Staying casual in Minami-Aoyama

Sep 11, 2007

Staying casual in Minami-Aoyama

Renzo Rosso is a floppy-haired fiftysomething who would blend in perfectly on a porn set, but instead runs Diesel S.p.A., the casual clothing megabrand. Standing in his fancy new Aoyama gallery he’s admiring “Black Wind crosses meadow,” an artwork by Hiroki Tsukuda consisting of ...

A playground by the sea

Aug 10, 2007

A playground by the sea

Naughty Atami is the Shizuoka resort with the beachfront soaplands and other salacious establishments. It’s got the fraying Hihokan (literally: House of Secret Treasures), likely the world’s least scholarly sex museum, with its holographic strippers and a Marilyn Monroe mannequin that exposes itself on ...

Jul 13, 2007

Antibalas "Security"

The fourth album from Afrobeat standard-bearers Antibalas comes roaring in with a fanfare of battle horns over razor-sharp breakbeats on the aptly named opening track “Beaten Metal.” LPs don’t open much more ferociously than this. Next comes “Filibuster X,” the track that will best ...

May 18, 2007

Lefties Soul Connection "Skimming the Skum"

File it under funk, but the sophomore release from Lefties Soul Connection is not your average revival. It’s the sound of European B-Boys with the confidence to mix the punkish attitude of the early hip-hop with the exuberant New Orleans funk of The Meters. ...

Sakura, where art thou?

Apr 8, 2005

Sakura, where art thou?

Here’s a quick introduction to the Hato Bus Company: They’re Tokyo’s oldest tour bus operator. They cart holidaymakers around the country — sometimes to far-flung places, sometimes to Roppongi Hills. They’re a wonderful way to palm off guests from overseas, at least for a ...