Articles Tagged with: Music
Tokyo | Nelken Cafe in Koenji
Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

In Tokyo, you can find all sorts of wild and deep holes to dive deeply into, places where specific flavors are nurtured and taken to their fullest.

One such place is Nelken (German for carnation) in Koenji. A simple small cafe full of warmth, oil paintings and an astounding sound system. Dark wood, crushed red velvet chairs and a brandy coffee. Sit back and close your eyes and the wall of sound embraces you, selections from the vinyl collection and the occasional CD are all classical. The day I visited it was Brahms, a violin concerto played in it’s entirety. An older gentlemen customer in front of me sat with his head bowed, eyes closed, posture relaxed and slack.

He only opened his eyes when the last movement concluded.

A subway ride west from downtown Tokyo, Nelken is a place to sit and drink and enjoy a private concert with the masters.

http://en.goodcoffee.me/coffeeshop/nelken/


Tom Waits | On The Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy & the Lash
The Pogues, date and photographer unknown

The Pogues, date and photographer unknown

Tom Waits writes about his 20 most cherished albums in an article in The Guardian. Here is his passage about Rum, Sodomy & the Lash:

Sometimes when things are real flat, you want to hear something flat, other times you just want to project onto it, something more like…. you might want to hear the Pogues. Because they love the West. They love all those old movies. The thing about Ireland, the idea that you can get into a car and point it towards California and drive it for the next five days is like Euphoria, because in Ireland you just keep going around in circles, those tiny little roads. ‘Dirty Old Town’, ‘The Old Main Drag’. Shane has the gift. I believe him. He knows how to tell a story. They are a roaring, stumbling band. These are the dead end kids for real. Shane’s voice conveys so much. They play like soldiers on leave. The songs are epic. It’s whimsical and blasphemous, seasick and sacrilegious, wear it out and then get another one.

– Tom Waits

Tom Waits. Portobello Road, London 1976 © Michael Putland

Tom Waits. Portobello Road, London 1976 © Michael Putland

A remastered and expanded version of Rum, Sodomy & the Lash was released in 2005 and featured a poem by Tom Waits.

Their music is like
the brandy of the damned
Pogue Mahone
they are the last
pure hearts
from Dickens , Joyce,Dylan Thomas
to Christy Moore
like Red Diamonds
Pirates full of malarkey
they’re little giants
they’re Bill Sykes
They are all orphans
and they are leaving
on the 2:10 train
with no ticket
Rapscallion, angry, weeping
passed out songs,songs
that seem to be born
effortlessly, or
not born but found
on top of an old wood stove
like a Bowler hat
and the Pogues know
where the little people go
and they follow them
they’re as old as treasure island
songs that we should all carry
i learnt ’em and sung ’em
and changed ’em
and passed them on
down the wild blue road
as Shane MacGowan & the Pogues
warm their hands
on a fire
made from chopsticks
and a horse pulls a milk wagon
up the steep, wet cobblestone
streets & stumbles
to his knees, bloodying them
as a man
no bigger than my thumb
dances in the broken glass
and jumps rope with a shoe lace
the song he sings

Tom Waits
California , March 2004

It is one of my favorite albums, a sequence of songs that would cause us all to link arms and belt out the lyrics, spilling beer everywhere. You should probably buy it now.

The Pogues, date and photographer unknown

The Pogues, date and photographer unknown


Leonard Cohen | On Conde Guitars
Leonard Cohen, photographer unknown

Leonard Cohen, photographer unknown

When I was packing in Los Angeles to come here, I had a sense of unease because I’ve always felt some ambiguity about an award for poetry. Poetry comes from a place that no one commands and no one conquers, so I feel somewhat like a charlatan to accept an award for an activity which I do not command. In other words, if I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.

I was compelled in the midst of that ordeal of packing to go and open my guitar. I have a Conde guitar, which was made in Spain in the great workshop at No. 7 Gravina Street. A beautiful instrument that I acquired over 40 years ago. I took it out of the case, I lifted it, and it seemed to be filled with helium. It was so light. I brought it to my face and I put my face close to the beautifully designed rosette, and I inhaled the fragrance of the living wood.

You know that wood never dies.

I inhaled the fragrance of cedar as fresh as the first day that I acquired the guitar. And a voice seemed to say to me, you are an old man and you have not said thank you, you have not brought your gratitude back to the soil from which this fragrance arose. And so I come here tonight, to thank the soil and the soul of this people that have given me so much.

– Leonard Cohen, speaking at the Príncipe of Asturias Awards Ceremony at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo, October 21, 2011.

Felipe Conde FC 28, Rosewood & Spruce Flamenco Negra

Felipe Conde FC 28, Rosewood & Spruce Flamenco Negra

To hear his entire speech:

To learn more about the Conde family of luthiers:


Bucharest | Sir Richard Bishop
Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Apologies, as this is a bit out of order, being placed in the middle of the Bangkok series, but I have just returned from a trip to Bucharest, Romania where I had the great fortune to see Sir Richard Bishop perform at a club, thirty-one years after I had seen him for the first time at a hardcore show in DC.

