“Hey, there! Did you score some records?”
“Yeah, I did. What’s up?”
(Mom and Dad [read: “Mama Bear” and “Papa Bear”] spot a furry foreigner talking to their 14-year-old son, and circle in, along with 13-year-old daughter [read: “Sister Bear”] to suss out the situation with me and Ray, pictured here [read: “Brother Bear”].)
“Oh! It’s a family affair I see! At the record store! Quite rare, but not completely unheard of! Hi, everyone! I’m harmless [read: Friendly Bear of the Strange Woods]. The name is Brian,” and “Yes” (I can say confidently), “Though I may not look like the other bears around, these parts, WELCOME to our fine city! And well done, (obviously hip) mom and dad, for encouraging a healthy love of music with record store splurge at 9:30 pm on a Monday Night while visiting Tokyo on vacation from Bandung, Indonesia!!” …and on, and on, is basically what I say to them as I meet up, and mix up with the entire Wirantha-Lagarde family!
Once we all decide we weren’t going to eat each other, I asked Ray what records he scored, and from his Tower Records bag he produced a 20th-anniversary re-issue and remastered edition of Radiohead’s “OK Computer” branded as “OKNOTOK 1997 2017”. The 2nd album Ray pulled out was gift-wrapped for a friend (a special friend? I didn’t ask) …however, I did ask what record it was. “Laufey,” Ray said. “Sorry, who?” I had to ask about 3 times, having never heard of the artist. Just a teeny, exasperated, Ray said “LAUFEY!” as if to say “THE Laufey! You, of course know Laufew, don’t you? Oh C’mon, don’t tell me me don’t know Laufey?!”
Boy, was I humbled. Not just in that moment but also after I went home and gave Chinese-Icelandic Jazz vocalist, Laufey a listen. Now I know. And Wow! And I learned about her (and maybe you did too) from a 14-year-old Indonesian boy, with his family, on the streets of Shibuya.
More Tokyo Record Style on the way.
Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017
Label: XL Recordings – XLLP868
Format: 3 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 180g
Released: Jul 7, 2017
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Experimental, Indie Rock, Art Rock
Laufey – Everything I Know About Love
Label: AWAL Recordings – LAULP001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Released: Sep 9, 2022
Style: Contemporary Jazz
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