I’m currently on an island off the coast of Thailand called Koh Phi Phi so won’t be posting a ton as internet access is limited. It’s really beautiful here, the pic above was from the plane flying into Phuket, the closest town to Phi Phi with an airport. Leaving for Amsterdam on Wednesday, will be nice to feel some cold again, the heat here is nothing short of oppressive.
I find myself listening to less and less "electronic" music these days so it’s rare that I find new tracks I really enjoy. I remember being pretty blown away by this album when it first came out and I keep going back to this track in particular. I really wish I knew what this song was about though, such great lyrics but a bit confusing when you try to piece it together. Anyone have any ideas?
As for the cover art, it’s nice and clean and i like the use of Avant Garde in this context. Sadly, AG is becoming less and less appealing to me unless used very carefully.
LCD Soundsystem – "Someone Great"
After all the shots of objects from Japan I thought I would do a post on the people themselves. Although the aesthetic elements of Japan were overwhelmingly pleasing, the people and the culture are what had the most profound impact on my stay there. Let me preface this by saying that any of these observations are obviously subjective as they are based on my limited exposure to one city during a 6 day period. I tried to see as many parts of Tokyo as I could and we usually traveled with local friends to insure we didn’t just see the tourist perspective.
I was amazed by how polite and hard working the people there seemed to be. The city itself borders on some sort of quasi-utopian vision of how good things could be in some alternate universe. It had it’s dark side as any city does, but by in large it’s just an incredibly clean and efficient place. Everyone we came into contact with was friendly and would go out of their way to help with anything you need. The service industry was something otherworldly, I have never experienced such courteous and attentive service anywhere else. The craziest part was they WILL NOT accept tips. We spent the first 2 days trying to tip cab drivers and waiters to no avail. Each time we left a tip on the table after a meal we were literally chased down outside the restaurant and informed that we had left money. No amount of explaining would convince them to keep the money. There is a significant language barrier but the courteous nature of the people we encountered usually overcame that obstacle through sheer diligence. There were workers everywhere doing all manner of tasks at any given time. Three people would be employed just to wave cars out of a parking garage and there were police and security guards posted everywhere in the city. They must be approaching 100% employment from the looks of things. I counted about 5 homeless people the entire time I was there.
Again these observations are all extremely subjective, my stay was limited to a short time frame and a small geographic area. But the same could be said for any of my stays in various American cities and none of them managed to appear so close to perfection as Tokyo. I can wholeheartedly recommend visiting Tokyo, you’ll find a great dose of culture and excitement. Make sure to save up though, that place is expensive. $12 beers anyone? I guess you get what you pay for though.
I am still rounding up and processing all the shots from the Tsuiki Fish Market, I’ll be posting those soon along with a lot of good ones from Bangkok, a visually stunning experience to be certain.
This incredible still is from Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (1982). I’m in Bangkok right now waiting to go to Phuket to catch a boat to Koh Phi Phi Don. Saw this pic and decided I sort of feel like this guy at the moment. Bangkok is a surreal place to say the least. I’ve got a bunch of pics queued for a post, should be up soon.
Caught this on the way out of the subway on my last day in Tokyo. Not quite an Otl Aicher caliber piece, but good nonetheless. (caveat: I color corrected it a bit to give it a more muted vibe….couldn’t resist)
Waiting to leave Tokyo for Bangkok right now. It’s been a great time here in Japan, went by too fast. Went to the Tsukiji fish Market early this morning (3am) and got a lot of pics. Will be posting them as soon as I have a chance. The above image is from the side of a truck in Azubu-Juban, it’s a sticker saying something about fighting crime I believe. While I am sure Thailand has a lot of visual beauty in store, I will definitely miss the non-stop display of design superiority that is Tokyo.
Broker / Dealer is a San Francisco based duo now recording for Ghostly International. They also seem to be one of the most under appreciated bands I know of. They released their debut album "Initial Public Offering" in 2003 on Asphodel (SF) and it seems to have stayed just a bit below the radar ever since. I have been loving this album since that time and it’s been a big influence on my own music over the years. Not unlike the Field record, I have found this album serves as a great backdrop for the vibe of Tokyo. Here’s a couple tracks to whet your appetite.
Broker / Dealer – Initial Public Offering
On a Claire Day
The official registration page for the ISO50 Workshop in Stockholm, Sweden on January 25th is now up. Go here to register!