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.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Baby Shakes Newest Video Released This Morning

The Awesome Baby Shakes just won 1st place in the readers vote for NY's Deli Music Magazine for "NY's Best Emerging Band Contest 2017!" 

The Baby Shakes with Ken Nishikawa and me

My partners Ken Nishikawa and Les Deciduous just finished their newest video yesterday too! Wow! What timing!

Here's the video we made for them: Baby Shakes - Do What you Want

Monday, April 10, 2017

Japanese Girl Rock Bands (And More) That Matter in 2017!

This is part two (sort of) of a series on the best Japanese Girl Rock Bands... I added the (and more) because, well, frankly speaking, it's hard to find all-girl bands so, I've expanded the list a bit to add Japanese bands that have girls and guys also; Japanese bands who are crazy (there's lots of those) and, well, just Japanese bands that I like.

Japanese Girl Rock Bands That Matter in 2017 (part 1) is here:

I have culled the list to exclude bands that, for me, seem to veer too far into the J-Pop arena. Personally, I don't really like J-Pop. But I "get it" why some of those groups are popular. Hell, the first group I ever liked was the Monkees and the first 7-inch record I ever bought was the Monkees, "D.W. Washburn." So, I can understand why some people and kids like that kind of music.

Also, I can respect it. I mean, anyone who can do music and make a living at it as an artist must be doing something right. I applaud them...

J-Pop, K-Pop and America's "Hit Parade of Hell" is just not my cup of tea. 

My tastes have "matured".... Bwa! Ha! Ha! (My testes have "matured"? Isn't that hilarious?) Can you imagine the amount of ego it requires to make a statement like that? My god! I hate conceited DJs and "Musicologists." 

My point is I am trying to stick with what I personally really like. After all, isn't everyone a critic?

But to steal a line from Spinal Tap, "Enough of my yakking. Whaddya say? Let's boogie!"

In the first issue of this "Japanese Girl Rock Bands That Matter in 2017," I didn't include today's first band. Their name is TsuShiMaMiRe. I got lots of complaints from people for not including them, but I didn't include them because I heard that their drummer had quit and was replaced by a guy! (So they can't be in a "Girls" band list!) Now, I hear that the guy was just temporary???... When I find out what is really going on, I'll let you know. 

Their Wikipedia only lists two of the original girls members as being active now.

From Wiki: Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re ... is eclectic punk rock, mixing noisy and pop instrumental sounds with idiosyncratic, quirky, often funny or disturbing lyrics. They are one of the many bands to have become famous in the United States through SXSW music festival, and also through their performances at anime conventions and at "Japan Girls Nite" U.S. tours. The band's original lineup consisted of Mari Kono on lead guitar and vocals, Yayoi Tsushima on bass, and Mizue Masuda on drums. They originally formed the band while in college in Chiba, Japan. In January 2017, Mizue announced she was leaving the band to pursue other projects.

TsuShiMaMiRe - Speedy Wonder:

Next up is a band that is introduced to us by my good friend, Bee Bee Clark! "Bee Bee Clark? I've heard that name before!" You say? Yep! Bee Bee is one of the criminal master minds who made the definitive Japanese Garage Rock Movie, " Garage Rockin' Craze." It's freaking too cool! I can't find a 

Garage Rockin' Craze Trailer 予告編 :

This band is the Stompin' Riffraffs! I love this band! These guys rock!....Nao, the lead singer has a Facebook page, but I can't find one for the band!

Stompin' Riffraffs - Phantom Rock:

Next up is a band introduced to us by The Routes lead vocal and guitar, Christopher Jack. It's Samehada Shiroko & Dynamite! I think that roughly translates to: "Shark skin ass and dynamite." Bwa! Ha! Ha!

Samehada Shiroko & Dynamite have been playing together for 4 years now. And they are from Fukuoka and on the Sasanami Label. The singer is an artist and she does all the artwork for the CDs... They even opened for the seminal Japanese Punk/rock band, "Sheena and the Rokkets!" Wow! They put on really wild live shows, and they're constantly playing up and down the country. 

Samehada Shiroko & Dynamite - Moshi Yokattara: 

Next up is a band that your mom would not approve of! It's Otoboke Beaver! Their Facebook page says, "We are Otoboke Beaver "Japanese girls ‘knock out or pound cake’ band”!!!!!!!!!" OK? I got it! Lots of the bands on today's list don't have much of a Social Media presence or even a Facebook page, but Otoboke Beaver has one:

Otoboke Beaver (おとぼけビ~バ~) - Anata Ga Falling Love Shita No Ha Watashi Ga Kirai Na: 

Is that freaking cool, or what?

