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Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekly Top 10 (or lack thereof)

Yes sir, we have no Top 10. Going to change it to either fortnightly or monthly as I often don't have enough time to listen to all the music that I want to. Making it less frequent will give me more chance to do so.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Konono No, 1, Roppongi Hills Arena, 25th Aug.

I've been trying to think of how to write this review since Friday night. The following came to mind:

"How do you describe music that sounds like nothing you've ever heard before to people? Simple, you don't. You just sit them down in a room and play them the CD. You just let the music talk for itself instead of acting as an intermediary."

Apart from being badly written, it was also the easy way out. Even though the number of visitors this blog has is barely a trickle, I can hardly sit everyone down in a room and play them the CD, so I have to try harder to write a decent review that would hopefully encourage people to at least have a look at the Konono No. 1 website and take things from there. This is where the problems begin. I have some scraps written in my notebook after the concert had finished but there's a lot of repetition and not a lot of coherence. During the concert I was thinking of ways to describe Konono No. 1's sound but my brain kept disengaging with concepts such as adjectives and adverbs, sentences and paragraphs, instead acting like a sponge trying to soak up the sounds it was hearing. Two or three ideas kept recurring - 'pure music', 'elemental music', 'joy in noise' - but they failed to do justice to what was emanating from the stage. The music is pure, it is raw noise fused with joy and energy and for once, the expression 'life-affirming' is not just an overused epithet describing a production-line melody that cynically manipulates the listener in the same way Disney films use cute animals to tug at the audience's heart-strings.

'Elemental' is another over-used term in the lexicon of music writing. It often seems to be used to describe extreme forms of music - avant-garde noise, sludge rock, feedback-drenched psychedelia. 'Elemental' implies white hot sheets of guitar noise and 25 minute one chord epics, something metallic and close to unlistenable, or doom-ladeningly heavy music forged in furnaces in the depths of Lord of The Rings territories. Konono No. 1 are elemental in a simpler way: the music affects you as the elements do - it rains, you get out of the rain; it's hot, you dress down; you hear Konono No.1, you can't help but move. It's not something you have any control over, it's not something you can choose to do or not do. From the sharp blast of the drummer's whistle that sets the whole apparatus of the band in motion, people are moving. It hits some people strongly from the very outset: the guy in front of me for example who I think kept dancing even after the band had gone. Other people take more time to succumb, but not that long. About five minutes into the performance I look around the crowd and there is not one head that isn't nodding, and I'm sure there aren't any hands not tapping out a rhythm, trying to keep up with the two drummers.

The band play for forty minutes without stopping, and when they do stop it's for all of twenty or thirty seconds and I get the feeling they do it for the crowd's benefit, not their own. The whistle blows and then they're off again for another forty minutes. They come back for an encore that lasts about fifteen minutes and then finally they are gone. I'm not sure how many songs they played but it doesn't matter: individual songs are not what counts with this band. They are a gestalt, a force of music and noise and joy and dancers who come and go, smiles that come and go, and a band leader who stands impassively at the back right of the stage for most of the set until the music seems to break down even his formidable resistance and he is at the front of the stage dancing in a way that belies his obvious age. The music is behind all of this, driving it all along, making you move, making you forget about the charlatans and crooks who pass themselves of as musicians and artists, and even offering you some escape from the depressing, dangerous world that we find ourselves in. In the end though, words don't do them justice. The only way to understand this band is through the music, which brings me back to where I started - the music is more eloquent and more convincing than any review could ever be.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Keikaku - Lots of good stuff

Found this today through Last.Fm - it's a great website about Japanese music, both obscure and not so obscure. Good reviews and profiles to help navigate your way through the minefields.

Anyone who knows of any good websites/forums/etc, please post a comment and let us all know.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tomorrow night

Going to a show tomorrow night in Roppongi. I'd never heard of the band but Satoshi from TownTone was kind enough to invite me, and having looked at the website (click on the link above) I can't fucking wait to see Konono 1. I'll post about it over the weekend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

History repeating

Listening to The Aloof as I write this, song called Religion. It has very simple but true lyrics about religion being one of the main causes of war and the dangers of fanaticism. It was released in 1994 and I'm sure it was criticised for being overtly political or simplistic at the time but now it seems preternaturally prescient. It's similar to the feeling I get when I watch Bill Hicks doing material about the Gulf War, a President called Bush, and soldiers in "Hog heaven" playing with their new technology. I suppose we are doomed to repeat our mistakes ad nauseum and the only thing that changes is the efficiency with which we can kill each other. There's your happy thought for today. Thank fuck we have music.

