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kawaii vibes for all.

It's more than just songs about food, okay?

It's more than just songs about food, okay?

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Picture it:  NYC, the mid 90s.  I was one of the poorest kids at NYU, but I had the coolest part-time job anyone could have at the time:  sales associate at Urban Outfitters.  This was a different time, my friends.  There were about 20 UO stores in the whole world!  Getting hired was like a stamp of approval for this weirdo from a small town.  Working there meant that I was reasonably attractive and I had cool/interesting style.   While I was folding t-shirts and vintage Levi's over and over again, one song kept playing that really got my attention.  It was "Know Your Chicken" by a band of Japanese girls called Cibo Matto.  It was the coolest, weirdest thing I had ever heard. 

Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori formed Cibo Matto (Italian for "crazy food") in 1994.  I bought their debut album Viva! La Woman with my first UO paycheck.  Ostensibly, all of the songs are about food, with titles like "Birthday Cake" and "Beef Jerky," but OBVIOUSLY they are all metaphors, okay?  Honda and Hatori seemed to be friends with all of the coolest people in NYC, including the Beastie Boys and everyone at Sassy magazine.  Michel Gondry (who was practically Björk's personal director) made their second video, "Sugar Water."

Cibo Matto's second album, Stereo ★ Type A, came out five LOOOOONG years later.  It's a lot different than its predecessor (i.e., there are no food songs), but it's still in my top 100 albums.  It has a really happy, summer feeling.  Still full of kawaii vibes.  Sadly, I couldn't find any "official" videos for Stereo ★ Type A, but fortunately some mega fans have uploaded songs to YouTube.  The band went on hiatus until 2011, when they reunited for a benefit for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  They released Hotel Valentine in 2014.  It's received mixed reviews (including from me), but I do like its eerie, supernatural feel.  

The Dream Day Guide to Japan Travel (part one):  Package deals are your new bestie

The Dream Day Guide to Japan Travel (part one): Package deals are your new bestie

I am a black wolf (and other things I learned today).

I am a black wolf (and other things I learned today).