Thursday, October 23, 2008


Listen to TANDEMU (VERSION 1) by Halcali.

Japan is the land of the one hit wonder. Other than a handful of supergroups, there is a revolving door of groups producing the flavor of the week. My town had only one radio station which strangely played mostly Reggae. Believe it or not, my source of exposure to new music came mainly from the music playing over the speakers in convenience stores. If I heard a song I liked, I'd have to find someone that knew which one hit wonder it was or I was out of luck. In the days before Midomi and Shazam, I was forced to attempt singing the song to one of my students, often to no avail. What was a guy to do? The answer: randomly rent CDs until you find the songs you want!

That's right, my local media rental store had a section for VHS tapes, a section for DVDs, and a section for CDs. New CDs were $4 for a week and old CDs were $2. It was a fantastic way to sample new music. I came to know "Tandemu" (which means motorcycle passenger... as in, tandem) in just such a fashion: 1. hearing it in a convenience store, 2. making a fool of myself in front of my students, 3. finding it as a rental.

I still don't know why there aren't CD rental stores in the states. If only the library had a bigger selection...

Photo: Japanese Wires (4).


1 comment:

Penny said...

Terrific post. Very funny.