In a few minutes I leave for my big trip home to Canada, which is nice since it’ll be my first time back in two years. Most of the time will be spent in my hometown, but this week I’ll spend some time in Montreal, and at the end of the trip we stay a few days in New York. Things will obviously slow down here, but I expect to still be writing on a fairly regular basis. See you on the other side!
The Hermes shop in Ginza.
I very rarely have bad experiences in Tokyo, but last night’s outing to the a-bridge cafe/bar in Sangenjaya left a bad taste in my mouth. I went there, a place I’ve been to a few times, to get a few pics for a piece I was going to write for a German magazine, and brought some friends along (Marxy and U.T.) for a drink. We went up, paid for our drinks (a bit pricey — a nama beer was 700 yen), and went out on the outdoor roof patio. Well, I maybe took 1 or 2 sips before I accidently dropped the glass. The bartender that served me came out, and made a big deal about cleaning the mess, and then just left. No replacement beer. Having just paid 700 yen for it (something I’m sure costs them 100 yen or less — it wasn’t a very big glass), I wasn’t very excited about paying double for what would end up being one drink, and so patiently waited for my companions to finish their drinks before we left and went someplace else.
Yes, it was my fault, but it seems to me that the right thing to do would have been to simply offer me another drink. With what happen, I just felt bad and annoyed, and not only do I no longer want to go there, I’m also dropping the piece (a recommendation) I was going to write. Screw them.
I’d like to draw your attention to a most extraordinary tour that’s going on in Japan right now, and being blogged in an excellent collective blog. Shobus Diary documents Shobo Shobo artists O.lamm, Domotic, Davide Balula, and Minifer’s “Shoboshobus / Mobium Japan Tour 2005”. (Ishida Daisuke is the Japanese host.) Since these are highly original people, this is a bit different from your average rock or laptop tour. Instead of concert halls, the French artists have opted to busk. They’ve built portable speakers which hang from their necks, each one supporting a laptop. They’re playing on the roofs of buildings, at the Tsukiji fish market, in malls and car parks, anywhere. The blog is brilliant, and expanding rapidly with photos, sounds and videos. The Shoboshobus are quite aware of the problematical issues their guerilla tactics raise about disruption, noise pollution and their status as guests in Japan. There’s a lot of noise pollution in Japan already, but it tends to be in commercial or industrial areas; areas zoned for residence are hushed. Rehearsals on the roof of Yahiro Factory, where the Shoboshobus are staying, were stopped, for instance, when an employee of the Austin Mini dealership next door shouted that he couldn’t stand it any more.
It’s now in my feeds list.
Update: Minifer tells us: “The Japanese host is not Daisuke Ishida but Lozi.”
Yuki went out last night and snapped a whole bunch of pics in Shibuya.
I spotted this nice-looking cafe the other day in Aoyama, but didn’t have time to go in for a drink. It’s on the road that leads to the Maisen restaurant.
“Radio OK Fred 07” is now up, and you should see it pop up in your feed if you’ve subscribed to it. The is the first show that I’m not a part of, and it’s all my fault — I had to back out of our scheduled recording session at the last minute, and asked them to go ahead and do the show without me. I myself don’t know what was played, but I look forward to listening and finding out. As always, can can email to get a copy of the playlist.
Remember that you can also download all the previous shows here.
The Nakaochiai Gallery is trying something a bit different on Friday — hosting a musical performance!
Nakaochiai Gallery presents: Mink Engine LIVE on the last show for their summer tour.
Friday July 29, 7pm – 10pm entrance is FREE
This Friday MINK ENGINE will play the last show of their summer tour of Europe, UK and Japan at the Tokyo Nakaochiai Gallery. MINK ENGINE`S Askii will present an extra special set of minked up tunes while Touch Me Tiger creates a live art installation.
MINK ENGINE (Touch me Tiger and Askii) are a Melbourne based duo. They have performed at the National Gallery of Victoria, The Ian Potter Gallery. Their video pieces have been screened at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Spacement Gallery. Touch Me Tiger has exhibited in numerous exhibitions presenting new media works. She has recently headlined at the largest electro events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
In Mid June 2005 MINK ENGINE hit the road for a massive tour, highlights have included playing Nag Nag Nag in London, Fusion Festival in Berlin and being interviewed on Radio One BBC at Sonar in Barcelona.
Come and see MINK ENGINE synthesise dirty beats and tasty graphix into an experiment in excess!