To Tokyo And Beyond

The much anticipated trip to Tokyo is now over, but my mission to spend ten thousand yen on music was a bust. Tokyo was great though, although it was very hot and humid. A wicked thunderstorm on the last day was fun to drive in.

I had the funds, but unfortunately time, which is of the essence in Tokyo, was not managed well. I was hoping to get several records at used record shops, and I did visit three of them, but I had little time available to spend in each…life even for a tourist is hectic in Tokyo.

But, I did manage to get one record, and a few CDs.

Nirvana – Supercollosal Big Muff

In Shibuya I went to “Disk Union” which was on my list of places to visit. It turned out to be a bit disappointing though, not much of a selection and a little expensive. After that I wandered around a bit and stumbled on a most excellent place called “Recofan“. It was jam-packed with music, some in long and narrow aisles.

I didn’t have much time as I had to meet the family to go off and get dinner some where, but I was able to find this bootleg live album for only 300 yen, quite the bargain. It was recorded at the University of Washington in 1990, and is a very decent recording. It was released by a Japanese label called “Small Clone”, who seemed to only release bootleg live Nirvana albums.

A good start to my music shopping.

The B-52’s – The B-52’s

Also at Recofan I found this in excellent condition on vinyl, and for a pretty decent price.

I remember listening to this on vinyl a long time ago, and I remember getting it out from a library our family used to go to, so it is good to actually own it now. And it is in my opinion their best album, and the cover artwork in simple but very striking…I must display it somewhere.

Excellent stuff.

Cypress Hill – Skull & Bones

Later on the same day, after dinner at a BBQ restaurant near the hotel in Meguro, I went off by myself, intent on spending quality time in Shinjuku’s music shops (Shinjuku Station by the way is the world’s busiest train station). I planned on going to Book Off there, and hopefully a vinyl place. I did find a Disk Union, but it was already closed (at 8 pm which seems a bit early to me, even if it was a Sunday). So, I went to Book Off, but as it would turn out they were soon closing too, at 9 pm. So, I quickly rummaged through the 200 yen section and found this album.

This is Cypress Hill’s fifth album and it is pretty good. It is different to “Black Sunday” in that it mixes in some rock elements. Also included are two bonus discs with eight extra songs in total, all good tracks.

For 200 yen this was the bargain of the weekend.

Bob Mould – Bob Mould

As Book Off was closing I quickly went to the “B” section where I had noticed this earlier, grabbed it, then went straight to the counter.

Good stuff from Bob, a solid album.

The Cramps – Psychedelic Jungle/Gravest Hits

The next day we drove to a city called Mito, in Ibaragi Prefecture, which is a two-hour drive north from Tokyo. My mission whenever we visit a new place is to seek out the local Book Off, which we were able to do in Mito.

This CD was the first one I found, and I was most pleased as The Cramps are an old favourite. This is good stuff of course.

Therapy? – Troublegum

Next in Mito I found this in the 280 yen section.

I generally find Therapy? to be good but not great, and this album is no different. It is not a disappointment though.

Therapy? have been around since 1989, and have quite a few albums to their name. Their next album is due out next month.

Public Enemy – He Got Game

The last CD I got in Mito, and the last overall is this soundtrack to the film starring Denzel Washington, a film I have never seen.

I had to get it because it is Public Enemy, a band I have several releases from, and a band that always makes good music.

I put this in the car stereo to listen to on the long trip back home. Unfortunately though that is where the disc still remains as the stereo is refusing to spit it out. I have tried forcing it out, but it just won’t move…dang! So, I listened to it three times over in the car before turning the sound completely down as listening to any album too many times over can cause negative effects.

And this is another good P.E. album, and certainly one of the best original soundtracks for any film.

So, while my plan to spend ten grand did not work out, I am still quite pleased with what I got, not a dud in all of them. I will just have to figure out how to get Public Enemy out of the car.

Music count 2018: 80

Cobain: Montage of Heck

I had been wanting to see this for a while, but was not able to find it on DVD or elsewhere, so when I found it on Netflix in the “just added” category I immediately watched it (just after finishing Death Race 2000).

It is a well made documentary of Kurt’s life from birth to his death in 1994 (only a few weeks before Ayrton Senna’s death…bad year). There is a lot of archival footage which mostly came directly from his family, along with audio recorded by Kurt before his Nirvana days. There are also interviews with his mother, father, sister, ex-girlfriend, Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love of course (this documentary was her idea). Dave Grohl was interviewed for the documentary, but for various reasons he was left out.

Kurt was obviously talented early on, but also quite troubled due to his personality and family troubles. Things only got worse when Nirvana got big, and he met Courtney.

There were many shots of pages from his diaries and notebook scribbles (done through some nifty animations) that showed just how disturbed he was, it was hard to read at times.

Buzz Osboune, a close friend of Kurt’s, and the founding member of The Melvins criticised this film, saying it was “90% bullshit”. However, Krist came out saying Buzz talks like that sometimes, so who knows what to believe. There were some animated scenes depicting what Kurt had wrote about in his diary that did seem just a bit too far fetched, and from what I have read about Kurt it seems to be nothing more than his dark humour.

As the film nears the end it gets quite depressing, especially in the home videos taken by Courtney showing an obviously drugged-up Kurt. The scene where they give baby Frances Bean her first haircut is a downer.

So it is a fascinating, sometimes hard to believe, and ultimately sad look at the life of Kurt Cobain. After you finish watching this, put In Utero on the turntable to cheer yourself up.

Date watched: January 25th
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2018: 5

Rise of The Offspring

This week saw two visits to Mandai Shoten, one of my sources of used CDs. I went there on Monday night as I just felt like it, and today with James as he wanted to buy some comics there today.

The Offspring, Rise,and Fall, Rage and Grace album
I have gone The Offspring nutty after buying my first CD from them last week. This album was released in 2008, and is good stuff.

The Offspring, Conspiracy of One album
I haven’t listened to this 2000 release yet. The cover has a flaming skull… must be good then.

The Offspring, Splinter album
This and the following were all bought today. I have yet to listen to this.

The Offspring, Want You Bad EP
This has five tracks, with the title track coming from the Conspiracy of One album. There is a good cover of Autonomy by The Buzzcocks, and a couple of live tracks. They sound like a good band live.

Nirvana, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah album
It is Nirvana, and it was cheap. Good combo.

Sum 41, Underclass Hero album
Sum 41 are a good punk band from Canada, kind of the Canadian version of Green Day.

Green Day, Shenanigans album
This is a compilation of B-sides, rarities, covers, and an unreleased track.

All of the above CDs were cheap, all up it cost me less than the price of two Big Mac combo meals (I always order fries and a diet coke in my combo). So, not only am I getting good music, I am also doing my health a lot of good.

Album count 2017: 15