Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring, Tokyo, 2011

Radiation, hay fever-causing pollen and floral scents in the air—what a strange spring this is.

After the disaster, Tokyo streets are darker and the crowds are gone at night. Shops and eateries close early to save electricity. Bottled water and bread are gone from store shelves.

I haven't been to any shows since the quake struck, but I imagine they're more subdued, with a smaller audience. Going down to basement clubs while aftershocks are still frequent isn't an appealing prospect, and there's guilt about using electricity for performances at a time of shortage. Some musicians I know are already playing, some as charity events. But I'm not ready to go back just yet.

I've been listening to a lot of Judy and Mary, whose CDs had been gathering dust in my room before the quake. Maybe it's a reminder of a Japan that's gone, temporarily. Now people are serious, public-minded, careful. All good things, but I miss the excesses, the crazy city noise and lights, the drunk crowds, flirtations and jokes. And Judy Mary, as you see in this video, vocalist Yuki over-the-top coquettish, the guitar and bass hyperactive, distilled all that energy into the form of a band.

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