Friday, July 30, 2010

SPECIAL THANKS and the future of this blog

Well… it’s been over ten months since I arrived in Japan and so many things have happened that it’s hard to say if I will ever be the same person again. I owe this year to a lot of things/people, so I thought it only fitting to write up a “special thanks” list to commemorate all the things/people that made these ten months possible (and totally awesome). If I forget anyone/anything, I apologize, you are still appreciated. Anyways, here are all the things/people that I want to thank.

First of all, a special thanks to my host family. You gave me a place to stay, a great room, you cooked meals for me, and even did my laundry. Sure, sometimes I hated your food (my hatred for Japanese chicken is well known), but you never protested, complained, or made me feel like a nuisance. And you never told me what to do or stopped me from doing what I wanted. There was no curfew and you didn’t even question my frequent habit of disappearing on weeknights and not showing up till well after midnight. Definitely a special thanks is needed.

Special thanks to my own parents, who had the difficult job of sitting on the other side of the world wondering what the hell I was doing. Still, they never stopped me from doing anything or expressed any disappointment in any of my choices. They kept in contact with me through e-mail and Skype and were always 100% supportive. They even read this blog! A huge special thanks to them!

Special thanks to my friend Ashley for becoming my Tokyo Companion. She gets a special thanks for being my concert buddy and surviving Dir en grey pits with me. We were somehow able to keep each other amused through endlessly boring indies events, and we took all the same classes at school during our second semester to avoid succumbing to an early death via classroom boredom. Ashley’s love of seeing multiple indies events a week (and my inability to not come along) probably killed my grades at school, but I feel like that deserves a spot in the “special thanks” section because Ashley probably helped me pry out that massive stick I had stuck up my ass for the past three years. I needed a semester to be bad and do whatever the hell I wanted, and Ashley helped me achieve that. I think I came out of it a much looser person than I started.

A special thanks to my friend Caroline for being hilarious and helping me out with tickets for D’espairsRay and The GazettE and keeping concerts amusing. Thanks to you, I was able to rekindle my love of D’espairsRay!

Special thanks to my friends back home as well, for keeping in touch with me via the internet. You guys didn’t let me stray too far away, and thank goodness for that. I really enjoyed the random Skype IM sessions, even if Evan had a tendency to catch me right as I was about to leave for school, lol. You guys kept up with me on Facebook or through e-mail and even read my blog sometimes. A special thanks to all of you (you know who you guys are!) and I'm going to see you all real soon!!!

Also, a special thanks to the staff of Orchestrated Chaos for answering my incessant questions, never being impatient with me, and always being so kind and friendly at concerts!

I also want to thank some of the bands from this year, even if they won’t read this.

First of all, as always, a very special thanks to Dir en grey for being one of the best things that ever happened to me. You guys rocked my socks off again this year with some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen in my life. You guys continue to be completely amazing and I’m honored to be your fan. Kyo, Die, Kaoru, Toshiya, Shinya… I love all of you.

A special thanks to the following major bands:

D’espairsRay, for being the most lovable idiots in the world and providing us both wonderfully catchy tunes as well as general hilarity. I may have fallen off your wagon for awhile, but I’m glad to be back on. You guys are fun, dark, ridiculous, and entertaining all at once. Special thanks for being my first concert in Japan and for later providing me with one of the best concert experiences I ever had.

MERRY, for being one of the most lovably eccentric bands I know of. You were always completely unpredictable every time I saw you and you are, so far, the only band that has ever given me two full concerts in one day. Your energy combined with your strange brand of grotesque and class gave me some great times.

D, for being fun and hilarious. And for writing the 7th Rose album this year. You guys were so much fun in concert and you never failed to surprise me or leave me with fantastic stories.

A special thanks to the following indies bands…

UnsraW, for being amazing and showing me that indies does not have to equal bad music. In fact, it can equal awesome music. A huge thanks to Yuuki for providing me an odd source of inspiration over the last couple of months. Thanks a million, big guy. Never stop being you.

Ha;qch, for being a lot of fun and giving me some great times. Especially Chihiro, who’s blog was a constant source of amusement to me. A special thanks to Chihiro for spitting on me at my first indies concert ever.

Valluna, for being both entertaining and sexy and providing some of the best one-mans I ever saw.

VAJRA, for being so bizarrely lovable. You guys weren’t afraid to show us who you really were under the costumes and make-up, and you guys loved breaking the rules as much as possible. I suppose, in that sense, I just loved your spirit as people, and the strange bond the five of you have with each other.

Shout-outs also go to Re:dis, Kaya, and exist†trace . And Nesting Girl for being fucking hilarious.

I also want to thank some random things. Special thanks to…

Pure Gummies, for being delicious.

