Thursday, December 9, 2010

FM3 Buddha Machine

The FM3 Buddha Machine is a loop device that plays a selection of ambient soundscapes. The device has a speaker or you can plug-in headphones to take it with you on the go. I imagine that listening to the FM3 Buddha Machine while in transit--gazing out at the windows at all that passes--could be quite the experience. Or, just great to have on in the house. The Buddha Machine is interesting because there is debate as to how to describe it: is it more of an ambient album presented and packaged in a ready to play mode?; is it a lo-fi music maker?; is it a Pop Art piece using design and sound? No matter how you think about it, the Buddha Machine is a cool gadget that stimulates thought--particularly in regards to the idea of putting albums out as self-contained devices--and can help you relax and chill (you can even adjust the pitch or simply skip loops to suit your mood). You can also purchase a FM3 app from itunes if the plastic speaker device is too old school for you. Physical device or App: either way, the cost is not so great to have a cool conversation piece that actually has something to offer. Read more about the FM3 Buddha HERE on their site. You can also learn more and check out the Buddha in action in the video below or HERE on Selectism (Source).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Belle and Sebastian: Write for Love

B&S in support of the new album. Belle and Sebastian website HERE

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vimeo Video Winners

Vimeo gave awards out for the best videos of the past year. They are great. My favorites are below. ODEN actually made me tear up and Break-ups made me laugh out loud. You can see more of the Break-up's series HERE. They are fantastic and well done--mainly improv. You can watch other winners HERE.

Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.

"Break-ups: The Series" Vimeo Submission "Best Original Series" from Ted Tremper on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Michael Clark: Puritan Choreographer

Michael Clark is a Choreographer who came to fame is the 1980's. These clips are from a film--somewhat of a mock-u-mentary--from 1987 entitled Hail the New Puritan directed by Charles Atlas. The film is centered on Clark and his team as they dance to some great music. It's like a psychedelic-punk freak out.  I'm interested in the title of the film as it is very similar to that of a literary manifesto that came out in the early 2000's--hmmm...At any rate, the dance is unique. Read more about the film and Michael Clark HERE from Big Other. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't Be a "Dickhead"

Oh, the satire. Just be true to yourself and you will be fine no matter what others think--do it for yourself, not them...just don't be a dickhead about it, i.e. THINK. Very funny video and catchy song. Enjoy! Source: Zephyr-files HERE

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tokyo As Seen by Samuel Cockedey

I love this city--so I could sit and watch this all day. These two videos by photographer Samuel Cockedey are time-lapsed epics that capture the personifying features of a city--Tokyo. The newest video emphasizes light and its movement. The second video finds emphasis on shadow and clouds. Towards the end is a great scene that finds the movements of cranes (on what I believe to be the site of the Tokyo Sky Tree) resembling fingers working--almost as if the building were indeed constructing itself. What a thrill. Best viewed in fullscreen mode.
Source: Selectism

inter // states from Samuel Cockedey on Vimeo.

floating point from Samuel Cockedey on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Robert Longo

Untitled (Shark 12) by Robert Longo

Robert Longo and Ryder Richards

Both of these artists' works touch on ideas of masculinity. Ryder Richards' work connects men with their guns while Robert Longo's famous Men in the Cities connects men with capitalism--"suits." Read an interview by Ryder Richards HERE from homo-neurotic in which he discusses manhood 'n Texas. Robert Longo was a music video director among other things, directing the video below for New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle." Check out the great dialogue at about 2:42--"I refuse to come back as a bug or as a rabbit!" His Men also make an appearance as they flail about in the air against a blue sky.

From Richards' Trajectory
From Longo's Men in the Cities
Source: Varon HERE

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lost in the Supermarket

Shopping for groceries in Japan can evidently be a sexually tense experience--at least, these signs would indicate such a state. The first is a funny bit of "lost in translation-ism." What was meant to indicate that the check-out clerk would not bag groceries (self-bag, please) becomes a affirmation that one will refrain from relations with said clerk. The second sign adds to this message of self-control by having a cartoon cop declare that such bad behavior will "ruin your life." Very Stuff. Read more about this shopping experience HERE on Japan Visitor.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Irrepressibles--"In This Shirt"

The Irrepressibles' work lends itself to visionary pursuit such as the two examples below by Roy Raz and Shelly Love.

From The Irrepressibles' Myspace: "Led by composer and artist Jamie McDermott, The Irrepressibles are a 10-piece 'performance orchestra' that, through the power of their instruments, can transport and transfix, break moulds and collide worlds."

