Hey, it’s pirates, juggling and vending machines. And, the only thing that connects all of those is … The English Teacher John Show number 69!
- Interview and music from U.May.C band members Martin and Will.
- A discussion with Dave and Daniel about vending machines in Japan.
- see episode transcript below.
== FULL TRANSCRIPT for English Teacher John Show 69 ==
Hey, we’ve got pirates, juggling and vending machines and you know what? The only thing that connects all of those is the English Teacher John Show No. 69.
Welcome everyone to the English Teacher John Show No. 69. My name is John Koons and I am the host of this illustrious, entertaining and enlightening internet podcast, maybe.
Our show is for everyone but especially for English learners of all abilities. We try to use clear and easy to understand English and we always brush after meals. Our podcast is produced right here in our volcano-top studio in Matsumoto Japan. Watch out for the lava if you come to visit us.
Today we’ve got a very special show. Our music man, Martin, has stopped by with some of his band’s new music and also in today’s show, I rounded up a couple of friends today and we had a short discussion about vending machines. Stay tuned.
Okay, it’s time for some local, original music, music, music! Local means local to our Nagano region of Central Japan. I think many or most of you know Martin Chenhall. He’s been producing our podcast music for the last hundred years or so and he’s put together a band called U.May.C. You can find more of them on myspace.com.
Hey and guess who is another member of this band. Yup, Will, another friend of The English Teacher John Show and Matsumoto’s favorite guy on crutches, plays the guitar and bass and he sings also. Recently, we had these two musicians in the English Teacher John studio for an interview about their new tracks.
=== start INTERVIEW ===
Will and Martin, welcome to The English Teacher John Show, guys.
Martin: Thanks English Teacher John.
Will: Hey John, what’s up?
John: You know I have been presented with a special demo disc. You guys are recording some music any…
John: You guys want to set up - I’m going to play a little bit of this if that’s all right and you want to set up any of the songs?
Will: Sure. I think the first song on there is called Corsairs Jig and it is a pirate song and I wrote it.
John: So, you illegally download it?
Will: It’s not a pirated song. It’s a pirate theme song.
John: Oh, I got you.
Will: I wrote it around last Halloween and it was kind of during the time where the Somali Pirates were really going crazy and it was all in the news and they’re hijacking, like Russian ships with tanks and you know, oil tankers and stuff like that. And so I went on the internet and kind of did some research and found some interesting names and ideas about pirates and then I wrote a song about it and tried to make it sound like a Tom Waits’ song, like my voice is all, “Roll, roll, roll.” Like, “Walk the plank and don’t look back.”
It’s all like a pirate and, so that was the kind of idea and we added some funny pirate noises and some laughing and it’s a beautiful song.
John: All right. We’re going to listen a little bit of it.
[music - Corsair's Jig ("pirate song")]
John: All right. Martin, any of the songs - anything you want to say about this recording project or any of the songs on there?
Martin: Let’s see. There - we’re actually going to apply for the Rookie Stage at Fuji Rock this year. There’s kind of a competition called Rookie A-Go-Go and they choose, I think its 11 bands from anyone who wants to apply in Japan. You can be a band, DJ and you kind to perform really and you get to play at Fuji Rock, the biggest rock concert in Asia.
John: Well and when and where is Fuji Rock?
Martin: It’s at the Naeba Ski Resort which isn’t close to Fuji but it’s central north Japan and it’s July 24th, 25th, 26th. But it’s a long shot. Last year they had a lot of Indie bands which is kind of English or would you say leftover punk music on what you - what you call it? Anyway.
John: So you guys have not signed with the labels? So you guys are independent at this point?
Martin: That’s right. It’s - this demo disc is out of my kitchen like all of my CDs.
Will: We’re not a garage band, we’re a kitchen band.
Martin: We manage to record in between the apple farmers making their noises so that’s good.
John: All right. Well, thanks for joining us guys. Good luck with finishing the music and your application to get in the Fuji Rock and I think we’re going to listen another track here.
Martin: All right. If you want to listen to one of mine, Life is Good. That’s a nice motto.
John: All right. Let’s have it listen.
[music - "Life's been good"]
=== start: DISCUSSION - vending machines in Japan ===
John: And in our discussion segment today. We’re going to talk about vending machines. Why vending machines? Hey, why not? All right, first we got Daniel. Welcome to The English Teacher John Show.
Daniel: Hello. Nice to meet you.
John: Hey. We’re talking vending machines and we also got Dave here. Dave and Daniel. Hi Dave.
Dave: Hi. How are you?
John: Yeah. We’re all doing fine. All right, well I use vending machines as you guys know, we have a lot of vending machines around Japan and they sell lots of different things like…
Daniel: 50 cent coffee.
John: All right. These cheap coffee drinks. Daniel, are you a big user of vending machines?
Daniel: I would say rarely. Maybe once in two weeks. Very rarely.
John: What do you buy when you do go to a vending machine?
Daniel: Coffee. Always coffee.
John: And how does it taste?
Daniel: When you want a coffee- when you really want a coffee and you get one from the vending machine, that’s right there. It’s a beautiful thing.
John: All right. Let’s see. Any downsides? Sometimes I see articles in the paper or have some conversations. Vending machines, of course, are very useful. Is there any downside to vending machines?
Daniel: Yes. They are really bright and they’re everywhere. So, there’s one right outside - there’s several right outside my apartment that provide daylight at all hours of the night. I’d say that’s the downside.
