conditioning Has Ruined Everything.


In the late 70s and early 80s, before the Yamate Line and most of the Tokyo subway platforms and subway trains were air conditioned, they were the best.

Now, it's not so good. 


"Get yo ass in there!"


I mean, look at this video. What a ripoff! This train is half-empty. It needs many more people. This is nuttin.'


This ain't nuttin'! What a bunch of woosies!


Back in the old days, when Japan's economy was booming and the the trains were REALLY PACKED (not like today) riding the trains and subways was great exercise. As well as great practice in being a Zen Buddhist.

Ommmm....Ommmm....Ommm..... 

Especially back in the late 70s and early 80s when the subway wasn't air conditioned. I'd get on the Tozai line in the early mornings and get a full body massage and get in some gymnastics and ring work in while I made my way to the office. 

Not only did I get some great stretching in I could get a great workout on the rings (like an Olympic athlete). The full body rub down every morning was definitely a plus. I could tell the people giving me the rubdown were experts at that and had lots of experience. Real professionals. Top quality.

And, right after the workout, a sauna? Not necessary. It was August and hotter and more humid than a sumo wrestlers arm pit after an 8-hour-workout (and it smelled like one too!) by the time I got to Iidabashi station, I was completely soaking wet and ready for a great day at the office. 

Now, you tell me, could there possibly be a better sports club than the Yamate Line or the Tokyo subways back in the days before the air conditioning? I doubt it (and the price was amazing!).... 

Oh, and back in those days, after a hard work out, we could all enjoy a cigarette on the platform too like real gentlemen. Not like the uncouth crap savagery we suffer from today with "Smoking Areas" outside the stations!

Oh! Those were the days!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pinksideofthemoon full album free download! フルアルバム無料でダウンロード!!

Come and get it! Pinksideofthemoon full album free download! See link below!


Who is pinksideofthemoon? Jolee and Lee Popa.

Lee Popa is legendary! Here's what Discogs says about him:

"Lee Popa is a primary figure in the industrial rock scene since the late 1980s, Lee Popa served as live engineer for Ministry’s legendary 1989/1990 “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste” tour (as documented on the 1990 live album, “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up”) and Killing Joke’s 1990/1991 “Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions” tour (as documented on the 2007 compilation, “Inside Extremities, Mixes, Rehearsals & Live”). Popa’s extensive resume as a remixer/producer/sound engineer includes work with Tool, Living Colour, Korn, Cheap Trick, Prong, White Zombie, Danzig, Phunk Junkeez, KMFDM, Queen, Gnarles Barkley, Phantom Planet, Bad Brains and Bush, and pinksideofthemoon among countless others. Popa was the frontman of Slammin’ Watusis, a Chicago-based group that released two albums on Epic Records in the late ‘80s and toured with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour and King’s X." 

https://www.discogs.com/artist/105416-Lee-Popa

pinksideofthemoon will be guests on my regular Sunday radio show, "WTF?" on InterFM 897 from 8 am ~ 10 am.
WhattheFunday 今週(5月7日)のWTF?のゲストは「pinksideofthemoon」 彼等からのプレゼント!!! 下のリンクをクリックするとフルアルバム無料でダウンロード!! 今すぐ!! - マイク This week’s WTF? guest is “pinksideofthemoon.” And they give you a great present! Free download of their newest album! No catches, no charges, no email! Go get it FREE at the link below. - Mike 
(Download) ダウンロードリンク: 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cool & Strange Music Countdown May 3, 2017 - Golden Week!



Welcome back to Cool & Strange Music!

It’s May 3, 2017 in Japan, and the first day of Golden Week!
What is "Golden Week" in Japan? Japan Guide tells us: "The Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays within seven days. In combination with well placed weekends, the Golden Week becomes one of Japan's three busiest holiday seasons, besides New Year and the Obon week. Trains, airports and sightseeing spots get very crowded during Golden Week, and accommodation in tourist areas can get booked out well in advance." And so, since the entire nation comes to a grinding halt, I can't get shit done!

Oh, I added the italics and that last sentence in bold fonts.

So since no one is around. And I can't get anything done... So, why waste time? That's why we bring to you a special Golden Week edition of Cool & Strange Music! 

First off we got a letter from "Jay in Kyoto" who writes, "Mike, where do you find this shit? You must be one helluva twisted mutha. Stop digging in the trash cans at the radio station.!

