Entitled Life's hard and then you die, this posting lamented the passing of Michael Jackson, but then turned an emotional corner and stated that the same weekend that Michael died, something "blissful and unexpected" had happened. What this event was, readers were left to wonder, but two blurry, dark photographs (click 'em to see 'em bigger) show what looks like a wedding party. Post-rocker Jim O'Rourke is identified in a caption. He's playing a guitar, and beside him is the unmistakable figure of Kahimi Karie, singing and wearing something that looks remarkably like a wedding dress. Kahimi is visible in another photo, still wearing the white confection while others dance. Can it be that Kahimi Karie got married last weekend? Did she marry Jim, or someone else? Is there any substance to Twitter rumours that she married a tap dancer (could it be Kazunori Kumagai, seen tap-dancing below?) and may have a kitten of her own on the way? Only time will tell, but somewhere, to persons unknown, congratulations are clearly due.
The other gossip coming out of Japan is the sad but not unexpected rumour that Studio Voice magazine -- long my favourite cultural review -- is going on "extended hiatus", which is usually a euphemism for harvest by the Grim Magazine Reaper. A recent issue celebrating the 400th edition of the magazine, with thumbnail photos of all 400 covers and capsule descriptions of contents, was suspiciously elegiac. It now seems to have been the "multi-media mix" magazine's swansong. Studio Voice was known for its excitingly exhaustive theme issues on subjects from Acid Psychedelia to Africa Remix. I wrote just one column for it -- about musique concrete -- but bought it regularly. It's probably the mag I'm least able to throw out; there are more back copies of it lying around my house than anything else.
Disappearing from the world of print doesn't have to mean death for a magazine, of course -- you can trans-substantiate webwards, relaunching as an electronic publication with lots of extra features. That's just what Art-It magazine did recently -- and this might be the time to reveal that I'll shortly be joining the Art-It team as an official blogger.
It might also be the moment to declare a suspicion that Roger McDonald, who recommended me for this "job" (it's unpaid), had me well and truly hoaxed with his first post for Art-It, the one about radical Japanese fashion label The Afro Ninja Destiny and the Black Panthers. This time he's blogged about William Burroughs and Brion Gysin hunting in Yamanashi, but his Photoshop skills have slipped -- terrible lasso technique on the layers -- suggesting to me that the whole series is a tendentious farrago of febrile fabrication.
Everything else in today's post, I hasten to add, is solid... well, solid gossip, anyway. Like most things in Japan, the facts are there for all to see -- between the lines.