Best Of 2013, Guest Editors: Ra Ra Riot’s Mathieu Santos On “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi”

As 2013 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

RaRaRiotLogoLong before Ra Ra Riot performed a single note of its dancetronic third album, Beta Love (Barsuk), the band talked at great length about the need for a change. The viscerally charged chamber-pop outfit had maintained a steady course after the tragic 2007 drowning death of beloved drummer John Pike, blossomed on its 2008 Barsuk full-length debut, The Rhumb Line, and flourished with a variety of subsequent beatkeepers, but everyone felt the inevitable tug of creative evolution after 2010 sophomore album The Orchard. The roles of violinist Rebecca Zeller and guitarist Milo Bonacci changed the most dramatically; with the dominance of the synthesizer on Beta Love, Bonacci was forced to radically reimagine/rewrite his guitar contributions and take on more expansive sonic duties, while Zeller was freed up to explore new approaches with her instrument and the spare strings the band utilized. Bassist Mathieu Santos will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Ra Ra Riot feature.


Santos: This documentary, on the surface, is about sushi, which is something I love. However, it’s actually about a man and his pursuit for absolute perfection in his craft. You’ll wonder how and why, after having achieved everything there is to achieve in his field, Jiro presses on, day after day, in advancing age, striving to improve his craft every waking second. Is he crazy? Is he afraid of something? Is he an artist? Why has he sacrificed so much? Why can’t I eat some of his sushi right now? A few weeks after seeing this documentary, I read a very similar and enthralling piece in the New York Times about a hero of mine, Jerry Seinfeld. He, too, is a master of his craft who is still driven by nothing else than his own concept of a sublime perfection. It’s a good reminder that those who achieve the most have often worked the hardest. Both stories are absolutely worth checking out! Also, since we’re on the topic (I think), my favorite sushi restaurant is Bozu in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Video after the jump.