Check out Shannon Cottrell's slideshow "Jpop Street Fasion at Tune in Tokyo."
Last year, the DJ crew International Pop Conspiracy came up with a novel idea, throw a monthly party focusing on the latest sounds from Japan. No one could have expected for Tune in Tokyo to become an instant hit, after all, music that isn't sung in English isn't exactly considered accessible in the US. Now, one year later, the Little Tokyo-based club night has it's own crowd of regulars, some of whom have even gone on to form bands together.
The secret to this club's success is perhaps the promoters know that this isn't a club meant for the masses. The DJs (Greg Hignight, Del, Tora, Ally and Yuki) have built a reputation by playing at The Valley of the Dolls parties at Royal/T, D1 Grand Prix and Cure Magazine's Anime Expo after party. They've brought convention regulars into the club scene. Through that, the promoters have built an audience that's more like a family.
Strangely enough, last night's event featured a performance from Maganda, a Tune in Tokyo regular who was encouraged to begin singing by the club's frequent door girl Cecilia Amo. The recent LA transplant plays and records with yet another club regular, Tommy Pedrini, and has just released a CD.
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Continuing with the con-at-the-clubs vibe, last night's event featured Stephanie Yanez, who frequently performs anime cover tunes as well as her original, English and Japanese pop songs on the convention circuit. Yanez's guitarist Polo (of NIRF) was joined by Motor City author/door guy Gavin Hignight on vocals for an impromptu Ride cover (just because it's not Jpop doesn't mean you can't play it). It was a nice way to round out the first year for this unexpected club night.