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Monday, January 22, 2007

More predictions for 2007

Hell, two posts in one day. Whatever next? Reviews? Live news? All the things that I promised to do when I started this blog? Don't hold your breath. Today's Mystic Meg is the scandalously underrated Andrew Scott, Edinburgh based singer-songwriter and alumnus of bands that should have been big, Ellis and Zerzan. If you're in the Edinburgh area and you see his name in a listings magazine, go and see him, especially if Pete Yorn/Neil Young/Matthew Sweet/Gene Clark type stylings yank your crank - you won't be disappointed. According to Mr Scott we should be looking out for the following:

Indie chancers: The View, The Klaxons, Cold War Kids
Band Who Might Very Well Become Enormous: Arcade Fire (note: aren't they already fairly enormous?)
Bands Who Might Do An R.E.M (note: I'm not sure if this means break out from relative indie obscurity and take over arenas everywhere, or go utterly shite - I'll leave that to your discretion): Interpol, Death Cab For Cutie
Obligatory Plug for A Scottish Artist: Malky Middleton, ex-Arab Strap punter.

No shameless self-promotion for Andrew - not sure if that means there's nowt on the go or if he's just being modest. As I said, keep an eye out for him.

Some blogs that actually have updates

These are a couple of blogs written by contributors to the Keikaku site. Go forth and read (because the chances of me writing a post that isn't ripped off from someone else's work are pretty fucking slim):

This Song Is Good

Friday, January 19, 2007

This probably doesn't even belong here`

This is nothing to do with music but it is about Tokyo and I'm not sure what to make of it. Please read it and comment away:

Japan's mouth-watering way to denude workplace of sexual harrassment
Shukan Post (1/26)

Hot among Tokyo's salarymen at the moment is OL Shabu Shabu Shomuni, a restaurant where waitresses dress as regular "office ladies" who'll strip down and change before customers' eyes, according to Shukan Post (1/26).

The restaurant is a Strip Shabu Shabu, where waitresses start decked out like typical OLs and then remove their garments before dressing in a new outfit.

It's the latest in a long line of gimmicks involved in the serving of shabu shabu, a delicacy where meat strips are dragged through boiling water and dipped in a sauce before being eaten.

Most notable among the shabu shabu trends were the "no-pan shabu shabu," establishments where bottomless waitresses served clients made famous in the late '90s because they were the places corrupt Ministry of Finance bureaucrats liked to be taken by devious bankers looking for underhand breaks.

Now, the no-pan (no-pants) shabu shabu have largely gone, but as the Tokyo restaurant suggests, so have all the clothes, too, even if only momentarily.

OL Shabu Shabu Shomuni's waitresses feed customers by hand. Once diners have received a mouthful, they can then cop an eyeful by requesting the waiting staff slowly change clothes. All the dressing and undressing takes place in front of diners.

Meals cost 5,000 yen for 60 minutes, which entitles the diner to eat and drink as much as they can, as well as request garment changes from any of the waiting staff available. Normally, there are about 10 women (with an average age of 21, the weekly says).

The restaurant also supplies customers with hand mirrors and binoculars for those who'd like a closer look at the waiting staff, even if it means they will leer up dresses.

Waiting staff are apparently more than happy to be on display.

"We'd like salarymen who can't normally be dirty with the OLs in their office to come down and enjoy a meal with us," one of the waitresses tells Shukan Post. (By Ryann Connell)

January 19, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

2007 Predictions

It's that time of year where you look ahead and wonder who are going to be the movers and shakers of the next 12 months. Which bands are worth watching out for and which ones should be avoided like lecherous middle-aged English teachers attending the New Year's party at the women's university where they work? It is also the time of year when I've been looking for a new job and haven't really had enough time to do much with the blog, so I emailed a bunch of people more knowledgeable than I and asked for their opinions. First up, Ian Martin from Call and Response records and the Clear and Refreshing website.

From Tokyo:
- Worst Taste
- マヒルノ
- タイカップ
- Pink Group
- ウーネリーズ

From Osaka:
- ヨルズインザスカイ

From Fukuoka:
- Moth
- 百蚊

Not one to be content with merely writing about bands and putting on shows (I believe the next one is on February 11th - more info to follow later), the indomitable Martin-san also mentioned a band of his own, Natasha Forrest. In his own words: "We're mostly influenced by the
1910 Fruitgum Company and Einsturzende Neubauten." What else do you need to know?

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Sorry, slight mistake in my earlier post - Beck is on the 16th, not the 14th. My boss is still a wanker though.

Not Quite the Start I was Looking For

Happy New Year and all that pish. Apologies for the lack of posting but since I came back to Tokyo things haven't been going too well. Firstly, after two weeks of eating in Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurants that were sometimes borderline health hazards it was eventually the so-called 'breakfast' on JAL that banjaxed my stomach, and I spent my first few days back getting to know every single line and mark on my toilet wall. Just as that finally got better a whole lot of shit hit a huge fan at work and it now looks like I'm going to be pimping myself around the job market again (there's a rant on the James Blunt blog if you're interested).

One welcome positive though. A friend emailed me this morning to let me know that Beck will be playing at the Budokan on April 14th. The big question is, will I have a job to finance concert going at that point? If anyone hears of any jobs going in the Tokyo area please let me know. Cheers.