I replied, "Thanks, Jay! It's not "digging," it's "treasure hunting" and trust me, the best music at the radio station is in the trash cans; they most certainly are not airing it!"

OK. enough of my yakking. What do you say? Let's boogie! And do I have some really cool and twisted stuff for you today! We go the entire length of "Cool," "Strange," "Exotica" and "Hilarious" today!

#6) Tikiyaki 5-0 - Supernova https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMNMwShJwBA

This is something brand new from Tikiyaki 5-0. "Hey! Where have I heard that name before?" Yep! They used to be known as The Tikiyaki Orchestra (and maybe they still are!) But for this EP project, they are known as Tikiyaki 5-0. Tikiyaki is from Los Angeles and they do the entire spectrum of Cool & Strange so they kick us off today! This is the real surf guitar sound. Cool!



#5) The Tikiyaki Orchestra! - Aloha Baby!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RGE7qw6VyY

So, now they are doing surf guitar.... But they used to be an orchestra! Some history: One of the guys who is legendary in Exotica music is Martin Denny. I figure the leaders of Tikiyaki must be Martin Denny collectors! At #5 is the The Tikiyaki Orchestra from their 2011 album entitled, "Aloha Baby!" This is real Exotica!

#4) Patty & Megan - What if God Smoked Cannabis? 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PybtBKSAtLM

At #4 is a freaking out hilarious cover written by Weird Al Yankovic (or Bob Rivers? Who knows?) and sung by Patty & Megan. It's a parody of the Joan Osborne (4 Non Blondes) smash hit, "What if God Was One of Us?" Wish I could tell you more about this track, but I can't find any info at all. 



#3) Mick Jagger & David Bowie - Dancing in the Street // Silent Music Video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHkhIjG0DKc

There are some really twisted minds out there and thank god for that! This next video will either make you laugh out loud or drop your jaw. I'm not really sure who is responsible for this. But imagine if we took the hit song, Dancin' in the Street by Mick and David from 1985 and removed the music. Yeah. All of it. No drums, bass, guitars... And then imagine if David and Mick were only allowed to whisper as this is a "Silent Music Video" (kind of like singing in a library)... OK? Ready? Go! I think this is really funny.... Try to watch at least a minute and a half! Chuckles!



#2) Bohemian Rhapsody Played by 100+ Year Old Fairground Organ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTnGI6Knw5Q

Ok. This is way cool. It is just as it says in the title; a 100+ year old fairground organ playing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." OK? Let's get geeky. The organ is a 1905 81 key Marenghi Organ. This fab track was introduced to us by my friend Christine Bertino! Thanks Christine!!!!



#1) Postmodern Jukebox Material Girl - Vintage 1920s Madonna Cover ft. Gunhild Carling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUuQ4hoXsCM

Ah, do you often feel like I do? I mean I often long for the "Good Old Days." As Groucho Marx once said, "Things are not as good as they used to be... Although they never were." Here's a new artist doing some cool stuff (but of course, you'll never hear this on the radio - only on Cool & Strange Music!)


Cool & Strange Music is dedicated to Dana Countryman. Oh! Let me brag!!!! I "chatted" with the legendary Dana Countryman the other day. Really! Dana has a fab new album out that I have been playing on my FM radio show, WTF? What the Funday on InterFM 897! (https://www.facebook.com/WhattheFunday76.1) The album is called, "Girlville" and it features 19 great new tracks sang by girls in the style of yesterday's hits! It's awesome! You can check it out and learn more and even stream some tracks here at their webpage: 
http://www.danacountrymansgirlville.com/


Oh, my gosh! You can stream the entire album FOR FREE right here. Come and get it!!!! 
http://www.danacountryman.com/GirlvilleWeb/GirlvilleHome/Girlville_stream/girlville_stream.html

Well, that’s it for today! Hope you have a great rest of the week and hope you stay Cool and Strange!
See more Cool & Strange Music countdowns here: 
http://robot55.jp/?s=cool+%26+strange+music

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wishing, Hoping and Believing

Wishing, hoping and believing. The three are close in definition. But there's a huge difference. I think people too often get them confused and use them interchangeably to their own disadvantage. I think it is best to know exactly what they mean. Words have meanings and using them incorrectly can cause a disadvantageous situation.


Wish is an intransitive verb. Merriam Webster defines "wish" as, "To have a desire for (as something unattainable)." Related words are, "crave," "hunger," "covet," "desire."

"Unattainable"? Well, that's no good. It looks to me here that "wish" is sort of a waste of time.

