Thursday, May 25, 2017

Edward G Robinson, the Sexy Geisha and Me - A True Story!

Whenever I put some famous person's name in the title of my articles, the hits and access to those articles literally explodes. I like to think that my readership is skyrocketing because of my prose and penmanship (on a PC?) but I suspect it is really because of how vain I am and how I like to name-drop famous people. It doesn't matter how tenuous that relationship between that famous person and me is either because this stuff is all true. 

Swear to god! Strike me dead if I lie!.....

See? I'm still here!

Just the other day I wrote about my close "working relationship" with Charles Bukowski. That article was quite popular, thank you. Looking back, though, I kind of screwed that one up because I should have added the name of U2's Bono to that article's title; "Charles Bukowski, Bono and Me."  

Also, a while back, I wrote about the time I met "God" in person and even sort of had lunch with him at a restaurant in Los Angeles!...  And who could forget the time I met former president H.W. Bush and the hijinks surrounding Daddy Bush, Diana Ross and me

Yes, folks. These stories are all true too! 


So, here we go again with another titillating tale of my chequered past! (Well, not so past, I'm just talking about what happened yesterday...) Hence the title: "Edward G Robinson, the Sexy Geisha and Me - A True Story!"

Yesterday, I spent the day down in Atami. Atami is a famous sea-side resort town just south of Tokyo. It used to be called the "Venice of Japan." It is famous for the ocean, mountains, Mt. Fuji and it is one of two seats of true geisha culture in Japan (the other being Kyoto).

Atami and Mt. Fuji in the background

Anyway, before I tell you about the sexy geisha, Edward G. Robinson and myself, let me give you some background on Atami...

Atami is celebrating their 80th year of becoming a city and they are aiming to change their nickname from the "Venice of Japan" to the "Hollywood of Japan." The reason being is that there seems to be some sort of boom going on there for locations for TV shows and movies... (A government representative told me that there were, on average more than 300 location shoots a year in Atami! Wow!)

So, I was down in beautiful Atami to meet some folks from the government and the national travel bureau because we are arranging a fancy hootenanny shindig next year. Besides meeting the government and travel bureau folks, I was also going to meet a very famous, legendary geisha named Matsuchiyo and her geisha house publicity manager. 

I was looking forward to a sort of "Teahouse of the August Moon" meeting (except I hate sitting on the floor. My knees and my butt starts to hurt!)

Anyhow, Matsuchiyo is a very famous and high class geisha and has been doing that for years. She has been on TV and is well known in the entertainment business. I even worked on a documentary about her a while back. Here's that trailer:

Matsuchiyo has been a geisha since about the end of World War II. During the war, as a young girl, she and her family moved to then Japan-occupied Manchuria to seek their fame and fortune. Well, as you may have heard, the war didn't quite go as the Japanese Imperial Army planned and when the Soviets invaded Manchuria right before the dropping of the atomic bomb, all hell broke loose and the Japanese in Manchuria had to beg, borrow or steal to get the hell out of Manchuria before the Russians got to them.

A young Matsuchiyo and her mother were the only ones from their family who survived and were able to escape the onslaught of the Soviets and return to Japan. 

Beautiful Matsuchiyo in the 1950s?

Back in Japan, her family had incurred such huge financial losses that the only way out for them was for Matsuchiyo to be literally sold to become a geisha. So a proper and professional geisha she became.

After the war, in the 1950s, many famous American actors and actresses came to Japan. They would often go to Atami as Atami is only about 2.5 hours from Tokyo (there was no Shinkansen Bullet Train until 1964 so going to Kyoto was a major endeavour back in those days - Now we can get to Atami from Tokyo in 40 minutes or so by Bullet Train). And this is where Edward G. Robinson comes in. I was talking to Matsuchiyo's son (my friend Ken) and he was showing me photos of his mom. He said to me, "Here's one of my mom and some famous American actor." 

I looked at the photo and couldn't believe it. There, in the photo, is Matsuchiyo and my mom and dad's favorite gangster actor: Edward G. Robinson! My jaw dropped to the floor!

"Your mom performed as a geisha for Edward G. Robinson in the 1950s!? Holy shit! That's unbelievable!!!!" I exclaimed. In his always understated and subdued manner, Ken quietly responded, "Yes. It would appear to be so..."

Matsuchiyo in white and standing behind her with his hand on her shoulder is Academy Award winning actor Edward G. Robinson (I'll bet they called him "Ed-san.")

I was even told a story about the time Matsuchiyo went to the British embassy to entertain some royalty and other big shots who were visiting Japan. You know, if you or I go to the embassy whether there are "important people" there or not, they always treat us like criminals and rifle through our shit and give us full body cavity searches and check our ID and everything? Well, to a geisha? No. They don't do that. So when Matsuchiyo showed up to the embassy they didn't even check her ID or her belongings or anything. She, as a geisha, just walks right past security, no questions asked. No one bats an eye.

