I arrived at Coco-Isle about ten minutes before 7pm which was when the 6th Volume of my Tokyo Record Style Day (record-shopping with homies) was meant to begin. Because it’s a little tricky to find, and suspecting that if anybody was actually coming (which due to a snafu on my part might no longer been the case) I thought that I ought maybe wait outside on the street to help guide any wandering lost-looking record collectors up the stairs. When none seemed to arrive in those 10 minutes, I thought, “Well, let’s make the most of this and try to at least hype up what a great record shop Coco Isle is.” So with just a minute to spare before 7pm, I darted across the street to photograph the entire building. Right then, I spotted a peculiar-looking fellow in purple shades, some wild paint-brush pants, some charms hanging from a backpack, and an R. Crumb “Keep On Truckin’” strut that made me smile, slowing down, looking around, then heading up the stairs. I dashed back across the street, jumped on the elevator to the 4th floor, and like a scene in a movie, right as the doors opened, there was Oscar just landing at the top of the tiny stairwell in front of the lift. Smiling, I stuck out my hand, “Hi! I’m Brian!”

Taking a chance that this interesting character had come to partake in a bit of Tokyo Record Style Day, he replied, “Hi, I’m Oscar, I really love your writing.” WOW! What compliment! Right off the bat! I about fell over. Thank you, Oscar, for melting my heart. It’s not hard for me to write, but it requires effort and time, and as I’ve maybe said before, I’d do it anyway without anybody reading it, because it’s my own creative cathartic practice meant to keep the synapses nimble, healthy conduits of flow. I’m well aware of its stream-of-consciousness meandering and that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, many have even said so, which honestly is not ever nice to hear even though you try to play cool, but if somebody ever connects with it, I think I can genuinely relate because it’s the exact kind of writing and thinking that I often connect with when I’m reading. If they “get it” then it basically means we’re on the same wavelength, and that’s an amazing feeling of connection, truly, like you found a long-lost tribe member.

“Yes! Oscar gets it” was my first impression and we went from there, and for the next hour or so, as we talked about Jamaican, Japanese, and Swedish music, neither of us stopped smiling the entire time and we riffed and riffed. I even got to share my newly acquired Dansband knowledge (Swedish Truckstop “Disco Bluegrass” …maybe?) from fellow Swede and recent Top 5 Records guest, Miki, AKA Doc Mike Wasabi. “OH NO! Not Dansband!” was Oscar’s reply, the only moment his smile was suspended from delight to terror, haha.

Anyway, we had a great time connecting, and even though the circumstances weren’t optimal for Oscar to take a record home, shopkeep Kazuki sent him home with a “Legal Pirates” Hawaiian Reggae mix, and I was just impressed Oscar came out at all. Well, done, Buddy. Here’s to you! Stay in touch! Appreciate you!

More Tokyo Records Style on the way!

Thanks, Oscar!

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