Suzannah Tartan

For Suzannah Tartan's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Catching up with an indie-rock legend

Jun 13, 2004

Catching up with an indie-rock legend

In their first incarnation, Mission of Burma existed a mere four years, from 1979 to 1983. They were barely known outside of their hometown, Boston. They never sold more than a few thousand records. For indie-rock fans of the early '80s, however, the sort who ...

The Michael Nyman Band

/ May 30, 2004

The Michael Nyman Band

Though Michael Nyman has worked with a variety of film directors, most notably Peter Greenaway and Jane Campion, his film scores are instantly recognizable. The horns sound regally, the strings pulsate and his band swings so wildly that the music threatens to fly apart. ...

/ May 16, 2004

Animal Collective: "Sung Tongs"

Listening to Animal Collective's latest album, "Sung Tongs," is like stumbling onto on a particularly exuberant front-porch jam session. The vocal sporting of duo Avery Tare and Panda Bear, the founding members in this Brooklyn-based collective, modulate between offhand harmonies and spontaneous hoots and ...

/ Apr 18, 2004

Rovo with Buffalo Daughter and Goma

With nary a Jerry Garcia reference in sight, neither Rovo nor Buffalo Daughter fit the jam band stereotype. Yet both tend toward complex, improvised songs that revel in their own sprawl. They may not be jam bands, but they certainly jam. After more than 10 ...

VIPs made to feel at home in the Hyatt's floating world

/ Apr 14, 2004

VIPs made to feel at home in the Hyatt's floating world

The Park Hyatt Tokyo is, as Coppola has described it, a quiet floating island 39 floors above the cacophony and chaos of Shinjuku. Occupying the top 14 floors of the 52-story Shinjuku Park Tower, the hotel exudes an aura of calm and comfort that ...

Jolly good show, Hidaka-san

Mar 21, 2004

Jolly good show, Hidaka-san

At the entrance to the headquarters of concert-promoter Smash is an original poster for the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" single. When the group did a reunion tour of Japan several years ago, Smash President Masa Hidaka had them autograph it. This may be ...

Various artists: 'Beat of the Moment'

/ Mar 21, 2004

Various artists: "Beat of the Moment"

The title cut of the new Felicity sampler -- a jazzy drum 'n' bass joint effort by newish Japanese pop group Spangle call Lilli line and electronica outfit Spanova -- elicits a series of responses: familiarity (haven't I heard this before?), confusion (but where?), ...

Acid Mothers Gong

/ Mar 14, 2004

Acid Mothers Gong

Daevid Allen's '60s psychedelic group Gong spent a good many of its albums relating the adventures of Pothead Pixies and Radio Gnomes on the peaceful Planet Gong. Makoto Kawabata channels music from outer space into his band, Acid Mothers Temple. Fuse the two together ...

Dani Siciliano: 'Likes'

/ Jan 25, 2004

Dani Siciliano: "Likes"

Dani Siciliano's voice is such a classic jazz instrument that one expects her to break into an improvised scat at any moment. Yes, her voice is somewhat thinner and higher than that of Ella Fitzgerald or June Christy, but she shares the same stylish ...