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)"
May 5, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #18 (April 29 to May 5)
Outing: - Went to see the sea of nemophilas at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki. Beautiful! The place was very crowded as it's just the best time to see them, and also it's Golden Week.
Music events: - On Saturday April 29, I went to Asakusa Golden Tiger for the release party of the first 7" single of Mary & the Flying Bowties, a new band fronted by Sara Mary of Learners. DJing were Chabe and Comoesta Yaegashi, and there was also a performance by Comoesta's recent unit "Comoesta Yaegashi with Golden Oriente" that features some exotic and sexy dancing.
- Also I went to an in-store event by The Nyantokanyaru's, idol unit of Eve-nyan (also of Kit Cat) and Ao-nyan (aka Sorano Aozora) produced by Dr.Usui. They sang all three songs from their first EP. After the show there was a photo session where I had my photo taken with Eve-nyan. :)
Music release news: Kashif, The Nyantokanyaru's, "Game ongaku taizen Revolution" (Book by YMCK et al.), Gallantique Kazue, "'Tasha Tudor - a still water story' Soundtrack" (sione, world's end girlfriend, ...), Yogee New Waves
This week's video: The Nyantokanyaru's "chikyū ga tonikaku kawatteru"
April 30, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #17 (April 22 to 28)
Music events: - On Record Store Day, I went to Tower Records Shinjuku to see Vanilla Beans, part of an event for the release of split-singles with The Pen Friend Club. I didn't know The Pen Friend Club before, but turns out they're a cool band that takes inspiration from the sound of the Beach Boys and Phil Spector. Also performing was Niigata idol group RYUTist which has some very nice vocals. Vanilla Beans sang "Nicola", "sweet life" (released on 7" this time) and "Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji" (Pizzicato Five cover)! The dance poses in "Nicola" on the 2nd and 3rd photos always remain favorites. :)
- And on Friday I went to see Maika Loubté, who performed a live set in the entrance of Isetan Men's in Shinjuku! What a cool place to blast electronic sounds! This was presented in collaboration with Agnès b. Maika had brought a bunch of synths and played everything live as she does it, including the two songs from her recent single "Skydiver". I posted a very short clip on Instagram.
Set list (the 2nd of 2 sets): Feel / Coconut Juice / Universal Metro / Le Gong / Skydiver / Mountaintop
Music release news: Agata Morio & Hachimitsu Pie, Cornelius, Metafive
This week's videos:
Report of "Thank You Origato Nakanishi Toshio"
April 22, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #16 (April 15 to 21)
Food: - Brazilian coffee event by Borderless Café! "from seeds to cup, from Brazil to Japan ~a celebration of Brazilian coffee~" Got to taste 6? 7? 8!? different coffees from Brazil! :)
- Indian dinner at Salma Tikka & Biryani, Shinagawa
- Cuban (half) sandwich lunch at Cafe Habana, Daikanyama
Music release news: Hollywood Zakoshisyoh, Record Store Day 2017, Learners, Nomiya Maki
This week's videos:
Momoko Motion "Fake Food"
& "You Make Shibuya" promotion song sung by Nomiya Maki w/ music by Kaji Hideki! Hear it here.
April 15, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #15 (April 8 to 14)
Food: - Lunch & desserts at Au bon vieux temps, Oyamadai
- Horse meat dishes at "Ōhashi shōten no tonari shokudō", Daitabashi
- Hawaiian cheeseburger at Port of Call, Daikanyama
- Manly burger at Umami Burger, Omotesandō
Music event: Following the passing away of Nakanishi Toshio (Plastics, Melon, ...) and the "God Save the To$h vol.4" event that I went to at the end of February, another larger event in remembrance of Tosh was held at SuperDeluxe: "Thank You Origato Nakanishi Toshio a.k.a. Tycoon To$h Fest.!!!".
This time again all-star band Diamond Heads (Takagi Kan, Oyamada Keigo, Sunahara Yoshinori, Nomiya Maki, Linda, Noemi, Momo, Kuni Sugimoto & Onishi Tsuru) played a set of Plastics song, with former members Tachibana Hajime and Shima Takemi joining in. The event also had performances by Hikashu (who played a set of their early songs), Satō Taiji (Theatre Brook) (who played guitar for Tosh watching from above) and Tachibana Hajime (solo guitar Plastics style). In the end Kenji Jammer also joined.
