|Mari Iijima||Biography||Discography||Flyer Gallery||Bulletin Board||Mari's Site|
I went to see Mari Iijima at the Baked Potato. I took some notes on the performance, which I've written up here. Bear in mind that I am not a reporter or photographer--I've tried to be accurate, but no guarantees. In particular, I may not have heard all the names right.
The Baked Potato is a small club at the corner of Cahuenga and Lankershim in North Hollywood. Apparently they usually have jazz musicians there. Since I work in Hollywood, I got there pretty early. I walked up at the same time as Jim Studer's parents--very nice people who had driven down from Santa Barbara. We talked for a while until the club opened.
I ordered food while waiting for the show to start. All the food was something (steak, ham, chicken, etc.) sliced up into small pieces and served in a large baked potato. It was hard to eat with a fork! I was tempted to ask for chopsticks. :-)
The place filled up quickly. Most of the audience were members of the Mari'n Island Fan Club, who had come all the way from Japan. Now that's dedication! There seemed to be just over two dozen fan club members. They'd brought a bunch of chemical glow rods the size of straws, which looked neat in the darkened room.
Also in the audience were: Mari and Jim's boys; various friends; her American manager, J.C. Rowens(?); the organizer of Robocon, Tom Bateman; and of course the people I've mentioned earlier.
The show started around 6:30 PM.
The musicians were Mari Iijima (of course), Jim Studer on keyboard, Tim Pierce on guitar, Wayne Nelson on bass, and Gregg Bissonette on drums.
All the songs were new to me. More Than Yesterday, I burned that bridge, For a little while, Free Style, "D", and I miss you are from her upcoming album, so not even the Japanese fans had heard them before.
I liked all the songs, of course. More Than Yesterday was my favorite, and Free Style, I burned that bridge, and Don't give it up! were also particularly good.
Mari said that her next album, Rain & Shine, would be released in Japan in March. So, it should be available in April through Tokyo Pop, Bun-ka Do, and similar stores.
She also said that she will be producing and selling an American release herself! I really look forward to seeing it!
When the show was over, Mari went through the club and thanked everyone for coming to see her. I asked her to autograph my Newton, which she did:
I also tried out my new digital camera--here are two pictures. Be warned--I know absolutely nothing about photography, and it really shows.
|Mari Iijima and Jim Studer talking||Mari singing|