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Hey hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby, a chance for us to catch up, and this month I’m truly catching up as I just returned from a quick 6 days in Japan with my wife and daughter and a trip to Canada, now I am now sitting in my house after a whole lot of travel over the past few weeks. Lots and lots of flying and more to come as GGDS are about to embark on a European Tour, well, once we do a string of Canadian shows in the meantime. Keeping track? I’m finding it a little tough myself, but I’ll get into some more details in a bit.

Our trip to Japan was amazing as always, we go to visit the new Yayoi Kusama museum in Tokyo, there is nearly a 2 month wait for tickets so we were very glad when the available tickets coincided with our trip. We love Kusama and I’ve seen her shows on numerous continents, but there was something very special about being in her museum in Japan. Id you’re not familiar, she is a Japanese artist in her 80s who came up through he Avante Garde art scene in NYC in the 50s and 60s who continues to make her art in her very identifiable style. She claims that she is driven to do these paintings to control her hearing “voices” in her head, because of this dynamic there are now many, many of these large vibrant pieces shown around the world. The museum looked at her early career in the 1950s as well as her current work on canvas, sculptures as well as one of her infamous mirrored “infinity” rooms.

Also on this trip, I got to experience my first Obake Yashiki ghost house at Tokyo Dome City called “ONRYOU ZASHIKI” . The ghost house was designed by Gomi Hirofumi, who is responsible for some of the scariest attractions in Japan and he has been doing installations at Tokyo Dome City for over 20 years. My wife and 6-year-old daughter refused to go through the ghost house, so I had to make the decision between not seeing it at all and going through by myself! After some careful consideration I decided to go for it …

After taking off my shoes and being led into a dark hallway waiting for the first door to open I realized the Obake Yashiki was much different and much more suspenseful and scary than the “haunts” I grew up with as a child. All alone I carefully and cautiously made my way through the darkness and came out the other side a seemingly changed person! Wow, I realize now the Japanese designers take these things pretty seriously and I’m so glad I got to experience it, although maybe next time I would prefer not to do it alone.

We had many great meals as we do every visit, w, visited our favorite places to shop and explore and as always it was over way too fast as I had to leave our trip to Japan early as Miyoko and Hana stayed behind to spend some more time as I head to a rock show with TLC, Blind Melon, Eve 6 and a bunch of other bands in Edmonton. The event was called The Soundtrack Festival, it was the first year of the event and considering the event sold out of tickets I have a feeling they’ll be doing it again! We’ve 2 more shows in Canada and another in the US before we head to Europe, I’m glad I have a tour manager keeping track of this all …

GGDS have just finished up mixing a second live album to be released later this year on WB records, the first offering is called “The Audience is this Way” and will be out soon! We’ve headed back to Buffalo with the entire touring band to do some photos for our upcoming European Tour as well as this Fall’s “Dizzy Up The Girl” 20th Anniversary tour of the US. We’re shooting with a photographer named Mark Dellas who we have known since we were just starting out. He’s a super moody high fashion style photographer and we’ve never done a session with the entire touring group, so this should be fun and different for us!

So much going on right now that I haven’t even mentioned, here’s the short list, the MiA team in Buffalo are furiously gearing up for the annual Music is Art Festival in September. Good Charamel Records artists “The Molice” from Tokyo are still here based in Buffalo touring the US, Pinky Doodle Poodle also from Tokyo are also here based in Athens OH doing shows around the US as well. We’re about to make an announcement regarding another visit from Osaka’s Shonen Knife to the US this fall to promote their latest “ALIVE! In Osaka” CD/DVD set, which was released earlier this year.

OK, off to take care of some things at home and then back to making it all happen, as always thanks for checking in, we’ll be talking again soon here in the pages of the mighty InRock …

Peace!
Robby
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