Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 11 : Oct 2006  > Columns  >  Travelers Tune  >  A Walk About With Curly Giraffe


Travelers Tune

By Shoutaro Takahashi

A Walk About With Curly Giraffe


The bassist from a popular band went solo (under a pseudonym) and then created the band Curly Giraffe. Although already widely known among fans, he's yet to officially make his true identity public.

The group’s sound brings back the sweet, soft sounds of America’s West Coast surf scene, but for some reason his tip on where to travel was simply “Kanazawa.” Should we assume he isn’t American; perhaps Japanese?

Musicians are always touring. Late nights, overworked livers and liquored memories come with the territory. Our guest begins, “Ten years ago I was out drinking ’til dawn and not eating worth a damn. Now I find myself waking up early and taking walks around the hotel.”

Although I’m unsure of his exact age, 10 years on tour means it’s unlikely he’s younger than 30. Making the change from all night hell-raising to quiet morning strolls could be a sign of age or maturity.

During last year’s tour stop in Kanazawa, he was out for a morning walk. Having left the hotel and headed off in no particular direction, he stumbled into the Omicho Market, which was abuzz with the “Shrimp Festival,” or so the sign said.

“Whoa, what could this be?” he continued. “I put off checking out the event until the afternoon, when I would be able to head over with the whole band.”
The “Shrimp Festival” was completely filled with stalls of shrimp burgers, shrimp curry and other assorted delights. However, what really caught his eye was the “Shrimp Peeling Contest.”

“The judges were wearing these painfully ridiculous shrimp hats,” he recalled, “and because no one was willing to participate, we all threw up our hands. In the end some old locals also bellied up.”

With the time limit set at one minute and the rules stating that shrimp had to be peeled leaving the head and tail, our traveler stated, “This was tough, and none of us were up to the challenge.

We were impressed by the speed of some of the old men but, upon further inspection, we noticed they were pulling the heads and tails off—lclearly not paying a bit of attention to the rules. Even so, the winner cleaned 10 shrimp.”
Curly Giraffe’s talent as musicians clearly surpassed their shrimp-peeling skills, but they were allowed to take the crustaceans back to the hotel for dinner. However, they were soon forgotten and turned brown.

“I was never a big shrimp fan,” he confessed. “And even the festival didn’t turn me into a shrimp lover. I will say, though, that the battered shrimp on rice was a real treat!”

In terms of turning on the shrimp appetites of Curly Giraffe, the “Shrimp Festival” was a failure. However, the memories of battered shrimp delight might have saved the day.

Perhaps our traveler’s recommendation isn’t as much about Kanazawa as getting out for a morning walk to explore the area. You never know what you might get into.

New licks and old favorites from Curly Giraffe

「CURLY GIRAFFE」 (Burger inn)

Straight from the Giraffe’s mouth: “If you’re looking for something to listen to on a walk, please put some Curly Giraffe in your ears.”


His second album, released in 1976, “…features the track ‘When Love Hangs in the Balance’ and is the story of my life. His voice comes across so clean and gets you hooked.”

「HEART FOOD」 (Water)

This American female singer/songwriter’s second album features a “voice of an angel that will knock you out. All the tracks are great!”

「TOWER OF LOVE」 (Warner)

This newcomer from England “was someone I got into when I happened to spot his music video, then bought the CD. His homemade sounds make you feel happy.”