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From backstage at the latest Bay Area concerts to the latest news on pop culture, I'll be going out to bring you there.

About Me
I'm the pop music critic for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

My picks:
CD: Green Day
Trailer: 2046
Videogame: Burnout 3

Mercury Reviews:
Art show: Heritage Bank of Commerce
Bar: Stratta
Book: ``Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003''
Comedy: Dame Edna
DVD: Star Wars
Restaurant: Hahn's Hibachi
Theater: Clouds Hill
TV show: Without a Trace

Sick site
Breakdancing Transformers

My Playlist

1. Snow Patrol: brooding ballads

2. Toby Lightman : opened for Prince

3. Martin Luther: SF singer for The Roots

Entertainment Resources
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • Urban Dictionary
  • VH1

  • Blogroll
  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
  • Black Electorate : Inside Cultural, Economic and Political industries
  • BLT's Parry
  • Boondocks: by Aaron McGruder
  • Dan Gillmor : Silicon Valley Dictionary
  • Dat Phan : Last Comic Standing season 1 winner
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Penny Arcade: Video Game comic
  • Friday, September 24, 2004

    Weekend outlook:

    It's still sunny, and there's lots of stuff to do - so break out the sunscreen and ch-check it out!

    This hula instructor is amazing - Kumu Hula (teacher
    of hula) Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu of Oakland, chants in a way that rumbles your insides. On top of that he makes hula girls look like "biker babes" - was the choreographer from Disney's "Lilo and Stitch" and was commissioned by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to compose a chant and hula for the Aquarium's newest exhibit, Sharks: Myth and Mystery.

    His performances are a must:

    WHAT: "KE AO HOU" ("A New Beginning")
    WHERE: Centennial Hall, 22292 Foothill Blvd., Hayward, California
    WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25
    TIX: $35.00 general; $75.00 VIP; VIP tickets include a pre-show reception from 6:00-7:15 p.m.
    WHY: To celebrate the opening of the Academy of Hawaiian Arts in Oakland.

    Other local events:

    WHAT: Peven Everett + Dj's Brian Russ, Fuse One, DJ Philthy and Sake One.
    WHERE: Hotel De Anza - 233 W. Santa Clara St. San Jose
    WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday 25
    TIX: $12 at the door
    WHY: Organic soulful funky jazz

    WHAT: Drama/Concert - "The Duke of Earl" featuring
    special music by Masada
    WHERE: Downtown Discovery Meadows/Guadalupe
    WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25
    TIX: Free
    WHY: A play that depicts the inner city life of 2 rival gangs, put to the music of a Christian version of Tower of Power

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Private Show

    During lunch time I caught a private show of the much talked about Scotland alternative band Franz Ferdinand. While waiting in line to get into the Blank Club, I saw guys walk out to grab a bite to eat - I had a feeling they were the band, because who wears white and gold striped track suits in bright sunlight? (It was their drummer Paul Thomson.)

    The 80's synth-pop band was good and excessively hip in their tight pants. They also were extremely at ease.

    "It's a nice time to start drinking," said guitarist Nick McCarthy (its was 12:30 p.m.)

    "I just realized we missed 1/3 of the song, I just enjoyed you guys so much," said lead singer Alex Kapranos.

    Of course, they ended with their comforting hit single "Take Me out" that starts like "So if you're lonely, you know I'm here waiting for you."

    It was an 104.9 exclusive before their show tonight. Their next one is Switchfoot.

    Tonight, ch-check them out...

    WHAT: Franz Ferdinand
    WHERE: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. tonight, 9/22
    TIX: $22; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or ticketmaster

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Rising Talent

    I just interviewed Rachael Yamagata who was wonderfully silly and kiddy. As a rising alternative jazz talent, she's been compared to Norah Jones, but instead of being happy, Yamagata's music is brooding, about losing and having love.

    So I was surprised that Yamagata gleefully talked about just coming back from Walmart, to buy leopard seat covers and Christmas lights to decorate her tour bus.

    "I know, it's very festive, if I live in a coffin-like space I might as well make it festive."

    For it out:
    WHAT: Muse
    WHERE: Warfield 982 Market Street, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. tonight, 9/21
    TIX: $20; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or ticketmaster

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Another Hollywood wedding...

    So Britney tied the knot (again), this time Julia Roberts style. She surprised her friends and family this past Saturday by taking the leap. Somebody needs to tell her to stop her roller-coaster life, otherwise, she'll end up on "The Surreal Life" (see yesterday's post).

    For tomorrow:

    Ch-check it out... not that I'm telling you which way to vote, but there's some good music, esp Mike Park.

    WHAT: Punk Voter Presents 'Rock Against Bush' Anti- Flag, Midtown, The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello), Strike Anywhere, The Epoxies, and Mike Park
    WHERE: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
    WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21
    TIX: $15; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Guilty pleasures

    It's like my infatuation with Josh Groban's music - it's embarassing, but I tune in, and I know my friends do too.

    Anyways, to add to my guilty pleasure list lately, would be
    The Surreal Life and Paris Hilton's book, "Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose."

    The Surreal Life - a VH1 reality show that puts up B-rated stars, like
    New Kids on the Block's Jordan Knight, in a house - is like watching a car accident on the side of the road. You know it's bad and probably melts the brain, but you can't turn away. I was a New Kids on the Block fan back in the day anyways.

    And, Paris' book - well, I couldn't bring myself to buy it, but I had to flip through it at the book store. It's basically a picture book and the heiress, unlike
    William Hung , is in on the joke and knows not to take herself seriously. She advises that if anyone wants to be, or at least act like, a heiress, be sure to get a tan and have long blond hair -- well, one out of two isn't too shabby I guess.
    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
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