Reporting… The 2007 J-rock Matsuri


I just recently changed my blog URL, for two main reasons:

1. I decided to come up for a theme for my blog. My theme is ‘Tokyo in Singapore’, and reflects my mild obsession over Japan and all things Japanese. While I don’t live in Tokyo, the least I could do is find things similar to Tokyo here in Singapore, while is surprisingly numerous and prominent. All this encompasses ‘Our World’

I woke up at 8am this morning after a good 6 hours of sleep (returned from karaoke with my parents at 2am last night), well prepared for today’s big activity. Before that, I had to get today’s worth of revision done; the new Integration topic in A. Math. I had to get up to speed with all I missed during the times in class I whiled away doing planning work on my upcoming series of short stories (more about that later).

2. While I was signing up an account for dannychoo.com, I realized my old URL was too long to fit in the ‘Website’ box. :P

Today was the day of the 2007 J-rock Matsuri, held outside Orchard Cineliesure mall. I contacted my buddy for the day, Shaun, only to find that he had been up to something all early morning and was ready to hit the sack by the time I called. Boo him. Looks like I’m on my own.

I contacted Darkmirage too, but he never replied. :P

With the help of Google Earth I drew up a route to get to the venue. Google Earth is a really wonderful thing, it is.

My journey begins like most journeys to the train station, through the park on my bicycle. Nothing out of the ordinary, and I was blasting Muse on my mp3 player as I cycled. Risky, but entertaining. I get the feeling that I’m going to do a lot of cycling if I do reside in Tokyo, relying on my bicycle to get to certain places (work, public baths) as fast as possible while evading the heavy traffic in Shibuya or Akihabara. As I’ve said on my KH blog so many times before, I enjoy cycling a lot. I’m very intimate with my bicycle, and with so many years of experience I can maneuver it expertly with only my left hand, leaving my right hand free to sratch my back, tinker with my mp3 player, or even hi-five a random person down the street.

From Tampines station I ride the densha to Somerset, of course transferring at City Hall station. A bit of walking later and I’ve reached Orchard Cineliesure.

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Not exactly what I’d expected. It was pretty small, and the band playing when I got there wasn’t exactly the best J-rock thing I’ve heard. That’s alright, I’ve already long since accepted typical Singaporeans as being substandard in all areas, and covering J-rock songs, and even composing original J-rock songs, are no exception.

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The actual place is tiny, and hot, even in the shade. Most of the audience was outside the barricade.

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(Left)Aiiiii can give you Gatsbyiiiii Gatsbyiiiii Gatsbyiiiii…

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The tape is too narrow.

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Shaun told me that majority of the Goth Lolita cosplaying community puff cigs. The sign was quite clear to see, and the cosplayers weren’t sucking sticks, but the other plain-clad spectators were.

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One of the better performances I caught, only because they were doing a song I knew (Dir En Grey’s Red Em). They covered it pretty well, and the singer remarkably sounded a lot like Kyo. I couldn’t hear the guitar solo though, as the drums were too loud. That’s the same problem I always encounter when jamming with my band at Paradise Jamming Studios.

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The emcee’s got the moe voice down, but not the language itself. She says ‘Matsuri’ like ‘Mat-su-ri’.

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They don’t do J-rock. Wait a minute, I found something more interesting. Let’s take a look…

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Ah. Sweet.

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Most of the cosplayers there tend to crowd around Orchard Cineliesure’s main entrance, mostly for the air-con, a cooling relief from the sweltering heat outside. I really pity them. One of them had even donned a pink snowcoat for the event. Silly girl.

I decided to check out Orchard Cineliesure too, as I never never been in there before. By this time my lousy Amconics camera had run out of batteries, so no more pictures. I checked out this tiny Otaku shop called Rapid Culture at the third floor and found a neat 5-piece SuzuHaru figurine set at $22. If I had that much money on me then I’d have bought it straight away. Oh, the poor boy I am.

I did have $7 though, but I didn’t have enough brains, so I decided to dine in the Kobayashi stall at the basement level instead of the Yoshinoya at the first. The Gyuudon they served there had miso soup all over the tray, gravy spilling over the rice bowl, a tasteless piece of cauliflower, and tough chunks of beef.

I removed the chopsticks from the paper cover bottom tips first, then realized, much to my dismay, the top ends were joined together, like they always used to with the older wooden hawker centre chopsticks (I’ve gotten used to the newer ‘two seperate sticks in plastic pockets’ version). But, it’s all part of Japanese tradition, so I embraced it with pride and love.

What I really did was focus all my energies into break the bond into two equally flat pieces. For the longest time I had never managed to get it right, and one end would always be bigger than the other. Watching Azumanga Daioh has taught me that this is a sign that I’m clumsy. Quite true, now that I realize it.

It came off perfectly, by the way. I celebrated my newfound skill by wolfing down the pathetic $7 Gyuudon.

I’m never eating there again.

I decided not the stick around any longer. After exploring the rest of Orchard Cineliesure and aweing at how grand it all was, especially as I ascended the top few escalators, I headed back home. On the way back from the station I took a detour to the nearby Community Centre to buy a top-up card for my phone and the check out the Japanese Language classes there which would be commencing in August. I plan to take up lessons as I find I’m not going to go very far any time soon at the rate of how my self-learning is going, and I need something that I can unwind from my hectic revision every Sunday.

Then it’s back to home. I have never yearned for my own bed so much, apart from those other times when I’d stay outdoors for over 12 hours at a time, which is rare.

That’s all for now. I’ll update on the Short Story thing later on.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Reporting… The 2007 J-rock Matsuri

  1. Squee

    I’m sure I was to your left when you took the pic of the girl in the X T-Shirt :P
    I was taking pics too but had to leave early…

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