About

W. David Marx (aka Marxy) is a writer of songs, articles, and essays living in Tokyo, Japan.

MUSIC

In January 2005, Marxy released his debut mini-album Kyoshu Nostalgia — a 12-song, 19-minute genre-hopping bilingual song-cycle — on New York’s Beekeeper Records. About the album, Stylus Magazineoffered, “Kyoshu Nostalgia triumphs in expertly updating diner-era pop by fusing it with elements it has rarely, if ever, been exposed to,” and Splendid referred to Marxy as “a composer who can stuff a 90-second pop miniature with more ideas than many of his peers offer on an entire album.” The album’s single “Neoplasticism vs. De Stijl” — described by Fat Planet as “bizarre, unique and completely unexpected” — was included on the compilation CD accompanying the 2005 issue of premier Japanese indie music magazine Beikoku Ongaku (issue 32) and is available for free download. (More free song downloads here.) Japanese artist Yamamoto Yoko provided Kyoshu Nostalgia“s cover art and also created limited-edition “ashika” sea lion dolls that play the melody from the Marxy song “Ashika Love ” when you pull a string. (Ashika-shaped pins are still available at her web shop.)

On November 27, 2006, Marxy released a six-song free mp3 ep on music related‘s web label creation-centre called Beaus in Disarray. Friend and writer Nick Sylvester described it on Stylus Magazine as follows: “The music is for the most part hyper-compressed, wholly rambunctious, usually catchy pop-about-pop, with bright melodies making their way through a blizzard of musical signifiers. It’s a busy 14 minutes.”

In May 2008 Marxy released a new album called Forty Years From Now on New York’s music related label. The twelve-song album was recorded, mixed, and mastered in various recording studios and bedrooms across Tokyo and New York. The track “Cat vs. Mouse” features guest vocals from Kiiiiiii‘s U.T.

(Full discography here.)

WRITING

W. David Marx is the Chief Editor of Néojaponisme — an arts and criticism web-journal founded in late 2007 with close associates Ian Lynam and Jean Snow. Starting in 2004, Marxy wrote around 800 essays mostly about Japanese pop culture and society on his personal blog Néomarxisme. (These will soon be fully archived within Néojaponisme.) Marx appeared on a discussion panel about user generated media at the 2007 University of Southern California Global Conference in Tokyo and was a featured guest panelist at the J-Wave USA conference on Japanese pop culture at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Marxy frequently writes articles and provide translations for publications such as GQ, Harper’s Magazine, Nylon & Nylon for Guys, The Japan Times, The Fader, Cyzo, Theme, and OK Fred. (Full list of articles here). He is a former editor of CNNGo, Tokion (U.S.) and the Harvard Lampoon.

MIXING

Radio MXUT is a musical podcast made intermittenly by Marxy and his wife U.T. (from the band Kiiiiiii.) Volume One of MXUT (“Slam, Jump, Stand”) was created as part of magazine OK Fred‘s guest DJ podcast series. Volume Two (“Electricty!”), Volume Three (“Under 30”), and Volume Four (“Kusa Kusa Blanket Showa Radio Hour”) are still available.

For those who enjoy the Japanese music genre Shibuya-kei, please download Marxy’s 2002 mega-mix “Symptoms of the Audrey Hepburn Complex.”

BACKGROUND

Marxy grew up below the Mason-Dixon line on a diet of college rock and Oldies radio, early NES games, Montessori education, The Wonder Years, Laugh-In, The Monkees, The Monkees, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp, forced piano lessons, cassette tape copies of CDs, cheap electric guitars with poor wiring, four-track recorders, books on Mondrian and Marinetti, Kumon kanji drills, Chicklets, Gopher-era internet, Tom Lehrer on long car trips, Milles Bornes in French class, old-style Legos, pleated pants, Lodenmantel duffel coats, Teaberry gum, and homemade chocolate egg creams.

(photo from the November 1, 2008 issue of Brutus)