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TYO people - click opera
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Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 10:07 am
TYO people

On Monday I'm off to the Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe), where I'll spend most of August. Before I leave Tokyo (at least until September) I want to celebrate some of the people I've met in the last ten days or so here.

Jean Snow isn't Quebecois, he's Acadian (which means he's a french speaker from the Atlantic coast of Canada). His blog jeansnow.net is, indisputably, the fastest-moving and best blog guide to what's happening in Tokyo.

Audrey Fondecave is a founder member of Slidelab, the organisation that puts out the excellent new bi-lingual music magazine OK Fred. Issue 4, due out in mid-August, is rap-themed. There's a release party for it at ICC (Tokyo Opera City) which I'll miss, alas. Apparently it'll feature a massive sound system in the form of a gigantic model of a turntable, with the DJs going round and round in the middle of it, scratching by breakdancing across the huge grooves. Or something equally fantastic.



Misako Niida works at Koyama Gallery in Saga. We were flatmates back in 2002 in Meguro, when I was recording 'Oskar Tennis Champion'. Now she's getting married to Jeffrey, an American curator who works at Taka Ishii Gallery, right next door. I feel rather emotional about it, because Misa is such a lovely person. But so is Jeffrey. They will be happy. (As will anyone who visits the current exhibition at Koyama, which is by Hiropon Factory / Superflat artist / all-purpose pervert Mr.)

Reika Yamashita is DJ Reika, and she'll be DJing in short but frequent bursts at my concert at Club Que, Shimokitazawa on September 11th. Reika's big ambition just now is to get a greyhound puppy. Seen from the back, Reika is greyhound-slim herself. Her other obsession is Harry Potter, but she's rather upset that Harry has grown up so quickly. Perhaps some sort of bonsai treatment could keep him small forever?

Taro Izumi is a new artist whose videos are being featured in the Project Room downstairs at Koyama Gallery. They feature Taro and a friend making disgusting recipes with two randomly-chosen ingredients, then forcing each other to eat them, to much hilarity and gurning. Taro's work reminds me a bit of Yuki Okumura's pieces. Yuki collects lip skin, fingernails, hair and so on, then forces pretty girls to make a video journal of their brave attempts to eat it.

I first met Alastair Prentice (a Scotsman who's lived in Tokyo for a decade now) when he was assisting Brian Eno to make a record of kyogen music. Now he's a hypnotherapist. Alastair's an incredibly bright, intense and interesting person, and has kindly let me flat-sit for him in Ebisu while he's off in Arizona getting a diploma in some new type of hypnotism.

Bill Wells is in Japan for a few weeks. Bill is another Scotsman, a jazz musician 'discovered' in the early 90s by Stephen Pastel. He's since worked with Belle and Sebastian, Arab Strap, Isobel Campbell, and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, with whom he's embarking on his first Japanese tour. You can catch him at Tokyo Super Deluxe on August 29th. I'll be at his Osaka show, which is at Bridge on August 22nd. (If you happen to be in Osaka at that time, Digiki is playing Club Stomp, Shinsaibashi, Osaka on August 18th, and I'll be mp3jing.)

Bill and I spent Friday night together, gulping down free Smirnoff at the Rocket Gallery's screenprinting workshop opening in Aoyama (bring any garment and they'll do an experimental screenprint onto it), sticking our noses into the Blue Note Club, then zipping up to the top of the Roppongi Hills building to catch the last day of the MoMA show on the 53rd floor. It's great that the huge art gallery up there (it also commands Tokyo's best views) stays open until midnight at weekends. The most interesting thing in the MoMA show, for me, was a 1986 Laurie Anderson longform video, with Laurie playing a mustachio'd writer, and various characters -- short-order chefs, waitresses -- singing songs from her 'Mister Heartbreak' album. Otherwise it was all a bit deja vu. Oh look, a Picasso. Oh look, Andy Warhol's Heinz ketchup box... isn't the lettering nice? And isn't the air conditioning chilly? And what if there's an earthquake when we're up here? Will the building just... sway?

11CommentReplyShare

palux_negro
palux_negro
palux_negro
Fri, Jul. 30th, 2004 07:01 pm (UTC)

The best one for me is Alastair Prentice. On my interesting-people-cluedo.


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mariocanario
marioesimbecil
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 12:52 am (UTC)



I think I'm more into Taro Izumi, definitely. I suddenly want to do what he does and it enrages me that he's already doing it.


ReplyThread Parent
mariocanario
marioesimbecil
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 12:53 am (UTC)



Ah, no, I didn't read it right, it's Yuki Okamura I'm envious of (but Taro is my favorite anyway)


ReplyThread Parent
charleshatcher
charleshatcher
charleshatcher
Fri, Jul. 30th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC)

If you hadn't added the names to the pics it could have been like some crazy, hip Guess Who?


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 03:58 am (UTC)

making disgusting recipes with randomly chosen ingredients and force someone to eat them... that’s what my mum did, too.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 05:00 am (UTC)

Somehow I feel that forcing someone to eat is like raping this person. What a humiliating horror it must be if you are forced to eat by a person you hate.


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dickon_edwards
dickon_edwards
Dickon Edwards
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 06:15 am (UTC)

I have that Laurie Anderson video. The small moustached male character she plays is not so much a writer as a clone she creates to relieve her of some of her work.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 09:42 am (UTC)
OFF-TOPIC

you're a matchmaker

"if you're on that side of kung fu, or Tokyo, Tarantino or Coppola are doing you and themselves a big favour by using them as backdrops for their dramas. "

now that the6y're dating they can do the most out of touch film together


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 08:08 pm (UTC)
Re: OFF-TOPIC

I look forward to the films they'll make when they've split up. Coppola's will feature gentle, acid satire on a twitchy, spoilt video store clerk stuck in his bedroom with kung fu movies. Tarantino's will feature a spoilt loungecore daddy's girl hacked to pieces by a thousand cloned and choreographed ninjas.


ReplyThread Parent
lepinktrash
lepinktrash
danie
Sat, Jul. 31st, 2004 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: OFF-TOPIC

cute pants!
big eyebrows


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 1st, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
Acadian

Anthony here:

Acadians are more then just french speakers from the east coast, they are an ethnic group that refused to take isdes with either the French or the English, and got caught in the middle for it.

Ended up as refugees, spilled all over north america, which is why you see large pockets in places like Manitoba, Maine, upstate New York, and esp. Louisanna.

Good early example of ethnic vs national identites, what happens when colonies interacts with colonisers, how to deal with refugees, pyschogeography, etc.
http://www.acadian-cajun.com/


ReplyThread Parent