John: All right. So they’re bright - bright, bright lights disturbs you a bit. There’s the cold and hot drinks available. They take a lot of power, I think. Something else, Daniel?
Daniel: Well, there’s something I read recently on the internet. Big cities in Japan are starting to put in vending machines that will automatically vend drinks for free in case of an emergency like an earthquake. So, I think that’s a really great idea.
John: Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s a good one. All right. Let’s shake the earth around the vending machine and see if it gives us some free stuff. All right now, there are some things available in vending machines but how about a wish list? Do you guys have any ideas? Something you would really like to be sold in a vending machine. I’ll start. I would like what we call a panku, is a flat tire, bicycle flat tire. I would like a repair kit available in the vending machine. I’m on my bicycle a lot and I could quickly find a repair kit or panku kit. That would be - do you guys have a - Daniel looks like he’s jumping to answer this question. What would you like to see sold in vending machines?
Daniel: Well, this is kind of a tough one John, but as a single guy, I’m not too creative but I think basically basic toiletry items would be nice to have…
John: Well, you’re going to say something else as a single guy.
Daniel: Let’s not go there.
John: For example, toiletry items, what kind of stuff?
Daniel: Okay. You know, you occasionally run out of shampoo or toilet paper or you need some toothpaste like - usually those kinds of things don’t all run out at the exact same time so, every week or every couple of weeks you got to go and get a couple of bottles of whatever and it would be nice to have a machine especially around a university campus where lots of young people live that sell that kind of stuff.
John: All right. Good suggestion. Dave’s humming in the hall and over here.
Dave: Well, one thing that comes to mind would be maybe some - some of the back - what do you call them - from the archives of The English Teacher John Show.
That was going to be useful here in Japan for all our students who want to learn English.
Daniel: I think that vending machine would…
Daniel: That’s the invested to.
John: Nice guy. Do you hear that comment from Daniel? Selling old episodes of The English Teacher John Show. Well, being that we give the new ones away for free and all episodes for free, I’m not sure about the business model there.
Dave: Hey, I’m not a business guy. What can I say? I’m an English teacher.
John: I heard that they sell music, mp3 downloads in vending machines. Somewhere like you could plug your iPod in, I heard that. It’s Daniel’s turn.
Daniel: I’m little lost here. DVDs.
John: That’s a good idea. Dave, have you ever seen movie DVDs for sale in vending machines?
Dave: Have I ever seen them?
John: All right Dave, we’re talking - this is a family rated show. Have you ever seen normal Japanese or Hollywood movies available, the kind that you would watch with your family, have you ever seen those available in the vending machine?
Dave: No. I can’t honestly say that I have. Sorry.
John: Would you use a vending machine like that?
Dave: Yeah, I suppose if there was - if it was near my house and the price was the same as going to one of the video places, I suppose.
Daniel: I’m thinking about laundry detergent.
John: Wow. All right it’s…
Daniel: I don’t know, I always seem to run out of laundry detergents.
John: All right. Dave’s got one for us.
Dave: No, I was just - I’ve never used it but on my way to work I pass by a place called JA which is like a - I don’t know. It’s where the farmers sell their produce basically and…
John: Japan Agriculture, I think.
Dave: Okay, and there’s one on my way to work and there’s another one here in town and they have vending machines with vegetables inside.
John: For example, like what are they selling in there?
Dave: I’ve never looked back carefully but I’ve seen the sign and they do have vegetables for sale there but like I’ve said, I’ve never bought anything.
John: I was thinking you could put like 100 Yen, maybe 200 and you could watch a short video or even like a TV show episode that you’ve missed.
Daniel: Just, like right there?
John: Right there.
Daniel: You’re sitting in there.
John: Yeah, right there.
Daniel: Well, if you’re going there, you know, instead of thinking of the traditional vending machine idea where you put in money and a little something drops out, what about just like service machines that do something.
John: For example?
Daniel: You can pay your bills. You scan it and put the money in and then you don’t have to walk all the way down to the convenient or whatever.
John: That’s not a bad idea. Or buy tickets, juggling equipment. We’ve got a bit of a juggling team here so goodbye juggling clubs, balls.
Dave: I’d love to see that a vending machine that sold juggling clubs. That would be really great. I don’t know how you get them in there or how you get them out but…
John: Daniel, would you buy stuff from a juggling equipment vending machine?
Daniel: Yeah. I think if the quality was decent.
John: All right. Well, you guys this has been very enlightening conversation. Let me say that again. This has been a really enlightening - I can’t say it. Hold on. This has been a very enlightening conversation. Dave, thanks for joining us today.
Dave: Well, thank you.
John: Daniel, thanks for joining us.
Daniel: Thank you too. I hope to find a vending machine soon that sells true happiness.
John: Well everyone that brings us to the end of show no. 69.
You can find our blog, all of our video and audio podcast, some transcripts, other language help, our high school love letters and more at englishteacherjohn.com. Something in the water here today. And just to let you know the complete transcript is now online for our last show no. 68, all at englishteacherjohn.com. Our email address is p o d c a s t -AT- e n g l i s h teacher john -dot- com.
Okay, well thanks to you all for listening. Thanks to Dave and Daniel and to our good friends Martin and Will, together with their lead guitarist Sho, their band U.May.C for today’s music. Catch you next time. We’ll hear a little more U.May.C on the way out.
You can find Will and Martin and Sho’s band, U.May.C, at myspace.com slash umayc.