Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Food post #1: Watakushi no kioku ha tashika naraba...

While the primary purpose of my trip is to see the U2 concert, I am very excited about eating some very good food while in Japan. I'm not much for expensive food. Just a little White Gyoza and I'll be happy. (Thanks to Expatriate Kate for the succulent White Gyoza photo.)

The first time I took my wife to White Gyoza we traveled all the way to Tennocho in Yokohama from our apartment near Waseda in Tokyo. I had been talking the place up for years. It was a Wednesday. They're closed on Wednesday. I've got the whole mess on video -- walking up to the restaurant, wondering why things looked so dead, reading the "we're closed on Wednesday's" sign. Oh man. I'm getting mad just remembering it. I did get to take her there a few weeks later. All the way back down to Yokohama, but it was worth it.

I Googled "White Gyoza" a few years ago and found that they have a store in Tokyo, not far from where we lived. Oh man...

White Gyoza-ya-san, here I come. Loyal customer since 1991.
Up next: Hashigo

Shout, shout, you're inside out...

April ’97 – Las Vegas. Pop Mart. “Babyface” girlfriend and I had since married and we lived just down the street from a music store on 7th East & 21st South in Salt Lake City. They were having a Pop Mart midnight release party. We went over in our pajamas. She won a prize package from radio station X96 to go see the opening show of the tour in Las Vegas. Our seats were on row 50. The set design of Pop Mart eclipsed the quality of the music on the album, but I remember “Miami” was great – very energetic.
(Photo courtsey Willie Williams Live Entertainment Design)

Monday, February 27, 2006

You make me feel like I can fly...

August ’93 – Wembley Arena, London. Zooropa. I told my dad about the Vegas show and he wanted to see it so we flew to London the following August to see U2 play in the famed Wembley arena. What a show! General Admission at Wembley is an almost communal experience. I’m one of those U2 fans who actually likes the Zooropa album. Almost every song. I remember they played Babyface because my girlfriend (now my wife) really liked the song.

Lights go down / It's dark...

I've seen U2 in concert seven times. April 4th will be number eight. Some thoughts over the next few days about the first seven.

November ’92 – Las Vegas. ZooTV was amazing. Very elaborate set. TV screens and dancing cars. My buddy Ryan and I drove to Vegas from Salt Lake in my dad's little red pickup. We showed up at the show and our tickets weren't at willcall like they should have been. I went to the media window and I told them I was with the local CBS TV station. They gave us photographer passes but those wouldn't get us in the show, only to the photog area. So we bought tickets from a scalper. In all the mess, we missed opening acts Public Enemy and The Sugarcubes, but ended up with good seats for the main event. I had just returned five days earlier from two years of serving a mission in Tokyo. This show was sensory overload for someone who hadn’t listened to music or watched TV for two years. I wanted more…

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The more you see, the less you know...

Ok, some background.
A friend of mine who works in the music industry in Tokyo came to Austin to visit a few weeks ago -- on his way to the Grammy's. He mentioned that he might have a spare ticket to see U2 in their upcoming show at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on April 4th. An avid U2 fan, my interest was piqued, but what to do about my family? How could I convince my wife of 10 years to support me jet-setting about to see a rock show while she stayed home negotiating peace agreements between our 4 yr old and 2 yr old and changing the diapers soiled by our two month old?

Reciprocity rules are in full effect. I've made an offer to my wife and she'll get a trip of her chosing. She's thinking of something really big. But bigger than U2 in Yokohama? I'm pretty sure I'll get the better end of this bargain.

So in the coming days, I'll be sharing the plans for my trip and the details of preparation. I'll also reminisce about past u2 concerts I've seen and past trips to Japan. I'll also see what I can find out about Japan-specific merchandise like t-shirts, programs, posters, etc. that I might be able to pick up for people along the way.

Of course I'll have lots of photos from Japan when we get to that point in time.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Going to see U2 in Japan on April 4, 2006!

Want me to pick up some U2 gear that has been localized to the Japanese market? Let me know!