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The Sugarcane Recordings June 25, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Music.
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Out in the country in Sashiki, the buzzes and drones from nocturnal critters was enthralling. So on our last night there, I convinced Jojo to sneak out of the house with me around 1 a.m. We sat in the middle of a dark sugarcane field and recorded some new songs with atmospheric accompaniment.

“International Cutie Pies”

“Moe Meguro”

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Ideal Roommates May 28, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Language, Music.
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During our last week, Jojo and I filmed a music video for his band Please Quiet Ourselves. Jojo toted those masks around to Nakagusuku Castle, Kogen Hotel, Naha, and all over Okinawa City so we could present to you this:

A cab driver brought Jojo to tears by teaching him this Okinawan proverb: ichariba chode. Once we meet, we are brothers and sisters. We felt that strongly in Okinawa, being so quickly taken in by friends, and friends of friends of friends.This fraternal philosophy inspired the video.

Tour of the Haunted Brothel April 23, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in History, Photos.
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So that you don’t have to risk being haunted by Okinawan ghosts, we at oki yo! have put our spiritual well-being at stake to give you a virtual tour of the infamous, possibly former mega-brothel, Kogen Hotel.

It starts at Nakagusuku Castle, the ruins left of a 600-year-old fortress in Okinawa City. It’s a peaceful spot with a panoramic view of the island.

But the real ruins are just across a field, over there. (This photo is a little sneak peak of the upcoming Please Quiet Ourselves music video.)

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Oki Jo February 5, 2010

Posted by Jojo in Music.
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Elisa and I are traveling to Okinawa for a number of reasons, but the most important one is probably music. I love making it and she loves playing it. I am convinced that Okinawan musicians, new and old, make some first-rate records. Soon after hearing Shoukichi Kina’s cover of the Okinawan folk song “Haisai Ojisan” (which hilariously features Ry Cooder), I knew I wanted to go to Okinawa to go to shows, meet musicians and start a band of my own. Not that Shoukichi Kina’s Asia Classics 2: Peppermint Teahouse is the culmination of all Okinawan music, but suffice to say it definitely drew my interest. I’m undoubtedly looking forward to all the new music I will get to hear.

I asked Elisa to join me for a rip-roaring three-month-long adventure in Okinawa because she has a minor in ethnomusicology and is an awesome DJ, having worked at Davis’ college radio station for five years. Naturally, with that sort of real-life experience and achievement she quickly became the brains of our operation, organizing the trip so that I don’t end up begging for yen at the Naha bus station. It should also be noted that Elisa is my cousin and close friend — and she even showed me the song previously mentioned.

Elisa and I are now less than one week away from actually arriving in Okinawa and I have remained more or less unhelpful in travel preparations. Luckily my mom and my aunt have secured some housing for our first few weeks on Okinawa, but after they leave the future looks a little uncertain. Still, I’m not so worried. I went fairly carefree into Greg Ashley‘s studio today with my friends Simeon and Maddie to record a new song about suppressing pre-Okinawa jitters.

Fun Just Sitting Down: