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Jason Jenkins

Jason Jenkins spent 13 years in Tokyo writing about music, cameras, parenting and contemporary art. In his spare time, he and his children searched the city for new places to learn and play. His family is now traveling while they experiment with homeschooling and working remotely. Jason writes about their trip at

For Jason Jenkins's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

You put a spell on us

Oct 24, 2004

You put a spell on us

"Earnest, to me, is a bad word." Dean Wareham is reclining on a cream-colored couch in the offices of P-Vine, his Japanese record label, looking over a list of adjectives a popular Web site uses to describe his band, Luna. Curious, amused and slightly ...

Howl of Los Lobos stronger than ever

Sep 26, 2004

Howl of Los Lobos stronger than ever

For 30 years, East L.A.'s Los Lobos has made a habit of crossing borders. One look through their discography reveals the Latin rock quintet's frequent movement between Mexican folk and American R&B, with regular stops along the Mississippi for funk and blues. Recent albums ...

Shaking it up on Sado

Sep 1, 2004

Shaking it up on Sado

SADO ISLAND, Niigata Pref. -- Step one: right leg forward, left leg back. Step two: arms extended, chest out. Step three: shake all you got. Not exactly the kind of instruction usually heard in junior high school gymnasiums on Japan's remote Sado Island, but there they were ...

Think of One

/ Aug 29, 2004

Think of One

Music and travel may be hobbies for most folks, but Belgian world-rock fusionists, Think of One, consider the two more than mere avocation. More mobile, multilingual and gregarious than a carnival sideshow, To1 have turned globetrotting into a full-time gig. Their journeys in Morroco ...

/ Aug 15, 2004

Recorded: Rogue Wave: "Out of the Shadow"

Rogue Wave"Out of the Shadow" (Subpop) Indie-pop outfit, Rogue Wave, should consider themselves lucky. Ever since the Subpop label re-released their overlooked debut, Out of the Shadow, the gushing reviews keep pouring forth. Critics compare them to everyone from the Beach Boys to Elliot ...

Gerling: 'Bad Blood!!!'

/ Jul 25, 2004

Gerling: "Bad Blood!!!"

Aussie electro-punks Gerling want it both ways: hardcore's caustic snarl with the insistent thump of disco and house. Fans of dance-punk darlings The Rapture and !!! may consider this opportunistic, but the Sydney trio have crossbred both genres for years. Their eclectic third LP, ...

Shake it, baby, shake it

Jul 21, 2004

Shake it, baby, shake it

It's not just about mosh pits and busted lips: Both Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock have plenty of rump-bouncing beats on offer. In fact, the dance-oriented acts in this year's lineups are as diverse as ever. Here are a few of the best places ...

The Album Leaf: 'In a Safe Place'

/ Jul 18, 2004

The Album Leaf: "In a Safe Place"

Jimmy LaValle's classical training helped define his old outfit, Tristeza, whose intricate post-rock pastorals could have been jarring or cluttered without a subtle, steady hand. As the Album Leaf, his present incarnation, the San Diego guitarist's strings recede into more barren terrain. Lush acoustic ...

Kenji Jammer: 'Hula Hula Dance 4'

/ Jul 4, 2004

Kenji Jammer: "Hula Hula Dance 4"

Japanese guitarist Kenji Jammer's eclectic dossier includes studio work with everyone from U2 to Bill Laswell to Simply Red. His "Hula Hula Dance" CD series, however, has focused on a reinterpretation of Hawaiian-style steel guitar, sauntering past the luau for the sleek sofas of ...

Nothing like vintage tech

Jun 27, 2004

Nothing like vintage tech

It's been said that the musical style now referred to as "electro" wriggled to life in the early '80s, when the heavy thump of funk collided with burgeoning synthesizer technology. Jittery, bass-heavy and bombastic, electro lurked on the half-courts and back-alley clubs of New ...