Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 6, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
SATURDAY, JULY 6, 2002That’s Life!
Japanese pop duo Puffy members, Ami Onuki, right, and Yumi Yoshimura
After conquering Japan, Puffy to invade Canada,
U.S. with eclectic pop
By Uric Talmadge
TOKYO — Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura have been at the top of the pop charts in Japan, hosted their own TV show, and inspired enough toys, dolls and even shoes to fill the Tokyo Dome.
Oh, and they’ve sung in Austin, Tex.
“We had this image of singing behind chicken wire, and people throwing beer bottles at us if they didn’t like our music,” Onuki said of their performance at the South by Southwest festival two years ago, their first U.S. appearance.
Instead of being drenched in beer, they got applause. And a bit of a following.
Now, the twentysomething duo, known in Japan as Puffy, is preparing to begin a 10-city North American tour that will start off small on July 6 at the 500-seat Roxy in Los Angeles, include two shows in San Francisco opening for the B-52s, and conclude at the Horse Shoe Tavern in Toronto on July 23.
“It’s a whole new experience tor us,” Yoshimura said. “We have no idea what to expect.”
In North America, they will go by the name Puffy AmiYumi, to avoid confusion with Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, who used to go by the name Puffy.
The pop goddesses also will shed many of the frills that their superstar status affords them in Japan. Instead of flying, they will tour on a bus. Instead of playing to arenas, they will settle for clubs.
“If you are popular in the United States, you are known throughout the world,” Yoshimura said.
“But we aren’t going about this with the idea that we have to make a big splash. We don’t mind doing it on a kind of small scale, and just having a really good time.”
Just having a good time pretty much sums up Puffy’s appeal.
Their eclectic style of music emphasizes catchy tunes that are easy to sing along with. Deep or brooding it is not (one of their hits was about how great it would be to eat a crabmeat dinner). Their 19% debut hit, Asia no Junshin (True Asia), had a Beatles ring to it and was a million-selling success in Japan. Several more hits followed.
Michael Hill of Bar None Records, which released Puffy’s An Illustrated History in the United States last month, said, “They have created a kind of pop art that is mischievous, fun and marketable.”
Emphasis, perhaps, on marketable. Puffy singles have been used on TV ads for everything from computers to lingerie to soft drinks.
But the Puffy girls, as they like to be called, are senous about their music.
“We are confident in our music,” Onuki said. “In Japan, our popularity involves not just our music but also our image, and the twists to some of our lyrics. But in America, that won’t be much of a factor. We will have to make it purely on the merits of our music. We are really looking forward to that.”
Onuki and Yoshimura have a look that for teenagers across Japan and some other parts of Asia is the epitome of cute. For an interview, they appear in T-shirts and torn jeans, their dyed hair in ponytails, their nails painted green and yellow. They giggle and fidget like little girls, but somehow manage to exude confidence at the same time.
Onuki said she and Yoshimura will basically perform the same show in North America that they do in Japan. They are studying English, though they still plan to sing in Japanese.
“If the performers are having a really good time, I think the audience can feel it,” Yoshimura said. “That’s what we are hoping to get across.”
Puffy AmiYumi’s tour dates and cities are: Los Angeles, July 6; San Francisco, July 8-9; Seattle, July 12; Vancouver, July 13; Minneapolis, July 16; Chicago, July 17; Washington, DC., July 19; New York City, July 20; Boston, July 21; Toronto, July 23.
I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.
Lady of the Laice.
just east of 18th St & Park Avenue > shop 725.4181 - cafe 727.3299
Summer is a lazy, relaxed, carefree time of year, when our thoughts turn to the possibility that our flesh will be stripped from our bones by millions of razor-sharp mandibles.
At least my thoughts do, ever since a gang of ants started a colony somewhere in my office, which is located in my home in South Florida. (In fact, for tax purposes, this office occupies 248 per cent of my home’s square footage).
Here’s the situation- I’ll be sitting in my usual work position, in which I put my feet up on my desk. I leave my legs on the floor, because I have detachable feet.
No, seriously, my legs are firmly attached to my feet, which are propped up on my desk while I ponder the kind of question that, in my role as a leading opinion- — maker, I am often called upon to answer, such was: Which is a fun- — nier animal name, “wolverine” “weasel”?
While I am pondering this, I will suddenly realize that something is crawling along my leg — a tiny, six-legged organism that has flourished on the earth, and particularly South Florida, for millions of years: the Bee Gees.
No, seriously, it’s an ant. Immediately I leap to my feet, whapping at the ant in a violent manner. Sometimes the ant has penetrated deep into what medical doctors refer to as The Undershorts Region, which means that I am in danger of whapping myself right into the alto section of the choir, if you know what I mean.
Eventually, I am able, using tiny tweez-
ers with special rubber tips, to gently capture the ant and return it, unharmed, to its snug ant home. (Not really. I kill the ant. But I don’t want to say so, because when I wrote a column about killing a giant flying insect in my kitchen, I got a LOT of irate mail from wildlife lovers, comparing me unfavourably to Hitler.) Then I go back to work, but within IO minutes, there’s ANOTHER ant on me, and I am once again on my feet, whapping at my groin.
This has gone on for several weeks now, and eventually the obvious question arose in my mind: Wouldn’t “The Groin Whappers” be an excellent name for a rock band? But also I am wondering: Why are these ants so interested in my body? I mean, we can assume they’re looking for
food, right? Well, right next to my
body is one of the world’s most abundant sources of ant nourishment: My desk. My desk has never been cleaned, and consequently is covered with a thick layer of a substance known to chemists as “snack goo” — a congealed mixture of chocolate, salt, onion dip, pepperoni grease, General Chang’s chicken extra spicy, coffee, beer, and the fine residue of an estimated 14 trillion Cheez-Its.
