Geisha.6

Well, I couldn’t stay away from the Mac, and ended up finishing the new GEISHA tonight. To view issue 6, click on the new icon in the Geisha box to the right. Enjoy.

And now for news of the next issue. I’ve decided to ask friends to contribute one page each, making it a guest issue. The only common thread I’m looking for is for them to say something about Japan, so I’m hoping to get an eclectic collection of views on the place I call home. Also, since I don’t have to do much work (I’ll just do the cover, index, and intro pages) I’m hoping it’ll be up in a month.

Jackson Onigiri

I’m watching ONE NIGHT ROCK’N’ROLL, a sketch comedy show with the groups Garage Sale, Ameagari, and DonDokoDon. They were spoofing the Michael Jackson interviews with Martin Bashir, and one of Michael’s kids took Michael’s nose off. stuffed it with rice to make an onigiri (rice ball) and offered it to Bashir. Only in Japan…

Update

Just a note to let you know what’s going on with all the stuff I recently promised (the TOKYO BOY site and the ezine). The intense amount of time I’ve been spending in front of the computer this past week or so has led to sore eyes and headaches, so I’m trying to spend some time away from the computer for a while. TB is working on Macs, but there are still a few bugs when viewed on PCs, so I’m not ready to launch it yet.

Koinobori

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The koinobori, which you see floating in the wind, are used to celebrate boys day (May 5th). The picture was taken in Koma, where we spent the afternoon yesterday walking around and enjoying the open air. The next few days of pics will be from that outing.

I Am the Doyenne!

Thanks to Lil for pointing out this post to me:

I enjoy keeping tabs on the Japan Bloggers who congregate at Yahoo Groups. These are some seventy expats from all around the world sharing the experience of living and working in Japan. Jean Snow is the doyenne of this salon, it seems. Cerebral Soup is the host of the Japan Bloggers Web Ring, which now lists 32 blogs, including Gen Kanai, INTRO-duce, Media Tinker, Ore no buloggu, Tokyo Shoes, and Tokyo Tidbits.

It’s funny as I’m a relative newcomer to the group, and I would never consider myself a doyen, even less a doyenne… And there lie the perils of having a French-English name.

Densha

I was checking out esthet.org and found this link to the terrific DENSHA short. Really nice use of motion graphics, sounds, and the busy Shinjuku station visuals. I’d seen this for the first time a few years ago on the sampler DVD I got with my RES subscription (back in the days when RES actually focused on digital filmmaking, before becoming the lifestyle magazine that it is now) and I’m glad that they have it online for everyone to enjoy.

AXIS 103

vol103coverYesterday I picked up the new issue of AXIS, a Japanese design magazine that is published in a bilingual format (Japanese and English). It’s becoming one of my favorite magazines. This issue’s feature articles take a look at the infrastructure of Dutch design.

Squirrel Curry

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The sign in the middle has “risucaree” written on it, which translates to “squirrel curry.” Not really sure what this is about, but it could be some kind of brand name, as I’m pretty sure that nobody in Japan eats squirrel.

Cubismo Grafico

My friend Patrick went to a Cubismo Grafico gig last night in Shimo-Kitazawa, and then wrote this report about the show for the P5 mailing list:

Tonight I went to see Cubismo Grafico Five at Shimokitazawa Shelter! It was my first time at this venue, which is very small, and it was really crowded! Chabe (Gakuji Matsuda = Cubismo Grafico) said the show was sold out!

First of all we had a big surprise to see Chabe come on stage with his left arm in a cast, up to above the elbow! He said he was alright, and that he just cut his finger while fixing a signboard (Escalator Shop’s?), but that they had to cast the whole arm because it would aggravate things if he was to move it.

Cubismo Grafico Five was fronted by Chabe of course, and the other members I didn’t know too well. One was TGMX and another guy was from Doping Panda. The band had generally a rock/punk-ish energetic sound, with lots of keyboards, it was pretty cool! Chabe was at front playing keyboards and percussions (as much as he could manage with one hand). The set was pretty good, with songs from all Cubismo Grafico releases, not just focusing on the latest stuff. They also played a few covers (including “What a Wonderful World” and also “Tout tout pour ma cherie” for which they used P5 samples, or the same samples P5 used for it), and also a few new songs!

Chabe announced that there will be not one but TWO new albums out on July 16! One by Cubismo Grafico Five, and one by himself as Cubismo Grafico. He said that he was planning on releasing three albums at once, a third one by another band called Cubismo Grafico Trio, but then he messed up his arm, so this third album will be postponed to later this year. I think he might have also mentionned a Cubismo Grafico Five single or EP in about a month, but I’m not sure about that. Anyway, lots of good music to look forward to!

I was hoping to hear “Make Peace For Baby Boom” with some Jesper samples during the show, and I was ready to scream “JESPER!!!!!” to get Chabe’s attention, but that didn’t happen. Nevertheless, it was a great show and I’m hoping to see him (or them!) again soon! The next show will be again at Shimokitazawa Shelter on 6/27 (in exactly 2 months) and tickets will be on sale at Pia Tickets starting 4/29. Chabe also said he’s hoping they’ll have a bigger show at Shibuya Quattro after the albums are released.

Going outside after the show, I got a flyer advertising a show with Capsule, Sonic Coaster Pop, Eel and more, including Chabe DJing! And for an instant I thought that I really have to catch that, but then I realized that the show was tonight from 10pm, and since I work tomorrow I had to go back home instead.