Making an official second appearance on Tokyo Record Style is my dear homie, fellow vinyl junkie, daily Dog-Logger, Top 5 Records co-host, and musician extraordinaire, Michael Warren.

Michael’s paths and my own had intersected a couple of times over both our long tenures in Japan but we weren’t really connected in earnest until one unsuspectingly auspicious post I had made about the band Phish. I happen to own a very rare copy of their 2nd release “Lawnboy” which I just serendipitously found in the “P’s” at Amoeba Records in San Franciscos’s Haight-Ashbury about 25 years ago. (Sidenote/Tangent Warning: I happen to be wearing my Ameoba Records as I write this, and also in the one bonus photo I’m featuring in this post, a cameo by yours truly, holding an absolutely fantastic creation of Michael’s own – his brilliant band Honest People’s 2013 masterpiece, “Stay Light”. From beginning to end Stay Light lives up to its title, sonically rich, slickly produced, broad open boulevards of songs, but light as a feather and bright as the sun, an uplifting album that is a perfect way to start a summer weekend, which is what I’m doing right now.)

…ok, quickly back to Phish and then on to Eiichi Ohaki’s “Go! Go! Niagra”, I promise.

So Phish… well, the only thing I’ll add about Phish, so as to spare the lot of you cuz I could go on for hours, is that somewhere in the irony of being the universe’s greatest band ever, of all time, but only for those born with the Phish gene, and not at all for to those without, therein lies the enigma of Phish, the hilarity and absurdity of that, the joke that the only band great enough to save humanity from itself also happens to be the one most scorned by it. It’s myth-illogical.

So Michael and I bonded like magnets initially over Phish, but 5-or-so years later now, we talk every day and go record-shopping every few weeks, and I hope to see his live performances and DJ sets when I can, the next being with me at Bemsha (and special guest James Banbury) for the 12th episode of Top 5 Records – Heroes Just for one Day – June 17th with our new theme song, on this album Eiichi Ohtaki’s “趣味趣味音楽 Shumi Shumi Ongaku!” I got there in the end!

Eiichi Ohtaki – Go! Go! Niagara
Label: Niagara Records – 27AH 1243
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: Japan
Released: 1981
Genre: Rock, Pop

Honest People – Stay Light
Label: Not On Label – none
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: 2013
Genre: Rock
Style: Indie Rock

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