Patrick ST. Michel

For Patrick ST. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Overseas pop acts need a funny bone

Jun 22, 2017

Overseas pop acts need a funny bone

The first half of 2017 hasn’t produced much in the way of compelling music stories in Japan. By this time last year, we were coming down from the Enon Kawatani-Becky affair, and behind-the-scenes intrigue was bubbling up around SMAP (who broke up at the ...

AI celebrates East, West identity on new album

Jun 1, 2017

AI celebrates East, West identity on new album

There was a time when Japanese music labels were concerned that Ai Carina Uemura’s music sounded too American due to her R&B style. “Like, from the beginning of my career. They told me all the time, ‘People aren’t going to understand that type of ...

Pineapple potato chips push flavor envelope

| May 27, 2017

Pineapple potato chips push flavor envelope

A few years back, Japanese snack maker Koikeya released a series of fruit-flavored chips. They were billed as a “breakfast snack,” but mostly got attention for their novelty blend of potato and peach. It was interesting but made for a weird flavor combination. Was ...

Tofubeats: the art of reality in an era of 'post-truth'

May 23, 2017

Tofubeats: the art of reality in an era of 'post-truth'

The final months of 2016 left Yusuke Kawai feeling confused. The electronic artist who records under the name tofubeats came across a BBC news segment touching on the concept of “post-truth” — the Oxford Dictionary named it word of the year and defines it ...