Source: Sundance Channel and The Irrepresibles' Myspace

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Enter the Void" from Gaspar Noe

This film sounds very interesting and Gaspar Noe appears to be a director who believes in a submersion into worlds via film. Even better, Enter the Void is set in Tokyo--however distorted the setting may be treated. I am searching for interviews from Noe in which an explanation on why the film is set in Tokyo is given. I have said before that Tokyo will soon be the center of the world--the foremost city on the planet--at least in regards to being coyly hedonistic and gorgeously amusing. Tokyo is a place to experience something new and truly original: as in apart of yourself, even.  I can't wait to see this film and only hope it isn't overly edited before its U.S. release: eveidently thru IFCfilm.
Gaspar Noe and Enter the Void on Viceland HERE
Enter the Void review HERE
Gaspar Noe Wiki-info HERE

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nissan commercials in Japan

These commercials for the Nissan "Note" vehicle feature Heidi. The Japanese is over my head, but what is more interesting is the animation itself. Take a look at some of the other commercials too--featuring cloud flight, green monsters, and lots of childish yelling.There is history behind the music used in the ad and you can read more about that on The Hopeless Romantic. Its seems as if 90's dance music made quite the impact on the Japanese psyche.
Source: The Hopeless Romantic HERE

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Michael Jackson at Tokyo Disney Land

Michael Jackson is more popular after death than during the last decade of his life. Case in point: Captain EO 3-D adventure in Tokyo Disney Land. It was an attraction running from 1987 to 1996! You can read more about the film--directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas!! Whoa!--HERE. The Captain EO attraction is reopened at the Tokyo amusement park as demand for anything connected to the fallen pop star is soaring. It has been reported that Jackson's estate has made $1 Billion since his death. Watch the video below to see a snippet from the film attraction--so richly odd.
Source: Japan Probe

Friday, June 25, 2010

Siouxsie and the Banshees-"Arabian Knights"

I love this video for the "sword fight" montage about halfway thru. This is early '80's video at its best.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Loved" by Alexander Ocias

 Alexander Ocias' Loved is a game but it is also art. Well, I am sure that many would argue that all video games are forms of art. It is true that many hours and creative manpower go into making games for Xbox, Wii, Play Station, and the rest of the gaming systems one might interact with. However, Loved is simplified in the graphic front, yet it's infuriating and makes you think. I spent about an hour playing, and have just missed finishing the game. It's not so easy. I'm not usually a "gamer" by any means which may contribute to the fact that I haven't made it to the end just yet. Still, I am weirdly connected to the "mind" or "being" behind the scenes, urging you to continue on. If Loved is a game about love, it's a love that is slightly twisted. Ocias calls his game a form of short story--there are quick sentences to read as the game moves forward. What is left unsaid and how you interact with the game is what is most intriguing. Play it HERE. Ocias is a graphic artist and on his website you can experience more of his work. The pic and source came from Matt Bell's blog HERE.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Helen Thomas in Vice Magazine

 Vice Magazine has posted an interview with Helen Thomas online--an interview that will also be published in the next issue of the magazine, but hurried to the web due to the fire-storm created recently in regards to Thomas' remarks on Israeli/Palestine relations.  This is a very insightful interview with a news veteran. It is an interview--coupled with Thomas' now famous remarks--that underscores just how afraid the public and the media are to share opinions that may be contrary to positions assumed to be held by the majority--even afraid to ASK questions (a reason Thomas gives as to how the nation was carried to war after 9-11). What is wrong with "rocking the boat?" Helen Thomas has recently done so--and no matter if you agree with her opinions or not--hopefully her openness will serve as inspiration to others to at least look at issues from all sides.
Read the interview HERE.  
Pic from Vice Magazine: by Richard Kern

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

20 Years of Seinfeld

It has been 20 years since Seinfeld first aired on May 31, 1990. It's beloved by me and millions--you too, I'm sure--and reminds me of a time when folks really did watch NBC. The staff at PASTE magazine have put together 20 great moments from the show including this nugget--FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!! Check out the Iconic Ensemble from Seinfeld HERE. Thanks Paste.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Emeralds "Candy Shoppe"

