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Wayne Gabel

For Wayne Gabel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Heroes ska'ed for life

Music Sep 19, 2008

Heroes ska'ed for life

Making musical history was the last thing on Doreen Shaffer's mind when she joined The Skatalites. Still a schoolgirl, she was just happy to be singing in a band. Looking back, the vocalist, now 65 and one of three original members still touring with the ...

Chuck Brown is good to go-go

Music Feb 15, 2008

Chuck Brown is good to go-go

Chuck Brown doesn't know when to quit. That's not a character flaw — it's a trait that gave the world the musical equivalent of a marathon. The 73-year-old guitarist and singer, dubbed the "Godfather of Go-Go," is still a man on the move thanks ...

Vega steals into the spotlight

Music Jan 11, 2008

Vega steals into the spotlight

A city of extremes, New York represents different things to different people. For singer- songwriter Suzanne Vega, its infinite variety is a constant source of inspiration. "Beauty & Crime," released last summer by EMI Japan, is a detailed look at a metropolis that's a part ...

Always thinking big

Music Dec 27, 2007

Always thinking big

There's no shortage of pop musicians who reached their creative peak in their 20s, then struggled to remain productive and relevant after the flush of youth failed them. Think of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett and even John Lennon. Perhaps because he takes his cues ...

Galactic keep it in their own backyard

Music Dec 7, 2007

Galactic keep it in their own backyard

In a business where some people will do anything to thrust themselves into the spotlight, for their latest release the New Orleans-based funk quintet Galactic did all they could to step out of it. Not even Hurricane Katrina could stop them. "From the Corner ...

Jane Birkin

Music / Concert Previews Nov 16, 2007

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin Flush with tunes by some of the Anglophone world's best songwriters, "Fictions" is Jane Birkin's most English album to date. But don't take it as a sign the British-born Gallic icon is breaking with her past. Birkin, the muse and one-time lover of late ...

'Afro Samurai': anime international

Film Oct 25, 2007

'Afro Samurai': anime international

On paper, the making of "Afro Samurai" reads like a recipe for an identity crisis. An animation about an African-American swordsman in a futuristic feudal Japan, it sprang from the mind of a Tokyo illustrator and was brought to fruition in English by a ...

Concha Buika

Music / Concert Previews Oct 19, 2007

Concha Buika

For much of its decade-long existence, Tiempo Ibero- americano has been spicing up the summer with the Isla de Salsa festival, an annual celebration of the Caribbean beat. To mark its 10th anniversary, the Fukuoka- based nonprofit organization is expanding its musical horizons to ...

Keller Williams

Music / Concert Previews Oct 12, 2007

Keller Williams

If you believe sampling is a fraud perpetrated by people who lack musical chops, Keller Williams might just prove you wrong. Not content to plop his butt on a stool and strum away, the Virginia native positions himself on stage amid an array of instruments, ...