A 1992 mix

Thirty years ago on July 31st, I returned to Seattle after spending five years in Tokyo. This last weekend, I made a mix to mark the occasion. Continue reading

55mix

55mix

PART 1 (44m 08s)
Birds Gotta Swim – Martin Mull
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
Shipping Container – Ruby Throat
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
Life, Life – Ryuichi Sakamoto
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
Here Come a Raincloud (live) – China Crisis
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
Help Me Somebody (live) – David Byrne
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
The Ink in the Well (live) – David Sylvian
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (excerpt) – Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki
Don’t Worry About After Death (Shaka Shaka Nippon) – Melon
Theme for Great Cities – Simple Minds
Headless Chicken – Thought Gang
It’s Steeper Near the Roses – Harold Budd

PART 2 (44m 49s)
‘the moment’ (excerpt) – The Art of Noise
O.D. (Optimistic Depression) – Melon
‘the moment’ (excerpt) – The Art of Noise
The Flat Earth – Thomas Dolby
Firefly – Vertigo Angels
‘the moment’ (excerpt) – The Art of Noise
A Bridge to the Rings of Saturn – dip in the pool
Blackstar (pt 1) – David Bowie
The Day it Rained Forever – Nick Heyward
Blackstar (pt 2) – David Bowie
Next – Skylab
Speak to Me/Breathe/Breathe (reprise) – Pink Floyd

(16 March 2018)

Someday I call your name… (a poem)

I was at the Half Price Books in Seattle this morning, where I found a vinyl copy of Origato Plastico, the second LP by the late, great Plastics.

Plastics were made up of Toshi Nakanishi, Chica Sato, Hajime Tachibana, Masahide Sakuma, and Takemi Shima. During their relatively brief time together, they released three LPs and a few singles; the third album, Welcome Back Plastics, consisted of re-recordings of songs from their first two albums, and was released worldwide—including the US, where it was called simply Plastics. If you were around back then (1980/81), you might remember them from the video for ‘Top Secret Man’ that was shown on SCTV (the video for Talking Heads’ ‘Once in a Lifetime’ was aired during the same episode). If you weren’t, you might still be familiar with the Stereo Total cover of ‘I Love You Oh No!’ (re-titled ‘I Love You Ono’) that was used in a number of commercials.

In any event, when Plastics split, Toshi and Chica went on to form Melon, a more club-oriented group. (Tachibana continued making music as a solo artist, while also doing graphic design; Sakuma became a respected producer (he died of cancer in 2014); Shima joined Sakuma in the d.e.p, but I don’t know what else he has been up to.) Melon released two albums and a number of singles, including the club hits ‘Serious Japanese’ and ‘Hardcore Hawaiian’, before Toshi went on to form the Major Force label and Chica moved into the fashion world.

You can find a number of Plastics and Melon videos on YouTube; they’re well worth checking out.

Anyway, to finally get to the point, I wrote the following poem using as many Plastics and Melon song titles as I could…

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Somewhere faraway (a poem)

Yesterday morning, I arrived early for an appointment. For my in-car listening that morning, I had chosen a mixtape I made in 1987 (the CD player in my car stopped working back in February). One of the songs on the tape, included as an instrumental interlude, was ‘Somewhere Faraway’, from Melon’s 1987 album Deep Cut. (Club-goers may remember Melon from dance track ‘Hardcore Hawaiian’.) Seeing that title on the j-card started me thinking, and I began to write…
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