Monday, August 21, 2006

MacPherson and McSwegan

Who the fuck are MacPherson and McSwegan? Anyone who has visited their MySpace profile will have found out that they are a songwriting duo stuffed with potential and songs that should take them out of the dull day jobs that no doubt pay for these nuggets of genius, sounding like broadcasts from the bottom of the well in Ring. I should add that I mean that in the best possible sense, i.e that the production is a bit patchy, not that Mac/Mc are a murderous demon with a grudge who will crawl out of your TV and kill you (although I don't know what they're like after a few drinks). Nor are they sludge rock behemoths who play the same chord over and over and over and over and over and over and over until you can't remember what it was you were trying to do. Look at the influences listed on MySpace, listen to the songs, and join the dots - future classic British pop that revels in the minutiae of life.

Unfortunately, to the uninitiated, or to fans of Scottish football (the difference being...?) Mac/Mc are something of a murderous demon who will crawl out of the tunnel and attempt to fool the crowd in to believing they're professional footballers. This is something we need to change. Musical Mac/Mc have the ability to erase this memory forever and raise the standard for a new and better Mac/Mc, they just need your support.

Those who have had a look at their profile will have noticed that they are based in London, and are probably now wondering why they are being included in this blog. Simple - a) they're fucking good; and b) I worked with one half of Mac/Mc when he lived in Japan. Don't say we're not international - anyone who lives in/has easy access to London, keep an eye out for Mac/Mc. I'll post any info I get regarding shows etc. In the meantime go and download their songs, just don't turn your back on the telly while you're doing it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Top 10

Not sure if the Billboard Top 10 was ever compiled while drinking beer and watching the Power Puff Girls but that's how we do things round here. Haven't been to any shows this week but been listening to the CD's I bought last week, scouring MySpace, and constantly annoying my girlfriend with the words "you've got to listen to this, it's fucking great." So, to all of you, you've got to listen to these, they're fucking great.

1) Now's The Time For Action Shift
2) To Watch (For The Time of High or Low Tide) Swarm's Arm
3) The Way Back Home MacPherson and McSwegan
4) gcagt Keishiro Iwatani
5) Last Time Drum:Kan
6) Slow The Oversleep Excuse
7) Uncle Konno Pfeuti
8) I Wish I Could Make Everything White Kayoko
9) Fairway Supercar (written in katakana)
10) Yesterday's Children Automatics (Japan)/Ron Ron Clou

All of the songs are available to download from MySpace except for Fairway by Supercar which is from their album Futurama. I haven't had a chance to post about most of the bands so I'll try and do so in the next few days.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer Playlist

Even though the weather would make you think otherwise, this is the middle of summer. If the typhoons weren't battering us a month early we'd probably be sitting in parks drinking beer and listening to music instead of sitting at home drinking beer, trying to write blog posts while trying to work out some kind of deal with my better half where we're both happy with what's on iTunes (either choose a song each or call in the U.N to mediate). So, if we were in the park what would we be listening to (yes, this is my genetic need to make lists taking over again). I got a bit carried away when I made a summer playlist on my iPod and it ended up stretching to 64 songs, so I've done my best to get this to 10. The only order they're in is the order they occurred to me.

1) Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
2) Rez Underworld
3) Summertime (duh) Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
4) Gin and Juice The Gourds
5) Good Shit Cornershop
6) So Nice (Summer Samba) Astrud Gilberto
7) Hot Fun in the Summertime (another duh) Sly and The Family Stone
8) Fake Plastic Trees Radiohead
9) No Time To Play Guru
10) It's The Sun The Polyphonic Spree

In case you're wondering, I saw Radiohead play Fake Plastic Trees live for the first time at the T in The Park festival in Scotland about 10 years ago and the song has been connected with summer for me ever since.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Primal Scream Podcast

Primal Scream are coming to Japan next month for some shows and even if they weren't I'd still mention them in the blog because they're ace. OK? This four part podcast is a candid interview with Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes talking about the new album, the old ones, the band's politics etc etc. It's good to hear some of the well-known stories straight from the perpetrators themselves. I'm going to see them next month and I can't fucking wait.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Japan Live Blog

Have a look at it - I like it a lot.