Emeralds is a band that can be classified as "Hypnagogic Pop." The term stems from a Wired article wherein this ambient sound is discussed. It's like hazily remembering all the 1980's sounds--somewhere in your subconcious--Korg keyboards, et al. You can read more about this style of music and the ideas behind its conception HERE. This is a video featuring the song "Candy Shoppe" by Emeralds--from Cleveland, Ohio. The video features some vintage track&field imagery.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Food Party on IFC

Food Party is the biggest trip I've seen in a while. Thu Tran is hilarious--a talented artist too. Tuesdays are now a time for indulgence and escape 10pm on IFC. Thu gets into misadventures while preparing interestingly disgusting yet weirdly appetizing dishes--a la Martha Stewart and Pee Wee. Gotta Watch It!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mitch Griffiths: "The Promised Land"

Mitch Griffiths has a new exhibit entitled "The Promised Land" at Halcyon Gallery in London. His work deals with the force of consumerism in today's society and, in broader sense, the construction of identity in a globalized world: including imperialistic ideology and the idea that anything is possible.
Read a great interview with Griffiths on Dazed digital

Excerpt from the Dazed interview: 
Mitch Griffiths: "Mass media tells us we can achieve anything we want. There is a flaw in this concept: if anyone can make it then the ones that do are less respected and more resented. The thinking isn't "I can" but "Why not me?" our belief isn't in our abilities but in the right to be given what we want." 

The image is by Griffiths from Dazed digital. The video is from Halcyon Gallery website.

Mitch Griffiths, The Promised Land. from Halcyon Gallery on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Gaijin: funny video

So I am a bit of a Japanophile and while cruising some blogs I came across this jewel of a video. I think they guy portraying "Super Gaijin" is an actor or model (the video below is a commercial for shirt brand Nara Camicie--but funny too). "Gaijin" means foreigner in Japanese. The video is satire on the way some visitors and expats in Japan act--sticking out like a sour thumb sometimes, and trying to make Japan and Japanese more like them instead of the other way around (no acculturation).The English lyrics are below the video. Stupid Funny. Maybe you have to have lived there to appreciate...

Everybody in Japan, don't worry
It's O.K., because I'm a Gaijin
From now on, I'll save you
I'm a Gaijin ... cool
I don't understand Japanese
I want to speak English
From now on, I'll teach you
I'm a Gaijin ... cool
I've been all over Japan
Everybody says they like me
But I don't pay attention
I don't really like nato
I'm strong because I'm a Gaijin
Japanese people are delicious rice snacks
Super Gaijin is right here
In Japan ... Tochigi prefecture is famous
me, me, me
Gaijin, Gaijin, Gaijin
save, save, save you
super, super, super cool
I came from abroad
I'm a gaijin, nice to meet 'ya
I like samurai
I like bonsai plants
before I came to Japan, I watched manga
I thought that was cool
And so I came to Japan
I'm a Gaijin, nice to meet 'ya
Everyday, everyday I enjoy Japan
Everywhere I hear, "Save me!"
If that's the case,
Look! Here is a Gaijin
Don't worry, I'm here
Don't worry, Gaijin's skills
are numerous, so I can't lose
Japanese people and Gaijin ... fly!
me, me, me
Gaijin, Gaijin, Gaijin
save, save, save you
super, super, super cool

Monday, May 3, 2010

M.I.A. Born Free

M.I.A. has released a new video for "Born Free" off of her upcoming release. I've taken to posting a lot of music videos here recently and this clip is an example as to why: music videos, when done correctly, can be gripping and deliver powerful messages--putting glitz and glamor aside sometimes--in addition to being aesthetically pleasing. This video, directed by Romain Gavras is no acception. As Boing Boing put it, the video portrays a "global ginger jihad."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Massive Attack "Paradise Circus"

Massive Attack has a new album coming in May. Below is yet another brilliantly beautiful and haunting video, taken from the album HELIGOLAND, this is "Paradise Circus"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Erykah Badu: "Window Seat"

UPDATE: 4/3/10: The video is available on Youtube again. If they take it down once more, the link is below to Badu's website...

You have to visit Badu's website in order to see this video (it has been taken down from youtube by UMG). She strips down to nothing in public for the video filmed guerrilla style in Dallas. At the end, she is "shot" by the site of JFK's assassination.

I think that Badu's video says something about an artist's ability to evolve from their previous works without having to feel confined by those works. Individual's too should feel liberated from the "self" they have built and should pursue evolving and newly negotiated identities in effort to learn more about the world we live in. By stripping herself naked in public, Badu forces those around her to take notice, thereby challenging her own identity and the identities of her spectators.

