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March 25th, 2006
Sat, Mar. 25th, 2006 09:47 am

"I liked him from the moment we didn't quite meet," begins my song Shoesize of the Angel. The people you've just missed meeting and the places you've never quite been are often the most intriguing ones -- proximity without direct experience leads to rumours, fascination, imagination -- so today I'm going to talk about some of them.

Let's start with a person and a place. The person is photographer and artist Yuki Kimura, and the place is an organic buffet (and toyshop!) just off Tokyo's Omote Sando called Crayon House. Although I haven't had direct experience of either of them, the near-misses are significant. When I was recording at Rusty's place on Tuesday Yuki Kimura was due to arrive at any minute. (I left before she did.) You can see Yuki's famous "basketball and baby" photos here and images from her Sister exhibition here. (Her galleries, Ishii and Kodama, were people I couldn't stop meeting last week. I literally bumped into the Kodama people everywhere -- Sunrise Mart, Hiroko's Place, the Deitch and of course the Armory Show.)



As for Crayon House, I must've walked by it a hundred times. The Tokyo Q review tells you all you need to know; basically it's a weird mixture of a toyshop, a fitness and parenting centre, a bookshop, and an organic restaurant. Very slow life, very Slow Toys.

The organic cafe at Crayon House came up in an online chat I had yesterday with my ex-flatmate Ayako, who lunched there the other day with the people from Osaka fashion company Cosmic Wonder. Cosmic Wonder are another example of near-misses in my life; I've never met them, but they've worked with four of my friends. Ayako, who works in fashion, knows them well. Cosmic Wonder's designer Yukinori Maeda (I interviewed him by e mail last year for ID magazine) often works on music with Rusty Santos, who of course spent a month in Berlin last year recording tracks for my forthcoming album Ocky Milk. And Toog and Flo modelled for Maeda in 2003, in a gallery show in which he dressed them only in the scraps of clothes visible in an old 1970s photo he'd found, leaving the rest of their bodies unclothed.



If you check Toog's blog, by the way, you'll see that his latest entry is an explanation of a recent song he wrote whose title translates as "She Takes Off Her Panties". A bit like my "Shoesize of the Angel", Toog tells a love story backwards, starting with the removal of the underwear and ending with the man proposing, over dinner, a game of Scrabble. You can hear the song on Toog's Myspace page. Actually, the difference is that in my backwards song the things are not only backwards but didn't quite happen. In other words, the backwards narrative arc manages to miss its original point of departure and end up in a parallel world where the things that caused the later events never occurred.

By the way, my own MySpace page is something that only happened in a parallel world too. I started one, then decided it was too ugly (I was also annoyed by the fact that the MySpace founder, with his awful taste in music, was automatically added as my first friend). So I deleted it immediately. But now, whenever I look at someone's MySpace page, I'm told they're "in my extended network". So I guess I'm still on MySpace as a ghost, a lost event, a space, a non-presence nevertheless related to presences, a missed opportunity. Which, as this entry shows, is the kind of thing that happens in life too. Hello, MySpace non-friends, I liked you from the moment we didn't quite meet!

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