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Meet Tomi Fujiyama, 70, the first Japanese woman to play the Grand Ole Opry, way back in 1964. She took the stage after Johnny Cash and was the only performer to receive a standing ovation. There’s currently a documentary being made about Tomi’s life called “Made in Japan,” with hobbit Elijah Wood slated to narrate. Check out her whiskey-and-heartache-soaked version of “Your Cheatin’ Heart”:
Yeah, we know. We should be calling this Country/Western of Asian, except there’s something so punk rock about a little Japanese woman who’s so damn country.
For those of you in the New York area, Tomi will be playing her first Stateside show in four decades September 11 at Pianos on the Lower East Side, which officially makes the Lower East Side cool again (that and the knock-down-drag-out girlfight among filthy garbage cans where purses and punches were thrown that Jen witnessed the last time she was there).
JESSICA: (sniffling) Oh my gaw, Ashlee, I had the worst night of my life tonight!
ASHLEE: Hold on one sec, Pete just dropped a bottle of hair product in the toilet. One sec.
(Long conversation pause; Sounds of muffled bathroom chaos)
ASHLEE: ‘Kay. Back now. That was kind of a crisis. Petey can’t survive a day without product, y’know? Is Tony like that?
JESSICA: Ash, I’M in a crisis!
ASHLEE: Oh right. Okay, what happened? Is Tony gay?
ASHLEE: Is he cheating on with you with somebody smart and talented?
JESSICA: Um, no.
ASHLEE: Oh. Did Coach Phillips finally issue that restraining order against you, so that you won’t come to games?
JESSICA: Ashlee, no! I sang tonight. I did my Country Thunder debut. Remember?
ASHLEE: Oh, right. How’d that go?
JESSICA: Ash, it was BAD! I did everything Daddy said to do. I did that whole, like, cute Daisy Duke look with the shorts and the…
JESSICA: WhatEVER, Ashlee! Daddy said, “If they can’t see your ass, you won’t see their cash.” Remember? So I did that, and like, totally wore cowboy boots. And Daddy was all, “Whenever you want to cough or breathe, say either ‘Texas’ or ‘Tony.’” So I was like, “I’m Tony Romo’s girlfriend from Texas! Remember me from all of the pictures? I’m from Texas! Tony loves my Texas girl tits!” Stuff like that.
ASHLEE: I’m sure that went over well.
JESSICA: But that’s the thing, it DIDN’T. They were booin’ at me Ashlee. People were telling all the reporters I was some kinda embarassment and that I shouldn’t be there. And that going out with Tony doesn’t make me country! What are they talking about? What’s more country than the Dallas Cowboys? Augh! They booed! I can’t believe it!
(sounds of muffled laughter)
JESSICA: ASH! Are you laughing?
ASHLEE: (muffling her laughter) No.
JESSICA: Oh. Okay, good.
ASHLEE: I, uh, that’s a bummer, Jess.
JESSICA: Daddy is always right! Why didn’t he tell me they were going to boo?
ASHLEE: Maybe he was busy making sure your bra fit right.
ASHLEE: Sorry, sorry. Well that really sucks, dude.
JESSICA: I’m so humiliated! I’m so ashamed! I can never show my face again.
ASHLEE: Oh, good.
JESSICA: ASHLEE! You’re not HELPING!
ASHLEE: I don’t have time to help. One day, maybe you’ll be married again, and you’ll see how much time it takes.
ASHLEE: Listen, Jess. I know how you feel. Remember when I performed at the Rose Bowl, and they booed at me? And everyone was talking about it, and I was so ashamed that all I wanted to do was curl up and die?
JESSICA: Oh gaw, totally. Your eyes were so puffy! You looked like shit!
ASHLEE: And remember how I kept calling you and Dad to ask for advice, and he kept telling me he was busy with your career, and you kept trying to shove some old Louis Vuitton bag in my face to make it better?
JESSICA: Um, hmm, soooorta. But wait, is that how it went?
ASHLEE: All you could talk about then was how you wanted to fuck Johnny Knoxville. Or how you already were. Or whatever.
JESSICA: I’m with Tony now! I’m just a Texas girl dating Tony Romo now! (giggles, country-like)
ASHLEE: (stunned pause)
JESSICA: Ashlee? Ashlee? Come on, I need your help.
ASHLEE: Oh, you need a lot more than my help.
THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE, and as much as Carrie Underwood tried during last night’s American Idol finale, she couldn’t hold a candle to the real deal.