This is a link to some commentary on the video from NPR. Like the commentator, I too would like to see more videos like this coming from artists that are closer to the mainstream.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Theo Jansen and his Beasts

Theo Jansen
is a Dutch artist who creates "beasts" that utilize wind and "muscles" to roam the earth. The "creatures" are very intricate works but have very light, wispy, graceful appearances and movements. Jansen has a scientific background and his work shows what can be done with natural elements, particularly the wind. His works do take on a personified quality almost--3D animated. Stunning. See the video below the pics...
Website HERE Strand Beest

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Undertones and its many incarnations. But what can you say about such vibrato?...Exquisite, just Exquisite.

Thanks DC for the enlightenment.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reed+Rader Augmented Reality

TRY IT! Augmented Reality image by Reed+Rader. All you need is a webcam. The special "mask" places this digital face over your eyes--very cool if you are talking to someone over skype or other webchat formats and want to freak them out! Genius. Check out the creater's website for MORE.
Thanks to Hop On The Spiral Bitch for the image
Reed+Rader HERE

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snickers Commercials: Betty White, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli

If you watched the Super Bowl, you may have seen the ad for Snickers featuring Betty White. Easily the best commercial during the broadcast (and now being played all over TV). It was actually funny, thoughtful, and looked like they actually spent time considering the concept unlike most of the other offerings during the game. Now, Snickers is also playing a commercial featuring Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli. Very funny stuff. The concept is that you "aren't yourself" when your eat a Snickers. We live with commercials these days, TV, online, phone...It does make it a bit easier to cope with when they are as funny or thoughtful as these two by Snickers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Taylor Swift: Artist?

Needless to say, I am not a Taylor Swift fan by any measure. I can tolerate what I do hear of her music when I have no ability to stop it: When shopping for groceries or cheap clothes, mostly. But, I do not knock anyone who is a fan. Everyone's tastes are different and I would not expect everyone to like all the music I do (though I do love suggesting). With that in mind, I was a bit surprised but also intrigued and slightly happy that folks took an opportunity to critique her recent performance on the Grammy Show this past Sunday. I was surprised because I did not think that, in the spectrum of Pop music these days (And Taylor Swift is a POP act, NOT a country act. C'mon people!), it was a prerequisite that you actually have the ability to sing well. I thought the Pop Music World had moved beyond that notion in recent years (Auto Tune anyone?). I am happy because while people point out the flaws in Swift's performance, which I too think was lacking in raw vocal talent, I see a glimmer of hope: Hope that we have not completely thrown out a want for musical acts to deliver a nice sounding vocal performance. If you are not going to "blow the audience away", at least sound "OK". During her performance, Swift was a few notches below OK. To put it one way: If she had been a performer in a talent show at my former High School, I don't think she would have won. Perhaps the performance was a fluke. A one off bad showing. Whatever the case, what is fascinating about the entire ordeal is that she is being crticized and what the criticism says about the level of talent that we might expect from a "musical artist."

Great singing talent does, indeed, exist in today's Pop music. Despite its tackyness, American Idol does showcase singers with good voices (for the most part). But not just from American Idol (I only use it as an example). Talented "artists" are making their way to the forefront and have made their way without the help of TV shows. There were a few good examples of such artists during the Grammy Show on Sunday. But, the idea that Taylor Swift is a really great singer, is not believable. However, many people argue that this fact is beside the point. The CEO of Taylor Swifts record company (Big Machine), Scott Borchetta, commented in Swifts defense (of course), "This is not `American Idol.' This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note. This is about a true artist and writer and communicator. It's not about that technically perfect performance" (AP). I think that this quote points out key factors in the career of a successful artist. But isn't another key factor in the art of song and performance the ability to please the "ears" of listeners? The only time this may not hold true would be in cases when the point of the art is to cause displeasure and audible discomfort purposely (Maybe something avant garde, etc.). But Taylor Swift is in the business of "pleasing." While communicating a message and aesthetic to your audience is important, I do not feel that these aspects of performance should ever trump the most important "act" of all. That is, the act of delivering musically pleasing art. Remember, we are talking about a musical performance, not a speech, painting, novel et al. It should sound good. If you do not believe that it should sound good or that one should even go about the critiquing of a singer's vocal instrument, then maybe this says more about what you consider to be "art" and who you consider to be "artists." To a music company, Taylor Swift is a commodity, a product. What matters to the company's bottom line is how effectively their product is "communicated" to a targeted "audience." Music companies need to remember that while an "artist" may "speak" to their audience on several important levels, if you are going to call someone a "musical artist," you cannot neglect the level of musicality. Many have called Taylor Swift, "the voice of her generation." Whoa! Big words, right? What a message. But if this is truly the case (I know millions would beg to differ, but if it is) it means that the messenger seems to be communicating with an audience pretty well (biggest selling album of 2009). But the message and the story are louder and placed in greater importance than the music itself. With Taylor Swift's poor performance being called into question, maybe there is hope that in the Pop Music World an artists talent will need to match all the hype. Otherwise, in my opinion, we need to refrain from a labeling a Product as an Artist.

