Dame Reggaeton knocks out its last event for the year with the one and only Tony Touch headlining.

Dame Reggaeton ft. Tony Touch photos here

More photos here

Dame Reggaeton welcomes the new year with a new year day celebration

Dame Reggaeton photos here

So we’re back in West Hollywood. Kinda like catching up with an old friend really. You know their quirks, you know what you have in common, you by pass the touchy subjects and jump straight into reminiscing.

We covered the bulk of the West Hollywood stores previously here and here, but just to quickly recap, Flightclub LA and Sportie LA are always good stops for consignment/pre owned gear, though some of their prices are starting to get a little greedy. If you worry more about how good you look while skateboarding than how good you can actually skateboard then you might wanna pop your head into the stores of
Supreme, Diamond Supply and Crooks and Castles. Each trying to out do each other in hipster arrogance and poor service. What’s worse is none have the inventory to back the attitude, with limit range and sizes, give the glorified check out chicks a miss, there’s nothing you cant buy online or at another store for cheaper.

Flightclub LA

Sportie LA

Johnny Cupcakes is always worth a stop in for in store exclusives. A recent subtraction from this cluster of shops is Loyal Army, sadly they pretty much upped and closed their store overnight with very little notice. They are however still selling online and from their San Francisco store in Haight.

Japan LA

On the plus side, JapanLA has moved on to Melrose not too far from their old location to a newer and bigger store. Still the same good selection, abundance of Hello Kitty merch, friendly staff, sale items and now also sporting a small gallery room at the back with works from local artists.

Meltdown Comics

Last stop in West Hollywood was Meltdown Comics. Easily one of the biggest comic stores we’ve seen in awhile. Huge selection of comics and just as big selection of collectibles, figures, toys and plushes ranging from movie/comic based items to urban vinyl collectibles and blind boxes. They also have the complete range of So So Happy merchandise, which means if you’ve got a sweet tooth for the sickly cute and colourful you’ll no doubt go into a diabetic coma here.

Pop Killer

While you’re there, pop over the road to Pop Killer. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling of vintage and vintage styled new items. Mostly clothing but also a range of accessories, knick knacks, novelties and house hold items.

Mulholland Drive

As the sun slowing slipped away at a leisurely 8pm we took a drive up to Muholland Drive. Just follow the road up to the lookout (with fixtures and signage, not just dirt!), even though there are spots before this, parking is a little hit and miss as is the view. Don’t forget to take a jacket as well, those mountain breezes are very unforgiving! The view here is mostly of west LA, to see more of downtown follow the road around and head east through the tiny residential streets. You will eventually go over the mountain and start heading down, half way down on a rather Mt. Akina style of road, there’s a dirt spot to pull over to get your cityscape pano on.

LA cityscape (click for big)

Next up, we hit the downtown area where dodgy and awesome go hand in hand like Jesse James and Kat Von D!

Los Angeles 2011 part #1 – Arrival, Melrose Trading Post
Los Angeles 2011 part #2 – West Hollywood shopping, Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles 2011 part #3 – Downtown shopping – Fashion District
Los Angeles 2011 part #4 – Downtown shopping – Japantown
Los Angeles 2011 part #5 – Steel Panther @ The House of Blues 17/5/11
Los Angeles 2011 part #6 – Hollywood sign, Farmer’s Market
Los Angeles 2011 part #7 – Peterson Automotive Museum
Los Angeles 2011 part #8 – Greater LA area shopping
Los Angeles 2011 part #9 – Hollywood sight seeing with Orbic Air
Los Angeles 2011 part #10 – Driving in Los Angeles/California

Complete Los Angeles 2011 photo gallery here

The ‘Slingers are back at it again, with a whole lot of love to give! Keep your eyes open for a slew of dates this summer as they chalk up 10 years in the biz!

Vinyl Slingers @ Alhambra photos here

With my recently hectic schedule, it’s been a while since I’ve hit up a DnB party and that could be why DnB tends to mean debauchery and bass!
So of course mayhem and craziness ensued and good times were had by all!