Hikashu set list: Doro Doro / At The End Of The 20th Century / Nazeka Burning / Love Treatment / Alternative Sun / Pike
Diamond Heads set list: Copy / I Love You Oh no / Peace / Good / Deluxe / Delicious / Robot / Park (Eight Days A Week) / Pate / Diamond Head / Top Secret Man / Copy (Reprise with everyone)
Music release news: De De Mouse, Urbangarde, sione (aka Yukawa Shione), P.O.P
This week's videos:
P.O.P "Fresh & Step"
sione (aka Yukawa Shione) "Wealth of Flowers"
April 9, 2017
Catch-up revue: 2017 weeks #10-14 (March 4 to April 7)
Travel: From March 9 to 19 we had the great pleasure to travel to India! This time we went to Delhi, Kerala (Trivananthapuram (Trivandrum), Varkala, Kovalam) and Mumbai. Lots of great food and memorable times. Photos are up on Flickr.
1. Rajinder Da Dhaba, Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi
2. Spice shop at Connemara Market, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
3. Indian Coffee House, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
4. In Varkala, Kerala
5. Festival at the Valiyaveetil Devi Temple in Varkala
6. Dabbawala near Churchgate station, Mumbai
Food: - Went to Indo Fuji (Higashi-Koganei) one last time before it closed at the end of March. That was a very good curry restaurant! Fortunately Indo Fujiko (Koenji) remains, just below Enban.
- Last weekend was an exhibition of Indian textiles at fudoki in Itabashi, and there was a curry lunch plate served by Indian Canteen Ami.
- Had a sausage roll and blueberry pound cake at a Friday morning Sunday Bake Shop
Music release news: Denki Groove, Kinoco Hotel, Shinohara Tomoe, Especia, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Maika Loubté, "Kayama Yuzo no shin sekai", Charisma.com, "Toy Chara Pop" compilations by DJ Fukutake, Watanabe Marina, Hiyajo Atsuko, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Perfume, Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa, Saoriiiii
This week's videos:
Maika Loubté "Sky Diver"
Denki Groove "Ningen President"
March 5, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #9 (February 25 to March 3)
Food: - Shish Kebab and yudōfu at Tapir, Shin-Okubo
- "Ami Dhaba Timo" special thali at room103, Kunitachi. A special collaboration by Indian canteen AMI, Dhaba Kunitachi and Samosa wala Timoke.
- Meat pie lunch at Dining café Theater, Shibuya/Aoyama. They hadn't been open for lunch for a long time, but they started again just recently. I love their meat pies!
- Soba lunch set at Ryan, Shibuya
Kawamoto Makoto's show was a live performance of her entire album "ongaku no sekai e yōkoso" (2010). She was accompanied by a funny guitarist, and herself played piano and guitar, and for one song drums. That was quite good, although a full album being maybe a bit lengthy. Still I enjoyed seeing her for the first time, and I got more curious about her music.
Agata Morio presented his set as an introduction of himself. He told about his background and his career to an audience he expected many people might not know about him so well. The songs he played included "boku wa tenshi janai yo", "Rurumoppe Bay Blue", "Kyūshū no obaasan", "Rock'n'Road o yuku yo", "Showa minatomachi sanbanchi", doing call & response with the audience, and, as an encore in duet with Kawamoto Makoto, "saigo no Dance Step". Except for the duet, it was just him and his guitar, which made for an intimate show in this also intimate-sized venue.
- I had been planning to go to event "God Save the To$h vol.4", a charity event to help Nakanishi Toshio (Plastics) who had been hospitalized for cancer treatment. It was a shock when his death was announced just three days before the event. The event was held anyway, and as planned a special band called Diamond Heads featuring Oyamada Keigo, Nomiya Maki, Sunahara Yoshinori, Takagi Kan (as Tosh #2) and more, also including special guest Tachibana Hajime (Plastics). The band played just Plastics and Melon songs: "Hardcore Hawaiian", "Copy", "Delicious", "Robot", "Park (Eight Days A Week)" (w/ wife Saori), "I Love You Oh no", "Copy" again (w/ daughter Karin) and "Top Secret".