AP story HERE
Photo by Reina Ltd.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Herbivores: Can this new wave of manhood take root in the U.S.?

Each year, Japanese publishing company, Jiyukokumin-Sha, helps sponsor the New Word and Buzzword of The Year Grand Prix. The competition highlights Japanese words or phrases that have had significant cultural impact that year. The winners are voted for by readers. In 2009, a phrase that created a lot of buzz, making the Top 10 List, was Soshoku Danshi, or "Herbivore Boys." This is the newest label given to men in their 20's and early 30's who are collectively debunking the status quo of gender roles and behavior in modern Japan. Since the term was coined in 2006 by Japanese columnist and Editor Maki Fukasawa, a good deal of attention has been given to this group of men. 2009 saw the ranks of the Herbivores increase.

Who are the Herbivores? They aren't necessarily vegetarians. However, their habits are in stark contrast to those typically associated with men in Japan, particularly Nikushoku Danshi (Carnivore Boys) or "salary men" who are infamous for putting in long hours at the office and then eating, drinking, and chasing after women with their peers, before returning home late in the evening or in the early hours of the morning. Herbivores are more homebody than busybody, preferring the comforts of home over loud, flashy bars. Instead of all night benders with work buddies, the Herbivore might stay in, create a classic cocktail using only fresh ingredients, and listen to a rare jazz record on his antique player.

A Herbivore is less likely to procrastinate on or ignore a little housework. He may also enjoy cooking and trying out new dishes. He is a man who takes care of himself physically: eating healthy, staying well groomed, and dressing smartly. But, do not get him confused with the metrosexual of the early 2000's. The Herbivore's priorities are not based solely upon his looks, but are based on an overall sense of well-being and sense of self. He prefers regular or even flexible hours at work that allow him more time to focus on his passions with less concern on climbing the corporate ladder and staying late at the office. He is not afraid to show a more sensitive side and could be found reading "Shojo" comics (those with a humanistic and romantic emphasis) or joining a "dessert club." As a self-proclaimed Herbivore has stated, "We don't care at all what people think about how we live." And the Herbivore can live with or without women. The newest breed of Japanese men are making it harder for Japanese women to find dates due to their passive and sometimes resistant attitude towards dating. Many have decided to forgo any romantic relationships with women altogether. They see dating as too expensive or time consuming. Others want to avoid losing the simplicity and ease of their lifestyle by getting wrapped up in the often time complicated world of traditional relationships. Whatever the case, with "toys" and the internet, there are a number of alternative means of gratification Herbivores have at their disposal.

Japan's Herbivores are not interested in participating in acts of overt machismo like those associated with businessmen during the boom of the 80's. They are not spending money on big ticket items or status symbols like cars, expensive watches, or luxury condos. Herbivores take pride in keeping strict budgets and saving money by searching for the best deals and lowest prices. Thrifty habits like growing their own food or making their own clothing are not doing much to help stimulate Japan's sagging economy.   A recent New York Times article noted that Japan's unemployment rate reached a record high of 5.7 (10/09) and that the nation's economic decline could accelerate as China captures many of its export markets. The recent election of the Japanese House of Representatives resulted in the Democratic Party of Japan winning in a landslide against the long time ruling Liberal Democratic Party. In fact, this event spawned the number one Japanese buzzword of 2009, Seiken Kotai (Regime Change). The new party won, in part, by vowing to turn the Japanese economy around. Best efforts to do so will most likely have to include economic stimulation of Japanese domestic spending, but the Herbivore's prudent nature could create some obstacles for the new government to overcome.

