LOGO

I just watched a great program on BBC World called LOGO. It takes a look at commercial culture in all its extremes. The show I saw at segments covering subjects such as demonstrator training camps, the Hello Kitty obsession, the way to sell soap, and France versus McDonald’s. Reminds me that I’ve been wanting to read Naomi Klein’s NO LOGO for a while now, and I really should get around to it sometime soon.

Momus

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Momus, who is presently based in Tokyo, is hard at work on a new album, tentively titled OSKAR TENNIS CHAMPION, and he’s writing a log of the creation process, which should be updated weekly. It definitely makes for interesting reading.

TOKYO BELOW

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A few weeks ago I found a website for an independent DV documentary called TOKYO BELOW. I ordered a copy of the DVD from the director, James R. Petix, and finally got my copy yesterday. The short takes a look at the Tokyo underground rock scene, and we are introduced to a few bands. The documentary itself is nice, and I like how a lot of it is presented in splitscreen, which gives us lots of visuals to look at. It’s a nice little walkthrough of Tokyo. The DVD itself has the documentary (around 24 minutes I think), plus a commentary track, band videos, outakes, which all makes for a nice package. What really impresses me is how all this was done independently, which shows how the DV age is really giving us access to quality video packaging. I’ve also been interested in producing short documentaries, but right now it’s mostly the computer side of things that’s preventing me from editing anything I tape (lack of HD space mostly, but a new iMac with a Superdrive that lets me burn DVDs is what I’m really looking at to replace my iBook as soon as I can afford it).

Check out the site for more info on the video, short clips, and contact info to order it.

Sketch Show

Right now I’m watching a performance by Sketch Show on NHK (the Japanese public broadcasting channel). Sketch Show is a new project by two members of the classic Japanese electronica trio YMO, who counted Ryuichi Sakamoto as a member. The sound is a natural progression of the electronics pioneered by YMO over 2 decades ago. It’s visually very interesting as the two members are in a black studio surrounded by video screens of all sizes, with electronic static/patterns being projected in sync with the music. Their album’s name is STRANGE FLOWERS VOL. 1, and it’s out now.