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Marxy DJing "Showa Pop"

I am DJing on Friday, around 11 or so. Nothing fancy, but come down if you can.

(I am not responsible for the event name.)

2008.8.1 (fri.)
at TREASURE CHEST (1F, 10-13 Maruyamacho, SHIBUYA)
start 22:00 – all night
Admission FREE
Our Man Hickey
Ian Martin (Call & Response Records)
DJ Delkumo

W. David MARX
July 30, 2008


Do you guys like the 21st century? Music delivered through the air instead of on compact media!

Are you upset about the iTunes store’s low price of $.99 (or 150 yen) for a song? Do you want to pay much, much more? Maybe even 4x as much??

Then I recommend au’s LISMO service, currently charging ¥420 to download a single song. Maybe the Japanese just value pop music way more than philistine Americans. I mean, Americans also give “critical reviews” to album releases! How rude to the record companies!

W. David MARX
July 29, 2008


While I was in Berlin and Paris, PingMag published a version of an article that I wrote about Kinya and Kao Hanada, a.k.a. Mumbreeze. If you have a chance, hit up Nagi Shokudo in Shibuya to see their current show.

If you have vegan homies visiting Tokyo, Nagi is my pick for the absolute best vegan food in Tokyo. It is also the cheapest and made by the raddest people.

While I am no longer a vegetarian, I tend to eat veggie around half of the time. I watched my previous fave veg restaurant, Ecru in Tama-Plaza, go under due to lack of patronage. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen with Nagi. They are in Shibuya, so it’s doubtful that rent is that cheap. Go there. Eat something. They do massive lunch and dinner specials where you will be stuffed to the gills for under ¥1000. And it’s DELICIOUS! They have an awesome drink menu and an English/Japanese zine library, to boot.

They also have an amazing shop section where you can buy books on off-kilter cultural topics like the history of elevators in Japan, zines from all over the world, and some of the best music coming out of the Japanese indie pop scene today.

July 26, 2008


A short video I made for GOOD Magazine is part of the Media That Matters Film Festival, playing globally at present through web streaming, events at museums, and at dedicated theater events. It’s the only animated Festival film, which seems surprising. (It’s not a fully animated video, as there is some footage in there, as well.)

July 26, 2008

Goth-Loli Death Rumors

I heard from a scholar currently researching the so-called “Gothic Lolita” style that (1) no one is showing up on Meiji Bridge on the weekends and (2) interview subjects from the movement are suggesting that the community is rapidly disintegrating.

Any supporting evidence for this?

W. David MARX
July 25, 2008

Summer Slowdown

Sorry for the recent slowdown in articles.

Ian is in Europe, and I have been super busy with both work and non-work. I am sitting on a huge pile of articles that need to be edited, so good news is, once things calm down this weekend, we will be back in business.

W. David MARX
July 18, 2008

J-Pop Never Changes

Recent High school student girls’ Top 5 favorite artists

God bless Road to the Deep East. J-Pop has ceased to be something that you can actually listen to, so I am happy to have someone fill me in on the major issues. My only fear is that this blog is not actually a Japanese guy, but some incredibly-accurate J-pop fan from Sausalito of Scots-Irish descent, who created it as a brain-warping meta hoax: gaijin imitating Japanese person imitating gaijin.

Anyway, this latest post on Road to the Deep East seems to bolster my theory that artists who sell well during times of market growth become more “legitimate” than artists who sell well during times of market decline. (And I mean long-term growth/decline, not just short spikes.) To wit, bands that made it big in the mid-late 1990s — like L’arc en Ciel and Porno Graffiti — will have much longer careers than bands that had hits in 2003 — like Orange Range or 175R. Arashi are of the now, but everyone else on the survey ranking pretty much says: this whole J-pop thing is a 1990s revival pageant. Unless you can release some foreigner doing intentionally non-innovative covers/copies of Japanese musical conventions, don’t even bother launching new artists.

An alternative theory would be that your average teenage Joji does not care about J-Pop at all, so bands with intense followings like L’arc or Arashi register as “mass pluralities.” That doesn’t explain Aiko though — queen of bland.

Also, note the idea that Oricon’s numbers must automatically be suspected, and then the double punch of calling fabricated research “Mainichi WaiWai style.”

W. David MARX
July 13, 2008

iPhone Phail

Yesterday was huge for Apple: all sold out. I must have gone to every single Docomo store in all of Tokyo, and I can’t find anybody with iPhones to sell.

W. David MARX
July 12, 2008

Otaku Funeral

AltJapan: Speaker for the Dead

Matt Alt takes a look at the new Okada Toshio book: 『オタクはすでに死んでいる』(The Otaku are Already Dead).

Interesting that otaku have generational differences, although that makes perfect sense.

W. David MARX
July 10, 2008

Essay on Zenkyoto Student Leftists


Professor and writer Uchida Tatsuru has an essay up on how the 1968 Zenkyoto (“The All-Campus Joint Struggle”) student movement changed Japan, with a good comparison of the 1960 Ampo protests and the 1970 Ampo protests. He sees the early ’60s student leftists as anti-American nationalists and late ’60s student leftists as apolitical, non-socialists with a soldier mentality.

W. David MARX
July 7, 2008


New interview by the lovely and talented Ms. Selena Hoy over at PingMag. It’s an interview with Patrick Tsai of My Little Dead Dick.

July 4, 2008

Tokyo is All Fuzz-y

There sure are a lot of policemen around Tokyo these days. I have been used to seeing them every morning in Shibuya etc., but there was even one in my little local train station this morning, monitoring commuters. Are they looking out for G8 Summit terrorists or is there some other threat that I should know about?

W. David MARX
July 2, 2008

psychedelic ivy-covered familiars attack shibuya! then harajuku!

Mumbreeze @ Nagi Shokudo

Mumbreeze are Mumbleboy (Kinya Hanada), a Japanese contemporary artist living and working in Portland, Oregon, and his wife Kao Hanada, a jill-of-many-trades. They have crafted a new exhibition that will debut at Nagi Shokudo, Shibuya’s foremost vegan restaurant and exhibition space for an exhibition that opened on the 30th of June. (Note that Nagi Shokudo is a restaurant and not a gallery, so there will be no official opening, but the artists will be there often during the duration of the show.)

Please do come check it out and also enjoy the delicious food while you’re there! Nagi is a wonderful, sunny place full of ‘zines, great art, and awesome folks! Nagi’s proprietor, Oda-san, will be the subject of an upcoming profile on Néojaponisme. Oda-san has been involved in the Tokyo music scene for a number of years, publishing his zine, Map, and running a really interesting record label, Compare Notes. Compare Notes has put out a ton of great albums, including releases by Gellers, Popo, and Lake. Oda-san also organizes the occasional music festival and solo live event for foreign musicians (Tara Jane O’Neil, Howe Gelb, M. Ward, and others).

Oh, and he cooks the best vegan food in Shibuya, shutting out a handful of competitors in both flavor and price.

Kao @ WALL

Kao Mumbreeze also has a small exhibition at HP France and HaNNa’s WALL space in LaForet in Harajuku that is well worth stopping by to check out.

July 1, 2008