All things that are green-tea flavored.

Jonathan’s endless drink bar with green tea lattes.

Japanese KFC for having the best chicken ever.

Hippo the neighborhood cat.

The Akita I named Yuuki (after Yuuki from UnsraW) who lived next door and was always sleeping under the car. You made me smile every morning while I was still mad at the world for waking me up.

O1O1 One for having the best goddamn clothes ever.

Like an Edison and other stores that sell JRock goods.

The massive cluster of hosts that stood outside Don Quijote every night with their fancy clothing and gravity-defying hair.

The karaoke place in Shinjuku for having a great staff.

The karaoke place in Yotsuya for being cheap but surprisingly high quality. A special shout-out to the completely fucked up staff working there. You guys were the absolute dregs of society but you always recognized the music Ashley and I sang and gave us adorably knowing smiles.

Namja Town for having the best gyouza and ice cream in the same building.

Japanese people in general, for being really weird and apparently not being ashamed of that.

And, of course...

A HUGE SPECIAL THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO'S BEEN READING AND/OR FOLLOWING MY BLOG! Your comments and e-mails were always welcome and I thank you so so so much for the encouraging words I received! Sometimes I wanted to quit, but all my readers helped inspire me to continue! Even if you never left a comment, thank you so much for reading my blog! Whether you read only one post, two posts, or all posts, a special thanks to anyone who read my blog and enjoyed it! Knowing many people read this blog gave me huge encouragement to continue! I hope everyone enjoyed reading the blog as much as I enjoyed writing it!

As for the future of this blog...

Well, I certainly don't want the blog to roll over and die just because I'm leaving Japan. At this point, I've become so attached to the blog that I think it would be almost painful not to update it occasionally. It's already confirmed that I'll be seeing D'espairsRay in Chicago on August 9th and Dir en grey on the couple tour with Apocalyptica in Chicago on September 1st. I will undoubtedly write full reports for both those shows! Besides that, I might blog occasionally about whatever comes my way. I'd like to think the adventures won't stop now and that I'll find more reasons to write all sorts of things on the blog. The world of music never stops turning, so I'm sure I'll find plenty of things to blog about!

Also, if anyone is attending the D'espairsRay or Dir en grey shows in Chicago, come say hi! I don't bite, and I might bring cookies! Never be afraid to come over and say hello!

Once again, a huge special thanks to everyone! You all made it happen!

Thank you so much!!!

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3


  1. Dear Jamie,
    this almost made me cry :') something is really ending. But please keep writing this your unique blog! It will still be interesting because I have never been in USA and I think your writing style is so funny and special that you could write interesting even about shit hehheh :D So please keep going on!

  2. Jamie,
    I'm with other anon. Keep writing, words can't even describe how much I lol'd while readin this blog. Though I found it pretty late into your trip, I read pretty much the entire blog back into 2009.
    That's how fracking awesome it was.
    I hope you keep blogging, japanese music is slowly but surely migrating to N.A. You'll have plenty of material XD

    Ps, I'm seeing D'espairsRay on August 11th. Don't know much about them, but their new album sounds nice and thanks to your blog I know they're awesome pervs.
    Thanks for introducing me to good music,
    a reader

  3. Jamie, I agree with the others continue to write, your so much better than most reports I read out there.

    Thanks for introducing me to VAJRA. I would have not known about them if it wasn't for you. I've also set aside a savings account so that I can go to Japan, I might be old (I'm 24 right now) when I get there but I will still rock out!

    So basically I just want to say is Keep going!

  4. JAMIE!

    I am jealous of your ability to keep up your blog. Mine flopped over and died after about 4 entries abroad (before Feb was even over i think). It makes me really happy to see these other comments of people who don't know you personally, but still really enjoy your blog! I'm glad the word got out and I can't wait to see when you get home! We can bake cookies together for D'espairsray HAHAHAHAHA.

    Safe trip home and I'll see you soon!

    I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
    <3 Dylan

  5. thanks for such a great blog! im going to see the dir en grey/apocalyptica tour, too, but in st louis. please keep updating! i love your writing style!

  6. Thank you so much Jamie!

    I almost cried reading this, and I must admit I did cry a few posts back...

    I will continue to follow you're blog and support you!

    I thank all the people you thanked as well, for providing me the opportunity to read about all you're freakin awesome experiences!

    I'm sure that you can keep this blog going, because you're writing abilities are pure win! Say a good bye to Japan for me!

  7. Thank YOU for writing a great blog!!! ^-^

    I love your sarcasm and funny comments~~ :DD
    and I love your posts about indies concerts XD

    keep writing and I'll definitely keep reading! :D