July 16, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #28 (July 8 to 14)
Food: - Ice cream at Tomihisa Ice Cream, Shinjuku
- Chocolate ice cream at À tes souhaits! Glace et chocolat, Kichijōji
- Kokutō, karintō and shiso cream chesse ice cream at Japanese Ice Ouca, Ebisu
- English muffin ham sandwich, fish & chips, etc. at Bespoque, Higashi-Nakano
Music event: I went to see Cornelius!! It was the 2nd and last day of his "Mellow Waves Release Party" series at Liquidroom, Ebisu. I stood about 10th row near the center, right in front of Cornelius! His show was preceded by a DJ set by Takimi Kenji (Crue-L Records), which was really good (though maybe a little bit long, as it lasted a whole hour and we were getting hungry for the main dish).
Cornelius' band featured Horie Hirohisa (Neil & Iraiza) on keyboards/guitar, Araki Yūko (mi-gu) on drums, and Ohno Yumiko (Buffalo Daughter) on keyboards(Moog!)/bass. All also sang! The show had about 4 songs from "Mellow Waves", maybe I'd have a liked to hear a few more, but there were also several from previous albums back to "Fantasma". With the recent "Fantasma" world tour that didn't come to Japan I sure hoped to hear some of that, so I was very pleased! The show was a great retrospective of Cornelius' catalog since the time I got addicted in the late 90's, and also a showcase of some of the best latest songs, which are definitely tour de force level in terms of being played live by humans. The non-stop set (!), barely stopping for more than a few seconds between the songs for the members to take a sip of water, closed with "If You're Here" which was just outstanding! The whole show was sync'd with video and onstage lights.
This is the set list according to my memo scribbled in the dark. (A song or two could be missing.)
Set list: Sometime / Someplace (いつか / どこか), Breezin', Helix / Spiral, Drop, Point of View Point, Count Five or Six, I Hate Hate, Wataridori, In a Dream (夢の中で), Beep It, Fit Song, Gum, Star Fruit Surf Rider, If You're Here (あなたがいるなら)
Encore: Seashore And Horizon
After the show I dropped by gallery Kata above the venue, which had original artworks used in the album and singles. All were created in the 70's by artist Nakabayashi Tadayoshi (now 79).
Music release news: Learners, Charan-Po-Rantan, lyrical school, The Aprils, hitomitoi
This week's video: lyrical school "natsuyasumi no Baby"
July 9, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #27 (July 1 to 7)
Food: - Dhindo set at Nepal restaurant Purja Dining, Sugamo
- Chicken curry set at momo no mi, Suidōbashi
- "Noir" (forêt noire) cake at Très calme, Sengoku
- Coffee ice cream at Matsuki, Nakano
Music event: I went to an awesome event held by Grand Gallery, titled "Home Party". It was held at venues Unit/Unice/Saloon in Daikanyama, all of which are connected together. There were a lot of bands and artists performing, with a busy schedule that had me almost running between the venues to catch as many as possible. :)
I first went to Unice where I caught a bit of Chabe's DJ set, which was followed by a 3-piece set by Nakatsuka Takeshi (guitar, saxophone and vocals), which I watched while eating green curry by Abe Kumiko.
I then ran downstairs to Unit for a dreamy set by Jintana & Emeralds. Guitarist Kashif was absent but replaced by a keyboardist. They played songs including "Honey", "Emerald Lovers", "Runaway", "Moon" and "futari no natsu".
After having some more food at Unice, a generous plate of roasted pork, I went back to Unit and watched T-jiros, a duo of just guitar and bass, who gave a rocking good show.
Then was a show of The Scooters, who were absolutely awesome! They played a selection of their most popular songs, and also many from their recent singles. Their powerful sound that I love made me dance the most of the whole evening. :) I had such a great time!
Set list: (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave (Martha And The Vandellas cover) / Dancing in the Street (David Bowie & Mick Jagger cover) / I Believe In Miracles (Jackson Sisters cover) / Young American (David Bowie cover) / Hang On In There Baby (Johnny Bristol cover) / Make You Mine (Honey & The Bees cover) / Shout (Isley Brothers cover) / Tokyo Disco Night (Original)
After catching a glimpse of Nakano Aya at Saloon, which was quite crowded, I went back to Unit and enjoyed some live dub by Kodama Kazufumi Dub Station Band. Kodama Kazufumi is an ex-member of Mute Beat. I enjoyed their show quite a lot, and was quite impressed by keyboardist Hakase-Sun, an ex-member of Fishmans. Then at Unice I caught a bit of Sokabe Keiichi's show, but then had to run back to Unit.
The last to play there was Yann Tomita! It was my first time seeing him. He played a set using mainly modular synthesizers and some samplers. He was accompanied by three rappers and a VJ. The music went from very abstract sounds, with some deep frequencies I'm sure I had never heard before, to sometimes dub beats accompanied by some rap. That was a set impressive for the ears and eyes.
I then got to hear a little bit of city pop singer Natsu Summer, at the small Saloon which was again rather crowded (I couldn't see much at all). Her first album was just about to be released the next day. And although there was still much more DJs who were going to play later in the night, it was time to go home...! Still, what an amazing event!
