Harajuku Post Fruits & Kera

In his latest Ametora Dispatches newsletter, David writes up a nice essay about the the recent closings of “Harajuku fashion” magazines Fruits and Kera — and he also points out this article, that I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but that looks like a decent look at the past and present of the Harajuku street style.

The Best of Shibuya-kei, Volume One

You’ll remember that late last year David shared a fantastic series of Pizzicato Five reviews on Neojaponisme, and now he’s shared this terrific mix, a true celebration of Shibuya-kei. I was lucky to get an early draft version of this mix a while back, and it’s been my favorite thing to listen to since (I’ve literally listened to it over 30-40 times). I keep bugging him for Volume Two.

Beams Beyond Tokyo

Not only does the new Beams Beyond Tokyo book from Rizzoli look fantastic — a celebration of the brand’s collaborations through the years — I’m also happy to see that my buddy W. David Marx is one of the contributors. These Rizzoli coffee table books tend to be incredibly well made (oh, you know, like that Tokyolife: Art and Design book), and this looks like another one I’d love to pick up.

The Year of Nothing

Néojaponisme has tended to end the year with a collection of short pieces by a bevy of collaborators (including me), looking back at some of the top ideas, topics, and themes that marked Japan that year. This year, as David shares in this essay, nothing much happened, and that’s OK. He also ends with a little tease about a new Néojaponisme project for 2017, and that’s certainly something to get excited about.

What Comes After Ametora?

As he highlights in his latest “Ametora Dispatches” newsletter, it’s been a year since the release of David’s Ametora, and it’s great to hear that he’s already focusing on the next book he will write. Even better, we’ll get to ride along — and offer feedback — as he writes it.

Starting in January, I am going to hunker down to focus on writing a new book — which at the moment will be not about Japan but a guide to the mechanics of cultural change. I wrote Ametora semi-secretly for about two years (i.e. I did not post excerpts), but for this next book, I would like to share the content in real time to get immediate critique and feedback. I will need your help.

I’m very excited to hear more about this.

The Ametora Annotation of the Beams’ 40th Anniversary Video

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David is on an absolute writing tear these days, and following last week’s Pizzicato Five discography review, this week he posts to his “Ametora Extended” collection on Medium (supporting his Ametora book) a massive — and yes, ultimate — guide to that fantastic video Beams released back in October. Sit back, and find out more about all of the fashion movements that popped up in the video.

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1998-2006

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And so here it is, the final part of David‘s massive Pizzicato Five discography review series. The fact that I’ve highlighted every part here probably gives away that I so love that David took the time to do this, and it was fun to read along and listen again to a lot of these records. I first met David through a Pizzicato Five mailing list (P5ML) during the years leading up to my move to Tokyo in 1998 (after visiting in 1997) and it’s great to be celebrating this stuff again together almost 20 years later.

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1994-1997

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Part 3 of David‘s review series of the Pizzicato Five discography is up on Neojaponisme, this time covering probably peak P5. So many great records here, including the album that introduced me to the band (and probably many other of us non-Japanese fans), Made in USA. I used to play so many tracks from that album on my college radio show.

Update: I was just reminded that Happy End of the World is also quite a special album for me, because it was the first Pizzicato Five album I bought in Tokyo — I visited Japan for the first time the summer it came out. I bought a PlayStation on that same trip (it was while I was a student in China), and I have memories of staying at a Love Hotel with my wife (it was cheaper than a hotel), and plugging in my PlayStation so I could listen to this album.