Catching up with tofubeats for Metropolis Magazine

Caught up with one of my favorite artists tofubeats for my first-ever magazine cover story, for Metropolis Magazine: Yusuke Kawai grew up just outside of Kobe in a “new town,” the Japanese term for a planned community. Kawai, who records music under the name tofubeats, describes his government-developed hometown: “There’s no city center and no [...]

By | December 9th, 2016|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Catching up with tofubeats for Metropolis Magazine

Writing about Nagoya’s industrial tourism for CNN

Over at CNN, wrote about Nagoya's emerging industrial tourism sector: Japan's rise to global tech supremacy is legendary. But few realize where the country's important industrial sectors have some of their deepest roots. That place is Aichi prefecture, west of Tokyo. One of Aichi's biggest claims is a key role in developing the Tokaido Shinkansen, [...]

By | November 27th, 2016|Japan, Technology, Travel|Comments Off on Writing about Nagoya’s industrial tourism for CNN

Writing about Toyomu and Ex Confusion for The Japan Times

Two new stories in The Japan Times this week. In the bigger of the two, I talked to electronic producer Toyomu about imagining Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo and moving on from that. American rapper Kanye West’s seventh album, “The Life Of Pablo,” felt inescapable when it emerged this past February. But that wasn’t [...]

By | November 22nd, 2016|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Writing about Toyomu and Ex Confusion for The Japan Times

Writing about Yoshino Yoshikawa (and “kawaii” music”) for The Japan Times

For the Japan Times' latest Sunday issue, I talked to electronic producer Yoshino Yoshikawa: The Japanese word for cute, “kawaii,” has been popping up more and more in the English lexicon in recent years. From the popularity of Hello Kitty to singer Gwen Stefani’s new kawaii-filled cartoon “Kuu Kuu Harajuku,” being cute means making money, [...]

By | November 20th, 2016|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Writing about Yoshino Yoshikawa (and “kawaii” music”) for The Japan Times

Writing about Orange Milk Records and their Japanese artists for Bandcamp

Busy week! I talked to Keith Rankin from Orange Milk Records about the Japanese artists they've featured on their label. It has been an eventful year for Takahide Higuchi, the artist who records sparse experimental music under the name Foodman (or, in his native Japanese, Shokuhin Matsuri). He’s just returned home after his first ever [...]

By | November 19th, 2016|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Writing about Orange Milk Records and their Japanese artists for Bandcamp

Writing about Nagoya’s culinary offerings for CNN Travel

CNN Travel wanted to move a bit away from Tokyo and look at another city in Japan -- Nagoya. I obliged by writing about their unique culinary offerings. Japan's Aichi prefecture has long been known for its automotive industry, anchored by homegrown car manufacturer Toyota. Yet in recent years, the region has become just as [...]

By | November 8th, 2016|Food, Japan|Comments Off on Writing about Nagoya’s culinary offerings for CNN Travel

Talking with Piko-taro, the man behind “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen,” for The Japan Times

Really really happy with this one -- I sat down with Piko-taro, the artist behind one of the year's biggest viral hits with "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen." It was definitely a silly chat, but we also talked about slightly more serious stuff -- his process to making music, being a long-obscure artist finally having his moment in the [...]

By | November 4th, 2016|Japan, Music|Comments Off on Talking with Piko-taro, the man behind “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen,” for The Japan Times