Saturday, 30 January 2010

NEWS! Facebook Fan Page.... UP AND RUNNING!!!

// TOKYO TRAWLER // News //

Join the Facebook Fan Page and keep up to date with the comings and goings of the Tokyo Trawler...

Also look out for chances to be 'trawled' yourself... Information about the 'Amazing Grace' tattoo and club event in Ginza and Sat Feb 13th also available. The Tokyo Trawler will be conducting video interviews on the night, so if you've got an essential song and like a good party, then come on down...

Fan Page URL:


Video Interviews, Shibuya (#4)

Tokyo Trawler Catch of the Day: Travis, USA & Alex, UK
Artist: Scouting for Girls
Tune: She's So Lovely
Record: Scouting for Girls (2007)

Travis & Alex's essential rating: 4/5

Travis & Alex's Message to the People: "It's easy to remember, you should know it, learn to love it"

The Interview:

The Tokyo Trawler’s Essential Review:

A sunny Sunday breezerider

POP. This is the word that immediately springs to mind when you listen to this song for the first time, and also probably what happens to your head after you listen to it for the sixth time. For all the raucous* pleasantry* of the piano and hand-claps in this song's intro, it is impossible to think of them as anything but a false dawn*. Delve* a little further into the song, and you begin to realise that it is lyrical weakness and gratuitous* use of rhyme which truly let this song down ("Shes pretty, a fitty, she's got a boyfriend though and that's a pity"). Karaoke song? Perhaps. Essential listening? No.

The Tokyo Trawler's message to the people:
The start glistens*, but when you listen, you'll find out there's a little somethin' missin'...

To download or not to download?? 1/5 (ONLY IF YOU'RE DESPERATE)
iTunes available: Yes
勉強のキーワード: raucous, pleasantry, a false dawn (idiom), to delve, gratuitous, to glisten

She's So Lovely URL:

Monday, 25 January 2010

Video Interviews, Shibuya (#3)

Tokyo Trawler Catch of the Day: Camelia, Andresa & Andrea, Brazil
Artist: Tom Jobim
Tune: Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema)
Record: Getz/Gilberto (1962)

Camelia, Andresa & Andrea’s Essential Rating: 5/5

Camelia’s Message to the people: “Listen to bossa nova” (English translation!)

The Interview:

The Tokyo Trawler’s Essential Review:

Category: A whisky sippin' foot tapper

The way to listen to this song is to picture that beach in Rio. The dreamy guitar strumming* and featherlite piano tinkling* transport you right there, without requiring any understanding of the lyrics, because just like a packet of Brazilian cornflakes, you already know what the inner contents* are from the title alone. The brooding*, soft vocals and a distinctly Latin flavour back up this image of sun-licked shorelines*, soft breezes and whitewashed buildings, and whilst it wouldn't feel out of place in the background of your your local tapas* restaurant, or indeed your favourite 70s softcore porno, this tune has a distinct* charm and quality which make it a cut above*.

The Tokyo Trawler's message to the people: I can't decide whether I should listen to this on a sunny day or a rainy one...

To download or not to download?? 2/5 (WORTH A LISTEN)
iTunes available: Yes
勉強のキーワード: to strum, tinkling, brooding, shoreline, tapas, distinct, a cut above (idiom)

Garota de Ipanema URL (+English subtitles):

Weekly Art: trawler//trash (#3)

This week's trawler//trash features Tokyo tattoo artist Carlos, proprietor of the Tattoo Church shop in Shimo-kitazawa. A highly-regarded, well-travelled and experienced tattooist, Carlos' versatility, attention to detail and skill as a designer is exquisite, to say the least. As word of mouth in the city will confirm, upon entering Tokyo's Tattoo Church, a refreshingly bright, airy, friendly and multilingual atmosphere awaits.

Tokyo Trawler Recommendation #7 (26/01/10)

Artist: Justice
D.A.N.C.E. (Mstrkrft Remix)
Record: Cross (2007)

It's lucky for you there's no dancefloor

For a tune with percussion* sounding like it was made using a Casio Midi and a combination of those other neglected* school music room oddities* that you never see anywhere else or know what to do with, it ain't half bad*. Essentially a pop song, the electro mood and background frying pans are tidily* complemented* by the fresh female vocals and with a tasty midway bridge, conveniently avoiding the scourge* of many such a dance-focused tune, repetition. Utterly instant and so catchy it almost makes you feel guilty, it'll either get you reminiscing* about the 'good old days' of youth, or checking the club listings for Friday night.

