Tokyo Record Style

Michael Warren

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Pal, peer, Penguin Cafe Orchestra appreciator, protocol polyglot, personal confidant, compatriot, collaborator, fellow expat, record-shopping partner, brother-in-Phish, Dog Log podcast co-host, Top 5 Records accomplice, and Tokyo Record Style repeater #1, my bud, THE Michael Warren. I was initially thinking “what do you say about somebody who you have already said everything about” but then as I started writing, I realized how easy it is to keep sharing about the things and people you really love, which is what Michael and I endless wax and wane about nearly every other day, catching up for a short “Dog Log” – our oddly […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tanno

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Going out on a limb here. The Japanese concept that Steve Jobs was so interested in is called “Kaizen” – “continual improvement” that emphasizes small, incremental changes that lead to better efficiency, higher quality, better performance while forging a culture of collaborative team effort. Then there is a lesser known word, ”Kairyo Bunka” 改良文化 – “the culture of improvement” that encapsulates the notion continually refining and enhancing aspects of culture, technology, and everyday life while incorporating and improving upon external influences, often surpassing the originals, Finally you often encounter this concept of “Parallel Imports” here, though not unique to Japan: […]

Tokyo Record Style

Bridget

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Globe-trotting Bridget I caught up with on Organ Zaka, the street that leads you from Tower Records up to Parco (where Disk Union is) and back down to the HMV Shibuya. She was carrying the iconic Tower Vinyl bag having just scored a record, not for herself but for her significant other who is a huge Oasis fan (and what do you buy an Oasis fan who might already have everything? Their latest offering a 3-disc set “Live from Knebworth 1996” where 250,000 Oasis fans converged to two record breaking, era-defining shows marking the “pinnacle of the band’s success and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Oobasalmon and Kaz USA

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I was recently invited on a photowalk by my friends Keiko Mizuno and Tokyo Record Style regular, Tatsuo Fukutomi AKA bemsha. Keiko is an avid Lomo  LC-A+ camera user, the camera that birthed the Lomographic Society, and she joined my PhotoPeace photo walk and gallery hop two summers ago. Coming back to Tokyo all the way from Gifu, she and bemsha organized this photo around the backstreets of Harajuku-Jingumae with visits to a couple of bookstores plus a coffee break at cool Watarium. Their photo walk was based on them “Tokimeki” which mean the the spark one feels in their […]

Tokyo Record Style

Godzilla Was Too Drunk To Destroy Tokyo

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This is a fun one. For a light-hearted work-related project, we were celebrating International Dinosaur Day (who knew?) and were looking across the interwebs for dinosaur/monster/Godzilla-themed projects to recruit to be involved when I happened to stumble across Italian Stoner Rockers, “Godzilla Was Too Drunk To Destroy Tokyo” AKA GWTDTDT who would be, for the first time, in their career, visiting Tokyo from Finale Ligure, near Genova where they are based, and touring Japan, with a night off to join our event, which they did, presenting this story of their band and their sonic creation of “heavy psych monster fuzz […]

Tokyo Record Style

Hinoharu

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I consider myself quite lucky to have grown up in and around dance studios and backstages at performing art centers having a godmother (Miss Shelley) who taught ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and beyond to half the city of Tulsa. My mother was also a ballerina who taught at Shelly’s school for a spell, and while both my sisters studied there for years, neither me nor my brothers ever took a single dance lesson. Still, I really love watching professional dance, and really appreciate the forms, artistry, and athleticism, and it’s not in my bones, it’s at least in my blood. […]

Tokyo Record Style

Majoo and Ruffy

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After a great trip to Nagoya, I was back on home turf in Tokyo when on my way home from work I spotted this VERY cool couple in Shibuya coming out of HMV with what looked like a sizable haul. Ruffy and Majoo introduced themselves and though they were in a bit of a rush to get to the next record store before it closed, they were happy to give me some of their time for Tokyo Record Style. And when I found out that they have a record shop in San Francisco, and were on a buying, selling, and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Takashi Takashima

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One of the best things of doing Tokyo Record Style is befriending so many record shop owners. When they are really warm, like they so often are, especially like the owner of Greatest Hits Records in Nagoya, Takashi Takashima, and they invite you into their inner world, you not only does it feel like you just scored the all-access back-stage pass to your favorite concert, but you hear all about the the inside scoop of upcoming albums or the intricacies of certain pressings, or behind-the-scene stories of visits of famous musicians and celebrities, and all manner of music industry lore, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jun

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As I was walking into Greatest Hits Records in Nagoya, a customer, Yukinari, from the previous post was walking out. I approached him for a photo and after he agreed we got off to taking some photos. As I was walking backward so as to able to fit Yukinari into the frame, I backed into a gentle looking giant wearing a mono-tone spring linen Japanese Jinbei, a light and airy kimono-style top and loose pants, wooden geta raised sandals with tabi-style socks, a long goatee, a matching terrycloth towel and beanie, smoking tobacco from a thin traditional smoking pipe called […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yukinari

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As my daughter begged and pleaded with me at the 11th hour’s last 5 minutes to take her all the way to Nagoya to see her favorite boy band (she’s 13) at Vantalin Dome, and as I refused her a dozen times trying to explain to her that it made absolutely no financial sense, there sitting on a massive shelf behind her were about 1000 2nd-hand records that cost a small fortune to accumulate, and as many dollars worth of stereo equipment, not to mention a piano and two guitars and a few other musical trophies (all of yours truly), […]

Tokyo Record Style

DJ Gundam

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Oh, the people you’ll meet! Staking out Vinyl Union in Shinjuku a few weeks back on a Saturday at dusk, I didn’t expect to wait long for an interesting-looking character to come out with records who I could approach for a photo. Cavalierly passing on a few too-pedestrian-looking collectors emerging from the shop with records, I overzealously waited for somebody a bit more “special” …I know, I’m not proud of this, but it was wild and seedy Shinjuku after all, Tokyo’s Time Square… and somebody with some reason style and character was bound to emerge. So I waited… But dusk […]

Tokyo Record Style

Azim and Family

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Do you remember the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur and his Knights reach the mysterious and feared “Bridge of Death”? Some of the knights make safe passage by correctly answering the scary and mean bridgekeeper’s riddles of various difficulty (What is your favorite color?) while some don’t (What is the capital of Assyria?) and are magically thrown into “Gorge of Eternal Peril” When it’s King Athur’s turn to answer the riddle “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” King Arthur stumps the bridgekeeper himself by inquiring “Which kind of swallow: African or […]