Happy Summer from Tokyo Record Style!
There’s no denying it’s summer out there. With intermittent heat waves, blazing sunshine only occasionally interrupted by cream puff clouds or scattered late monsoon rains (now I sound like the weatherman), we decided we needed to lean into it all and celebrate the music of summer in another edition of Top 5 Records, on the theme: “Summertime!”
Back at Talking Gorilla (THANK YOU!) in Shimokitazawa Station, who hosted the 3rd edition of our official 2nd season, Episode 13 (now I sound like a math teacher), usual suspects Michael Warren, Tatsuo Fukutomi AKA “bemsha” and myself were really happy to be out sharing our passion for music, joined by two guest DJs, who quite literally stole the show, Jason Gacia and Keesh! Thanks for bringing and sharing your awesome selves with us.
As usual, we kicked off the first half of the event with two 1-hour DJ slots, Jason spinning first, a very northern soulful set with plenty of roaring backbeats from the ’60s – he got the party started proper. Michael followed up with a highly refined chillaxed set, carefree and breezy, perfect for a late summer afternoon nap.
Then we each counted down our Top 5 Records for summertime to an attentive and growing audience – thanks everybody for coming! Each DJ offered some brilliant insights and uplifting stories of musical love and appreciation during their talks, introducing everyone to unknown songs and bands.
Finally, we closed out the second half with two more DJ sets, the first from pro turntablist, Keesh who offered a refreshing mix of killer watermelon jazz, oldschool hip-hop, and some newschool jams that elevated the vibe and kept the party rocking. Bemsha closed the night delivering the goods, all manner of great tunes, but one in particular mind-bending show stopper from 1977 – Okinawan Shamisen rockers, Shoukichi Kina & Champloose’s “Haisai Ojisan” – Good grief! It tore the roof off the place! Unforgettable evening highlight!
A very big thank you to everyone who joined, to our amazing DJs, and to our hosts Sangita and Talking Gorilla! ❤️
More Tokyo Record Style and Top 5 events coming soon!
Jason’s Top 5
Hot Sand (1972) – Shocking Blue
Tell Her (1966) – Dean Parrish
Competition Ain’t Nothin’ – Little Carl Carlton
What’s It Gonna Be? (1967) Dusty Springfield
(I Love Her So Much) It Hurts Me (1969) – David & Ruben
Michaels’s Top 5
That Sunday, That Summer (1963) – Nat King Cole
The Warmth of the Sun (2012) – Lightships
Like So (2016) – Eggstone
Corre Corre (2019) – Los Hermanos
夕凪の時 Yunagi no toki – 浅川マキ [Asakawa Maki]
Bemsha’s Top 5
The Theme from “A Summer Place (1959) – Percy Faith and his Orchestra
Waiting on a Friend (1980) – The Rolling Stones
Saturday In the Park (2007) – Luciano
夏に恋する女たち Girls in Love with Summer – 大貫妙子 [Taeko Ohnuki]
So Nice (Summer Samba) (1965) – Walter Wanderley
Keesh’s Top 5
Three Little Birds (1977) – Bob Marley
93 ‘til Infinity (1993) – Souls of Mischief
Watermelon Man (1962) – Herbie Hancock
RFRE (2019) – Seba Kaapstad
Son-Ray (2000) – Greyboy with D-Style, Ricci Rucker
ChanChan (1984) – Buena Vista Social Club
Get Sun (2021) – Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Arthur Verocai
Brian’s Top 5
Rather than share a Top 5 Summertime list, I gave a short presentation about artist and illustrator Hiroshi Nagai who provided the cover image for our poster. He happens to be having an exhibition going on right now at Isetan in Shinjuku, which Keesh and Tama went to after my talk and sent me some photos. We should all go see it for summer!