What the hell? That's right. No checks. No nothing. Why? Because everyone in Japan knows that geisha do not carry ID (I am not kidding here either)....Isn't that wild?

Anyhow, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was meeting with these government people and the travel agency people and Matsuchiyo. Matsuchiyo told us that the publicity manager for the geisha house was to attend today's meeting, so we were sitting at the government office waiting. 

Of course since she told us it was the "publicity manager" we were expecting some dude in a suit to show up... But no!.... Oh my god! It wasn't a dude, but a beautiful girl!... I mean, a really beautiful geisha arrived! Her name was Miho. I think my jaw dropped to the floor when she walked into the room. Everyone was so surprised!

Miho and Matsuchiyo at Atami Government City Office - May 24, 2017

Well, we all sat in a conference room (in chairs, thank you very much) and had a nice meeting. Matsuchiyo and Miho didn't say two words the entire meeting; they didn't have to, the mere eloquence of their presence was quite extraordinary and had a profound effect on everybody. I mean, imagine having a business meeting and legendary people are sitting right next to you! Wow!

The meeting went well and we all came to a mutually agreeable deal. We all said our "goodbyes" and I left and headed home. The end of a satisfying day!

But there is an epilogue and one last "joke" for people who are into Japan and geisha and pop culture. This last tidbit blew my mind too.

At the meeting, the representative from the national travel bureau handed me her card. I looked at her name and was quite surprised. Her name is "Tomoe Kimura." Why was I so surprised? Let me explain.... (My twisted way of thinking...)

Here I am in a room at Atami (The Hollywood of Japan) meeting with high ranking government officials and there are two famous geisha sitting right next to me. The girl we meet from the government travel bureau hands me her card and her name is the same name as one of the most famous Enka singers of all time! Imagine if you sat down at a meeting and someone handed you a card and her name was, say, "Petula Clark" or "Nancy Sinatra"? Get it?

I'm with geisha at a meeting and the person I am talking to is named Kimura Tomoe???? WTF?????? Kimura Tomoe sang one of the most famous Enka songs in history! You can't make this stuff up!!!!! 

 Tomoe Kimura - "Naniwa Bushidayo Jinsei Wa"
If video doesn't play, click here:

I asked the Ms. Tomoe Kimura we were having a pleasant meeting with if she would sing her monster hit song, "Naniwa Bushidayo Jinsei Wa" at our event opening ceremony.... 

When everyone realized the connection and the joke about her name and that famous song, they all burst out laughing... Especially the two geisha! 

I was happy. 

You know, geisha usually entertain you and make you laugh... it's not everyday that I get to entertain the geishas and make them laugh!


If you got a kick out of this article, you might like yesterday's: The Spirit of Ecstasy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Charles Bukowski, Gary North and Me - A True Story

The original title of this blog post was: "Charles Bukowski, Gary North and Me - The Best Writers Don't Care What People Think," but I changed that because that makes it sound like I think I am one of the "best" writers.... I'm not... Top 10? Matbe (forgive the typo!)   ;)

Shit! I wish. I just hope I could become a fraction of what Bukowski or North are. They are great... They don't care what you think. The best writers, I mean; they don't care what people think. I read the famous ones a lot. I think, sometimes, I read new, young ones that could be really good or great someday.

Alas, I am not a great writer but I had a guy as a sort of teacher and advisor to me who is a great writer. In fact, I had two of them who really influenced me greatly. I'm not talking about some writer whom I have never come in to contact with excepting their written words in books I've bought, I'm talking about two who I have actually corresponded with who have written notes and letters to me. Those two guys really influenced me. Their names are Gary North and Charles Bukowski. Everyone knows Charles Bukowski today. He died a few years back. In the early 80's, he was a cult writer and few knew him. After he died, he became famous. Gary North is well known in political and historical circles. He is still alive. I expect that he will be very famous after his demise.

Gary North

Not to be too flippant, but dying is very bad for someone's health but I think it does wonders for an artist's or a writer's career... 

I will always be grateful that Gary North, years ago, would volunteer advice to me as to how to be a better writer as well as  helping me to publish my book. I'll get to Charles Bukowski in a minute.

One of the best pieces of advice Gary North ever gave me was something along the lines of "find your topic. Create a thesis. Study it well, write it and rewrite it. Rewrite it again after that. And finally, stick by your guns until someone can prove you wrong with facts or data. If new data comes up then rethink your position."

No, really. I don't give a shit if you buy this book or not. In fact, don't! The proceeds are supposed to go to a home for retired persons but my dad died a few years ago and these assholes from the publisher keep the money, I think.... I will put the entire thing for free online ASAP!

