Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Golden Gai

I enlisted Akinori as my translator tonight for a tour of an area I've wanted to explore for quite a while, Shinjuku's Golden Gai. It's an area that's smaller than a NYC square block but which contains over 200 small bars. On average, each bar probably seats five people. We visited two that specialized in "Black Music": the first was called "Stop the Music", the second called "BtoB". Both were awesome, the second especially so. No one spoke any English, but through Akinori and my own pseudo-Japanese I was able to have relatively fun conversations. BtoB has an enormous collection of soul records behind the counter and the bartender/DJ was happy to take requests. I showed him my "Re:Sampling Dictionary" (basically the same sort of thing as the "I Love Sampling" book but better), which he was very interested in. In response to my request for rare records, he started with a pretty choice selection: an original pressing of Sam Cooke's "Live at Harlem Square Club". At one point he played us a solo Booker T. record that I'd never even seen before.

1 comment:

Mkunde said...

that sounds like the best night ever.