Next up is one of the hottest girls groups on the planet! They are called Kinoko Hotel (Mushroom Hotel). This band has been around since 2007 and do a sort of Showa era retro rock. They just released a new album last year. I'd like to post a full video from that, but the label won't post them in full... So here's an edited version. This band is HOT! I love these girls!  

Kinoko Hotel - Onedari Strange Love:

In the west, Heavy Metal seems to always be a seller, in fashion or not. In Japan, it's Rockabilly. There are lots of good rockabilly bands in Japan. Here's a Rockabilly band that sounds great! The Learners! The Leaners are a 5-piece band with Sara as lead vocalist and I hear she is a professional model! Wow! 

Learners - I Want You To Be My Baby

Next up is a trio named Bo-Peep from Fukuoka, Japan. (Fukuoka? Kyushu Japan? There sure are a LOT of hot bands from down there. I think there must be some sort of boom going on and I approve!) Bo-Peep call themselves "Sheet Metal" and "Alternative Punk." They were guests on my show about 10 years ago.... Why isn't this band more famous? Here's their Facebook page: 

BO-PEEP - Hello

Next up is a band who claim to be "from Japan." (Well, duh!) This band was introduced to us by the leader of the world famous Routes (who also hail from Kyushu!) The band's name is "The Swamps." Their bio on Facebook is quite funny. It says, "Imagine a band with Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground on drums, Chuck Berry/Johnny Ramone on rhythm guitar and Link Wray on an acid trip on lead guitar. Bass? They don't need no stinking bass. Vocally many of the tunes were a mix of Lux Interior of the Cramps meets Cookie Monster (especially when the vocals were done through the guitar's pickups as they were on many of the tunes). At times it was noise trash rock and at others they locked into a serious rock rhythm."

Here's their Facebook page:

The SWAMPS – Ain’t Love Me Baby

And speaking of Kyushu again, here is the band that's been getting TONS of airplay on my show, "WTF?" (Please come "Like" our FB page and on the World Famous KROQ in Los Angeles on the Legendary Rodney on the Roq show as well as stations around the world. It's The Routes and they are Japan's best kept secret!.... Until now! Go Like the Routes' Facebook page: The Routes just released their latest wax and it sold out within days (But I think they are back in stock. Grab one while you can!) This is the debut video from that release.

The Routes - Perfect Hell / No Permanence

Next up, once again.... Another band from Kyushu??? WTF??? It's the awesome Titty Twister! I love this band! Their Facebook page ( "Titty Twister, from Fukuoka City Japan, was formed in 2002, by Howlin' Kimiko, and Dee Dee Kyoko. The band plays exciting, all original Rock n' Roll, and covers such styles as Garage Punk, Pop/ Bubblegum, 70's Punk, and Rockabilly. Come on, get Twisted!!" These guys should be on air constantly!

Titty Twister/ Live at Keith Flack

Next up is a Japanese girls band that just celebrated their 20th anniversary (and they were guests on my show a few months back!) It's The Noodles! Their bio says, "Noodles is a Japanese alternative rock band currently consisting of Yoko (vocals/guitar), Ayumi (drums) and Ikuno (bass). The band is originally from Yokohama, where they performed their first show. They are well known for the song "Love My Life", which they recorded for the movie of the same name, Love My Life.

Noodles - Blood Waltz

Hope you enjoyed this. 

There is a rock n roll boom coming to Japan before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and I can see it coming. I wrote to a close friend the other day: "It seems to me that what is happening now in Japan reminds me of the late 1970s Punk Boom in Los Angeles, 40 years ago... I think the same sort of thing is happening again here.

I am lucky because I have seen this before when I was in the Rotters (
, so I have seen this before, but not too many people have… So, I think most Japanese rockers don’t realise what is going on…. I believe that what is happening now is a legendary time in Japanese rock music… These bands are all a part of it…. There is a music movement happening in (Tokyo) Japan now…. The music boom is just starting. I know it. I have seen it before. I have the feeling of Deja Vu."

Anyway, there are lots of other good Japanese bands, so if you know one, let me know. - Mike

Oh, and be on the lookout for the biggest rock n roll movie to come out of Japan in years. 
It's hitting theaters this autumn 2017!: 
"Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story." 
Here's the trailer:

Top 3 New Video Countdown for May 6, 2023! Floppy Pinkies, Jett Sett, Tetsuko!

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