That was important advice for me. It was important because all writers  want people to like what they wrote. All writers want to think that they are correct in their thinking. All writers want to be popular and for everyone to like them.

But that is just dreaming and not realistic thinking whatsoever. The writer who writes in an attempt to please everyone - will be relegated to writing boring fiction and fantasy (which could be an honorable profession and much more profitable than writing nonfiction, by the way). 

The best writers, actually, are the ones who don't care what you or I think. The best writers know that readers really loving them or hating them with a passion is the best way to be. When people don't care either way, that's the death knell of any art. People must love you or hate you. That's what Charles Bukowski taught me. 

The following story about Charles Bukowski and me is pretty unbelievable - if you don't know me very well. I know my friend's will hear this story and say, "Yeah? That sounds exactly like something Rogers would do." I have lots of stories like this. Stories where I met the Ramones, Blondie, Arnold Schwartzneggar, George H.W. Bush, Phil Spector and a bunch of other people that I can't recall at the moment.... 

The underground 'zine: 60 Miles North
TRIVIA! That's my eldest daughter on the cover.

Anyway, here's the story about Bukowski and how he affected me... 

In the early 1980s my best friend, Jeff Hughart, and I started a free underground magazine in Southern California called Sixty Miles North. It was a punk underground rag that got pretty popular in a very short time. At that time, free underground magazines were a novel and new idea. Ours was one of the first.

At that time, there was this old man who was a popular poet and writer in the underground who (pardon my French) didn't give a sh*t what you thought. He had written a few books about how crappy his work life was and Jeff and I thought those books were awesome. His name was Charles Bukowski. Since my friend and I were ex-punk rockers we thought everything in mass pop culture and modern consumerist society was horrible crap so we gravitated towards "dark" writers and artists like Joy Division and Charles Bukowski. Bukowski's novels, we thought, showed total disgust and contempt for modern society and modern life and we liked that a lot.

It seemed it was obvious that Bukowski didn't care if people liked his writing or not. Bukowski thought everything was sh*tty and said so. That's why we thought he was way cool. 

Back in those days, Bukowski wasn't popular in the mainstream and was a cult artist. Bukowski lived in Los Angeles and it was well known that he liked the horse races. That was convenient for me because I lived near Los Angeles and so did my parents. In fact, my folks liked the horse races. They were horse race crazy too and, this is no exaggeration, by the time I was 15 years old, I had been to every race track in Southern California  a hundred times. As kids, we'd run around the horse races areas and knew all the best places to hide and play.

Great, eh? As a small child, my weekends were spent playing with other fucked up kids at the horse race track while my parents bet.... Now do you wonder why I am so screwed up today?

Jeff and I spent a lot of time on that magazine. It was our release from our jobs and it was fun. It was our creative outlet. We thought that we could get Bukowski to write for our underground magazine. 

I got a photo of Bukowski and showed it to my dad and mom and asked them if they had seen this guy down at the track. They weren't sure. Since Bukowski was a published author, and pretty old, I figured that he'd relax in the horse track's "Club House." In the Club House it is not crowded as tables cost a few dollars and one can sit, relax and not have to deal with massive crowds of people. Bukowski wrote that he hated the humanity at the horse track. From being there hundreds of times, I knew exactly what he meant, so from that, I also knew he must have sat in the Club House. (If you've ever been to the horse track you know the "smell of humanity": sweat, sh*t and stale cigar smoke....) In the Club House you could have your space and not be pushed and shoved. The Club House was relaxed. Like I said, my parents were regulars so they knew most of the people in the Club House. There were lots of famous retired actors and actresses there. The most famous one that I can remember was Mickey Rooney. He and my dad would often sit at tables next to each other and talk. 

My parents saw the photo but couldn't remember if they'd seen Bukowski or not. So, I went to look for him. Seriously. If you don't know about horse racing, this might seem impossible to do, but if you go to the track a lot and know that certain race tracks are closed when others are open and that there is only one Club House where the regulars hang out, you'd know it shouldn't be so hard to find some old guy betting on the horses. It's be akin to walking into a huge bar with, maybe, 200 customers or so and finding your guy.

Mickey Rooney played Mr. Yuniyoshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's

So, I went looking for Bukowski at the horse racing track... I figured if I found him, I could give buy him a coffee and hand him a magazine, and a stamped envelope addressed with our mailing address (this was way back before the days of the Internet) and ask him to jot down some junk and send it to us for publication in the magazine. 

At the track, I showed his photo to some of my parents friends, the workers there and Mickey Rooney. People said they recognized him but hadn't seen him for a while. I tried a half dozen or so different times but I never found Bukowski at the Club House. I gave up.

