A day in the life


It is back to training, on several levels. Really it is all a continuation, the focus just shifts from time to time. Anywho…
I got up and out of the house early on Sunday. I went off to do Tai Chi at the Ginger after doing some Zazen at home. I got there and finished just as it started to sprinkle rain. It was a good session, although short and the killing of maybe only one mosquito.
Then home breakfast and a short nap. Like I said I got up early and it was to be a long day. 
My plan was to go to Kishiwada and do some Kyudo before heading to another part of Osaka to sit in with a new friend’s band at a local club.
When I arrived at the dojo I noticed that the sign-in sheet was not on the reception counter. Yeah I notice things like that, it is training. When I saw this I thought, hmmmm, something was up. However unknown, I continued up to the dojo expecting to find something or nothing. Maybe it was closed or empty.
I was surprised to find it busy.. I said my greetings and found out it was a small event. A Day Kai.? I said Tai Kai but was corrected to a dae(sp) Kai. Not sure what the difference is. It was mentioned I should change and join, I think, that is what was said.
Anyway I watched. I did the watch and learn thing, that I always forget the name of. I spoke with a few people and just observed. I did ask about the length of the Kimono. I had just purchased one and it was way longer than I thought. I was expecting just a jacket , but it was a full length Kimono. I was told that was ok. I also notice a while into the event someone was trying on a Kimono and it also was full length. Ok, I can relax about that.
There was a short meeting after the Dae Kai about the Tai Kai in Aug. I was waved over to join in. My assignment for the Tai kai is to do photography with another person. We are to take pictures for the Home page. Perfect job for me!
After that I took off and headed down to the night club!
On the train ride to the club, I needed to change trains from the slow local one I was on to a faster express. At the stop were I got off to change I notice another guy get off another car. He also had a guitar case on also shoulder. It turns out to be my friend also heading to the club. Yokatta, that took the pressure off me to find this club. We rode the rest of the way together. It was a pretty simple trip.
When we arrived at the club, the owner had not opened yet. I met the drummer outside, he was also waiting. A short while later the owner shows up and we all go it and setup.
The place was small, smaller than I thought. We all talked for a while, then everyone had a task. The Bass player showed up, and a Short while later we were figuring out what songs we had in common.
We played, it went fairly well. They wanted me to sing more, I wanted to play more. I had my set of harmonica and also had my acoustic Bass. Even with the band having a Bass player I figured I could just jam and fill spots. In a way it is like doing Tai Chi push hands. One listens to the other person (s) blend with that, and look for openings. In Tai Chi to attack, in music as well, with sound instead of a palm. In Kyudo it is the Hikiwake, the merge. kai is also searching weakness, spots, adjusting Jumonji, (fingers/cold). The arrow (note) is released to fill the space in the song, in the Mato… or Whatever, I digress
We did a few more songs, some of them actu.ally sounded pretty good. I started singing a few times on incompatible notes with the song , but I corrected and moved on. The few people there liked what we were doing. We ( the band ) figured in the beginning, there were not going to be people there so we would just play for ourselves. Later people, a few , besides band leaders friends did. They seemed to like the music. A couple of people gave me the standard questions, otherwise everyone was nice. This being a hidden away little bar, so figured these people were the locals. One guy gave me a paper to read we wrote. It said and read like this:
So I look at it and think, What the Fukushoma Is this? I was quiet though and just read out loud. The guys smiles and goes, yeah yeah!
Me: ?????
Him, smiling : better dead than red
Me: ???
Him, smiling : communist, better dead than red!
Me: ohhhhh
He goes off smiling and happy. I have another drink and ticker with my Bass.
The rest of the night was good, we played, and did good on a couple of songs did so so on a couple others. I was unable to hear my Bass, other than me hitting the strings, nothing from the monitor. So that kind of sucked! I had to really pluck the string to hear anything I was playing, so my fingers were really starting to hurt by mid-set. I did not play as much as I wanted. I was trying and experiment for the next Jam in Kobe. Musical wise it was working, but technical wise it was not. I therefore switched back to just doing Harmonica and vocals, like I was doing in the first set.
It was a fun evening. Everyone thanked me for sitting in. I am glad I was able. At this point it is not about making money, it is about playing. The reward is the music and getting out there making it live. This was a comfortable venue. Sort of reminded me of my beginning days in Hollywood, doing cafe houses.
I now have a taste of the local blues bar scene. We did two sets, starting at 7:30. I think we rolled out of there around, 10:pm. I made the train comfortably and had an easy ride home. It is also the second club I have seen that the band members only have to bring their axe ( instruments) , sticks if you are the drummer. Everything is already setup. In the states when we did clubs/bars, anything really, we had to setup and take down. Here and the club in Kobe we walk in, plug on and turn on. Nice! It may not be like this at all the clubs, but it is nice!
I will expand my club exposure next month and visit a known, well visited Blues Jam Spot. I will have a workable song list by then. With some more exposure perhaps I can make a hookup with a permanent band.

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