Deliverance Preparty ft. Babylon System & Drumsound & Bassline Smith photos here

Last one for the year…. or is it?? 😉

Dame Reggaeton photos here


So an era has come to an end. Brisbane’s top level of the Empire Hotel, the Moonbar closed its doors for the last time along with the rest of the building for what some would say, much needed renovations. The rebirth has been rumored as about a year, in the meantime you can chase some of the Empire’s regular night in the Uncle lounge of the Family Nightclub.

Peo De Pitte at Moonbar photos here

Dame Reggaeton photos here

Monorail, downtown Tokyo

If you’re staying closer to inner Tokyo or just want a good view of the Tokyo skyline then head on down to Odaiba. Take the JR Yamanote line to Okachi Machi then switch to the Yurikamome line. This will take you through the city, over the Rainbow bridge (lit bridge that changes colour every few seconds) then into Odaiba.

Odaiba is on one of the many man made “islands” in Tokyo Bay it used to be all commercial buildings but is now home to a selection of tourist attractions. The biggest and most obvious one being Daikanransha, the “Tokyo eye” once the biggest ferris wheel in the world its still packs the wow factor with 360 degree views of the city, on a clear day you might even catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji.

The ride lasts about 15min and you can choose between a completely clear capsule or a regular ferris wheel style closed in bottom. There tends to be a 10-20min wait on the all-clear ones, while it is a little easier to see out from a sitting position, its no better for taking photos as the frame work gets in the way, not to mention the windows themselves can be pretty dirty.

It is open till 10pm nightly. If you want to head straight to it, stay on the upper level of the train platform and head south to the freeway overpass.

View of Tokyo from Daikanransha, Odaiba, Tokyo

Other notable attractions in Odaiba are: the “interesting” looking Fuji TV studio, Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall, Venus Fort (Venice themed mall), the Statue of Liberty replica. Entertainment wise check out Tokyo Leisure Land (24hour gaming, karaoke and bowling) and Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo’s largest concert hall playing host to Jamie Cullum and Erykah Badu next week alone. During the day, there are numerous park areas and “beaches” on the edge of the island great for a bbq in the warmer months, though swim at your own peril.

Leaving Tokyo

So here we are in our hotel room looking down at our 2 week bounty thinking how the heck are we going to get all of this back home. Suticases. More suitcases.
After a quick chat to the concierge we headed back over to the Ameyoko markets. One thing that’s for certain is the quality of merchandise is a lot higher than what you would find in say, Hong Kong. However, this is reflected in the price, but like anything, look long enough and you’ll find what you’re after at the price you’re willing to pay. Another suitcase and carry on later, we were sorted.

Not having a budget gives you one less thing to worry about however you must always be weary of the luggage trade off. So Couple tips on packing:

– Bulky items like shoes are lighter but take up more space (try breaking down the shoe boxes and using them in the suitcase lining. You get to keep the box and have a bit of extra protection from those enthusiastic luggage throwers handlers. For extra space, remember shoes are hollow, perfect for storing t-shirts or your ball pit of Gashapon 😉
– Try to distribute heavier items like jeans across your luggage.
– Put delicate items such as glassware, ornaments, model kits and collectibles into your carryon but leave things like snow globes out. Because of the water in them, they are still classed as a prohibited item so make sure you have plenty of bubble wrap and double bagging handy. The store should normally pack them well, if not, pop into a post office for supplies.
– Lastly, if you run out of room, remember jackets don’t have to be classed as luggage. Its easy enough to carry 2 (one on each back pack strap) and spare some precious luggage space.

There you have it, city #1 covered (in a roundabout way) but we’re not done! Stay tuned for the next instalment when we hop, skip and jump over the pond to the city of angels, LA!

