“Everything’s too easy. Just one stroke of the ring finger, middle finger, one little click, that’s all it takes. We’ve dropped the coin right into the slot. We’re pill poppers, cube heads and day trippers, hanging in, hanging out, gobbling blue devils, black mollies, anything we can get our hands on. Not to mention the nose candy and ganga grass. It’s all too easy, too democratic. You need a solar X-ray detector just to find somebody’s heart, see if they still have one.” – Bob Dylan

Dylan offered this social commentary in a recent WSJ article specifically about streaming music, and it was this quote that came to mind after Mizuyu, pictured here, answered my question, “So why do you buy records when you can easily stream music” with “Because it’s real.”

I met up with Mizuyu while passing home through Shibuya, he was coming out of Face Records at Miyashita Park and I asked to be photographed in the adjacent, iconic “Nombeiyokocho” (Drunkards’ Lane). He was eager to share his records, all Japanese artists that I didn’t know well, but after listening to a few, including Mayumi Itsuwa’s 1977 single, “Game” it’s easy to be sure that there Mizuya has excellent taste. After we got an earful from one of the bar owners telling us to move along, we walked over to Tower Records together, sharing a friendly chat about Japanese Soul, Funk, Disco, and City Pop the whole way.

Anyway, in a digital music landscape dominated by streaming and a well-intentioned but imperfect Internet, I appreciated meeting Mizuyu in real life and the discussion we had. I appreciated his answer to my question, which is what most people are saying about why they collect records, this irony of sharing here is not lost on me.

Mayumi Itsuwa (五輪真弓) – Game = ゲーム
Label: UMI (2) – 06SH 230
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Single, Stereo
Country: Japan
Released: Oct 21, 1977
Genre: Pop

井上堯之バンド (Inoue Takayuki Band) – 悪魔のようなあいつ (Devil for a NIght) オリジナル・サウンド・トラック盤 (Orignal Soundtrack)
Label: Polydor – DR 1959
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM
Country: Japan
Released: 1975
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Jazz-Funk, Easy Listening

赤尾三千子 (Michiko Akao) – 風舞 = Kazamai
Label: Toshiba Records – TP-80148
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Japan
Released: 1981
Genre: Electronic, Jazz, Funk / Soul
Style: Jazz-Funk, Disco

Godiego – いろはの〝い〟Iroha-no-I
Label: Satril – YX-7140-AX
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: Japan
Released: Nov 25, 1976
Genre: Jazz, Rock, Funk / Soul, Blues, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack

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