I wrote about the end of record digging in Japan in my NPR column earlier this year. This trip didn’t change my assessment.
We dutifully made it through Tokyo’s multidude of shops, marveling how those closets could stay in business selling Tommy Roe and Roy Ayers albums for more than a couple bucks. Fillmore didn’t disappoint – it never does – but the days of finding a Marvin Whoremonger are long gone. Can’t front on unplayed copies of Indonesian psych treasures like Freedom of Rhapsodia’s first album though.
The best shops, as usual, were the Disc Union stores… the amount of records circulating through their doors is impressive.
I came close to buying the Tenorio Jr. and the Booker Pittman albums until I realized that, no matter how good they are, spending $1000 on bossa-jazz just ain’t happening in 2009.
Cut, for his part, did well at Disc Union’s Shibuya store, as the “rare-groove” manager offered him a stab at his personal collection.
It took a twenty four hour deliberation – and some tense negotiating – but Cut walked back to our hotel at the tail end of the typhoon with a copy of Billy Ball and The Upsetters “Sissy Walk.” Not bad!
The best digging of the trip? Digging for knives in the Tsukijji fish market at dawn:
Now THAT’s how we get down in Tokyo. Leave the records for the aging b-boys. Let’s take home some Japanese steel.