Meta Web

SNOW Magazine, A Week Later

So here we are, almost a week since the launch of SNOW Magazine. How have things been? Well, it was a bit of a rough ride for the first couple of days, mostly because I wasn’t happy with the way I had set up the domain (a lot of people will recall that you could only see “” in the URL bar no matter the post, because I was just using forwarding/masking), and so I struggled a bit with this, but I can’t thank enough the man who always comes to my rescue when it comes to web-related problems, Patrick Benny (he’s helped countless times on this site as well). Do check out Patrick’s first column for SNOW as well, covering the launch of Yasuharu Konishi’s new label, READYMADE V.I.C.

So I think things should be running relatively smoothly from here on out, although do continue sending feedback if you encounter weirdness. The feed should also be working fine, so please subscribe to make sure not to miss any new content.

Also, here’s a quick list of the recent posts that went up on the site, in case you missed anything.


Events Meta

No PauseTalk in February

I’m afraid I have some bad news for PauseTalk in February. I was planning on having it happen on the 8 (because I’m currently in Kyoto and will only be back tomorrow night), but just found out from the manager at Cafe Pause that there’s an event booked there, so no go. Since I don’t want to have it in the middle of the month, we’ll just have to wait until March for the next edition. Apologies to everyone who was planning on attending.

Meta Music

Radio OK Fred 20

This week’s episode of Radio OK Fred (20) is the “Dark” episode, something to listen to during these cold winter months. Below, a list of the tracks played as well as a link to download the episode — or subscribe to the feed.

Radio OK Fred 20 (41MB)

1. Tricky – “Broken Homes”
2. Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Christine”
3. Misfits – “Where Eagles Dare”
4. Rick White – “Darkland”
5. Eric’s Trip – “Hate Song”
6. Louis Prima – “That Old Black Magic”
7. Curtis Mayfield – “Right on for the Darkness”
8. The Gossip – “Dark Lines”
9. The White Stripes – “Death Letter”
10. The Velvet Underground – “The Black Angel’s Death Song”
11. Yo La Tengo – “Black Flowers”
12. Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart”


SNOW Magazine Is GO

And we have ignition. SNOW Magazine is launched: I’ll post more later, but wanted to just put this out there, and invite everyone to take a look. Subscribe to the feed too!


SNOW Magazine Part 4

And now we get to the best of all these teasers for my SNOW web magazine (see parts one, two, and three), looking at the aspect of this project that really has me the most excited, and that’s the guest columns. As I talked about earlier, it was always my intention to make this magazine something that was more than just a re-purposed venue for my editorial coverage. I really want SNOW to act as a voice for a lot of the interesting people that I’ve come to know over my years as a Tokyo resident, and I’m doing that with the inclusion of guest columns.

The idea here was to get all of these people to contribute short monthly columns (or posts, or articles, or whatever you want to call them) covering topics that are near and dear to each of them. Some of these will be themed columns, some will be all over the place, some will be visual, I just promise that it will be a fun collection of content that I think needs to be shared.

Below, all of the people who have agreed to contribute to the site. Some have already determined exactly what they’ll be covering (and have even already sent me their first column), others are still not sure and we need to discuss things more, but you’ll be seeing their contributions on the site in the near future.

  • Andrew Lee: Currently editor at Kodansha International, but also the art director of a little book I was involved with called Arcade Mania.
  • Alin Huma: Photographer, zine maker, barista, and the man you need to talk to if you want to get a custom bike built for you.
  • Audrey Fondecave: Artist, co-founder of OK Fred magazine, and of course my co-host for Radio OK Fred.
  • Bianca Beuttel: Kyoto-based designer and essayist who will be continuing her coverage of Japanese package design, something she did brilliantly at PingMag.
  • Claire Tanaka: Writer and translator based in Tokushima, whose byline you probably remember from PingMag and PingMag MAKE.
  • David Marx: The man, the myth, founder of Néojaponisme, and currently Tokyo city editor at CNNGo.
  • Hiroshi Egaitsu: Professor, thinker, freelance writer, and a man who has made you shake your ass at many a club event.
  • Hiyoko Imai: Amsterdam-based designer and illustrator, and also a partner in a new project I’m involved with (but more on that later).
  • Ian Lynam: Graphic designer, art director, typographer, professor, dancer…
  • James Kay: Game developer and founder of the Tokyo-based Score Studios.
  • Jeriaska: Contributor to many a game coverage site, who tends to focus on the music side of the games industry.
  • Johan Prag: Art director who just can’t help but create beautiful things.
  • Johnny Strategy: If you aren’t reading his site, Spoon & Tamago, then head there now.
  • Josh McKible: Illustrator and, more and more, papercraft enthusiast and creator of NaniBird.
  • Mari Kojima: Photographer who will get your body moving in her guise as member of Mammal.
  • Marie Iida: Writer, translator, soon-to-be filmmaker, and all-around project booster.
  • Masao Tamoaki: Founder of the online select design shop TokyoMade.
  • Micke Thorsby: You know him as PMKFA, the graphic designer extraordinaire.
  • Mark MacDonald: A true veteran of the world of games editorial (EGM, 1UP), and current localizer of some of Japan’s biggest games.
  • Paul Baron: Co-founder of Tokyo Art Beat — a site I can’t imagine having to live without — and designer at Tokyo-based web studio AQ.
  • Patrick Benny: No one has followed the Japanese indies music scene as long or as closely as him, and he’s also founder of the still amazing Tokyo Recohan online select shop of used Japanese CDs.
  • Remo Camerota: Filmmaker, art director, comic creator, he’s also the author of the terrific Graffiti Japan.
  • Shane Lester: Designer and art director at W+K Tokyo, member of the W+K Tokyo Lab, and the person you’re least likely to catch up on while biking.
  • Sophie Knight: Freelance writer and zine fanatic, who creates her own as well.
  • Yoshi Tsujimura: The founder and editor-in-chief of OK Fred magazine, a freelance contributor to many a publication, and my fellow co-host of Radio OK Fred.

