In Japanese, Tokion means "the sound of now," and for those who don't know that, the magazine's tagline will tell you as well: it's "Creativity Now." Tokion, which is a bimonthly pop culture magazine, is published in Tokyo and New York. The most "now" aspect of the magazine is that the division between the ads and editorial is almost impossible to tell because so many of the ads are art-focused, but I hear, if you're an artist now, this is a good--and lucrative--thing.

The editor's note, which is written by Adam Glickman, the publisher and creative director, talks about the day the staff found a box of old copies of Avant Garde magazine and tore through it. "Here was a magazine that didn't report on the culture of the day, but helped to define it and push it forward. This is exactly what we had in mind when we started. Tokion. It's something easy to lose track of within the marketing and advertising struggles in today's publishing world, and it's good to be reminded of how great an honor it is to be able to make a magazine and have a loyal audience that cares about what you have to say." Such an earnest tone for an uberhip magazine; I love it.

So here's who's now, or as the magazine puts it in their front-of-the-book section, "the king of..." The king of art is Glen Baldridge, an artist who says "when I see a skull, I associate it with t-shirt graphics or teen culture rather than say, Pol Pot or genocide." The king of song is Benjamin Diamond, who went from being the voice of the French house revolution to the voice of new pop rock, which for indie bands is very now. The king of documentary is Rupert Murray, who just finished a doc on his friend who lost his memory, and the king of fashion is Henrik Vibskov, who is a former drummer. He says, "I really like the jazz system of playing, and I'm free styling pretty much in the fashion scene as well."

The sound of now means that there isn't exactly a feature well, which is a little confusing, but there is an interesting interview with actress--and cover star--Samantha Morton, where you learn that she has a bleeding heart for endangered birds. In an interview with comic actress Amy Sedaris, we learn that she has her own cupcake and cheeseball company. "I like having a job that I'm in charge of," she says. And I like being able to bitch and complain about the price of butter. It keeps me real." There are also interviews with such pop bands as Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Sufjan Stevens, and Seu Jorge. The meat of the magazine is its focus on new visual artists, like Jeremy Black, who makes video installation showing the high-living lifestyle we've all been sold but can't make the down payment on. Then there's painter Jim Drain, who lives in the Forcefield art collective and says "The more generous the work is, the more it gives to some. I feel color is one way to give to someone." After spending an hour with the magazine, I definitely feel as if my knowledge of the cutting edge of culture has been pushed forward, so I think the editors are doing their job well.

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