Writing about obscure Japanese reissues for The Japan Times

There is currently deep interest in older, mostly obscure Japanese music from the 1980s going on in the West. I dug into it for The Japan Times. Fans of Japanese vinyl have good reason to be happy. HMV recently opened a store in the Kichijoji area dedicated to selling records — the third such establishment [...]

By | April 11th, 2017|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Writing about obscure Japanese reissues for The Japan Times

Talking to Phew for Bandcamp Daily

For Bandcamp Daily, I talked with experimental legend Phew about her new alubm. The last two years have been rewarding for fans of Japanese experimental artist Phew. She’s released a pair of full-lengths—2015’s A New World and the off-kilter Light Sleep, released this past March via New York label Mesh-Key. This is an especially welcome [...]

By | April 6th, 2017|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Talking to Phew for Bandcamp Daily

Talking to Looprider for April’s issue of Metropolis

For this month's issue of Metropolis, I talked to the band Looprider, and looked at how the geography of Tokyo's rock landscape is changing. The musical geography of Tokyo has long been divided up by neighborhoods. You go to Koenji if you are looking for artists on the punk or experimental side. Shimokitazawa houses rock [...]

By | April 3rd, 2017|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Talking to Looprider for April’s issue of Metropolis

Talked to Radwimps for The Japan Times

For this week's Japan Times' cover story, I talked to the band Radwimps, who wrote the soundtrack to the movie "Your Name" which has been a massive hit in the last year (to say the least): Yokohama Arena feels special on this chilly Tuesday night in early March. It’s here that Radwimps — a rock [...]

By | March 17th, 2017|Anime, Japan, Movies, Music|Comments Off on Talked to Radwimps for The Japan Times

Sounding off about JASRAC in the Japan Times

The Japan Times runs an occasional opinion column called "Sound Off," and I stepped on the soapbox this month to talk about copyright: At the start of 2017, it was hard to imagine a way that the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) could garner more hate from social media users [...]

By | March 13th, 2017|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Sounding off about JASRAC in the Japan Times

Writing about “kawaii” for Red Bull Music Academy

Accompanying a new video series, I wrote an intro article about "kawaii" for Red Bull Music Academy: The word “kawaii” gets thrown around a lot in Japan. Spend a day in Tokyo and you might hear the word, generally translated to English as “cute,” used to describe clothing displays, pancakes topped with fresh fruit or [...]

By | February 26th, 2017|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Writing about “kawaii” for Red Bull Music Academy