Sukiyaki + Cocktail Mix

As New York prepared itself for the historic winter storm that never was, I drank cups of tea at the Crosby Street Hotel with a few folks from Sony Music Japan who were in town with a man named Rikimaru Nakamura. His father, Hachidai Nakamura was a hugely prolific and well-respected songwriter (and jazz pianist) who wrote Kyu Sakamoto’s 1963 worldwide smash, “Sukiyaki” (originally titled “Ue Wo Muite Arukou”). To this day, “Sukiyaki” remains the only Japanese language song ever to top the Billboard charts. It has sold over 13 million copies. Rikimaru gave me a box-set of his father’s work called Hachidai Song Collection, released by EMI in 1999, which features cuts by some of my favorite girl-pop stars like Mieko Hirota, the Peanuts, and Sachiko Nishida. He explained that he’s currently working on a play about his father’s career and “Sukiyaki” and how it became to be such a legendary record. He said he had so many stories about that one song that it was difficult to know which ones to focus on for the play. Unfortunately my very poor Japanese (I dedicated my life to learning the bloody language for 8 years and now I can barely say a word!) prevented me from asking the gazillion questions that came to mind, but it was such a treat to meet a person so in awe of his father’s talents and wanting to spread the word on Hachidai’s songs to those outside Japan. Fingers crossed they find a way to bring the “Sukiyaki” play to the states. 

I feel like so much has happened since I last checked in…. My vintage-pop party SH-BOOM made its debut on January 2nd, and much to my relief, it was a hit! Something strange has happened to New York lately. Usually when I DJ to a crowd that’s not big on ’60s music, you get all sorts of unhappy punters coming up to the booth asking for hip-hop or Taylor Swift, but at SH-BOOM everyone that came up to me and my DJ partner for the night, Josh Styles, paid us either the kindest of compliments or asked to know the name of a record. Most welcome and peculiar!

Last week I did a 4-hour set at the Donna Cocktail Bar in Williamsburg for the Dust & Grooves month-long residency. You can have a listen via the MixCloud widget below or if you click on this link. It’s rare that I get to mix Diana Dors with the Dixie Cups, Truly Smith with Cyndi Lauper, Shena Ringo with Hide & Rosanna, and I must admit that I actually prefer being able to criss cross genres, decades, and styles. I’m actually auditioning for a local radio station with exactly this concept in mind, so will keep you posted once I—gulp, fingers xxxxxxx’d!—pass!

Sheila B – All Girls All Vinyl – Dust & Grooves Residency @ Donna by Dust & Grooves on Mixcloud

Oh, and I devoured Viv Albertine‘s Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys over the holidays, and give it hundreds of stars and my highest recommendation to anyone who loves music autobiographies. I only wish I had this book at age 12, as I probably would’ve trusted myself a whole lot more and not tried so hard to be like a guy. 

Next SH-BOOM is Friday February 6th with guest DJs Josh Styles + Drew Redmond. Here’s the link to the Facebook event page:



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