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© 2018 Pamela MacCarthy


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Monday, June 25, 2007  

The rains have arrived.

Maybe I'm more of a dark individual,
but I like the rain in summer.

Too much sun
has me searching for the nearest
dark hole to crawl in,
like a half-baked salamander.

And my membership card at Trader Vic's
has been revoked...

I look to this time for introspection,
and, hopefully, a new canvas.


My singing schedule is now at a lull,
but it is not a thing I worry about.

Fits and starts,
ebbs and lulls...

Such is an artist's life.

Moss and mystery,
mist and shadows...

My new iPOD list:

Lucky - Radiohead
Mutherf * * * * * - Xzibit
Fight The Power - Public Enemy
The Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
She's The One - Bruce Springsteen
Sábado em Copacabana - Maria Bethània
Cold Cold Ground - Tom Waits
My Immortal - Evanescence
Flora's Secret - Enya
Elisir - Paolo Conté
Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - James Taylor
The Meaning of the Blues - Shirley Horn, feat. Roy Hargrove
Fight the Power - The Isley Bros.
The World Keeps Turning - Tom Waits

'Till next time...
Mela signiature

1:02 PM

Monday, June 18, 2007  

Yesterday, I went to Hibiya Hall
to visit my friend Jimmie Smith,
who was playing drums at the annual
Hawaiian Music & Dance Festival.

A lot of famous Japanese musicians, singers,
and Hawaiian-style dancers,
were there.

I got there early, for the rehearsal,
and it was good to see a lot of musicians
I had met many years ago,
and haven't seen in a long time.

Mickey Curtis was one.

I met him many moons ago,
in the original
Body & Soul club-
Back when it was in Roppongi.

That was one of the first places I performed at,
when I came here.

Mickey is a cool guy,
with a lot of style.
He made me feel welcome.
The audiences love his performances.
He sings and plays harmonica
with a rock/bluesy feel.

He likes to play them blues...

Guess who was the "guest vocalist"
with Mickey and his Crazy Curtis Band :

Mickey Curtis - vocals, harmonica
Fujio Honda- Piano
Hiroshi Iwata - guitar
Isokawa-san - bass

Jimmie Smith - drums

Micky Curtis and Pamela MacCarthy

Mickey Curtis and me,
Hibiya Hall Hawaiian Festival June 2007
© 2007 Pamela MacCarthy

Pamela MacCarthy and Jimmie_Smith

Pamela & Jimmie Smith
© 2007 Pamela MacCarthy

Pamela MacCarthy at Hibiya_Hall

Pamela MacCarthy
Hibiya Hall Hawaiian Concert, June 2007
© 2007 Pamela MacCarthy

Mickey called me up out of the audience
to come up and "jam" with him.

This is a big hall, capacity 500 plus.
It was packed with people
who love this annual Hawaiian experience.

Flowers and tropical colors were everywhere.

I sang "Rt 66",
and then Mickey and I
shared the spotlight on "Summertime".

He sang the melody, I riffed,
I sang the melody, he riffed on harmonica.
Completely unrehearsed.

It felt good.

The audience liked it too.

I also saw some beautiful dancers.

I met a lady whom I recognized
from my neighborhood.

We both surprised one another,
because neither one of us knew
of the other's "thing".

She danced beautifully,
with her group, backing up the lady vocalist.

Hawaiian Dancers

Hawaiian Festival, Hibiya Hall June 2007
© 2007 Pamela MacCarthy

The stage looked lovely
with all the tropical colors
and the pedal steel music
floating through the air.

There was an excellent party after the gig,
for all connected to the show.
The promoter and producer of this show
were both very professional and amiable-

The night was warm and blustery as I made it on home.

June is bustin' out all over!

'Till next time...
Mela signiature

7:40 PM

Friday, June 08, 2007  

Living in Japan for a period of time,
one gets to know things through a process of trial and error.

The haircare issue, for example...

As someone who has treasured her locks since
having yards and yards of it
as a teenager,
the cut, color, and condition of my hair
have always been very important to me.

In Japan, they have some of the finest haircutters.

But coloring is quite another story.

Only recently has the "fad" of highlighting
started to wane, here.

What's replacing this trend are more upscale and suitable haircolor options,
that give the natural black and dark brown hair colors
of Japanese women spice.

Thank the merciflul heavens for that.

The absolute bleach disasters I've seen walking around in public places!

Highlighting, in my opinion,
is an art form.

In Japan,
the perception and sensibilities of what constitutes
the polished look of having a superior highlighting effect,
resulting from having an artist/maestro
highlight and/or color your hair,
are different.

I've had highlighting results in some salons here
that've inspired reactions from anger and sobbing,
to crying hysterically.

I assumed that if the cuts were so excellent,
why wouldn't the coloring be?


You know the story about assume, right?
Making an ass out of "u" & "me"...?

I found one salon,
where the colorist did a reasonably good job,
but the follow up 2 months later
was what finally finished me on salon coloring
in Japan:

Instead of following the line of the existing streaks
to touch up,
he bleached the roots randomly,
leaving a "patchwork" effect.

And no toner was used.

As Marlon Brando said in Apocolypse Now!
The horror... the horror...

I've never EVER relaxed and read magazines when having
my hair highlighting in salons in NYC,
or in Los Angeles.

I've always closely observed the whole process,
from mixing the bleach to saying goodbye at the door,
in the presence of these color experts.

Paying the fee for highlighting
was also a tutorial, for me!