"Hope" is defined as, "To cherish as desire with anticipation," or "to desire with expectation of obtainment."  "Expectation of obtainment"? Well, that's a bit better.

How about believing? "Believe" is defined as "To have a firm religious faith" or "to accept something as true, genuine or real."

I think, often times, that wishing and hoping can be a waste of time... Wishing is fine for children... Hoping too... But hoping, for adults, can be an awful waste of time.... I often hear from people at work situations that they "hope" things get better... Folks, "Hope" is a terrible business plan.

Hoping that things get better at work is like being a leaf on the ocean being blown every which way. Is this your plan for your future and for your families well-being? Hope?

Belief....Believing, and only believing, is the only one of the three that can deliver your hearts desire. Believing, along with doing the necessary preparation in order to achieve your beliefs, is what must be done.

Think about when the Wright Brother's made their first airplane flight or the old story in the bible when Jesus walked on water. It was impossible for man to fly. Did the Wright Brothers fly because of hope or because of wishes? No. They flew, in spite of all, because they believed that they could and they made the preparations in order to do so.

I also believe that the story of Jesus walking on water is a parable. Everyone knows that it is impossible for man to walk on water (even if he is the son of god - you and I are the son, the children, of god.... Don't they say we are all god's children?) So, I think the story of Jesus walking on water is a representation that if you believe, really believe, then you can do the impossible. After walking on water Jesus said, "I told you. All you have to do is to believe."

Belief moves mountains.

Also, instead of always wanting more and always climbing that mountain towards success, you also need to stop and make base camp. One cannot simply climb and climb Mount Everest. They must stop along the way to daily create base camp to rest before they can continue the journey the next day. You must do the same. You need to stop and to take an assessment of what you have and to give thanks to your loved ones and to your god.

Here's what I do, and I do this religiously everyday; I write down in my notebook this, "Thank you god for all the truly wonderful things I have and all the truly wonderful things I am about to receive."

I do this because, instead of always wanting and wishing, and hoping, or desiring things, I want to give thanks for the great things I already have. If I can wake up everyday and know in my heart, really believe, that I am one of, if not thee, most fortunate people in the world, I will create a positive and happy existence for myself and my loved ones and all the people who I come in contact with.  

I have another friend who has an ill partner. We met the other day and I related this story to him:

When my 1 1/2 year old daughter was diagnosed as having a rare, deadly childhood cancer, I was devastated. She was given a very low chance of survival. That particular type of cancer is extremely rare and, in Japan, about 2 or 3 kids get it a year... Most of them die within the first 6 months.

I sought out the help of a professional priest to help me and guide me with the battle I was about to enter alongside my daughter and my wife.

One day, at the beginning when I was especially distraught and worried, I told the priest, 

"I have realized how to cure my daughter and have come to understand the way. All I need to do is to get the doctors and nurses to believe, to really believe, in their hearts, that she will recover and then she will. That's what I must do."

To that, the priest replied,

"Mike! It doesn't matter what they believe. All that matters is what you believe."

Those words! That moment! It was like the skies opened up and god reached his hand down to me. 

Of course! It was all so simple! Why didn't I see it sooner? It only matters what I believe! My belief can move mountains! 

From then on, I didn't wish nor want, nor hope, that my daughter would recover from this rare and terrible disease, I knew. I knew it without a doubt. I also prepared and did what was necessary for that outcome because I believed. 

That was 16 years ago. My daughter is now a healthy, happy, beautiful high school student looking forward to college someday soon. 

She is only the second child to have ever overcome that cancer in Japan's history. She won't be the last.

At 16-years-old

You can do this too. Anyone can. Like Jesus said, "All you need to do is to have faith."

From today, take account of all the good things you have. Be thankful for them. If you have a sorrow, then take account of that too and do what is necessary and what is required so that you can believe in a positive and good outcome.

The only things that can be borne out of fear and worry will be more of the same. Prepare and do what is necessary and believe in the positive outcome.

You can create your own reality. You can accomplish the impossible. And when you do, don't be surprised, you won't have been the first and you certainly won't be the last.


47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

   Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed.  

For Wendy... You amazed us all (except daddy. I knew you could do it). Thanks for your love and inspiration.

Grandfather Dies. Father Dies. Son Dies. Grandson Dies: This is True Prosperity

An ancient Zen Buddhist story goes like this: A very wealthy family in China bought a large farm and built a beautiful palace upon it. ...