Domo Origato! Sayonara! ^__^

Ueno Blossom Festival

Tokyo part #1 – Ueno for a day
Tokyo part #2 – Getting round Tokyo, Ueno Sakura at night
Tokyo part #3 – Harajuku
Tokyo part #4 – Shibuya
Tokyo part #5 – Kichijoji and Shinjuku
Tokyo part #6 – Akihabara

Photo Gallery Here

Moshi moshi!

Well the 10 days or so (who knows with all that date line crossing and red eye flights) in the USA flew by and we were back in the T-Y-O. This time a bit more confident of where we needed to go and what we needed to do to get there.

First up, some tips for traveling by public transport in Japan. Buy either a PASMO (pink and blue) or Suica (green) card from the vendor offices round the airport terminal (basically the “metro card” equivalent for any major city). The company colours are also painted round the respective ticketing machines so its easy to spot them when you need to top up your card. We chose Suica cos it had a penguin on it 😉
The card is 2000Y and comes with 1500Y credit (roughly $20/15US respectively) and can be used on pretty much all public transport in Tokyo and a fair portion of Japan. If you take the Keisei Limited express train from Narita airport this will cost you 1000Y and will take you all the way to Ueno (end of the line). The trip takes about 75min and can get quite crowded. Taking your backpack off and throwing it up in the luggage rack helps save space and your shoulders when you’re standing.

If you want a more luxurious experience with reclining seats, luggage areas, vending machines and a saving of about 10-15min off your journey time then take the Keisei Skyliner. All seating is reserved so check your ticket for your seat number. The premium is double what you pay for the standard ride but it is nice to have a metal bottle of Pepsi and a nap without being squashed up against some stranger or having them fall asleep on you. Even during peak hour it was only half full.

You will also find the PASMO and Suica cards work in a variety of businesses. Convenience stores, take aways, some restaurants, duty free and shops in the airport/train stations, handy if you haven’t had a chance to track down a Travelex which will more than likely happen. They are few and far between, so you might want to cash up at the airport or hit the Travelex site for locations. While a lot of the little market stores have EFTPOS, as it goes for traveling anywhere its always good to have a bit of the folding stuff on hand, just in case.

Generally, getting round Tokyo, if you stick to the JR Yamanote line you really can’t go wrong, just make sure you’re heading in the direction you want to go!

Back into it, I like to think I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction and have no problems reading a map, but when people say “Japanese streets can get confusing” believe them and again, don’t trust Google maps!! Some streets are lanes that look like drive ways, some lanes ARE driveways that go the whole block and a lot of them are poorly signed/unsigned. Travel tip: if you don’t know where you are, you won’t know where you’re going!

So misjudging a bend for a corner we set off on a lovely 45min walk in the wrong direction with 2 heavy suitcases each in tow. After some backtracking and cross tracking we still managed to over shoot the hotel wandering the backstreets in it’s surrounding blocks. Thankfully that renowned Japanese hospitality and courtesy to strangers shone through with locals more than happy to help point us in the right direction. One lady out for a cycle with her toddler on board even circled around a couple times to make sure we were heading the right way. Very much a refreshing and welcomed change compared to the States where you couldn’t even pay for good help, and more than often you had to, even for the most remedial of requests!

But I digress. That night we headed back out to the park, noting on our way in how close we were to the station (bout 15min walk) and how wrong we got it. Though its always nice after a walk around to start spotting familiar landmarks/areas.

By now the majority of blossoms were well in bloom and so were the festivities. Families and people of all ages gathered under the trees on tarps and blankets for the Sakura celebration, most completely oblivious to the mercury barely staying in the positives (though a down filled Northface parka does help with that!). There were even areas roped off and set up as makeshift restaurants, complete with boxes for tables and cushions.

With more than 1000 trees in full bloom, Ueno park looked like it was dusted in icing sugar. Truly beautiful.

Tokyo part #1 – Ueno for a day
Tokyo part #3 – Harajuku
Tokyo part #4 – Shibuya
Tokyo part #5 – Kichijoji and Shinjuku
Tokyo part #6 – Akihabara
Tokyo part #7 – Odaiba and Leaving Tokyo

Photo Gallery Here

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