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Erik Luebs

For Erik Luebs's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tacuba: Offering a fresh take on Mexican food

Food & Drink May 5, 2018

Tacuba: Offering a fresh take on Mexican food

Everything about Jose Sanchez's new Osaka restaurant, Tacuba, emphasizes freshness. From the contemporary Mexican art on the walls to the open kitchen, and made-to-order prep area, there's a clean minimalism to the design that focuses attention on the restaurant's ingredients and preparation. While the style ...

Koshiro Hino's 'Geist' summons spirits with sound and light

Music Apr 18, 2018

Koshiro Hino's 'Geist' summons spirits with sound and light

Despite being a fraction of the size of Tokyo, Osaka boasts a long history of underground music that pushes boundaries. The tradition is being kept alive by experimental musician Koshiro Hino. His newest project, "Geist," is a multisensory sound-and light-show that features 13 performers, live ...

The shape-shifting landscape of Japan's electronic underground

Music Jan 3, 2016

The shape-shifting landscape of Japan's electronic underground

Detroit techno pioneer Derrick May joined Tokyo's DJ Emma on New Year's Eve to say goodbye to one of the capital's most respected electronic music venues, Air. Since opening in 2001, the 600-capacity club in Shibuya Ward focused almost exclusively on techno and house. And ...

Dark sounds for dark times from avant-garde group Goat

Music Nov 20, 2015

Dark sounds for dark times from avant-garde group Goat

It's at a showcase for Berlin's Pan record label, where I first stumble on Osaka band Goat. As I walk down the concrete steps of Shinsaibashi venue Conpass, I can already hear the music. The gradually increasing reverberations of sound grow ever more tight ...

Kanazawa artists play with genres

Music Jun 13, 2013

Kanazawa artists play with genres

It's 11 p.m. and Kanazawa venue Puddle is packed. The space is a two-room, wood-furnished cafe/bar in the city's Katamachi neighborhood. There's a mediocre jam band playing later that night, but the DJ set by Yasuhiro Tsukamoto is what catches my attention. With little ...

Finding an artistic home for fashion

Art May 23, 2013

Finding an artistic home for fashion

Almost everything in the room is transparent. From the ceiling dangle two clear plastic jackets. Against the glass walls are empty glass display cases. Past the jackets on the opposite side of the room are four flat-screen TVs set to static. The room is adorned ...

LA and Tokyo mix it up at Dublab

Music May 9, 2013

LA and Tokyo mix it up at Dublab

As cities, Tokyo and Los Angeles could not be more different. But as creative places, both cities resonate with one another as creative partners.

On the mechanics of <em>anime</em> illustration

Art Apr 25, 2013

On the mechanics of anime illustration

The 1970s was an important decade for the development of Japanese pop-cultural icons. Kindergarten children back then would likely have been introduced to the characters Doraemon (1969), Anpanman (1973) and Hello Kitty (1974).

Colo brings tribes together in Osaka

Music Feb 14, 2013

Colo brings tribes together in Osaka

It's December and small flocks of young, creative-looking types are making their way to a shipyard in Osaka's Namura district. Tucked among an expanse of otherwise drab warehouses there is Creative Center Osaka, and tonight is "Hot Docks 2," an art and music spectacle. Upon ...