I’ve posted the introduction to his interview below, but if you should read the article in it’s entirety here, at The Attic. A very nice piece of synchronicity.

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

It was 1984 in Washington, DC, at the height of that city’s legendary hardcore punk scene. We were young, aggressive and frustrated, and though not dumb, the amount of things we didn’t know were huge. We had no idea how important that punk scene was in DC. We had no idea that we were in the last year of hardcore punk, that the next year, the scene would just collapse into fragments. We had no idea we would survive and grow old and sit in chairs at desks for decades to come. And we had no idea that the visceral, instinctive and emotional wave of hardcore punk that surprised us and filled us with ideas and growling intensity was a feeling we would never feel again.

One of the great surprises was at a JFA show in DC in 1984 at the 930 Club. The small club was packed as usual for a well-known out of town band, a band whose logo was easily drawn on jackets, skateboards and walls. None of us knew the opening band, but back then, we had no information except for paper magazines and we were hungry for most any music. The opening band came out and the guitarist with his head wrapped in an Arab keffiyeh head scarf, started to sing in a high falsetto, like a feminine muezzin, chirping out a call to prayer. This went on for minutes. No accompaniment. This was at a time where hardcore punk fans would abandon their favorite bands for daring to play a song less than faster than the speed of light.

People started to leave. A few here, more there. Than a constant stream of people headed for the door. Hardcore punkrock took in and embraced many different musical flavors (The Pogues and The Butthole Surfers for God’s sake) almost because there was no place else to go. But a challenging avant-garde, experimental trio? Sometimes, people just wanted to thrash. For the few of us that stayed, and it was a fair amount, we were enthralled for next hour. All I remember thinking was, Who the fuck are these guys? And where the fuck are they taking me?

During one sequence, the drummer was standing, sticks just barely brushing the cymbals, in a trance, the band letting the tension build. When the break finally came, the drummer descended on his kit and I saw a drumstick shatter but did not see where the top half went until the guy in front of me turned around, blood streaming from his face. We filled in the gap he left and closed ranks to get closer to this crazy band. Who were they, I asked someone after the show. Sun City Girls. I bought their album that week and drove my friends nuts with it for months. I don’t even remember JFA playing.

Thirty-one years later, I was in Bucharest for a week, there to photograph the people and the streets. This musician I had met that night before took me to Club Control to watch a free, improvisational duet of violin and percussion as she was friends with the violinist. This show was an unexpected choice and I was enjoying the performance and oddly proud of the size of the crowd in attendance for such an experimental performance. Then some guy named Sir Richard Bishop came on. I had assumed it was going to be a DJ since it was a club. I had no idea. Bishop brought out a gorgeous small body 19th century guitar and started off with a song, heavy in the Phrygian mode, playing fully off of the North African mode. Unexpected again. I heard his voice in between songs. Definitely American. At times, percussive and at times, trancelike, I sat on the floor beneath the bar and let myself get taken along for the ride.

It was afterwards, outside in the terrace that I found out that it was Richard Bishop from the Sun City Girls. Well, look at that. We had both survived.


Budapest | Semmelweis Egyetem
Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Daniel Clowes | The Kinks
The Kinks, 1972 © Barrie Wentzell

The Kinks, 1972 © Barrie Wentzell

I didn’t really listen to the Kinks growing up at all — I was just vaguely aware of them, like everybody else — so when I was in my mid-20s I bought a couple of their records, just on a whim, and got sort of obsessed with them. There was something that they did in their work, or that Ray Davies did in his songwriting, that I wanted to apply to my comics, which was to have this pop exterior to his work — the surface seemed like they were sort of simple pop songs, like you could hear on AM radio — and yet underneath that was a very profound, idiosyncratic vision. I liked the juxtaposition: where he was sort of this dandyish pop star on one level and yet this seemingly very lonely, troubled man on the inside. That was just something I was drawn to, and he came closer to doing that than any cartoonist I can really think of.

– Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray @ Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray @ Daniel Clowes


Granada | Carrera del Darro
Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Carrera del Darro, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X


Granada | Jesus & Manuel Bellido
Manuel & Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Manuel & Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Torres Style Bracing, Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Torres Style Bracing, Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Manuel Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Manuel Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Jesus Bellido, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X


Granada | el Niño de las Almendras

The great el Niño de las Almendras or Jose Ferrer or Pepe in the Albaicyn. I had seen him the night before, performing at El Chien Andalou and here he was the next morning, dressed immaculately, greeting all of the neighborhood.

The girls I was hanging out with at the time called out to him, “Hola, Pepe!” They had no idea he was a singer, and a ferocious one at that. A living legend.

el Niño de las Almendras, Albaicyn, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

el Niño de las Almendras, Albaicyn, Granada, Spain © Doug Kim; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X