Wednesday, October 18, 2006

End of the Century

This past weekend saw the closing of the beyond legendary NYC punk haven CBGBs. On Saturday nite, Debbie Harry smiled at me from stage and then HD Manitoba from the Dictators assured us all that NYC will always have rock n' roll as long as he's around. And it was great meeting all the characters on line and at the gallery even though I didn't get to see Patti Smith. Special thanks to Matt Pless for the acoustic punk jam.


(Me an' the Captain at CBGBs; Dead Man Walking show November 2005)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What goes on.

I have another meeting with Freckles Studio next week to discuss the progress of my new website for Pacifiction Records. So far it's looking good! And I've already made tentative plans to leave for Japan on December 1st this year. Hopefully I will have enough time and money to visit Taiwan in January or February for Chinese New Year. In the meantime I will be arranging things between indie labels in Taiwan and setting up my Paypal account.

Now I'd like to stay away from deep political discussions and focus on this new business venture of mine, but I saw a very provocative and emotional documentary about people in Japan and Korea who are fighting to protect their environment as well as their peaceful way of life. I was invited to a screening of Yukihisa Fujimoto's documentary "Marines Go Home!" The film discuss the damage to the ecology, the disruption of daily life and the accidental killings of innocent civilians due to the unnecessary, and arguably, unlawful US occupation of Korea and Japan. Stroll with a man in Hokkaido who refuses to leave his home in the middle of a training camp, celebrate with Korean villagers of Maehyang-ri as they see the closure of an air force bombing range and share the distress of Okinawan protesters as attempt non-violent means to stop a survey for a new military base at Henoko. It's truly chilling to see these devoted environmentalists take their canoes out to sea, block the surveyors, and even struggle with their own stance of non-violence while they are being pulled into the water from the survey stands and threatened by those working for the Japanese government. Fujimoto-San is taking this film on tour across the US to various universities. I was lucky to catch it last night in NYC at Bluestockings Bookstore.

Special thanks to my Japanese tutor Yuko who invited me out for the screening as well as dinner with the director, his crew and some students from Okinawa University traveling with him. ( By the way, I met Yuko at an Afrirampo show at Tonic last year, just to tie this all in with music.) As far as documentaries go, this one is a bit choppy cutting back and forth between the three locales, but the true-to-life filming gives the outsider, whether they are an American from Nebraska or a Japanese Mainlander, vital insight into these critical issues.