Finding a way to change some of the financial habits of Herbivore's may become part of a new Japanese economic plan. However, concurrently, Japan's economic climate may itself be a contributing factor in the growth of this new segment of its society. Income inequality and poverty are on the rise and "lifetime" positions at Japanese companies are quickly becoming a thing of the past. A report provided by The Japan Institute For Labour Policy and Training shows that nearly 40 percent of the Japanese workforce are working in non-regular staff positions The development of the habits and lifestyle preferences of Herbivores are likely results of young men looking for ways to cope with this economic shift. With fading incentives for putting work first, Japan's Herbivores are finding it easier and more personally rewarding to explore and engage in aspects of life that have been ignored by previous generations of men. A 2009 survey by the Lifenet Seimei Life Insurance Company of 500 Japanese men in their 20's and 30's saw 75 percent respond that they identify more as "Herbivore" than "Carnivore." The number of men who identify as "Herbivore" may continue to grow as men look to find fulfillment and happiness in places other than work and careers.

If the economic climate in Japan has contributed to the emergence of Herbivores amongst its men, it is also possible that the condition of the economy in the U.S. could do the same. According to a recent survey conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. This is the lowest level in two decades. And with U.S. unemployment rates reaching record highs, many out of work individuals are finding new ways to pass the time and are reining in their personal budgets. American optimism is slowly being replaced by a growing sense of realism as people are becoming more often exposed to the fragility of personal wealth and the overall national economy. Habits associated with Herbivores could very well become assets as we enter the next decade. Would be "American Herbivores" may be wise to take cues from their Japanese counterparts.

Is it possible that the U.S. will see its own version of the Herbivore? Will there be or is there already an American Herbivore? The U.S. and Japan have very different histories. While the U.S. has waged several, and is currently engaged in two, wars since 1945, Japan has remained a mostly peaceful nation. Some scholars, like Masahiro Morioka, professor of philosophy at Osaka Prefecture University who was featured in an article on Herbivores in the Japan Times, believe that Japan's non-confrontational past 6 decades may be contributing to the rise of Japanese men who find it less necessary to display "manly" traits. Aggression and toughness are slowly giving way to a quieter sensitivity. The U.S. has been more actively engaged in world conflict. It is home to a higher number of veterans who have taken part in arduous and tough warfare. Perhaps this fact makes it less likely that the U.S. will see large numbers of men who are willing to identify as "Herbivore" crop up in the short-term. But this may soon change.

Despite the differences in cultural and social histories, the U.S. and Japan have had one major theme in common for sometime: Both nations have been the leading economic powerhouses for decades. With the rise of China, Americans, like the Japanese, could soon see their nation's standing on the global market take significant shifts downward in the decades to come. The ripple effects could be staggering, giving rise to an environment in which American Herbivores and aspects of the Herbivore lifestyle grow to be more prevalent. Emphasis on prudent behavior, health, pursuit of passions, and creating a happier balance between work life and home life could very well be ideals that American men grow to accept more openly. The American Herbivore may not turn out to be exactly like its Japanese counterpart, but just as we have had our Beats and Hippies in the past, Herbivores may soon take root in American Culture.

*Image from SLATE

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bowie and Nomi on SNL

David Bowie & Klaus Nomi - The Man Who Sold The World from André Goldvasser on Vimeo.

This classic clip is David Bowie doing "The Man Who Sold the World" with help from Klaus Nomi. The entire setup was most likely artistically directed by Nomi. I remember seeing a very interesting documentary about Nomi, "The Nomi Song," a couple of years ago. I recommend it if you are into art, performance, music, quirky people, et al. Check out the website HERE. I love this clip because it showcases the type of out there performances that Bowie is famous for. Find out more about the clip and performance from Lurve Magazine HERE. I am also happy that current trends in musical performance are finding inspiration from these types of  innovative works from the past. Still, it's not enough just to DO, you must also FEEL it. Remember that...Lady GaGa.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More on the "Herbivores" of Japan

 The story from the BBC World Service starts at the 9.30 mark on the player.


This story gives more coverage to Japan's Herbivore Culture. This growing trend with men is a big sensation in Japan. The reporter here talks with the guys themselves, but also with the women who would be mates (that is if the herbivores were more inclined to asking them out). As the reporter here puts it: The herbivore trend is a, "Laid back model of manhood." I find the trend facinating, particularly in light of the fact that Japan's economic standing is falling and this new wave of manhood could have a major impact. I hope to write some on herbivores in the future. I don't think this is a trend that is going away any time soon. There is more to be said about Soshoku Danshi (Herbivore boys) VS. Nikushoku Danshi (Carnivore boys).