Monday, January 31st, 2011
Review of Shugo Tokmaru’s Port Entropy
PolyvinylSo I’ve had to check myself a couple times from taking a, “Shugo Tokumaro‘s music is so weird and wonderful, it must be because he’s Japanese!” angle on this writeup. Because even though it’s not incorrect – Tokumaru IS Japanese and sings entirely in Japanese and many things that come out of Japan are weird and wonderful to Western sensibilities – it’s too reductive and doesn’t give Tokumaru enough credit for what he’s done with his music.
His latest album, Port Entropy is the second of his records I’ve had the pleasure of immersing myself in after 2008’s Exit and like its predecessor, it’s a whimsical whirlwind of instruments and orchestration, almost all played by Tokumaru, that lifts aloft his winsome and dreamlike melodies. For all the musical sophistication and cinematic scope of his recordings, the songs at their core have a childlike simplicity and pop appeal that transcends things like language or culture, and anyways “la la la” pretty much means the same thing universally.
Port Entropy was released in the Spring of 2010 in Japan and will be out in North America on February 15. Tokumaru toured over here behind Exit, assisted in the live setting by members of such acts as Beirut and The National, and word is that he’ll be crossing the Pacific again to support the new record.
Spin talks to Bob Nastanovich about the future of the Pavement reunion, which apparently isn’t as over as though who saw them melt down at Matador 21 might have guessed – but even if they play more shows, don’t expect any new material.
Spinner talks to Nicole Atkins about her Canadian connections while Vol. 1 Brooklyn asks her about her reading habits. Atkin’s second record Mondo Amore is out February 8 and she plays The Horseshoe on February 26.
The National Post, The Independent and Time talk to Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, who are at The Sound Academy tomorrow night. NYC Taper is sharing a recording of their show in New York from last week.
In support of the release of their new record Long Live on February 15, Snowblink will play an in-store at Soundscapes on March 3 followed by a record release show at The Music Gallery on March 5.
Plants & Animals will warm up for their March 5 show at Lee’s Palace with an in-store across the street at Sonic Boom that same afternoon at 4PM.