So there you have it, the amazing group that will help give life to SNOW, and that I again must thank publicly for agreeing to join me on this crazy project. This is also the last of my pre-launch teaser posts, and the next time I mention SNOW will be to announce its launch.


SNOW Magazine Part 3

Continuing with my coverage of my soon-to-launch web magazine (see parts one and two), this time let me get into what exactly you can expect to see in terms of content.

As I’ve mentioned before, all the art/design/culture news bits you’re used to seeing here will show up on SNOW, but I’m upping the frequency, and the design of the new site will let me show off great images more than I could here. I also plan on eventually including the occasional feature and interview, but first I want the site to be running smoothly with all of the regular content.

All this also means that what you used to see here will change drastically, and yes, I know that will probably mean a drop in traffic, but I’m fine with that, especially if SNOW can get the attention I hope it will get. This site will now be more what you would expect someone’s blog to be, with coverage of all the things, projects (of which I have many, including further SNOW developments), and events (like PauseTalk) that I’m involved with. I imagine I’ll also cover things that my friend’s are doing that I don’t feel really fits in the magazine. If anything, things should get more personal here, which is something I’ve actually had a lot of requests for over the past few years (as content here tended more and more towards art/design news). I’ll also be able to talk more about what’s going on with SNOW, behind-the-scenes.

Another thing is that I’m very happy to announce that SNOW will be featuring posts from Néojaponisme and the English side of the newly re-launched Papersky website. You’ll find excerpts of all articles, with an invitation to continue reading on the respective sites. It’s my way of highlighting some terrific content that may get overlooked. Also, this content will be clearly label as so on the front page.

And then there are the guest columns, but more on that in the next post.

Art Web

Please Help Tokyo Art Beat

As we’ve seen with many a site and company, 2009 was a very rough year, and our dear Tokyo Art Beat — itself a non-profit — was hit as well. So if you can, PLEASE help TAB keep going by making a donation here. PLEASE!

Meta Music

Radio OK Fred 19

Even though we were all stuck in OK Fred HQ here in Tokyo — in Yutenji to be more precise — this week we get to travel a bit by way of our track selections, with “Places” being the theme for Radio OK Fred 19.

You’ll find the full track listing below, as well as a link to download the episode — although you may want to subscribe to the feed instead.

Radio OK Fred 19 (36MB)

1. Flin Flon – “Ukraina”
2. The Books – “Tokyo”
3. Bran Van 3000 – “Montreal (Featuring Youssou N’dour)”
4. Hibari Misora – “Under the Rainbow”
5. Unknown – “Piso Somalim #2”
6. Luna Parker – “Tes Etats d’Ame… Eric”
7. Serge Gainsbourg – “New York USA”
8. 3rd Bass – “Brooklyn-Queens”
9. Vampire Weekend – “California English”
10. The Magnetic Fields – “In My Secret Place”
11. Milosh – “The City”
12. Tahiti 80 – “Chinatown”


What’s Going On?

That’s a good question. As you may have guessed, with things prepping up for the launch of SNOW, and then having to deal with all of the other things happening in my life right night — like work — you can bet that this very place has taken a bit of a backseat over the past week or so. But it’s all good, I promise. SNOW is still set to launch soon — and I’ll write another couple of posts on that — and tomorrow morning we’re set to record a couple of episodes of Radio OK Fred, so expect to hear those soon too.

Events Meta

PauseTalk Vol. 37 Participants

A big thanks again to everyone who made it to this past Monday’s PauseTalk Vol. 37 — I think we were about 20 or so, which made for a nice tight conversation. Most of the night’s talk ended up revolving around photography — kept us going until past 21:30 — kicked off by Martin Holtkamp introducing us to his current exhibition — you’ll also be able to catch Martin at this month’s PechaKucha Night in Tokyo (January 27).

Below, a partial list of participants, and as always, please email me if you don’t find yourself there. The date for next month’s PauseTalk is a bit in flux right now as I’m having to deal with possible travel plans, so stay tuned to the PauseTalk site (by following the feed) or to the PauseTalk Facebook group to be informed on when it will happen.