So, how do you follow SHIFT? Final act Sau'beach were clearly the main draw of the evening, the tiny floor space in front of the stage filling up as it drew closer to their start time. Taking the stage wearing a namahage demon mask vocalist Kazunari Hounoki was perhaps trying to match SHIFT for sheer visual flair, and the first song, a hypnotic number driven by Johnny Marr-like guitar justified the anticipation that had been palpable before Sau'beach started. They were probably the most accomplished and professional sounding of the bands on the bill, but like FDA, lacked the spark and the charisma that separates the great from the very good. Their opening song was their best - mesmerising guitar, thunderous drumming from the two drummers (one on a typical set, the other attacking a pair of tom-toms), perfectly pitched vocals - separate threads of a complex tapestry. The danger of starting a show with something that good is trying to maintain those heights for the duration. Sau'beach's other songs were OK but they had raised the bar way beyond that so that the rest of their set seemed to mark a retreat into more mundane territory. Still, it's clear to see why they were such a big draw: like the other bands on this bill they deserve to much more widely known. Keep your fingers crossed.


Apparently the Devil has got the best tunes. At the same time there can be no other explanation for the popularity of 'musicians' such as Coldplay, James Blunt, Embrace et al than some kind of Satanic pact whereby souls are exchanged for the ability to create mystifyingly popular, stadium filling dross. So how does this work? Simple. Satan, being the diabolical bastard that he is keeps all the best tunes to himself and only lets them seep out through those that don't ask, bands like SHIFT. A singer that may or may not have Tourette's Syndrome; songs that vary in length from twenty seconds to five or six minutes; a highly politicised ethos - anti-war and anti-Bush; protest songs written in their second language - none of this should work, but it does. Gloriously. In the space of a twenty minute set SHIFT restore some of my faith in the potential of music to bring change, make me grin like a goofy bastard while scribbling down things like 'elemental', 'shimmering', 'noisecore', 'Fool's Gold era Roses' and 'ungodly fucking racket' and never wondering at the incongruity of it all, and perhaps most strikingly, make me forget about the bottle of beer that has been ever present at my side throughout tonight's shows. Yes, they are that good. Vocalist Yuki Funayama does not in fact suffer from Tourette's. I spoke to him after the show and he's very articulate and charismatic. On stage he is pure energy, seemingly everywhere at once, defying those in the crowd who are trying to take pictures of the band. Off stage he is surprisingly small and fragile looking. I walked past him on the way to the bar without recognising him, but luckily M did.

Yuki, and the rest of SHIFT should be your new favourite Japanese anarchopunkpopdronerockkrautrockhardcore schizo band. We all know there is no justice in the world but occasionally gold shines through the shite and the bands that ought to be selling out the stadia of the world break through into the wider consciousness. SHIFT ought to be one of these bands. Buy their CD, but more importantly, go and see them live. They're touring the States in the autumn - buy plane tickets, take a ship, fucking hitchhike - just go and see them. Support them, make them as well known as they deserve to be, and put Yamagata on the map.


Between the end of the swarm's arm set and the start of massimo's I did something I've never done at a concert before - sneak in a couple of sandwiches from the convenience store near the venue. It's hardly rock n' roll, is it, but me and M were hungry. M, by the way, is my better half, and she is responsible for the photos that adorn these posts as wells as frequent insightful comments which I may or may not attribute to her (aren't I a bastard?). Anyway, back to the show. massimo are a four piece instrumental band very reminiscent of Slint or a less oblique Tortoise. One of the guitarists (centre in the photo) played with FIRST DAY ACTION, and I think massimo are an indication of what FDA could be like. The two guitarists slug it out, F/X pedals distorting, stretching, compressing, expanding and generally fucking with the sounds they produce. In my notepad I've scribbled something about an "unfussy rhythm section backing up the dueling guitarists" (it was the sandwich rushing to my brain) and scored it out. They may have been unfussy at the beginning of the set but as it continued they ceased to be merely timekeepers, the drummer seemingly morphing into John Bonham while the bassist showed that slap bass still has a place in music, just as long as it isn't Primus.

