Found in P-Tunes & Video, the super-fabo vid/CD store on Chrystie Street in Manhattan featured in this blog's header image.
Anti-star Crowd Lu has, ironically, risen to mainstream popularity in Taiwan at least in part due to his bowl haircut, nerd glasses, and general dorkiness. He also writes very smart, catchy pop music. It reminds me a bit of Jonathan Richman, Alex Chilton and, golly, any number of mainstream 60s AM radio artists I can't remember at the moment.
Dude! Dudette! Take a stab at the first song on the playlist and then "Boring," which I think is the third.
I love it! With lots of special super dork emu rainbow glitter hearts swirling around (the love).
Found in a suburb somewhere in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. This was in the Japanese equivalent of a Wal*Mart, in the 300-yen bin. (About three bucks.)
Founded in 1995, Snail Ramp is one of many Japanese ska bands. And when I say many, I mean many-many! There was actually a whole wall in Shibuya's Tower Records filled with nothing but Japanese ska that rivaled the rap/hip-hop section at the old Kim's Video on St. Mark's. No exaggeration. When the Japanese decide to cover a genre, they totally cover it.
And cover it well. This is a freaking great record, ersatz tho it may be. But, then, since when has authenticity or purity, especially in the realm of pop music, necessarily led to anything more than earnest forgettable crap?
Found in the "World Music" section at Tower Records in Shibuya, Tokyo. An import from Malaysia.
Actor, singer, comedian, songwriter, screenwriter and film director P. Ramlee died early, at the age of 44, but had by then written, sung and/or played on nearly 400 songs. I know almost next to nothing about him, other than he is considered one of the icons of Malaysian cinema. I also know that his music totally, totally rocks.
Dedicated to twist-lover Brandon Downing, who was just interviewed about his great new book, Lake Antiquity, at Bomb, and another flarf peop, Chris Funkhouser, who lived in Malaysia for--well, I'm not sure how long he lived there.
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.