Sunday, July 22, 2012

Street Sessions

On Friday night, Takuya and I decided to do some street performing in the Tanuki Kouji area of Susukino.  Actually, Takuya has been wanting to "busk" (I did not know this English word, until Takuya told me that they use it in England, where he lived for a year and a half.  Haha, Takuya's teaching me English!) for a while, and I kept delaying it.  Mainly because I was nervous about it.  What if no one would stop to listen to us?

Hold up, let me explain a little bit about the Tanuki Kouji area, for you folks not living in Sapporo.  Tanuki Kouji is about 6 blocks of shops of all kinds: specialty stores, restaurants, bars, etc.  It's like a strip mall, but with a covered walkway.  On Fridays and Saturdays, when the stores close for the evening, people will come out and perform - singers, dancers, what have you.  Lots of people are walking by going to bars or restaurants, so it's a great place for street performing.

Whenever I think of street performers, I think about New York - keyboardists with dancing statues around them, classical violinists, tap dancers.  You'll never find a more colorful group of performers than in New York City.

But I found out that Sapporo's got quite a colorful group of street performers as well.

We decided to set up in front of a store called Real Monkey, a store that sells vintage American clothing (thus the huge flag above us - I thought it appropriate).  Across from us was a guy who was singing pop songs from a CD.  He had the whole get-up: a headset microphone, portable amp, and a BOA.  His dance moves told me that this was a man who was a star in his mind, and the rest of the world just didn't get it.  I could've swore I took a picture of him, but now I can't find it.  Trust me, he was magical.    And that worried me, because I thought that maybe he'd be too much of a distraction and take all the potential audience.  Shoot, even Nathan walked away from us to video the guy.  Thankfully, he left at 10:00.  But honestly, he could have stayed, because I found our own secret weapon.

my secret weapon

And it was this lady.

I noticed her dancing to our music across the way, so I decided to invite her to dance right next to us.  She never spoke a word, just interpretive danced to our songs for about 30 minutes or so.  Then she went on her way.  It was awesome having her next to us, because people would stop to see this strange woman in a mask dancing, and then listen to us.  I'm a genius!  I must find this woman again - I want her at all our Lives, haha!

We have laser eyes

As the night went on, some of our friends came by to support us.  Having them there was a huge encouragement to us, and most of them even stayed the whole 2 hours or so that we performed.   But we also met new friends.

This kid stopped to listen to us, and I noticed he had a guitar with him and asked him if he wanted to play with us.  He replied that he'd only been playing the guitar for a few days, and Takuya helped him with one of our songs.  Afterward, he went on to tell us that he's from Hokkaido and that he's a writer and has decided to walk through all of Japan and write about his experiences.  Like Jack Kerouac, but walking, I guess, haha.  Maybe we'll be in his book!

At about 11- something, we decided to call it quits.  We were standing in front of another band, when they started playing "Rolling in the Deep".  They stopped suddenly, and I told them I knew that song.  He said, sorry, but it was too high for him.  My friend then told them that I could sing it.  Next thing I knew, I was singing Adele's song with this band - two guys playing guitar and one on percussion (with Takuya playing the tambourine).  It was crazy and spontaneous, and lots of fun!  They started singing harmony with me, and you know I was in heaven.  When we finished, I jokingly told them they were my other band.  Takuya was not too keen on that, as evidenced in the picture below.

I was just kidding, Takuya, you know it's only us!!!

All in all, it was so much fun, and I'm so glad we did it.  We didn't have lots of people stop and listen, but we didn't care.  Takuya and I were having fun, and enjoying just singing with each other.  I think sometimes, we both get so caught up in sounding perfect and getting everything right, that we forget to just connect with each other.  When we were street performing, I wasn't worrying about any of that, I was just having a good time.  Even when my voice cracked a few times.

So get ready, masked lady, we'll be back!!!

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