Friday, June 26, 2009

5 CURRENT FAVORITE BLOGS

A little different than my usual posts, I wanted to take a minute and shout-out the rad blogs that help me pass my days. If you enjoy Same Hat, you simply must give each of these a look, and add them to your RSS for continued perusal!

1. KURUTTA [LINK]

Kurutta is hands-down my current favorite blog on teh internet. I can't recommend it highly enough! Run by Nicke, my gay Swedish brother-from-another-mother, Kurutta follows a great posting style: weekly posts chock-full to the brim of media/photos/details on one specific topic. It doesn't hurt that Nicke's interest match up exactly with everything I'm into (and that Same Hat is all about): Jun Togawa, GISM, rare Tezuka artwork, Masaaki Yuasa's Mind Game and Seichi Hayashi pin-ups (along with other oddities).



Start with these posts: Maruo's punk covers, 50 yaoi shlongs, and Pinkman.
If you enjoy this: Imagination Takeover, a blog I found via Nicke all about Terayama Shūji and Tenjō Sajiki.


2. WASEDA RAMEN [LINK]

Nate (of Same Hat's Man in Japan posts!) is my best buddy from college and is currently living in Takadanobaba while working on his dissertation. He's been blogging extensively about all things Ramen while living near Waseda, (which is basically in Ramen Ground Zero in Japan). His mission is to document every shop in Takadanobaba (with numerous stops around Tokyo, in norther Japan, and even slurping noodles in mainland China).

On Waseda Ramen, each post is like a rad wikipedia entry of awesome, where he dissects the speciality at a particular shop-- often going into the nuances of the regional variety and noodle style served, ridiculous details on the store owners and clientele and lush, makes-me-so-hungry-I-wanna-bite-my-computer photos of the meals. Nate also peppers in lots of found photos, YouTube clips and keitai pics.

This is my go to site for all things Ramenology. I can't fucking wait to go visit him and hit some of his favorite shops.


Start with these posts: Yagura-tei (CRAZY SPICY!), Sado ga Shima (Niigata island ramen!), and Canned Ramen!!
If you enjoy this: Check out Nate's newest blog, RICE BALLS, which features short 2-line reviews of Onigiri from around the world. It's actually open to any contributor-- you guys should check it out and start posting!


3. TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT [LINK]


I've talked before about the greatness of Tokyo Damage Report, run by our buddy Schultz. TDR is my favorite in-country blog about Japan for a bunch of reasons, but the main one is that it's free from the self-obsessed, boring and often orientalist bullshit perspective of a lot of blogs about Japan by foreigners. Schultz doesn't forget that he's a white dude living abroad, but he's learned the language, lived there for years, been in Tokyo bands, and really knows his shit.

His blogging specialities include a guide to Tokyo (where I originally heard about Nakano Broadway!) metal and punk show reports, Japanese trade show photojournalism, fetish club and disco parties, and the occasional interview. He also created an unique Kanji-learning dictionary, which I recommend if you're past the intro levels in your studies.

Start with these posts: Security Trade Show, Unit 731 Walking Tour of Okubo, and 2008 Kawasaki Halloween Parade
If you enjoy this: Check out my friend Dan's lush photograpy-in-Tokyo blogs Fervor de Tokio and Street Level Japan. I also recommend Koenji Calling, a local scene blog run by a few Western punk girls living in Umezu's neighborhood.


4. BLONDE ZOMBIES [LINK]


Blonde Zombies is the most NSFW out of all the blogs mentioned here, but I assume that wouldn't scare any of you all away. "Crazy/Sexy/Cool Tumblr collection of weird shit" has become a major blog genre of its own, but Blonde Zombies goes a bit beyond that (and does it better than anyone else). One way to judge that kind of blog is by how much stuff you've already seen somewhere else before, and BZ is consistently showing me stuff I've never heard of.

Even the stuff I'm not into at least gets my synapses firing. Blonde Zombies' latest pre-occupations seem to be vintage porno mags, European horror comics and Russian pop album covers from the '80s.


Start with these posts: From the categories sidebar on the site: Zombies!, Euroterror!, and also early word processor Fangoria fanzines
If you enjoy this: Check out the like-minded Spanish grindcomics scans goldmine ERO-TRASH (The book Muerde is the best!) and the collection of exquisite Showa magazines and dirty pin-up clippings at Tokyo Girl


5. Michael Kupperman on Twitter [LINK]
This is not a "blog" per se, but it's one of the most constant sources of delight in my daily drudgery. Kupperman is not only a genius cartoonist (Tales Designed to Thrizzle 5 continues that trend, and the collected Tales 1-4 is out too!) but suited perfectly for the short and spontanerous (retarded?) madness of tweeeeting.

His speciality lately is random meme generation, such as "Star Trek Facts" and "Cool bands made Uncool". It's like free 140-character nuggets of comedic gold!


If you enjoy this: Check out British writer/actor Peter Serafinowicz, who was on Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Look Around You (and was the voice of Dark Maul!?). Peter rocks the Twitter right.

[PS: If you're so inclined and into RSS, you can follow my shared items via Google Reader at this link.]

9 comments:

daphaknee said...

god yes! blonde zombies is a WONDERFUL blog

gnarlybog said...

hey guys, i finally picked up a copy of Electric Ant. solid solid solidddd.

sheisept said...

I started following Kurutta when you shared a post. It is totally fascinating. I loved the Mind Game writeup, more people need to see that film.

And Waseda Ramen. ARGH. I got so hungry one night reading and rereading and gazing at pictures that I took a trip out to Santa Ramen the next day. That helped for a while, but really every time Nate posts I get horrific ramen cravings for a week. Plus, like you say, his posts have so much information, not just about the finer points of ramen but about locales, history, etc. It's a total treat.

The Yagura-tei post is one of my favorites as well. Completely insane. From the terrifying black broth to the sudden Kinski appearance! Argh, I really want ramen now.

ryan said...

@daphaknee: oh yessss. I feel like it's the same dude running that and EROTRASH but no proof.

@gnarlybog: Oh nice! I hope you enjoy it :) Where you did you pick it up, if you don't mind me asking?

@sheisept: Oh shit, Santa Ramen! I haven't been there but I'm dying to finally go there. Glad you are enjoying Kurutta! Nicke is doing really awesome stuff on that blog/.

Edo's Library said...

santa ramen is worth murdering or selling children for, but you have to get there early as many bowls just sell out.
Yet another reason why I am homesick.

avitto said...

OH, COOL!!!
I am Suehiro Maruo's fan and like guro too. So thank you for your excellent blog! I'm very glad that I've found "Same hat" and I'm going to read it regular.
Very interesting links, especially "Waseda Ramen". Thanks again ^_~
Good luck!

ryan said...

@Edo's library: Man, I really have to get over there! I would mail you some by post but I think it would probably spoil :B

@avitto: Thanks for the comment! It's awesome to hear from new readers-- see you around in the comments, I hope!

Waseda Ramen rules

Anonymous said...

Tokyo Damage Report is the best "gaijin" blog in Japan. Probably ever.

I admire how he calls other gaijin blogs onto the carpet, cries bullshit when appropriate, and more than anything gets up off his ass and DOES SHIT in Japan rather than be another bloglinkdump.

ryan said...

@anonymous: I totally agree.. I love TDR for that. I'm guessing you saw his skewering of other Gaijin/Japan-is-so-wacky blogs here:
http://www.hellodamage.com/top/?p=1553

Genius!