I saw these guys sometime in 1997 or so at the southeast corner of Shinjuku train station, in the tunnel on the way to Takashimaya department store. They laughed at me when I bought a CD but all was just fine. It does my heart good to see them still making music!


  1. acilius

     /  January 13, 2009

    I love it! “The Sunny Side of the Street” often runs through my head when I’m feeling relaxed- I’ve been known to hum and whistle variations on it for an hour at a time (usually when I’m alone, I assure you!) These guys play it exactly the way I imagine it when I’m doing that. And their “Ban Ban Bazar” gets that Brazilian basso nova thing just so. Great post, VThunderlad!

  2. vthunderlad

     /  January 13, 2009

    Only to clarify – the name of the group is “Ban Ban Bazar.” They are wonderful, glad you like them. I have three of their albums and will probably embarrass myself online (in broken Japanese) trying for more.

  3. acilius

     /  January 13, 2009

    Thanks for the clarification! I’m sold on them myself, I can’t muster even broken Japanese but am prepared to use Latin, ancient Greek, or Tocharian B if it will get me access to more of their music.

  4. vthunderlad

     /  January 13, 2009

    I love that song too. Sidney Bechet does a “Sunny Side” that can invoke both tears and cheers, depending on what you need. I’ll make it a mission to get you some Ban Ban Bazar.

  5. acilius

     /  January 13, 2009

    Oh, you’ve done too much for us already- that Amazon gift certificate was an extremely generous Christmas present. We used it yesterday, buying the children’s book you told us about last summer (the one telling the story of Buddy, the first Seeing Eye dog- Mrs Acilius is planning to read it to the kids at the Quaker meeting we attend,) Alison Bechdel’s ESSENTIAL DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR, and a couple of albums by Victoria Vox. So whatever you do, don’t spend any more money on us, please. At least not until we’ve had a chance to buy you a steak at Jak’s in West Seattle.

  6. vthunderlad

     /  January 13, 2009

    Have you not heard of the CD burner? Mwa-ha-ha.

  7. cymast

     /  January 13, 2009

    They laughed at you when you bought a CD? Must be a cultural thing.

  8. vthunderlad

     /  January 13, 2009

    I believe it was a good-natured “Holy f—! Look at the giant gaijin! He speaks some Japanese! He has money!” kind of laughter.

  9. cymast

     /  January 13, 2009

    Oh good!

    Endearing Ban Ban Bazar, BTW.

  10. acilius

     /  January 14, 2009

    Speaking as an equally gigantic gaijin who does not speak Japanese or carry money, I can see why they laughed at you.

  11. cymast

     /  January 14, 2009

    At least they didn’t abduct you, V . . that was my experience in Japan, as a baby. But I don’t remember it.

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