A lot of bands overstay their welcome, especially instrumental bands. It's difficult to escape being dismissed as 'prog' if you play twenty minute songs with eight minute guitar solos, and justifiably so. massimo on the other hand, could be one of the only instrumental bands I've ever heard that understay their welcome. A few times during their performance they would draw a song to it's end and I'd be left wishing they had explored it for a while longer. Mind you, the guitarist putting in his second appearance of the night ended the massimo set prostrate at the front of the stage, his guitar seeming to have overpowered him, so it's probably unfair of me to expect more.

swarm's arm

To call swarm's arm 'The Japanese Belle and Sebastian" or "The Japanese Pastels" would be laziness on my part, but it's hard to deny that there are strong similarities. The vocal style, the tunes, the melodies, the endearingly shambolic nature of their set, do tend to point in this direction. However, like the keishiro iwatani band there is more to swarm's arm than simple homage. Having two guitarists and a drummer is hardly new, however they also employ a little box that looks like the original Nintendo Famicom console and creates a percussive plinky-plonky sound. In lieu of any technical knowledge I'm going to have to call it a plinky-plonker - if anyone knows what it's actually called please post a comment and tell the world. The plinky-plonkerist, the guy on the left with the pink t-shirt is possibly the least active man in music since Neil Codling 'played' keyboards in Suede. Still, this band is far greater than the sum of its parts and, simply put, they were great - a double-barrelled blast of indie-pop and boy-girl vocals, backed up by, of course, the plinky-plonky thing. Luckily I was able to buy a copy of their self-titled CD and they are as good on record as they are on stage. Find it, go and see them, see if plinky-plonky man moves - it's all good.


Taking notes in a dark venue is hard work so I felt I was justified in having a beer between sets, a pattern which was repeated as the night went on, and one which is reflected in the declining quality of my handwriting. Audience members going to the bar between sets is fine, audience members going to the bar during your set is not. When these audience members are also checking their watches and mobile phones during your set, something isn't right. FIRST DAY ACTION started with a two-song, no-break burst, and in hindsight I can't help but think this was a strategy to keep the audience where they were for longer than at least one song. FDA are not a bad band - their final song sounded like a smaller scale Explosions in The Sky, and they have the genkiest drummer I've ever seen (and that includes Dave Grohl). They play well together and have some strong tunes, but they seemed to be lacking a spark and a decent vocalist. I can't sing for shit and I probably shouldn't be commenting on other people's ability, but hey, commenting on music is one of the reasons why I started this blog. FDA could be a great instrumental band, or they could go down the route followed by Mogwai and move the vocals further back in the mix, effectively making the singer's voice another instrument. Either way there's a lot of potential here.

keishiro iwatani band

Sporting a classic indie look and line up (floppy hair, two guitarists, bassist and drummer) the keishiro iwatani band opened the evening. However, the two laptops set up left of stage hinted at something more than skinny boys with guitars singing about how unfair everything is. From the first song k.i.b proved there was more to their repertoire than this and that those still in the bar upstairs were missing music of genuine quality. k.i.b connect with a number of indie rock touchstones - Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, and Sunny Day Real Estate (according to M - more about her later, and no, it's nothing to do with James Bond) amongst others, without ever sounding derivative. Rather than just paying homage to the groups and sounds we all know and love, they update them for the 21st Century, manipulating and reinterpreting them using the technology available to them (it's no coincidence that keishiro refers to himself as a guitarist/manipulator). I'll post any info I have about future shows as this is a band more people should be listening to.

Kiasma Vol.16

Blogger's help site has a section about to promote your blog and how to captivate your audience and keep them coming back to read your most recent musings. "Post regularly" they say, people are more likely to check back daily if they can likely expect to see a new post. So far I think we're doing OK on that count. Perhaps not daily but not too bad given work commitments, laziness, etc. They had another piece of advice which seems to go against everything I want to do in this post - "keep your posts short and snappy, people will get bored when faced with a two or three thousand word mountain to climb". I agree with this, especially in these days of shortened attention spans and 24 hour rolling news, and RSS feeds, but sometimes you can't say everything you want to say in just a few words. Six bands, one truly great, three outstanding, and two accomplished, play about three or four hours of music, restore part of my faith in the ability of music to do wondrous things, and make me ecstatic that I started this blog. This is not something I can write about in a hundred words (although it doesn't mean that I'm going to resort to the florid, over-wrought, self-obsessed shite peddled by Russell Brand in the Observer that I mentioned in a previous post). So where does that leave me? How about this: a post for each band. It seems a fair way to do justice to each and try and keep the word count per post down. I just hope people read all the posts.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

How the fuck do you get paid to write such shite?