Music release news: Natsu Summer, Mira Parameter, Manon
This week's videos:
Manon "xxFANCYPOOLxx" (produced by Yuppa (HNC)!)
Cornelius "In a Dream"
July 1, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #26 (June 24 to 30)
Food: - Dinner at Matsuki, Nakano
- Lunch at Gastro Pub Augustus, Shibuya
Exhibition: Went to see street artist ESSU's exhibition at Diginner Gallery Workshop in Jiyūgaoka. There were several new big pieces and sculptures, with an impressive large 3D artwork, the type where things appear and disappear when looking at it from another angle.
New music: This week was the release of Cornelius' new album "Mellow Waves"! I've been listening to it a lot since, and it's great! Actually I also got the Cornelius x Idea design book (which comes with non-album track "Surfing on Mind Wave pt.3"), and Sound & Recording magazine (which has downloadable remixes by Sakamoto Ryuichi and Hosono Haruomi). Now I really can't wait to experience this live just in a few weeks!
Music release news: Tamaki ROY, Inoue Honoka, STE (Sunaga t Experience)
This week's videos:
Tamaki ROY "furukotobumi"
June 25, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #25 (June 17 to 23)
Food: - Chicken curry at Tapir, Shin-Ōkubo
Music event: I went to Wakita Monari's in-store event at HMV record shop Shinjuku Alta, on the day before the release of new single "I'm with you"! The new single's title track is a song written and produced by Fukutomi Yukihiro, a house music producer also famous for doing programming for Pizzicato Five (he was the co-producer of "Happy End of the World", which happens to have been released on the very same day 20 years ago!). The song is great of course! Watch the new video below. I also love the B-side, "EST! EST!! EST!!!", which was arranged by Arai Toshiya (of Count Joke, and also programmer for Konishi Yasuharu for many years now). She also sang new song "Irony" from her upcoming album "I am ONLY" (I suspect the title is a sort of "Monari" anagram). I really can't wait for the album!
Set list: Irony / EST! EST!! EST!!! / I'm with you
New music: Also this week was the release of Hoshino Michiru's new album "12 signs of the zodiac"! I've been enjoying it a lot! I can't wait to hear many of the new songs live. Check out the video below, directed by Sally Kubota!
Exhibition: I went to Los Apson's annual T-shirt fair, where about a hundred artists make brand new T-shirts. It supposedly starts with T-shirts sorted and piled nicely, but with so many people digging around to find ones they like or their own size it soon gets very messy! T-shirts end up in big piles, and what should be here might be at the other side of the room. Bottom line it's a lot of fun despite being a bit tiring! :) This is going on until tonight at 10pm. Hurry!
Music release news: Wakita Monari, Hoshino Michiru
This week's videos:
Hoshino Michiru "nagareboshi Rendez-vous"
Wakita Monari "I'm with you"
June 18, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #24 (June 10 to 16)
Food: - Puttu, chicken and black chickpea curries at South Park, Asakusa
- Deep-fried baby corn & "tulip karaage" at Pétanque, Asakusa
- Black forest cake from Acacier in Urawa, Saitama
- Hamburg steak at Augustus Gastropub, Shibuya
- Curry dinner at Cochin Nivas, Shinjuku
- Apple pie at Lunettes, Shinjuku
Music release news: Emerson Kitamura, Fujin Club, Halfby, Nona Reeves, Chie & The Wolf Baits, Alfred Beach Sandal + STUTS, Tweedees, Wakita Monari
This week's video: Fujin Club "tabi to Ferry"
June 11, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #23 (June 3 to 9)
Food: - Three curries lunch plate & chai shaved ice at Hachi, Toshimaen
- "Bring Home the Bacon" at Buy Me Stand, Shibuya
Music release news: Hideki Kaji et Maki Nomiya, Nakano Aya, Sunny Kubota & Old Lucky Boys, Mondo Grosso, Cornelius
This week's videos:
Mondo Grosso "Time"
Sunny Kubota & Old Lucky Boys "Candy Boy (Short ver.)"
June 4, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #22 (May 27 to June 2)
Food: - Dinner at Trailer, Kagurazaka! This temporary restaurant will close in August.
- Kerala chicken & pork vindaloo curries at Epitaph, Golden-gai
- Cherry parfait at Fruit Parlor Fukunaga, Yotsuya 3-chōme
- Curry nyūmen at Shake Stand, Daitabashi
Music event: I went to "Perfume FES!! 2017"! The first night actually, an event with Perfume and Denki Groove! I've loved Perfume for a very long time but it was my first time to see them live! Plus I'm a huge Denki Groove fan (and I love the new album "Tropical Love"), so that was a dream-like opportunity to see these two! Both shows were fantastic, with amazing visuals.
Denki Groove had VJing as usual, using full potential of the provided screens including the reversed triangle one in the center. For two songs guest Tomita Shiori (who sings on the album). Perfume's visuals had an incredible amount of lasers and synchronized lighting, probably the most hi-tech show I've ever seen.
