Tokyo Record Style

Yasu

Posted on:

Sesame Street… …ok bear with me. I grew up on Sesame Street, well not actually ON Sesame Street, but watching it as a kid. I have 4 younger siblings, spread in ages across 12 years. So Sesame Street was on our family TV for a decade. It didn’t change heaps over the years, but I definitely got “old school” Sesame Street (think: 70’s era View Master – “Day at the Zoo”) and my youngest siblings got new updated versions, but all still quite familiar. Even my own kids watched DVDs of Sesame Street, both the oldest and newest seasons and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Azim and Family

Posted on:

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 […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mori (and Rio)

Posted on:

What an encounter, meeting Mori and his lovely lady, Rio! What an insanely cute couple! I swear, I keep traveling back in time to my 20s when I meet young people on the streets in love. What I see are the playful of hearts, innocent spirits with ornery sweetness, that child-like twinkle of wonder in their eyes that reflect back wide-open roads, roads that tend to glimmer less and less for those whose decades have passed and as midlife tries to beat us down, break our will, suck the creative marrow out of bones. But some of us fight to […]

Tokyo Record Style

Malin and Bastian

Posted on:

Vertigo! Jaws! Dolly Zoom! I just finally “got”  the “sound” of “Group Sounds!” There was a short 3 or 4-month window of time in the spring of 2004, between the moment that Japan was whimsically put as an unexpected destination on my upcoming-that-summer sojourn to Asia… (after a travel agent who was booking my tickets to Nepal’s Himalaya asked me “How about a stop in Japan? You’ll be flying to Kathmandu via Tokyo and Bangkok?” “Japan?!” I replied, “Hmm… Why not? Sure!”) …and the moment of time when I called my parents from San Francisco Airport to say “Ok, I’m […]

Tokyo Record Style

Dylan

Posted on:

I’m asking myself, “How does one let go of the standard conventions of a song: Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus?” But that begs the question, “Where did the conventions of a song come from in the first place?” And then that begs the question “What was there before conventions?” I’d guess if you went all the back to the beginning, you’d start with rhythm, the heartbeat, followed by the murmur of breath, or perhaps the howl of wind, rumble of water, crack of wood. But was there harmony before humans? It seems that the Greek philosopher Aristoxenus’s “Elements […]

Tokyo Record Style

TOP 5 RECORDS – SummerTime

Posted on:

Welcome to Season 2 of “Top 5 Records” where music-loving pals and DJs Michael Warren, “bemsha” (Tatsuo Fukutomi), and “Zebrio” Brian Scott Peterson (yours truly), invite their friends to an afternoon and evening of playing records and counting down their Top 5 Records on various themes! The Season 2 – Episode 3 theme is “Summertime” – songs and albums that are made for summer! It will be up to our DJs to share how they interpret Summertime, whether that be “Hits of the Summer”, “Surf-Rockers/Beach-life classics” “Scorching Hot Solo-ridden jams”, “Albums for Convertibles”, and so on. This will be our […]

Tokyo Record Style

Gokky

Posted on:

“Never judge a record by its cover.” An adage updated for the modern age. As I came around the corner past the famous Suzunari Gekijo Theatre, made famous for being about as far off Broadway as you can get, and over the old tracks of the now-underground Odakuyu line, where we Shimokitazawans used to wait for sometimes 15 minutes at a time for all the local, semi-express, commuter, and double-decker Romance Car train to pass, and then through the once-iconic-but-now-a-bit-sterilized gate of “Ichi-Ban-Gai”, the “#1 Street”, right in front of Jet Set Records, I spotted a pair of full-sleeve tattoos […]

Tokyo Record Style

Asa and Hitomi

Posted on:

“Who are these two interesting and colorful characters browsing around in Shimokita’s Disk Union? Are they together? They must be. Oh, look! Dare I say he’s going to buy that record, wait, another! Maybe if I just look a little longer in the 45s, keep an eye on them, and then time the purchase of these outer sleeves right as they’re walking to the register, then I can conveniently walk out at the same time as them. Oh, good, Auld Lang Syne has been queued for the shop’s closing. Just wait a little longer, Brian. Wait a sec… could this […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jeff Sato

Posted on:

Goodness, gracious. Jeff Sato is one of the coolest, most friendly, and interesting characters you can meet in the Tokyo Record shop scene. He’s a veteran rock&roller, with his own records, CD’s, and books, dozens of producer credits, pals and A&R guy for Jeff Beck, David Lindley, Ry Cooder, Jackson Brown, X Japan, and a bunch of others. He has heaps of stories, like the time he interviewed Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, or seeing Clapton 100 times, or the very first time he heard the Stones or Dylan on FEN, Far East Network AM Radio, the American armed forces […]

Tokyo Record Style

Aurelien

Posted on:

For those who might not know, I have a volunteer photography project called “Photohoku” where I gift photographs to people in need. It would take a while to share all about it, but I just encourage you to check it out. But one of technical the aspects of it, not completely unlike Tokyo Record Style, is approaching (read: accosting) strangers, trying to diffuse their immediate apprehension with some welcoming, unthreatening charm and an honest smile (which, in a world filled with nefariously-intended people requires a certain finesse), and in a very, very short amount of time, seconds really, sell them […]

Tokyo Record Style

Naoki

Posted on:

Jet Set Records in Shimokitazawa is known for stocking a pretty eclectic, alternative selection in music (They’re also known for this easily recognizable borrowed Pan-Am logo on their bags that somehow always spots my eye, and which I just found out was called “The Blue Meatball” back in the day.) Apparently Jet Set has a bigger shop in Kyoto, maybe the original, I’m not sure. I spotted the Jet Set logo the other night on a smaller-sized bag being carried by the fella pictured here. Initially, I couldn’t tell if it was a CD that he had purchased or a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Natsumi

Posted on:

I met with Natsumi near the iconic Suzunari Theater in Shimokitaza, carrying a Disk Union bag. I stopped her for a chat and she very kindly agreed to be photographed for Tokyo Record Style. She had just scored the debut CD “Cavemen’s Law” by her friend’s new psychedelic pop band band, “Paddy Isle”. It’s not listed on Discogs yet, but I already listened to a few tracks from it on YouTube and it RIPS (Check the links in the comments.) Natsumi was super friendly and kind and shared with me that she is a ballerina and a ballet teacher. I […]