Yesterday I went to Ginza, the famed shopping district that is known for astronomical real estate and flagship luxury stores. Like New York's Madison Avenue, it can be a little staid, but it's fun to see how brands assert their particular form of material seduction to consumers when money is no object. I made a beeline for the Gucci cafe (on the fourth floor of the main Gucci outpost; of course, there's more than one in the neighborhood). While I was there, I had a light lunch and thought about branding and innovation and publicity and how being in Tokyo can make me better at what I do. The lightbulb theory for this particular conundrum came into focus when I realized I could have gone to Beige or Le Jardin de Tweed at Chanel instead, but didn't even think of it because when it comes down to it, I am a Gucci woman, not a Chanel woman (although I found those choices limiting: obviously, were there an Yves Saint Laurent or Sonia Rykiel brasserie, you could have found me there). And so I thought a lot about that, and what that means, and how fashion by nature is ephemeral and so it requires a level of commitment and loyalty of consumers that people in publishing and other forms of expression at the intersection of art and commerce who expect to be remembered by history, if not their contemporaries, rarely understand or cultivate. But enough about work for the moment. From there, I explored the area a bit -- Restir is a divinely dark (literally!) source for European fashion, loosely modeled after the Colette multifocus store concept -- and then set off to run an errand for a friend. I got lost, which rarely happens to me, and had to concede that my generally marvelous sense of direction is guided by intuition and not GPS. Basically, I ended up walking down by some train tracks for a long time and had no idea where I was, and it's only slightly confusing to wander around Tokyo because there aren't many street signs anyway due to the unique address system, and just when I was about to surrender to failure entirely and hail a cab, I came to the end of the path and stumbled upon... a young "pop-punk" band just about to play a free show outside of a convenience store! They're called Slugger, and they're pretty good.