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Hello Japan! is swinging into 2010. January’s topic is ‘Music to my ears’. I found it really hard to decide what musical subject to concentrate on, so I am presenting a 5 part series of ‘Music Lessons’ on Fridays. Welcome to #4 ! And enjoy your weekend :)

Little did I know when I went to the La Veuve Moustachue – Oorutaichi concert, that I would be absolutely thrilled by the evening’s closing act: dj maho☆thaidisco! I haven’t really seen her perform because I was dancing in the back of the Worm bar all through her gig. Well, I took a peek once or twice and saw her jumping up and down to the music. Cute!

Maho☆thaidisco, also known as LAKILAKI (and aodifi, and nijibenten), has her own style called zunppa techno. Yes, I’m a techno grrl ;) I haven’t been able to find out much about the genre, except that it is named after the way Japanese people describe the rhythm: “zunzun pappa”. Right. Anyone out there who can elaborate on that???

In 2000 miss Ishikawa travelled the tropics, looking for ‘dangerous dance music’. That’s when she discovered a good-naturedly Asian but strange, drugged out, chaotic rhythmic percussion infested disco with Thai vocals, and maho☆thaidisco was born — first as a dj, but more and more she mixed in a personal sound. Now her music isn’t limited to Thai techno anymore.

LAKILAKI creates her own accompanying art. It’s a real colourful kind of collage work combined with drawing. Check out her myspace page if you feel up to it :\ To be honest it kind of hurts my eyes, but my age gauger is jumping to 40 this year so what can you expect? LOL

At the end of the evening in Rotterdam I bought the cd Sumubasyo Kirumono Karamatta from Ms. DJ herself ;) There’s a short track on it called Tilbulg Bell, which is a recording of church bells in the Dutch town Tilburg, where maho☆thaidisco has played before. Since I don’t want to shock you with anything too chaotic, I’ve picked one of the more ambient songs I danced on. Here’s Wave (をかさねれば). Enjoy!

You can find a video of a shorter version @ YouTube.

The Great Wave of Kanagawa

The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai


Quickpicnicbento #87Today’s bento-for-two was assembled in a hurry before going on a 16 km (10 mile) hike across the Kampina nature reserve (walking from Boxtel to Oisterwijk). The picture was taken quickly too — there was no time to mess around with furoshiki’s etc. because Mr Gnoe and I wanted to be on our way before the cleaning lady arrived ;)

(So the clear background has nothing to do with your picture preferences, elm@! ;)

Wilde craneWe threw together some edamame (with African peper) and salsa picante as dip for a veggie nugget. Mini wiener sandwich rolls with garden cress, two boiled eggs, and a small bag of cashews to put in between the mini bread rolls. It may not look too great but it actually was quite good; kept us on our feet when we got tired & hungry.

The hike was wonderful, even though the weather could have been better; it was foggy and we even had some rain. Photos of our day can be found on Flickr. Today was extra special because for the first time in my life I have seen real life wild cranes! They are beautiful birds! Let’s hope they bring us luck, like the Japanese believe :)

I want to use the opportunity for a progress report on my 100 Mile Fitness Challenge. Last update was on the first day of autumn (Wednesday October 21st), when I had managed a total of 7 miles. My main ‘workout’ activities since then have been yoga, some cycling, walking around our city canal and last Sunday I danced A LOT on the Shabushabu, Oruutaichi, La Veuve Moustachue and maho+thaidisco concert in Rotterdam. I must have been swinging uninterrupted for at least two hours! It definitely was a great night out :)

I’m down to a total of 37 miles! And in only three weeks, since I didn’t join the challenge before October 20th. With 7 1/2 more weeks left of 2009, it must be possible to walk those 100 miles before January 1st!

Some strange coincidences happening this week. Today we met just one party of other hikers — including someone of my yoga group! That’s weird since the Kampina is in a whole different province. And the concert on Sunday attracted a maximum of 50 people… among which a former best friend of my brother I hadn’t seen in years! Holland really isn’t that small LOL! Many things happen in threes… what chance occurence will happen in the next few days???

Kampina Hike

La Veuve MoustachueYay, it’s time for another Hello Japan! mini challenge! I had hoped for something music related because we’re going to see Kishino Yui-chi (a.k.a. La Veuve Moustachue) & Oorutaichi next Sunday — but the actual mini mission is quite as good:

This month the task is simply to eat Japanese food, take a picture if possible, and tell us about what you ate. You can go to a Japanese restaurant, or make something at home. It can be a favourite dish, or you can challenge yourself to try something new.

Cover Decorative Food CarvingHa! I can think of several ways to accomplish my mission. For one it gives me a great excuse to buy this book I have been drewling over have my eyes on: The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving by Hiroshi Nagashima (thanks to sherimiya of Happy Little Bento who let the Want! Want! Want! ghost out of the closet)!

But maybe I shouldn’t give away the options I’m contemplating? :\ I could do them all! And who knows… maybe on Sunday there’ll be some Japanese snacks at the concert! :)

To all participants: itadakimasu!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Challenge logo

Gnoe herding...