Denki Groove set list (partial): Ningen President / Fallin' Down / Puerto Rico no HITorIKKO feat. Tomita Shiori / Ichigo-Musume feat. Tomita Shiori / Missing Beatz / Turn Over (Ishino Takkyu) / Shameful / Shinkansen / Flashback Disco / Baby's on Fire / N.O. / Love Domination (Ishino Takkyu) / Ufoholic
Perfume set list (partial): Tokyo Girl / I still love U / Flash / Magic of Love / ijiwaru na Hello / hōseki no ame / Game / Electro World / (Dancing along to Shangri-La w/ special visuals) / Party Maker / Puppy Love
Encore: Chocolate disco
Exhibitions: - Dropped by Mizuma Art Gallery to see a photo exhibition by Matsukage Hiroyuki titled "Lust". This is on until June 10. Details here.
- Also on its last day I caught solo exhibition "Archives" by street artist KAMI (HITOTZUKI), at Kinmeguro. Many paintings in both new and old styles.
Music release news: Kinoco Hotel, Hoshino Michiru, Hideki Kaji et Maki Nomiya
This week's video: Kinoco Hotel "atashi no Sniper"
May 29, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #21 (May 20 to 26)
Food: - Thali at Dhaba Kunitachi! This new restaurant finally opened last month. Congratulations!
- Eton mess at Borton, Kunitachi
- Salmon curry at Shake Stand, Daitabashi
- Maguro burger & hot dog at Matsuki, Nakano. Normally only open for dinner, this was a monthly lunch event, in collaboration with Watering Hole from Yoyogi.
Music release news: J.A.M, Muro
This week's videos:
BUBBLE-B feat. Enjo-G "bakuso Minivan ~Highway Star~"
suiyōbi no Campanella "Melos"
May 21, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #20 (May 13 to 19)
Food: - Curry lunch at Tapir, Shin-Ōkubo
- Bak kut teh & paper chicken @ Malay fūkō bishoku, Ogikubo
Music events: - I went to "wamono meeting vol.6" at Shibuya Kissa Smile! The DJ event featured Comoesta Yaegashi, DJ Fukutake, Itō Yōichirō (Akakage) & more, plus special guest Konishi Yasuharu! I was happy to hear the original of "Cinderella Liberty" (a song by Yokoyama Ken's old band Cools R.C., recently covered by Nomiya Maki) which DJ Fukutake began his set with. Konishi-san's set was his signature (of the recent years) fast-paced 7" mixing, selecting and mixing the next song in about 30 seconds. That was a very fun event with lots of good groovy Japanese music.
- Also went to North Indian classical music "Indian Classics Tokyo 2017" at the Suginami Public Hall in Ogikubo. The show consisted of two pieces, a night raga and a late night/midnight raga, each close to an hour duration. The first featured Terahara Tarō on bansuri, Ty Burhoe on tabla and Izawa Makiko on tambura. The second featured Steve Oda on sarode, U-zhaan on tabla, and Ikeda Ayako on tambura. There was also an encore with all musicians playing an Indian folk song.
That was a great concert, probably my first time seeing sarode, an impressive stringed instrument, and also getting to see two of Zakir Hussain's tabla students. The 2nd piece with Steve & U-zhaan was especially mesmerizing! This show also made me intrigued about tambura, an instrument that has an important role in Indian music sound. Checking the merchandise, I randomly bought a tape by Furukawa Miki & U-zhaan, which turned out to be a very recent release of two Japanese traditional songs performed with tabla. Very good!
Music release news: Shibata Satoko, Scha Dara Parr & Ego-Wrappin'
This week's video:
Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa "Elastic Astral Peel"
suiyōbi no Campanella "Unico"
May 14, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #19 (May 6 to 12)
Food: - Tokugawa Shogun cafe latte at Saza Coffee
- Sri Lankan curry lunch at Acala.naatha
Music event: I went to event "City Pop Connection" held at Kabuki Lounge, in Kabukichō, Shinjuku. Mainly a DJ event feat. DJs Ikegami Takashi, Gō, and Kanazawa Yoshikazu (selector/supervisor of "Light Mellow" compilation series), there was also a mini-live of singer Wakita Monari (ex-Especia)! The small venue was very crowded, so much that it was sometimes a bit difficult to walk around, but it was definitely a fun event with many friendly people. Monari did a set of her own songs, including the great unreleased "est est est", plus a cover of Count Joke, and later she sang a Japanese cover of Kylie Minogue's "I should be so lucky" (as sung by Wada Kanako in 1988). That was great! The show also served as a demo of the "Lyric Speaker", a cool device that shows lyrics as songs are played.
Wakita Monari set list: LED (original by Count Joke aka jōdan hakushaku) / est est est / akai Skirt / In the City / anone / Boy Friend
& later: Lucky Love (Japanese cover of Kylie Minogue's "I should be so lucky")
Music release news: microstar, The Boom, Towa Tei, tofubeats, little moa, Smooth Ace, Mocche Nagai
This week's video: Cornelius "anata ga iru nara (If You're Here)"
Continue reading in the May 2017 Archives.
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