Jude Brand
For Jude Brand's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Oct 7, 2001
On till the break of dawn
In clubland, regular openings and closings are a given. Bars, on the other hand, live by different rules -- longevity is proportional to the dedication of their creators. In Tokyo, a hybrid type of nightspot has evolved (and multiplied, because they fit well in the big city). You could call them mini-clubs,...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 30, 2001
As fate would have it
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 23, 2001
Getting lost in the Shibuya triangle
When railways and expressways are carved through an existing urban grid, awkwardly shaped scraps of land are often left in their wake. In central Tokyo, if the fragment is big enough for a single room and a stairwell, something will be built. Architects need to think both laterally and vertically to...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 16, 2001
Nothin' but the big city blues
Kiki's Pub is a tiny blues bar tucked in behind Exit 1 of Toranomon Station. For 16 years, it has hugged the edge of a small cluster of nomiya (drinking spots) stranded between big streets and surrounded by homogenous rows of office blocks. When I called for directions, I was told to find the #10 Mori...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 9, 2001
Poetry in motion
"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair . . ."
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 2, 2001
The mellow punk
Tatsuya Ishii cuts a trim figure in his mid-30s. To look at him now, it is hard to believe that in his mid-teens he had a complex because of his weight. It was back then that he first heard of the Sex Pistols, after his classmate Soma played him the Sid Vicious version of "My Way."
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Aug 26, 2001
Bring it on home
O-bon is a mysterious Japanese holiday, which falls somewhere between the beginning and middle of August, as determined by the heaves and sighs of the cosmos each year. It is said to be a time when the spirits of one's ancestors return to roost (especially if one leaves a strategically placed eggplant...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Aug 19, 2001
Grant-oh puts the grrr in martinis
Mizu shobai is a fickle business at best. And these troubled economic times tend to heighten the sense of risk. So when I first heard of a plot to hatch a fun and funky martini lounge on a quiet back street in Roppongi, it struck me as downright dangerous. As I sipped a classic 007 at the opening of...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Aug 12, 2001
Some like it hot
There once was a Tokyo night empire called Ink Stick, which spawned a handful of cool jazz slash ambient slash progressive clubs around town. But this review has nothing to do with Ink Stick. It is about Shinichi Watanabe, who took over the space that the Nogizaka Ink Stick occupied. Even more than 10...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Aug 5, 2001
Passion burning on the dance floor
Lamont Raymond is better known simply as Monty to thousands of Japanese clubbers. After arriving in Tokyo on an English-teaching gig more than a decade ago, he ended up working as the sales manager for Tokyo Classified (the free paper now known as Metropolis). For many years, if you had picked up a copy,...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jul 29, 2001
A hot tip for you cool cats
Like many of the proprietors of Tokyo's mini-live houses, Mashimo Mitsuo's first passion was music. Though these days he will deny any skill with a soprano sax, his regular customers wink and tell me otherwise. Of course, Mashi (as everyone calls him) doesn't deny having been the sound engineer at the...
Jul 25, 2001
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Though I have been a fan of Joe Strummer since The Clash, even I had my doubts last year, when I first saw him live with the Mescaleros at Akasaka Blitz. The band spent a shaky first hour probing the audience for signs of recognition of songs from their first album "Rock Art and the X-Ray Style." In...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jul 22, 2001
This one goes out to all the grrls
For 121/2 years, I lived within a 10-minute walk of Shinjuku Ni-chome. "Ni-chome," as most habitues refer to it, is synonymous with gay, even though every neighborhood in Tokyo has an area called Ni-chome, which, roughly translated, means "Sector 2." One should even be careful not to refer to an escapade...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jul 15, 2001
A new watering hole for the downtown set
When John Coyle, Ivy Neo and Gary Hier first teamed up to create What the Dickens!, the massively popular English pub in Ebisu, neither they -- the publicans -- nor us -- their patrons -- could have guessed what would come from such humble beginnings.
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jul 8, 2001
Midnight at the oasis
The first time Takahiro Maeda saw his senpai Magsam dancing hip-hop style in a club, he knew that's what he wanted to do. He also realized not long after trying the moves himself that he could never be a professional dancer. So, instead, he busied himself organizing events where Magsam and his friends...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jun 24, 2001
In loving memory of Miguel
When Esteban Mauricio Paredes arrived in Tokyo from Ecuador 12 years ago, he felt lucky to score an apartment through a friend. He didn't feel so lucky, however, when he received a gas and electricity bill for the previous tenant. It wasn't so much money, but anyone who has arrived in Tokyo looking for...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jun 17, 2001
A master at going with the flow
Kiyoshi Maejima was 14 when he first picked up a guitar. Soon he was playing hooky from his judo class to sneak off and practice the jazz riffs that his big brother had shown him. A few years later, he was heading up to Tokyo from Shizuoka to attend music school.
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jun 10, 2001
Teaching Tokyo how to be cool
Bar Kitsune is a phenomenon. It is the brainchild of Production Company, an Osaka-based outfit that decided to sneak up the Tokaido and infiltrate Tokyo's nightlife. The company's success with home-turf projects like Under Lounge, one of Osaka's most happening clubs, gave it the confidence to tackle...
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jun 3, 2001
Girls 'n' guys a go-go!
Just a few years ago, when Yoichi Nakamuta was on a business trip to New York, he stumbled upon an unusual designer item: Go-Go Drink, a natural herb soda or energy drink. But it wasn't just the intriguing blend of tropical herbs and roots it contained that caught his attention.
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
May 27, 2001
Late shift at the Factory
Tokyo's art-party scene is alive and well and sometimes converges in Shibuya. One focal point is Uplink Factory, and one of the more interesting banners under which it rallies is an event known as "Ubique." Uplink Factory is an offshoot of Uplink Co., which, since 1987, has produced and distributed the...


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