Lately I have started to go to karaoke more frequently. Karaoke in Japan is very different than what I was used to in America—for starters, the selection of English songs you’ll find at places like JOYSOUND is just as good (if not better) than back home.
Unlike the private rooms you rent with your friends in Japan, karaoke in America (and probably other Western nations) usually takes place at a public bar. This means you are singing mostly in front of people you don’t know, which makes many people nervous. Instead of using a tablet, signing up to sing a song is usually done with a karaoke DJ, who has a book listing the available songs and a paper to write your name and selection on. Having to wait for your turn to sing means that on a busy night you might only sing once or twice over the span of several hours!
While it can be fun to have strangers cheering for and singing along with you (when you sing well, that is), I think I prefer Japanese karaoke where you can sing many, many times throughout the night (and wear fun costumes, to boot).
新芽からとれるお茶をその年の一番茶として「新茶（shincha ；the first tea of the season）」と呼びますね。
I first found the music of Aya Gloomy on the Soundcloud page of the legendary record store Big Love Records located in Harajuku, Tokyo (which also has a record label that releases Aya’s music). I instantly fell in love with her yearning but not overly emotional, almost spectral voice at the eye of the storm of swirling, intoxicating electronic composition. Last month I had the opportunity to stop by Big Love Records while visiting Tokyo and I bought Aya’s first short release on vinyl, but just yesterday her debut album 「陸の孤島」 was released. I ordered the album online today, so while I excitedly wait for it to be shipped to me I’ll have her single 「静かに消える」on repeat.
Do you have a certain movie that you can watch over and over without getting tired of it? I really enjoy the movie “The Prestige”. The movie stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as rival magicians. The two men compete to be the best and most creative magicians in the world. The magicians will stop at nothing to be number one. They even risk their lives and hurt each others families to prove they are the best in their field. Even though I have seen the movie many times, the ending still surprises me each time I watch it. What about you? What movies do you like?