Two new pieces in recent days — for The Japan Times, I wrote about the slate of upcoming U.S. shows (including SXSW, please fly me out and give me a pass oh and also somewhere to stay) from Japanese artists in the next few months. Read it here.

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For MTV 81, I went to an awards show:

“In person, an awards show can be a surreal experience. Performers take to the stage and rip through their songs, but instead of plowing into the next tune, they exit stage left and the program shifts to a commercial break – and then there’s five-minute training segment geared at the audience on how to clap appropriately.

But most of the fans watching did that from the comfort of their own homes. And although the 2016 edition of the Space Shower Music Awards featured strong live performances and entertaining award presentations, the night showed none of the unbearable gravitas that can linger over entertainment-geared awards shows.”

Read the rest here.