I always loved Plastics, ever since I randomly found a "Diamond Head" golden sonosheet at Dutchy's in Montreal in the mid-90's, buying it just because it looked so cool but ending up loving the music too. I have good memories of seeing Tosh on stage several times, mainly with his band Plastic Sex that also featured Nomiya Maki.
- Another sad news this week was that Monsieur Kamayatsu passed away. He was a former member of group sounds band The Spiders in the 60's, a great rocker very much respected also by the Shibuya-kei scene. I first knew of him because of his "Je m'appelle Monsieur" album released on Readymade in 2002, and fondly remember seeing him at an in-store event at Tower Records Shinjuku then.
Music release news: Denki Groove
This week's video: Maika Loubté "SKYDIVER"
February 26, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #8 (February 18 to 24)
Food: - Gyoza at Rengetsu, Nogizaka. Owner-chef Shinagawa Yuji was the champion of the 7th World Championship of Chinese Cuisine held in Singapore in 2012!
- Lemon squash and iced green tea at The Open Book, Golden-gai, Shinjuku
- Mac & cheese and iced chocolate cake on a stick at Good Meals Shop, Shibuya
Music event: - I went to Comoesta Yaegashi's regular event "wamono Meeting", usually featuring himself, DJ Fukutake and others, but this time Comoesta invited only girl DJs to fill the bill. This included Nosa Reina and Sumire (Twee Grrrls Club), and the special guest was Nomiya Maki! With the help of DJ Comoesta, she sang karaoke-style to many of her own songs, and of course some Pizzicato Five classics! This was a wonderful time dancing to those loved songs in the cozy venue that is Kissa SMiLE in Shibuya. I even had the chance to get autographed Maki's new 7" set! :D
Nomiya Maki set list: Un homme et une femme (Japanese ver.) / Oh! Honey (Scooters cover) / Chanson des jumelles (Japanese ver.) / La douce vie (Towa Tei) (Live ver.) / Blue Light Yokohama (English ver.) / Fortune Cookie / Maki no Rekishi / Twiggy Twiggy (1981 original) / Shibuya de 5ji / Airplane / If I Were A Groupie w/ MATSUO Remi (Glim Spanky)
Exhibitions: - "Digital Choc 2017" à l'Institut Français du Japon. There's a great new installation by UJINO in the entrance until March 19! Check out this short video I posted. The installation can only be enjoyed in full by going there and seeing it in action. There are also headphones to hear music being created from it. I love Ujino! :)
There were also other fun installations, including one of a robot that can draw your portrait... if you can sit still for 30 minutes. :)
- Dropped by the "Chiyoda Cat Festival 2017" at Chiyoda city ward. There were many stalls selling or promoting various things for cat owners or cat lovers. Notably there was an opportunity to wear the "real cat heads" made by Sato Housetu and his Japan Felt Art School. I didn't wear the real cat head this time (though I have before), but many of their other felt cat creations were also on display.
Music release news: "manatsu no Innocence ~ Urino Masao Works Covers", "DJ HASEBE Butter Smooth - Tokyo 90's Groove -", Konishi Yasuharu
This week's videos:
Ice Choir "Amourous In Your Absence"
dahlia "ai wa kūki"
February 19, 2017
Weekly revue: 2017 week #7 (February 11 to 17)
Food: - Tonkatsu at Narikura, Takasanobaba
- Cheeseburger at Weekend Garage Tokyo, Shibuya
- Roasted pork and fondant au chocolat w/ yuzu at Gastro Pub Augustus, Shibuya
- Dal bhat and momo at Nepalico, Shibuya
Music event: - I went to Wakita Monari's in-store event at HMV record shop Shinjuku Alta, promoting her 2nd single "Boy Friend" being released on the same day. It was my second time seeing her since she went solo, the first having been just before her solo debut when she appeared as the opening act for Hoshino Michiru. The new single is written and produced by the two of Microstar! Both songs are very good and catchy. Check out the video below for "Boy Friend", directed by Sally Kubota. I had my 7" autographed! :)
Set list: akai skirt / anone,,, / Boy Friend (extended version)
Music release news: dahlia, Konishi Yasuharu selected compilation "Ace", Pizzicato Five (remastered reissue & 7"'s), Nomiya Maki, "The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Concert"
This week's videos:
Wakita Monari "Boy Friend"
Denki Groove "Tropical Love (Video Edit)"
Continue reading in the February 2017 Archives.
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