The Tokyo Trawler’s message to the people:
Do the dance!! (Only if you can, of course)

To download or not to download??
iTunes available: Yes
勉強のキーワード: percussion, neglected, oddity, 'ain't half bad' (idiom), tidy, to complement, scourge, to reminisce

D.A.N.C.E (Mstrkrft Remix) URL:

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Tokyo Trawler Recommendation #6 (17/01/10)

Artist: The Clash
Death or Glory
Record: London Calling (1979)

A frowny-faced, head boppin' street strutter

You recognise* the album cover, and if you've ever wondered what all the London Calling fuss* is about, then read on. That 'Death or Glory' paints a fairly accurate picture of the 21st Century alternative* music scene shows just how far ahead of their time The Clash actually were. Confronting the issues of personal ideals versus temptation*, style versus substance and all the mistakes in between, lyricist Mick Jones alludes to* some very 'unpunk' self-doubt. Despite not being musically as complex or dynamic as some of it's LC contemporaries*, it is that rock simplicity - together with honest and 'real' lyrics - which make this song truly essential.

The Tokyo Trawler’s message to the people: Go on, the allure of that album cover (and my review, of course) is too much to resist... Give it a listen!!

To download or not to download??
iTunes available: Yes
勉強のキーワード: recognise, fuss, alternative, temptation, to allude to (something), contemporary (n.)

Death or Glory URL:

Weekly Art: trawler//trash (#2)

This weeks trawler//trash features Tokyo-based illustrator and artist Mike Lindow and his ManicWorks project. A stunning array of downloadable art is available on his website, from pencil sketches to oil paintings, manga storyboards to design blueprints, and it's quite simply a must see site. Awesome work.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Tokyo Trawler presents trawler//trash

New for 2010 is Tokyo Trawler's new creative arts feature - trawler//trash

trawler//trash aims to bring bits and pieces of Tokyo's awesome creative scene to you faithful readers of the Tokyo Trawler blog. Every week there will be a new piece up for you guys to check out, complete with links to the relevant sites/blogs. Please check them out.

An important part of trawler//trash will be your input. If you're an artist, sculptor, performer, actor, finger painter, clown, unicorn, or indeed just a twat, please send me your links or pictures and I'll happily feature them here. Get yourself to a wider audience. You don't have to be based in Tokyo either!!

The first trawler//trash features British illustrator Rob Kidney. Check it out below...

Tokyo Trawler Recommendation #5 (07/01/10)

Artist: Jamie T
Tune: Sticks 'n' Stones
Record: Kings & Queens (2009)

It's lucky for you there's no dancefloor

A very British effort, this song gives as much of an insight* into everyday life in London in the 21st Century as The Clash's
London Calling did back in the Cold War shrouded* 1980s. Set against a background of the now infamous* 'binge*-drinking' problems of the city, the lyrics cleverly paint a picture of suburban frustration and substance (ab)use, together with everyday problems of young life. Enchantingly* accessible rap-like vocal delivery, and an extremely catchy and uplifting* instrumental with hints of both the Libertines and Dire Straits, demonstrate the originality and nigh-on* pop genius of this young Londoner.

The Tokyo Trawler’s message to the people: If you grew up in the suburbs and you like beer, you need Jamie T in your life.

To download or not to download??
5/5 (DO IT NOW)
iTunes available: Yes
勉強のキーワード: insight, to be shrouded, infamous, binge, enchanting, uplifting, nigh-on

Sticks 'n' Stones URL:

Weekly Art: trawler//trash (#1)

Today's trawler//trash is from Tokyo-based British illustrator and print artist Rob Kidney.

Awesome original drawings and fabric prints in an distinctive and innovative style - influenced by life in Tokyo. Check out the following two links for more...

Welcome to 2010...

あけましておめでとうpeople. Welcome to the next decade, and a new era for

As well as continuing with trawling the streets of Tokyo for the most essential music, there will now be a feature showcasing other creative arts fished out of this great city.

Watch this space.