Back during the heights of the Shibuya-kei scene, Escalator Records was one of my favorite labels, and I loved visiting its shop and cafe as well. Kokoro & Moi were responsible for a lot of the label’s branding (including at their physical spaces), and it’s nice to see a few examples here. Now I really need to get my hands on the two compilation series they mention, We Are Escalator Records and We Were Escalator Records.
A shop that specializes in cassette tapes? Of course there’s one in Tokyo — uncover more about Waltz (located in Nakameguro) in this Spoon & Tamago post. Gotta love that wall of boomboxes to the side. I think the cassette I listened to the most — to the point of breaking it — was the James Bond: 13 Original Themes tape (this one).
I was happy to see that top shelf pictured at the Junkudo book store in Ikebukuro, bringing together that great little collection of Japanese pop culture books from Kodansha International. I remember that when Arcade Mania came out, because we were the first, it was actually challenging for bookstores to place the book, as it wasn’t obvious where it should go. But with the addition of all those other books that ended up using the same format — Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda’s Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, Brian’s Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, and Patrick W. Galbraith’s The Otaku Encyclopedia — it now makes sense to display them together. I think the next step is the creation of a box set — how great a Christmas gift would that be!
Thursday night I was out in Shibuya for the opening reception of the new Diesel Concept Store, which opens to the public today (November 20). Like the Diesel Denim Gallery in Aoyama, the store features a gallery space, and the opening show is Simon Henwood and Fannie Schiavoni’s “Black Sun” (until February 23). I rather like the diner-like cafe/bar area, but I have no idea what the regular menu will have to offer.
The party itself was a bit too packed for my taste, although I did get a kick out of seeing Takashi Murakami waiting in line to get in when I was on my way out.
And while I mention Andrew’s Stranded, you should also drop by the Magtastic Blogsplosion for his interview with Ivan Pope, the founder of the new online indie magazine shop, Magazero. Pope is a vet of the net and magazine scene, and the inventory he’s building (and it’s still expanding) is already quite impressive.
MUJI posts a beautiful flash-based essay — mixing visuals and text — on its global site, explaining the rationale behind the company’s line of products.
Spoon & Tamago shares a few photos of Pass the Baton, “a vintage shop that derives its name from the concept of passing things on from one generation to the next,” located in the Marunouchi area. The shop’s design is by Masamichi Katayama (Wonderwall).
Azito is an online gallery that deals with sales of Japanese contemporary art worlwide, including works by the likes of Takashi Homma, Kenji Yanobe, and Keiichi Tanaami.
Pictured above, “New Waves,” a print by Homma.
Here’s a look at a new shop in Aoyama for children’s brand Carina, designed by Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA). Via Dezain.net.
A fun idea, if possibly a maddening one: Rroomm is a clothing shop in Osaka that was recently renovated by architects Ninkipen, and the main feature is a series of eleven doors, six of which are fake. Via Dezeen.