My desk could feed a standard ant colony for well into the next century, so the logical question is: Who was General Chang? And isn’t it kind of a weird honour to associate a military leader with a member of the poultry family not generally known for its courage? Would you want to be a soldier following General Chang into battle with the phrase “General Chang’s
chicken!” resonating in your mind?
But the other logical question is: Why, with the National Snack Goo Reserve sitting right there, are these ants walking around on ME? Obviously, they intend to eat me. And while I have been able to hold them off so far via whapping, it is only a matter of time before they figure out that they can win if they attack en masse (French for “in a big bunch of ants”).
Ants are capable of this kind of behaviour. Back in seventh grade English class, I read a story called “Leiningen versus the Ants,” about a guy in Brazil who owns a plantation that gets attacked by a gigantic mass of ravenous, vicious ants that eat everything in their path, kind of like college students, except the ants leave less of a mess.
What I remember vividly about this story is that, when Leiningen tries to thwart the ants by flooding a moat around the plantation, the ants use twigs and leaves to build a bridge, thus displaying far more intelligence than any guest I have ever seen on Maury Povich. My concern is that if the ants in my office are even half that smart, it’s only a matter of time before they get organized. The police will find my skeleton in my office chair, stripped clean, feet up on the desk, with no clue as to who perpetrated the crime except for the cryptic three-letter animal name I have typed, in my last moments, on the computer screen:
Dave Barry is a humour columnist for the Miami Herald. Write to him clo The Miami Herald, One Herald Plaza, Miami FL 33132.
Gala kicks off Indigenous Games
WINNIPEG — Tom Jackson, Ray St. Germain and Susan Aglukark will headline an expansive, colourful gala kicking off the North American Indigenous Games later this month.
The agenda for the opening ceremonies on July 29 includes the type of spectacular that traditionally opens huge athletic gatherings — a parade of about 7,000 athletes and VIPs will march into the stadium to raise flags and light a flame.
The grand opening of the competition will also resound with powwow dancers and drum groups.
Organizing the opening ceremonies is a sizable undertaking, said Ann Hodges, a local theatre director who will co-ordinate the festivities at Canad Inns Stadium.
For example, getting 7,000 athletes and officials to the stadium through city traffic
NOTICE OF CHANGE Richmond Walk-In Clinic
is pleased to offer extended hours Monday - Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Saturday Walk-In clinic has moved from 144 - 6th Street to the Richmond Clinic at HOO Richmond Avenue Saturday Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
on time promises to be complicated, she said.
Knowing the ceremonies will be broadcast live and across the country on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network adds to the pressure, Hodges admitted.
“Everything has to be down to the minute,” she said.
The opening ceremony is the only event during the games that isn’t free to the public. Tickets range from $11 to $20. The games run from July 25 to Aug. 4.
Entertainers such as Jackson, Aglukark and St. Germain will be joined by Winnipegger Desiree Dorian, a youth mentor for the games who, according to Hodges, has an “amazing voice” and is scheduled to sing Keep Your Spirit High, the Games theme song.
As for the athletes, they’ll enter behind volunteers holding placards stating the name of their state, territory or province; there are 27 in all.
— Canadian Press
Western Medical Clinic
144 - 6th Street 727-6451
Richmond Walk-In Clinic
1100 Richmond Avenue 727-0090
McCutchin - Haynes
Dennis and Marie McCutchin and Dallas Penney take great pleasure in announcing the marriage of their children, Jodi Leanne and Richard Alexander which will take place Saturday, July 13th at 4:30 p.m. at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, Manitoba.
Perry & Kristie Hutton
JL M.0 ^
It is with great pleasure that Ray Roberts and Fred Campbell announce their wedding. On May 18, 2002, Mrs. Jackie Moore united Ray and Fred in marriage at the Glen Lea Golf and Country Club. Attending Ray and Fred were dear friends Jean and George Doole and Anita and Lew Stouffer. Ruby Chambers, long time friend of the bride asked the blessing. Approximately fifty relatives and other friends enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared and served by the Glen I^a staff. Lew Stouffer as MC welcomed the guests which included three people who were in attendance at Kay’s and Fred’s first marriages. At Kay’s, Frank McManes and at Fred’s his brother George and sister Connie Snarr. The happy couple took an Alaskan Cruise for their honeymoon. Ray and Fred will reside at 90 Falcon Crescent, Brandon. Ray and Fred wish to thank all those who donated to the Brandon Sun Fund for Kids and to everyone who made this day so special.
TWO CAW DINE
Q^ftmk and Q4)ine
Join us for a memorable night out at the 34th Street Bar & Grill in The Victoria Inn. Enjoy a delicious steak dinner for two, featuring two 8 oz. New York steaks and all the trimmings, one of 34th Street Bar and Grill's famous desserts, and a bottle of Woodbridge Merlot or Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc by Robert Mondavi
*59“ per couple
Love, Mom and Dad McCrae Kyle, Susan and Kelly Mom and Dad Hutton and Chris
Pasqual - dago
Richard and Bev Pasquill and George and Verna dago are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their children Shawna and James. The wedding will take place August 17, 2002 at the Centennial Auditorium.
Pant and Joey Beaudry
Happy Isl Anniversary July 7, 2001
Love, Mom and Dad
Gregory - Lee
Shara and Trevor, along with their parents Larry and Marg Gregory and Faye Lee and the late Roland Lee are pleased to announce their engagement and upcoming marriage. The ceremony will take place in Brandon on August 24, 2002.