Not having lived in the UK for the past few years I don't know who a lot of the 'celebrities' are these days, and when I read shite like this, I'm glad. Russell Brand, you are an unqualified bawbag. A two thousand odd word article, allegedly about meeting Keith Richards (the details of which are covered in all of 200 or 300 words) , full of self-indulgent, navel-gazing, "I used to be a junkie, now I'm so famous I can demand to stay in the Hilton" shite masquerading as edgy journalism. Whoever comissioned this should be sent to Dundee with an iPod stuck on repeat and filled only with James Blunt, Westlife, and the Crazy Frog. Post a comment on the Observer blog and see if you can stop this kind of pish from ever raining down upon us again.

August 13th, Shibuya

News just in. Satoshi from Town Tone will be DJ tonight at Shibuya Nest (map). Doors open at 17.30 and everything kicks off at 18.00, with the following bands playing. Tickets are 2000 yen in advance, 25oo on the door. Get your arse in gear and get down there, you know it makes sense.

swarm's arm
Keishiro Iwatani Band

Don't you just love Sundays?

I don't know about other countries but the British Top 40 Chart was always broadcast on a Sunday. Anyone of a similar age to me probably remembers sitting in the kitchen or their bedroom, hand hovering above the 'pause' and 'record' buttons, trying to record the songs you liked onto a blank tape without any of the DJ's wittering. See, this is how the world was before mp3, bit-torrent, iTunes, etc (and yes, this was all fields, and a fiver could get you a night out at the cinema, juice and popcorn, a trip to the chippy, and steal leave you enough to give the bastard that jumped you on the way home). These are not just the ramblings of a premature curmudgeon but an attempt at an intro to this, the Tokyo Music blog's first weekly Top 10. We couldn't afford Bruno Brookes (probably not a bad thing) and Jimmy Saville wouldn't fix it for us (git), so you're stuck with me. Anyway, on with the show.

The Top 10 is purely subjective - they are the songs I've listened to and enjoyed the most in the last week. Anyone who has read/watched High Fidelity will know how important list-making is to men, so forgive me but it's not something I have any control over - it's genetic.

1) Traffic Tune Mrs. Tanaka
2) Tokyo Freeter Breeder Awai Giwacku
3) White Trash Cooking Raddie and weourus
4) Jan 22nd 06 01 The Oversleep Excuse
5) Clessidra Boy Mattia Coletti
6) GeSen Himuro
7) Turnontuneindropout Unicode
8) John Cage Excerpt Tokyo Sundown
9) Open Your Eyes Kayoko
10) Platitudes MacPherson and McSwegan

All the songs are available to download on the respective artist's MySpace page so there's no excuse for you not to be listening to these damn fine songs. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Raddie and weourus

They've got a fuzzbox and they're not afraid to use it, thankfully with much better results than Fuzzbox ever did themselves. Like a blast from the early 90's, Raddie and weourus (pronunciation?) blend elements of Dinosaur Jr., The Jesus and Mary Chain, St. Johnny, and various Sub Pop bands. According to their profile they're busy all the time and don't get enough chances to practice, so any millionaire patrons out there looking for a new project to support, send us your fucking money (well, it worked for Bob Geldof) and we'll pass it on to R&W and the other artists mentioned here, freeing them from the shackles of working life and allowing them to devote themselves to their music. Until then, content yourselves with the songs you can download from their site.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Oversleep Excuse

Getting to work in Tokyo isn't much fun at the best of times, in summer it's even worse. Crowds of sweaty people fighting their way on the Yamanote line; funky (not in the James Brown sense) salarymen wiping their brows and stinking of the previous nights' excesses; and aircon that makes the carriages so cold you could hang meat in them (that's what we all look like anyway, hanging on to those handstraps - has JR got something sinister in mind?) combine to make the buses in my native Edinburgh seem peculiarly attractive. Thankfully iPods, Walkmans (Walkmen?), mp3 players etc provide some respite, especially when playing the music of The Oversleep Excuse. Another MySpace discovery (check out the link) they make music that soothes the sweatiest soul and transports you somewhere far from the chaos of Tokyo and its train system. They reminded me a little of Mogwai, albeit with a quiet/bit louder dynamic, rather than very quiet/cacaphonic dynamic favoured by the Glaswegians. You can download a couple of their songs from MySpace, and they are playing on the following dates:

Oct 14 2006 7:00P
Era Tokyo
Oct 27 2006 8:00P
Heaven's Door Tokyo

Town Tone Records

Many thanks to Satoshi who runs Town Tone records for replying to my email. Town Tone are the people responsible for the wonderful Mrs Tanaka and others that I mentioned in my last post, and are bringing Mattia Coletti to Japan next month. If The Velvet Underground had had the technology available to Four Tet, they might have sounded something like Mattia. He's in Japan on the following dates, and you can listen to and download three of his songs here (my personal favourite was Clessidra Boy):

9/15(Fri) Yamagata @ Sandinista [WEB]
9/16(Sat) TBA
9/17(Sun) Nagoya @ KD Japon [WEB]
9/18(Mon) Osaka @ Nanba Bears [WEB]
9/19(Tue) OFF
9/20(Wed) Fukuoka @ Decadent Deluxe [WEB]
9/21(Thr) OFF
9/22(Fri) Kobe @ Helluva Lounge [WEB]
9/23(Sat) OFF
9/24(Sun) Tokyo @ 20000V [WEB]

I'm going to try and get along to the show on the 24th. If anyone else goes to any of the shows, please post comments and let us know how it was.

Town Tone releases:

AKAI GIWACK / 2005.11.05 (Live CD)

Mrs.Tanaka / Lime Light (CD)

Email Town Tone -

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

First 'Oh my god' moment

These four songs from Town Tone label are all good, but Traffic Tune by Mrs. Tanaka is something really special. It starts like Yo La Tengo then Mrs. Tanaka's child-like voice (I'm assuming it's her) floats in from another frequency and takes the song into spine-shiveringly simple and repetitive perfect guitar pop territory.

Now we're on MySpace too.

Have set up a MySpace profile too. Until I can start getting out to concerts etc this is probably going to be the best way to find out what's going on out there.

Day 2

It's not much of a guide to Tokyo's music yet, ne? I guess you could say it's still under construction - it took me a while to include the link to the Tokyo Gig Guide (they know what they're doing) but I got there eventually. As I said in my first post, bear with me: I'm bearing with me - I know I'm pretty much talking to myself but I was always told that you don't have to worry until you start answering yourself. I suppose the digital equivalent of that would be posting comments to my own posts. I'm not quite at that point yet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Welcome (even though I know there's probably no-one there)

I've been living in Japan for almost six years with more than two of those years spent in Tokyo. I know there is a thriving music scene out there, something more interesting than all the shite manufactured pap that dominates the charts here in the same way as it does worldwide. There are twelve million people in this city, another eight or nine million in the suburbs surrounding it - think of the music that some of these people must be producing. The problem for me is getting to it. My Japanese isn't great, I can't read the magazines on sale here. I can listen to the radio and hopefully understand some of what is said, but it's not enough. There are good listings magazines but understandably they tend to focus on the major foreign artists who make their ways to these shores. I'm sure I'm not the only person in this position (we'll see soon enough), so that's why I'm starting this blog. As I find out more about the music that pulsates in the belly of this huge lifeform of a city, I hope to share it. That's what the internet is supposed to be about, isn't it? (and I guess porn).

This is going to take time to get going - I've never really done this kind of thing before, so bear with me. From the smallest acorn sprouts the mightiest oak blah blah blah. One final thing - I don't plan to just write about Japanese music - I don't know enough to fill the back of a postage stamp, never mind a blog (that's probably not a good way to promote this blog but it's the truth). Tokyo Music is of course about music from Tokyo, but I also want it to be about what Tokyo-ites of all races and nationalities are listening to (although that doesn't mean this is supposed to be a place only for people living in Tokyo), be it obscure American post-rock, lo-fi noodlings from Finland, stadium rock from the UK, traditional music from Malawi, or even megaselling pop from Madonna. Hopefully we won't agree about everything (how fucking boring would that be?), but I hope we can be civil. I want people to let us know what they are listening to, what discoveries they've made in dusty record stores, what stuff they found hidden in the darkest corners of their iPods that they'd forgotten to listen to, and what is yanking their crank at that particular time. Let's see how this goes.