I've learned the basics from watching :

How to pick up hair, separate into layers,
consistency of bleach, which materials to use,
length (and result) of time to leave in,
how to avoid bleach mistakes, etc.

Then I put it to use; experimenting (and learning)
on my own hair.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

For many years now,
after so many mishaps in salons here,
I've been doing my own highlighting/ haircoloring.

I know exactly what I want,
and how to achieve it.

Although it is difficult,
time consuming,
and I miss the "pampering" part of a salon visit,
it is so worth it to me,
to know I can relax, after
my hair is done.

I can still get "pamper" at the salon with a haircut!

My mom has been vigilant in sending
my "color products" for years,
from the beauty supply stores in the US,
bless her!

I've discovered a new kind of effect
I'd like to share.

Lately, I'm interested in a more "natural"
highlighted look; less bleach-y,
and more resembling natural sunbleached highlights.

Here's how I do it:

I covered all existing bleached hair with
my childhood natural color,
with L'Oreal Feria 3D haircolor.

This is mine:

L_Oreal Feria 65

Marron Glace

Let it wear a few weeks...

focusing on the highlights around the face;
using tiny strands on each layer,
that are more concentrated from the face,
working out to very sparse towards the back of the head.

The tin foil (fold across the top of each piece
to make a sharper edge)
goes as close to scalp as possible,
but leave at least one inch
between scalp and bleach point,
to avoid "bleach accidents"...

Use a haircolor brush, to paint on,
bleach consistency should not be too dry, or too watery,
but like cake frosting.
I use a 30/30 developer, and Wellite
powder bleach, from Wella.

Use enough to cover the hair, no more.

Wear gloves if your skin is sensitive.
I never do.
I rub in olive oil on my hands after all is finished.

Make plenty of space between tin foil layers;
Bleach one, skip the next.

No layers below the top of the ears!

Use clips to hold layers back, to work on next layer,
careful not to tear or move existing foil in place!

Leave in long enough to get a lemon yellow color...

I remember one colorist telling me:
You can tone down and condition too light,
but not enough is just not enough!

After, use a wet (white) washcloth to strip off bleach, piece by piece, then shampoo the head.
After towel drying, on still wet hair,
use a *light drabber bath :

* For toning.
L'Oreal also makes drabber,
for lighter or darker shades-
Mix one part drabber to 3 parts developer.
Paint on quickly,
it doesn't take long at all
to tone down brassy reds,
oranges, & yellows.

Have water ready to rinse hair immediately
when desired drabbing is achieved.

Condition well.

Wait a few days or so and then
color all hair once again
with the same natural hair color.

I love L'Oreal haircolor,
this Feria 3D line is fabulous,
and available in my color here in Japan.

It puts the shine back that highlighting for extended periods can sap,
and adds dimension.

You might ask;
If you spend all that time to highlight, why cover it with your natural color?

Because this haircolor acts as an extended toner.

As the haircolor wears,
(this product is semi permanent)
it looks more and more like natural sunlightening,
with shine!


©2007 Pamela MacCarthy

Daffy Duck

'Till next time...
Mela signiature

4:34 PM

Friday, June 01, 2007  

I like New York in June, How about You?

Where have I heard that before...

Last weekend,
a dear friend of mine,
Jimmie Smith; drummer extraordinaire,
invited me to a happening at Hibiya Park.

He and the band were blowin' Dixie on the bandstand.

Jimmie played his own special blend
of time keepin' and storytellin' on the drums
with this same Dixieland combo
at Tokyo's Disneyland for quite awhile...

I dropped by the park on this lovely, early summer day,
to find a German Beer Festival going on-
Complete with tents, tall glasses of beer, bratwurst, sauerkraut,
and 2
dudes in
leather shorts...

I met up with Jimmie,
and he introduced me to the leader of the band,
Mr. Toyama; a very happnin' trumpet man,
who also lays down some Louis Armstrong inspired vocals.

Him & his wife, who also plays in the band; on piano
and sometimes on a beautiful Epiphone banjo,
lived in New Orleans for a spell-
They both know and love that Dixieland sound,
it's evident in their music...

Other band members/ instruments included : trombone, clarinet,
and Jimmie on the drums...

Toyama-san asked me to join in for a tune,
and I was very happy to oblige
with my rendition of "On The Sunny side of The Street"...

I love singing at outdoor festivals!

Pamela & Toyama

Pamela MacCarthy with Dixieland trumpetman; Toyama-san,
Hibiya Park bandshell, May 2007

©2007 Pamela MacCarthy

It was a great time.

After the music, and the band toddled on home,
I wandered over to the German car tent.

There I saw this beauty,
and I dreamed of what I'd do with a driver's license:

ready ta rumble

Autobahn Bound !
©2007 Pamela MacCarthy

Updated iPOD list:

The Story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter - Bob Dylan
500 Miles - The Proclaimers
Winter Light - Linda Ronstadt
On The Beach At Waikiki - R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders
Tango Sous La Lune - Les Negresses Verte
Memphis Blues - Duke Ellington
Saint Behind The Glass - Los Lobos
If I Didn't Know Any Better - Alison Krauss and Union Station
Rain Please Go Away - Alison Krauss and Union Station
Memphis Tennessee - Chuck Berry
Spill The Wine - Eric Burdon & The Animals
Sugar Magnolia - The Grateful Dead
Rapture - Blondie
Time - Alan Parsons Project
New Horizons - The Moody Blues
For My Lady - The Moody Blues

'Till next time...
Mela signiature

4:45 PM

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