Jeff, on the other hand, tried an approached that I thought would never work in a million years. Jeff then sent him a letter out of the blue to his publisher and included the same sort of stamped envelope with the same tack that I tried. I figured my way at least had a small chance. I figured that if I could just speak to Bukowski personally, I could convince him to write for us. Jeff had other ideas.

In Jeff's envelope he included a sample of the magazine and a letter asking for a short poem or submission with a "Thank you." Jeff sent it off and we forgot about it.

Well, you can imagine our shock and surprise when the envelope came back to us from Bukowski two weeks later. We were thrilled... You can also imagine our disappointment when Bukowski hand wrote on our letter a "No thank you!" message saying he wasn't interested in writing for our magazine. We were, as Southern California people said back in those days, "Bummed out!"

But not to be deterred and being two guys with a huge sense of humor (and this is the part where you'll think, "That sounds like Rogers"), we decided to run his rejection letter as "Bukowski's writing for our magazine." I think we called it, "Rejection from Bukowski." We printed his rejection letter as is and told the story. We bragged how our "zine" had finally hit the "big time" as even famous writers like Bukowski refused to write for us (remember we were a punk rock underground magazine so that was cool!) I have that magazine around here somewhere, stacked inside of some boxes so I'll have to find it and show it to you sometime.

After that magazine came out, we, once again, sent one to Bukowski with another note. This time he wrote back to us something along the lines of, "I can't believe you guys are so hard up for material that you'd print my rejection letter." He then added two or three (I can't remember how many) short poems that we printed in the next issue.

U2's Bono is a wanker

From that I learned a great lesson in life and from Bukowski. The lesson in life I learned was anything is worth a try and you can't achieve the impossible until you try to do so and, you have to do what you want. Bukowski's writing, at that time, was very hard core and seemed extremely negative to me (OK. I was negative when I was in "punk mode.") I could have never guessed at that time he'd become so famous and popular. So popular, in fact, that wankers like Bono from U2 would try to increase his coolness factor by acting like he is a friend with Bukowski.

Oh, and that reminds me. I do recall one poem he wrote much later, after our initial correspondence. Here is what Bukowski wrote about the time when Bono from U2 called him: (this is from my memory so it isn't word for word):

Bukowski: I got a call from Bono the other day...
He said "Hi!" 
I said "Hi!" and asked how Cher was doing...
We didn't talk for 
long after

Isn't that hilarious? Bono from U2 is so conceited that he thinks everyone knows who he is so he calls Bukowski to kiss his a*s. But Bukowski is not impressed (or he really doesn't know) and puts him down with the comment about Sonny and Cher! Sensational!

Today, I still read material by Gary North and Charles Bukowski sometimes and other great and famous writers. Now, thanks to the Internet and blogging, I think I can spot almost immediately some of those people with potential to be good or even great writers someday. In the day of print and paper, it was more difficult and costly for writers to say what they wanted to say. They had to tone down their message. Now, thanks to blogging, writers can say what they want.

The best writers start off as arrogant and obnoxious. They have the raw material to become good someday. These are the young people, though, who need to read and study and refine and write and rewrite. These are the people who need to open their minds and realize that they have so much potential if only they'd throw away preconceived notions.

It is as a famous Zen story goes:

A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
Fellow bloggers, especially you that are young, become great writers! 
Here is my advice to you: Find your topic. Create a thesis. Study it well, write it and rewrite it. Rewrite it again after that. And finally, stick by your guns until someone can prove you wrong with facts or data. If new data comes up then rethink your position. 

Always, do not care too much what other people think... Good art is not democratic.

And, ALWAYS keep an open mind and realize that many of the ideas we believed at 25 we find out at the age of 50 are completely wrong.

Lastly, let me leave you with this quote (and get off my soapbox):

"We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 - and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?" - Arthur C. Clarke

Psst! Sonny and Cher (Bono) were way cooler than U2's poseur vocalist Bono could ever be! Bukowski was an old man in the eighties. He wouldn't know about U2. Here's the Bono he must have thought he was talking to...

And, when U2 Bono hung up the phone, do you think Bukowski cared? 
Nope. Most probably not.

For Ryu, Andrew, Jp and Allison

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! (

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:

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!

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:

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: 

Holy shit! This guy is incredible! Tons more amazing stuff on his Youtube page: (

#4) Alexandr Misko - Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

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

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:

#2) Stevie Riks: The Bee Gees Misheard Lyrics - Stayin Alive

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

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:

And if you like new music and alternative artists check out the weekly Top 3 here:

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."

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

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!

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?

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

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

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

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! ( 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:

Oh, my gosh! You can stream the entire album FOR FREE right here. Come and get it!!!!

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:

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