Michael Warren

Michael pictured here is a brother-in-music-appreciation to me. We only came to know each other 4 or 5 years but considering how we both can go on and on, and on and on, about music, as we do on our 1-to-1 logs pretty much every day, it feels like we’ve already shared a whole lifetime, or even two, of musical and philosophical discussion. Yes, that’s right, we have been maintaining a collaborative 2-person idea and discussion log, a sorta oral diary, almost every day for these last 4-5 years that we affectionately coined “The Dog Log” (which has been mentioned once or twice before on Tokyo Record Style before, Michael having appears on TRS many times, including the very first TRS subject ever).

When you talk to somebody every day, you’d think that you’d eventually run out of “kibble” to bring to the “Dog Log”, however, the problem for us is never having enough time to discuss all the topics we want to. For anybody as lucky as me to have found a musical appreciation pal off whom you can bounce your tastes, or have them confirmed, or perhaps broaden yours, with whom you can have spirited debates, challenge each others’ hot takes or inspire new ones, somebody who can keep you on your toes, turn you on to new bands, or good stories of old ones, and just in general expand your breadth of musical knowledge and appreciation, to have a pal like this is not be alone in your love of music. I’m not sure, but more maybe even than loving music, maybe even more than making music, is sharing music …hmm, maybe I’ll bring that up as kibble for the next Dog Log.

On this particular occasion, Michael and I rendezvou’d for a quick dig in Shinjuku, where I left empty-handed but Michael scored a couple of very deep cuts. Then that was followed by some tag-team Tokyo Record Style out on the streets, during which Michael documented some behind-the-scenes scenes of me shooting Massimo and Mack, that I chronicled a few posts ago. It was fun to have a partner-in-crime for the photos, but you (meaning me) gotta get a little out of your lone-wolf mind, and your normal solo rhythm, open yourself to collaboration and get over the notion of being exposed, of doing your work in front of people who might not recognize this aspect of you, all easier said than done. But this was fun, and Michael’s enormous range of musical knowledge (not to mention his musicianship accomplishments – Check out “Stay Light” by Honest People) being much wider than mine, added to a solid tag-team vibe.

Our hang ended at L’ambre Coffee, a Shinjuku Institution that Michael re-introduced me (me having mistakenly thought it closed more than a decade earlier.) We had a couple of Viennese Lattes and talked about Michael’s scores, one being a wild early electronic album by Tomita, on which all the songs are named after planets (go listen to this record, or any by Tomita, you won’t be disappointed), and the other being a Japanese-only release, (and so far unlisted on Discogs) of Francis Langford. I’m still asking myself one week later, “How on earth does Michael know either of these records.”

…As they say in Tennis, if you want to improve play with somebody better than you. And if you want to foster, nurture, expand, elevate, and share your musical knowledge and appreciation, make sure you have a Michael in your life. Guaranteed to bring more joy to your life …Ok folks, more Tokyo Record Style on the way.

Frances Langford – I’m In The Mood For Love
Label: MCA-3168
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: Oct 1944
Genre: Jazz, Pop
Style: Big Band, Vocal
(Not on Discogs)

Tomita – The Planets
Label: RCA Red Seal – RVC-2111
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Japan
Released: 1977
Genre: Electronic
Style: Modern Classical, Ambient

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