Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just Music

Just checking in from the events following the evenings of the Reggae Festival / Harajuku and Akihabara adventures, this entry is looking at the ‘
駅前 (eki mae)’ Literally translated as ‘The Station’s Front,’ the surrounding area is a bustling mini market, and a veritable minefield of cheap restaurants karaoke places, and shoe stores. The ABC Mart shoe store is particularly close to my heart as it is a wondrous place for shoeless men (such as myself) to purchase aesthetically pleasing inexpensive footwear.

Mooooving along, a staple of the nightlife scene in the eki mae, is Karaoke. Derived from the Japanese term, loosely translated, empty orchestra, karaoke is the best way to let your inhibitions go, and belt out a couple of tunes. The usual Karaoke spots around the Mukagaoka Yuen ekimae area is Shirokiya, MOKO MOKO, and U Style. These places all provided unique aspects to the experience such as a Hawaiian theme, free ice cream and also, free drinks. But the most important thing about Karaoke, is the people you go with. A good time is always had when with good people.
The TORA Nightlife Karaoke Experience went as any karaoke event does. There are the quiet ones that don’t sing too much at the beginning, the loud ones who have lost all semblance of tune, the good ones who let their hearts out, and the bad ones who…well that’s pretty much everyone, but in this setting none of that makes a difference.
Song selection wise, many of us stuck to the familiar choruses of recent popular artists, particularly ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga, and ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift. Some of us ventured into time honoured classics such as Queen's ‘We Will Rock You,’ “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, a few of us even went so far to try our hand at some Japanese songs. Karaoke was a huge success with the smooth styling’s and stirring renditions by one Dan Blacklock, and the heart wrenching duet of ‘Only Human’ as made famous by K, done by Ken and Ovid being the key moments of the evening.

Things we learned: Karaoke etiquette? Sing when the mic is passed to you, try and sing at least one song, if you don’t know it, don’t sing, don’t sing the same song repeatedly, and don’t sing a song made amazing by someone else in your group.

Overall Karaoke is a great place to unwind after a long day or week. The karaoke places here are provide you with fun and excitement for all, and if you are in the area, Shirokiya, MOKO MOKO, and U Style will take care of all your singing needs.
*sigh*. For the betterment of the blog, two videos that will no doubt lower my self esteem, and make me lose what little cool points I had left. Ladies and gentlemen, yours truly singing ‘Get Down.’ 

One of these days, I must find out what it is that makes, and please, I know I can’t sing, and no, I was stone sober.. you can only imagine what I would be like derelict. More on that next week. until then, ‘Fall ForYou’by the Secondhand Serenade.

In conjunction with our focus on Music near the ekimae, we were invited to a small live concert (ライブ) by Ovid’s conversation partner and guitarist extraordinaire, Yusuke. The place was called Stargic room and was just a stone’s throw away from Mukogaoka Yuen station. The concert itself was free but we were required to purchase one drink for 600 yen. As sizes go, the Live House was quite small, but had a large standing area in front of the stage. As we entered, we were graciously greeted by the staff and were given glowing bracelets and glow sticks, that said (きてくれてありがとう) on them it was super neat.

The music was absolutely phenomenal, this being my first live concert I was blown away by the skill level of the bands and how good the music sounded. Some of the songs the band played were actually Covers of really famous Japanese songs, such a Sorafune by Tokio.  

One thing I noticed during the concert was that it was really more a giant collection of friends who came to support their friends in the band other than fans attending a concert. Many people whom I had met previously during the Welcome party showed up, it was almost like everyone in the room knew each other.

We came, we saw, we cheered (Went totally crazy when Yusuke went on the stage), and most importantly we laughed. It was truly an unforgettable experience and to top it all off we even got a shoutout by Yusuke (I forgot when he actually said but it was something along the lines of (

Whether it be, singing famous songs with friends or actually listening to a live performance, the ekimae is a strangely unique place that seems to lend itself to everyone’s night time entertainment needs, especially Roman’s.

Team Music Out

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